As we approach 2015 I find myself reflecting on the year that’s past and looking forward to the promise of the new year to come. This time last year I officially relaunched my website and blog after the almost year-old site died due to a server crash. It was a tragic feeling to have the thirty or so blog posts I had written lost in the cyber ethers. But I picked up the pieces and decided to rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes. The fatality of my original website made me realize that I had to reprioritize my goals and rethink my approach to blogging and spreading the good word about fitness and wellness. My best friend and fellow wellness practitioner, Daniel Wiener, and I began collaborating on a book concept that would tie together the best of our experience and knowledge as fitness instructors, life coaches and wellness advisors. Our lifestyle and self-help fitness and wellness guide is about maximizing your lifestyle potential in minutes everyday. “Lifestyle” is how we describe the fashion, quality and experience of our lives or how we want to live. Reaching your lifestyle potential means making the most of your life and your time to live the life you desire. This blog post is a bit of a sneak preview and primer to our upcoming publication and hopefully will act as inspiration to those of you who are looking to renew your purpose and realize your full potential as a human being with measurable results in manageable amounts of time.
Being human is a funny thing. We want so many things and yet sometimes we forget to take care of what we need to do to achieve our goals and reach our dreams. Our passions and desires can guide and inspire us or blind and distract us. Our need for freedom, fear of failure and yearning for recognition can keep us from developing the discipline we need to become what would serve others and settle the urgings of our souls. That’s what our book is all about: discovering what your priorities are and making time to fit in the necessary practices needed to achieve full expression of one’s life goals within one’s desired lifestyle. Time is our most finite resource. It’s brevity makes life important. We only have so many turns around the sun before our number is up. In that scale of time we must find out what we want, come to know who we are, learn to love and accept ourselves, embrace our gifts and then strive toward our goals until we reach them. We are only limited by our own imagination, motivation and effort and how we organize the time we have on Earth to shape what we feel is important into a reality we can be proud of, our ultimate legacy.
We all want to matter; to leave our mark. Some people have children whom they raise well to forward their impression on the world. Others give of their minds with creative works and inventions to become an indelible influence on the human race. Still others provide services and give of their hearts to make the world a better place. All are remarkable, commendable and honorable ways of contributing to the advancement of our society. If one is lucky and organized, they can leave many contributions to the world. But there are only so many days to make your life matter and be a special stitch in the fabric of humanity. Improving your life and making the most of your time is never a selfish act. If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you help others? When you don’t contribute your best to uplift those you love, isn’t that selfish? The way we use our time and energy determines the course and effectiveness of our lives. With focus and discipline all people can achieve positive goals through determination and planning. But we must also be willing to change, make better choices, take chances, adapt and adopt new actions to become something we haven’t yet been. All experiences and actions in our lives exact change. What matters most is how we spend it!
Ever get to the end of the day and wonder where it all went? How about the week, month or year? Time can seem quite relative. It flies when we’re having fun and slows to a crawl when we’re bored or have to wait. Time goes by differently for a child than an adult. The years slip away quickly when we grow up, but can you remember waiting for Christmas or your birthday as a child? It seemed like an aeon away! Time is largely a construct of the mind, though we measure it so precisely. It can run like water and our efforts and experiences can seem to evaporate with only digital snapshots, videos and fleeting results of what was meant to be and what could have been. Time isn’t free… it takes its toll and we want to be ready with our token when our time comes. Life, in fact, is a measure of time and what we do with it. It’s important to live a life of breadth and meaning, but that end requires making the most of the time we have here on Earth to make our lives what we want them to be and impact the world in some significant way. When it comes to measuring how well we live – the great equalizer – the container in which we fulfill our existence – the most important component for creating our lifestyle and legacy – it’s all a matter of time.
Learning to manage your time, as a resource, may be the most valuable practice you ever implement. People feel limited by many different things, but time is the ultimate boundary between one’s aspirations and their realization. Never underestimate the power of now. Dreams and goals require action to be met. Taking mere minutes everyday to reach your destiny can make all the difference in the quality of your life and lifestyle. A great example is taking the time each day to exercise and maintain your physical fitness. If you leave out that time for self-sustaining practice your health and fitness will be negatively impacted. You will lose muscle, become inflexible, retain fat and your arteries will harden and collapse prematurely. But taking just a twenty-minute bout of exercise each day will most certainly stave off ill health, build and maintain muscle, preserve suppleness, keep you slim and trim, open your blood vessels and re-energize your life force.
How we choose to spend our minutes, everyday, winds up defining key aspects of our lives. We cannot achieve goals tomorrow that we haven’t already worked toward or prepared for in the present. It has to be today that we take action. Otherwise we will procrastinate and “bump” our actions into some nebulous future tense. Action today equals creation and achievement over time. Inaction, in essence, is the wasting of precious time. We have to take the steps now to make our lives what we want. We must act as if there is no future tense. A new action, habit, intention or solution must be made active today to impact tomorrow or it has no true meaning, power, importance or value! When it comes to really developing your life, it’s not about “having time”… it’s about making your time matter!
