Your life is made up of a string of days. String together a succession of mediocre or average days and you build a mediocre, average life. String together a succession of good days and you build a good life. String together a succession of great days and you build a great life! Very seldom do great days happen on their own, without your involvement. You can get a great start on a great day by using the “Golden Hour” – the first hour of the day – to set the tone for your day.
Hyrum Smith called them the “magic hours”, a block of uninterrupted time, usually in the early morning, when you can concentrate on things beyond the normal urgency and routine of the day. This may be a time when you read or meditate or plan the day ahead. Brian Tracy refers to this time as the Golden Hour — the first hour of the day which can set the tone for the rest of the day.
“The truth, as I see it, is that everything you think, say, and do is a choice — and you don’t need to think, speak, or act as you’ve done for your entire life. When you abandon making choices, you enter the vast world of excuses.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer, Excuses Begone! How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits
Making Progress Or Making Excuses
Are you making progress toward your BIG goal or are you making excuses? When you get down to the basics, this is a fundamental choice you and I must make. As my friend Robert says, “There is no such word as gress. You either progress or you regress.”
“To be or not to be, that is the question.” ~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1
Action Is Necessary . . .
Action, I have often said, is the last word in “attraction” (as in “The Law Of”). And I emphasize again the importance of taking actions to reach your goals. Faith can move mountains, but you also need a shovel and a pail. However, I recognize that a person can get caught up in doing for the sake of doing – endless to-do lists, constant activity. Carrying around the feeling that you always have to be doing something does not lead to flourishing.
Automate decisions. The more decisions you can automate, the more will-power you save for situations where you need it. What decisions do you make every day that you could put on auto-pilot?
Today is the 111th day of 2016. A little over 100 days of this year are past and gone. It’s a good time for you and me to evaluate our progress toward our BIG goals. I confess I haven’t made as much progress as I would like but I continue to look for ways to devote more time to my goal, and I continue to work on the basics, the fundamentals, to become the person who can achieve the goals I set for myself.
“I just can’t seem to get started on my goal.” “I have a goal I want to achieve but I don’t have time to work on it right now.” Sound familiar? Are you using a similar excuse to postpone a worthwhile goal that you’d like to be moving toward? If this sounds like you, here are some things to consider.
Is your goal your goal? The first thing you need to decide is if this is your goal. Not your parents’, not your spouse’s, not society’s, not a “should” or an “ought to”. If it isn’t something you can feel a strong desire to achieve (you may not feel it now but you need to be able to create the desire) chances are it isn’t your goal and either (1) you won’t achieve it, or (2) it won’t mean that much if you do make it. Be sure your goal is your goal.
Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that we have a “happiness setpoint”, a level of happiness around which each of us tends to hover. We may have intervals of bliss and intervals of deep sadness, but in general, we tend to move back to our happiness level. Research also shows that we have the ability to influence our happiness up to approximately 40%. That is, we can increase our levels of happiness to a sizable extent.
“The more I examine the issue of clutter, the more effort I put into combating it, because it really does act as a weight.” ` Gretchen Rubin
Unclutter For An Energy Boost
Do you need an energy boost? Or do you want to attract something new (a relationship, a client, an opportunity, etc.) into your life? Do you want to strengthen your willpower as you build the habits you need to accomplish your BIG goal? Then you should seriously unclutter your life.
Piles of papers, overstuffed drawers, packed closets, broken tools and toys, too much to do — all clutter in various forms — drain energy from you. Clutter often consists of things you don’t really want that you must clean and maintain or those things that nag you to do something about them. Either way, you are expending energy that you could put to better use.
You must have space in order to think, to create, to breathe, and to receive. Clutter can be anything that is in your way, that isn’t useful (to you) or beautiful (to you).
“All my life’s a circle, sunrise and sundown. The moon rolls through the nighttime, till the daybreak comes around. All my life’s a circle but I can’t tell you why. The season’s spinnin’ round again, the years keep rollin’ by.” ~ Harry Chapin “Circles”
All Our Life’s A Circle
We don’t live life in a straight line. Life is a series of cycles through which we are going and, hopefully, growing.
In LifeLaunch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, Frederic M. Hudson and Pamela D. McLean provide a plan and a model for moving through the varied chapters of adult life, redesigning one’s life at each juncture as we step into the next chapter.
They do this, in part, by providing a series of “maps” to lead the reader through the preparations. I’d like to share my thoughts on the 1st “map”, which Hudson and McLean call “The Renewal Cycle”.
Time management is a misnomer — you can’t really manage time. You can, however, manage yourself and the way you use time. Executive, teacher, doctor, student, stay-at-home mom (or dad), artist, builder, unemployed – all have the same number of hours in a day. It’s how they – and you and I – use these hours that makes a difference in our lives.
Although you can’t manage time, there are some rules of time you can use to better understand how you can use time to your advantage. These rules aren’t written down anywhere — in fact, I made them up. But they have been helpful to me in my own attempts to manage my life and time and I think they are worth sharing. Here they are in no particular order.