Tag Archives | challenges

Why You Need to Make a Life Plan

life plan photo

Do you have a life plan? Have you ever thought about how to make a life plan? Most people haven’t, but they should.

We are not talking about a 50-page business plan with maps and checklists. A life plan is really just meant to be general summary of where you are now in all the areas that matter to you, where you want to improve and what you’d like your life to look like in the future.

Don’t be scared off by the title. It may sound ominous, but creating a life plan does not need to be a difficult or lengthy process. It’s worth an hour to get the life we want, instead of chasing the wrong things and working hard, only to find that we have been following the wrong path.

How would you rate your life? – Are you satisfied with the way your life is right now? Somewhat satisfied? Not at all satisfied? The answer is for your eyes only. No one else needs to know. Be honest.

What is going on in your life now? – Briefly summarize the current state of your life. Consider your health, career, relationships, finances, spirituality, and emotional well-being. Add any other areas of life that are important to you. Don’t take too much time with this. Just write down what your life is like right now.

What makes you happy? – Think about what you enjoy. Think about things that are going well in your life. Include activities, people, and situations that bring you joy, satisfaction, or just make you laugh.

What are the happiness drains? – Pinpoint the drains on your energy and happiness.Determine what people, behaviors, choices or situations cause stress, anxiety, or a negative mood. We all have life toxins; people or things that suck the life out of us like vampires draining our life force.

What isn’t working in your life? – Think about where you want to improve. Identify your obstacles to living a fulfilling and happy life. Consider the lingering challenges in your life; health, fitness, weight, lack of organization, an unsatisfying or dead-end job, a difficult or damaging relationship. Perhaps, you simply need to manage your stress better, get more balance, or just learn to laugh again.

What would your ideal life look like? – Describe in detail what kind of life would truly make you happy to get out of bed in the morning. Describe what you would be doing, whom you would be with, and how you would be feeling. Be honest and be clear. It’s important to be really clear about what you really want in your future.

What do you need to do to get that life? – Think about what needs to happen for you to get from where you are now, to where you want to be. It doesn’t have to be a detailed action plan right now, just some general goals or ideas to work toward. You can get more detailed later, but you need to define a target. Consider what habits you’d like to adopt or whatways you might change your attitude or environment.

More food for thought

What do you really want to accomplish in this life?

What kind of person do you want to be?

What is most important to you in life?

Why do you want whatever it is that you want?

How would you like to be remembered?

What will your life be like if you never change the way it is right now?

Post originally written for lifehack.org

Photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

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Real Age Wisdom You Need To Remember

realageSome timeless wisdom you need to remember from RealAge.com.

To Feel Content, Just Take a Stand

Has something in the news gotten your ire up? Taking a stand on it could boost your quality of life.

New research shows that not just believing in a cause, but actively supporting it, tends to translate into a happier, more contented life.

Power Beyond the Pen

In a series of studies, researchers surveyed over 1,000 adults to find out if they considered themselves to be activists for any particular issue, from supporting antiwar politics to championing human rights. And the researchers found that the stronger a person’s activism, the better that person felt — as long as his or her activities weren’t extreme. Specifically, the highly engaged activists reported experiencing more positive emotions, feeling more satisfied with their lives, and feeling more connected to others. (Here’s another get-happy strategy that will help you feel more satisfied every day.)

The Good in Do-Gooding

Investing yourself in issues that are important to you helps strengthen your sense of self and fosters personal feelings of purpose — both of which can help get you through tough or stressful times. So whether you write letters to Congress or start a nonprofit, take an active stand on the things you believe in. And here are just a few more ways that doing good for others does your own life some major good:

It can keep your mind from slowing down.

It can boost longevity.

RealAge Benefit:

Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 16 years younger.

I don’t know about you…but I’m all for feeling younger!

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Find the Reason…Find the Change…

looking

Everything we do, we do for a reason. We may not consciously be aware of that reason in the moment… or we may not want to see it, but make no mistake the reason is there.

I’ve gradually come to realize that if I really want to know how to make my life better I need to first take a little closer look at those reasons, the motivations behind my behaviors and habits.
What makes me tick? Why do I behave in a certain way… especially around certain people or in certain situations?

To be honest, some of my behaviors are quite puzzling to me. As I’m sure, some of yours are to you. But nothing intrigues me more than a good puzzle, especially a challenge that peaks my curiosity about the inner workings of the mind.

For instance:

Why do I instinctively deflect compliments?
Why do I always need to be right?
Why do I wear delayed gratification like a badge of accomplishment?