I will update you on the timely process of publishing our book, but at this crucial time let me give you a few tips that will guide you toward maximizing your own lifestyle potential now. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself about what you want, your priorities and how you manage your time. Your answers will reflect your lifestyle choices and the changes you may need to make to have the life you want. Remember, well managed and specifically dedicated time is the most essential element needed to create the life experience you desire and propel you forward…
· What’s missing in your life? Really – what do you want that you don’t have? Is it good health, physical fitness, loving relationships, free time, enrichment, enlightenment, spirituality, wealth, respect, happiness or something else that’s missing in your life? Define it – and be honest!
· What’s in the way? What lies between you and what you really want? Do you need more education, a teacher or guide, a new perspective or some courage to move forward? Do you have an ailment, a hang-up, a prejudice, a sense of distrust, low self-esteem or a lack of motivation or focus that’s keeping you stuck and unfulfilled? Understand your obstacle and you can learn to overcome it!
· What are your real goals? Do you have truly strong, crucial desires? Desire often precedes action and action defines success.
· What do you do with your free time? Is it spent in productive pursuits or wasted on distractions? Does your “free” time make you feel free? Only you can decide the importance and meaning of your work, playtime, rest time and time dedicated to some goal.
· What matters most to you? What are your biggest priorities in life, right now? Is your lifestyle too busy to attend to things you really care about? When can you make the time to prepare meals, eat right, exercise, meditate, de-clutter and reorganize your affairs, manage your finances, volunteer, communicate with and take care of those you love and enrich your body, mind and soul? Taking some time each day to handle all those responsibilities, in an organized way, will bring balance and focus to all you do – so you can do it all.
· What do you think your lifestyle potential is? What life can you see yourself living? How do you attain that dream life without committing some time each day to its realization? We cannot build our tomorrows on foundations we haven’t laid today.
· What was the last major goal you set for yourself and did you achieve it? We all need something to look forward to in order to be motivated. If it’s been a while since you’ve challenged yourself by goal setting and taking the necessary steps to reach your goal, you may feel “rusty” and need to practice setting your aims and firing toward a target.
· Are you a perfectionist, procrastinator or do you over-prepare when setting a goal? Are you stuck in a “comfort zone?” Do you feel responsible for other people’s happiness? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions there are signs that you’re avoiding your own ambitions, making excuses and stalling on moving ahead with your goals, dreams and plans.
· Do you make yourself accountable or reflect on your progress regularly as you go along your journey of dream realization? Tracking your efforts and having someone you report to can help you refine your process and stay committed to your purpose.
Here are some parts of your lifestyle that may need re-prioritizing to figure out what needs the most help, where changes need to be made and what’s already functioning as you wish and therefore doesn’t need as much attention. These aspects of living are common to all people but some will be more important to you than others, depending on where you feel you need improvement and advancement in your life. Here are the 12 keys areas to unlocking your lifestyle potential each day…
1. Fitness – 20 minutes of sweat everyday will keep your body and mind stress free so you can live healthy, happy and whole!
2. Nutrition – Planning, preparing and portioning healthy meals to energize your life in 20-30 minutes each day!
3. Beauty – Taking 10-15 minutes everyday to pamper and beautify yourself with proper hygiene, skin, hair, teeth and nail maintenance.
4. Wisdom – 10-30 minutes a day of reading, education, brain games, puzzles, meditation or other mind building practices to keep you razor sharp.
5. Nurturing – 10 or more minutes everyday dedicated to improving your emotional well-being, including self-appreciation, compassion, patience and forgiveness.
7. Love – Making a stronger connection with every relationship in your life; checking in with those you love in meaningful ways in minutes a day.
8. Service – Simple ways to give back and help the world each and every day; getting involved by volunteering, donating and advocating for those in need.
9. Gratitude – Giving thanks to enhance your happiness; cultivating gratitude by counting your blessings and feeling joy for all you have, everyday.
10. Creativity – Nurturing your inner-child’s need for playtime and structure so you can express yourself in fun, free and fantastically healthy ways.
11. Aspiration – Making time to tend to your career and financial needs so you can plan ahead for wealth, create success, travel to enrich yourself and be of great use and value.
12. Reflection – Leaving some time each day to take stock of your progress and be accountable; journaling, self-coaching and tracking your development. This includes taking time to “go off the grid,” unplug, disconnect and experience true down-time.
These are well-tested life coaching methods that you can apply to your life to get more organized about how you spend your time and energy and how taking just minutes each and everyday to balance your lifestyle priorities in a holistic way can help you enhance your quality of life. Leaving any of these aspects neglected or under-developed means short-changing your lifestyle potential. Giving them some nurturing time each day will help you harness your true power, advance your goals and attain self-fulfillment. As always, please contact me if you need further information or assistance with these concepts and their application. I appreciate your comments and wish you the best in maximizing your lifestyle potential. I hope this post has inspired you to look at how you manage your time and make some changes that will improve the quality of your life. We’re each given the same amount of time to make our dreams come true – NOW!
~Be the master of your destiny… Be the change… Be resolute… Be well!