Why do some people consistently advance in their career or grow their business, develop deeper relationships with those they love, invest time in their communities, travel and enjoy a life of meaning while others simply drift? And why do some people win in one area of life, seemingly at the expense of another? They might be successful in business, but ignore their health or grow distant from their spouse, children and those they love.
In polite conversation, we tend to “understand” how difficult it is to juggle everything, and we support the status quo. Perhaps we don’t want others to feel badly, so we form an unspoken agreement to “understand” each other’s limitations. This conversation maintains the drift. In other words 2016 is likely to look a lot like 2015.
December and January are the time of the year we use Dickens’ perspective to look at the past, present and future. What are you dreams for 2016? They won’t happen simply by turning the page on the calendar or writing a few bullet points on a napkin at a New Year’s eve party.
A couple weeks ago, I posted a question on Facebook. “Will you set a New Year’s resolution, intention or practice for 2016?” The majority of those responding said, “No. I stopped doing that years ago.” One person said, “I don’t like the pressure or the possibility of failure.”
There weren’t enough responses for the researcher in me to draw sweeping conclusions; nevertheless, she’s not the only one who feels this way. When we don’t declare what we want, we don’t risk failure in the short term; however, in the longer term, we may sacrifice the life we want to live.
We live life by design or by default. When we live by default, we drift. The book doesn’t get written. The friend doesn’t get called. The vacation is pushed back another year. Commitments to family and health get pushed back. When we live by design, we tend to advance in many areas of our life.
January starts a brand new year. Michael Hyatt, past CEO and blogger, poses three questions to help you stay on a path of designing a life you love throughout the year.
The first question is: “How do you want to be remembered?”
When my father passed away, people gathered from many walks of life. I remember the conversations. We laughed. We cried. He was a simple man, but he stood for what he believed, and people shared the ways Dad inspired them and made a difference in their lives.
You and I create and shape our legacy every day. Be brave and answer this question. How do you want to be remembered?
The next question is, “What’s important to you?”
There is a myth that you can do it all. You can’t do everything, but you can do what’s important to you. In a world with more distractions than ever, answering this question gives you the power to separate the urgent from the important. Keeping the main thing the main thing is more important than ever. Similarly, putting something that’s important on hold temporarily can easily extend into months or years. In time, it’s easier to know what’s important to your spouse, your boss, your customers, etc. than yourself. Taking care of YOU is what makes this question so powerful.
The third question is “What single brave decision do you need to make today?”
Answering the first two questions establishes the direction, answering this question keeps you moving forward. Rarely is it having the perfect BIG plan that wins the day. Instead, it’s knowing what you want and taking that one small step outside of your comfort zone that brings you closer to the projects, dreams, goals and experiences you long for. Yes, it’s that brave decision to take action.
Whether or not you decided to make New Year’s resolutions this year, these three questions will help stop the drift and create the kind of year that you’ll look back on December 31, 2016 with a smile on your face and satisfaction in your heart. These questions will guide you as you succeed in business and win in life.