Bang Head ((Here))
Walking into my office from the parking lot felt like a ten-mile journey today. My stomach started to knot up, I felt a little queasy, and I am pretty sure there was a bird mocking me on my way in. I trudge through the front door, swiping my badge only to swipe it again and again to proceed through the building. My final swipe has me standing in front of the time clock, cursing that I am now 3 minutes late which will put a big red box on my timesheet for today. Snap. It's as if failure is the purpose of this blasted time clock.
Grey Cubicle of Suffering
My cubicle greets me as if to say, "welcome back to the land of depression.Credit: morguefile.com" I haven't even started the week and there are already papers on my chair left from last Friday, a signal that something needs done ASAP. The only color in the office is created by post-it notes, multi colored highlighters, and the beautiful screen saver of a beach in Italy I hope to visit some day. Some days, like this one, my cubicle reminds me of a small prison. This is surely a sign that something has to drastically change in my life, and soon.
Job Security and The American Dream
I was taught as a child that responsible adults get a good job with benefits and are thankful for the company that will take care of them into retirement. Whoa... that is not how life works any more. The boomer generation is now having to re-invent themselves as they are getting laid off by the corporations that can hire a young spry college student at half the wages to replace them. Job security is a thing of the past. My children's generation will have to create a new path, one that draws from marketable skills and creativity. We are now competing on a global scale. Now our competition is a young teenager, her uninhibited ideas about starting a business, and her prized laptop computer. This can leave us feeling very distraught, however there is another way.
I consider myself a lifestyle entrepreneur, even though I am really at the beginning of my journey. Like most of us, I want to enjoy a balanced life. One that does not end up in having a heart attack at forty-five years old due to work related stress. I work in a highly stressful environment and I have seen many coworkers battle significant health problems (cancer, stroke, etc) that were clearly exacerbated by the stressful environment. Achieving the lifestyle I want takes the desire and willingness to put into action the strategies to do so.
Start Now - Right Now
1. Start now. Right now. Get out a pen and paper and write the following. This may sound cheesy but trust me, when you sign your name you own it.
"I, (your name here), pledge to commit to finding true balance in my life. I will no longer allow myself to be inconsistent and with lack of follow through. I will persevere, grow, and improve my life. I will journey toward wholeness and stop sabotaging my own efforts. I commit to taking steps toward achieving my goals and I will review my goals daily and my progress weekly." Sign your name and date your commitment pledge.
2. List the things that you are grateful for under each of the following headings: financial, health, relationships, business, lifestyle, mental wellbeing, and spiritual life. Next to each heading rate on a scale of 1-10 how balanced that part of your life is, with 10 being perfect and 1 being "ruh-roh." As you look at your list, what is out of balance? What is your priority? If you say the relationship with your spouse and child is a priority and yet you do not spend time with them then you are out of balance and it's time to make some adjustments.
3. For each domain (financial, health, relationships, business, lifestyle, mental wellbeing, and spiritual life), write your desired goal as if it is happening right now. Be specific. For example; one of my desired goals under Health is to eat healthy six out of seven days a week. My goal statement is "I eat healthy unprocessed foods with no added sugar six days per week. On Saturday's I eat whatever I want."
4. Each week review your goals and note any progress or struggles you have maintaining your ideal lifestyle. Do not get upset when your balance has been knocked off kilter. Our own personal energy, life events, and the needs of others means we will be constantly readjusting each domain of our life. The purpose is to get you dreaming about the possible, and taking tangible steps toward achieving it.
Darren Hardy's "Living Your Best Year Ever" is an excellent resource for goal setting. I have found it to be life changing.
Brian Tracy's "Maximum Achievement Goal Planner" is another excellent resource for goal setting and determining strategic life goals.