And so many more confounding personal and professional behaviors…

It’s a valuable undertaking don’t you think to get to know ourselves better? How can we hope to grow or make positive changes if we don’t first understand why we do what we do?

Your Mini-Mission: Look for the Reason

When you find the reason…then you will find the path to change. (Feel free to Tweet that!)

Your thoughts? Do you know why you do what you do? Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page.

Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…

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No One is Immune: 5 Ways to Overcome to the “F” Monster

 

fearFear is a favorite topic of writers, book sellers, and self-help gurus…It’s an unavoidable reality for the rest of us. All of us have been caught in the grip of our own personal “F” monster at some point or another during our lifetime. Fear is a universal experience. We all have it. We all hate it. Most of us don’t know what to do with it.

It touches us mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It often gets in the way of doing what needs to be done, of enjoying the lives we have, or of creating the lives we want. And for some of us, it is paralyzing, action blocking, dream killing, joy sucking, and energy sapping.

The changing stages of life, careers, or relationships, the inevitable crisis of health, family, and money can create fear and anxiety. These transitional times and difficult situations bring uncertainty. We’re conflicted, unsure, vulnerable and we see that as a weakness, or maybe a shame or oppression of a sort.

But we don’t have to be a victim to our fear. It has no power on its own…only in our response to it.

1. Make your decision and OWN IT – Make the best choice you can, you have the power, you face the consequences.

2. Know that YOU ARE NOT YOUR FEAR  - Step back and get perspective, you are not defined by your fear, it’s only a feeling.

3. Shift your view – fear is GROWTH – We learn more from facing our fear then we do from avoiding it.

4. Taking small steps builds CONFIDENCE – Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is a muscle. Flex it!

5. Keep reminding yourself that fear is a part of the journey – Everything can’t be easy. Fear means that you are stretching out of your comfort zone and that’s where growth happens.

Fear is a part of life…it’s an unavoidable, unpleasant feeling.

It is not a force…It’s not a fact…It’s simply a feeling.

It only has as much power and impact as you allow it.

Your thoughts? How do you deal with fear? Have you ever been paralyzed by it? Do you try to avoid it or deny it? Do you lash out? Or are you calm and accepting?

 Please feel free to leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!

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Mini-Mission: Learn These Four Habits…to Form Better Habits

victory

If you want to create solid habits that are sustainable, you first need to understand the fundamentals of cultivating habits and how to outsmart the human mind’s tendency to undermine the process of change.

Leo Babuta over at Zen Habits wrote a great article recently on this topic. In it he very clearly lays out the four steps (or habits) to form good, solid, sustainable habits. He does not mind if I refer to (or borrow) some of his ideas and since they’re good ones, I’m doing just that… Read Leo’s full article here.

This is so important. As with anything else worthwile in life, you need to learn the process first. Learn how to study, before you study. Learn how to read, before you can consume books, learn how a vehicle works before you try to drive, and so on. Learn how to create habits first, then creating them will be simpler and more effective.

Mini-Mission: Practice Leo’s four habits of habit formation…

Habit 1: Start Exceedingly Small

 “Make it so easy you can’t say no.”

Such a tiny amount of exercise, writing, work, diet change, whatever might seem worthless, but what you doing is laying the foundation.

Habit 2: Be Mindful of Negative Thoughts

“Watch the thoughts. Learn to let them go. Get good at discomfort. Triumph over the childish selfish scared mind.”

We all have those negative undercutting thoughts in our heads, the ones that play on our fears and doubts or tempt us back to our old ways. But here’s the thing…we don’t have to let them dictate our behavior.

Habit 3: Savor the Habit

“Learn to enjoy the habit, and the habit will become its own reward.”

Instead of viewing new habits as necessary torture, or a nasty, chore we detest, look at them as a start on a better life, new experiences, and growth. Better habits should be a good thing, a positive thing. Learn to enjoy them and your progress while creating them.

Habit 4: Have a Plan for When You Falter

“Get in the habit of re-starting when you falter.”

Have a back-up plan, a ‘get back up and keep moving’ plan. Find an incentive, motivation, accountability, and an alternative strategy for when you get stuck or backslide…because you most likely will at some point…we all do.

How do you put these habit-forming habits into practice?

Slowly and simply.

Creating habits is not about who gets there first…it’s about who stays there longest. (My words – Feel free to Tweet that!)

Your thoughts? Share your new habit ideas here or post on our Facebook page! We can support each other…

Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…

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