1. Per FLYLady.net, if you don't use it, love it or need it, toss it. That is not just about decluttering our homes and our minds of stinkin' thinkin', folks. That pertains to your job, your exercise regimen, your friends, your online groups, your hobbies, etc. Take inventory. Take nothing for granted. Vet it. Review it. As the saying goes, ten years ago would have been the best time, but NOW is the second-best time.
2. I'm taking a great Planning for a Creative New Year class from Mary O'Gara at Maryogara.com. There is so much info that I'm picking and choosing what to incorporate within my 2013 Production Schedule as an author. And that's what Mary advises anyway. And if you think you knew about astrology and biorhythms, you probably don't. Ha! One of the homework assignments was to grab an Excel spreadsheet and list out five hundred things you want to do, to be. Mary maintains, and I second, that people with a lot of interests live longer. And, IMO, live happier.
3. Sometimes looking from the finish gives you a fresh view of the start. Like working a maze puzzle faster. But this is about our life. In one of my college English classes, the prof made us write our obit. Morbid, yes. Illuminating, yes. So do it now. What have you accomplished at the end of your lifetime? What do you want to be remembered for? What did you do for yourself to make you a better individual, a more productive member of society, a more enlightened personality? What did you do for your family, friends, community? What did you do for your planet? What did you do for God?
4. When I set up my Goals Excel spreadsheet, I divided my interests into ten groupings that are personally my favorites. I will list them to show you my way, while you find your own. Here they are: food, fitness, career, relationships, home, finances, relaxation, self-improvement, community, education. Then it was just a matter of listing fifty entries under each. It is not as hard as you think. Now, find a way to incorporate something from each into your daily life. For me, it would be like menu planning so I eat more raw veggies each day, adding even fifteen minutes of Yoga back into my day to start with or getting more yard work done, setting up and sticking to my 2013 Production Schedule daily to get my books uploaded throughout this new year, seeing my favorite people more often which in this case is more monthly or semimonthly and cannot be daily, decluttering and organizing my home fifteen minutes daily, setting up an automatic savings program which I already did earlier this month, remembering to get outside for fifteen minutes of daily sunshine and nature and maybe with my cup of joe, reading the Bible through in a year which may take fifteen or twenty or so minutes, donating monthly my time or my things (and my money as I get more flush) and reading about my craft or learning a new language.
5. So, if you did item four above, you have new stuff to add to your days. For me, it is roughly ninety minutes. Which means I need to give up some stuff, or take less time with others, to reallocate that hour and a half. What are you doing that isn't netting you satisfactory results? Granted, we all need downtime, but find your "greater greats" as in, which do you prefer, reading a new book and maybe finding a new favorite author, or rewatching your all-time favorite movies? I love both, but have been leaning more toward reading new authors. It is both a pleasure and a research exercise as I judge what worked for me, what didn't, what I would have done differently, what emotions were generated in the books I absolutely adored and what emotions turn me off.
6. If you are driven like me, I love checking off items on my To Do list. But I need to remember to enjoy the process as well as the euphoria of a project well done and completed. Stop to smell the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
I could go on, but I'll stop here. I'll end with this great quote:
Don't settle. Don't undervalue yourself and your contribution to this world. Savor the life of your dreams.Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. Janis Joplin
Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor