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Where does my time go?

The next question that we are exploring in our quest for self awareness and growth is this: Where does my time go?

It is such a cliché to say that we live in a world that is on 24/7 and that we 'don't have time'. We have more labour saving devices than ever before and less (perceived) time than any previous generation.

The truth is that time is the great equalizer. All of us have exactly the same amount every day. How we spend those moments, however, will greatly determine our quality of life now and later.

Also, how we spend our time says a lot about who we are and what we value. We may verbalize some values that we 'should' have but our clock and our calendar tell us the truth about what we value by the actions we take during the moments in our day.

A great way to become more mindful of how we spend our time is to keep a time log. I learnt this concept from time management expert Laura Vanderkam in her book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

Vanderkam suggests...

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I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings

Much too often, we do not speak our truth, express how we really feel or ask for what we need for many (not very good) reasons. These reasons can include self-protection, fear of upsetting the other, keeping the peace etc.

Much too often we forget that relationships can better survive our truth than the resentment borne from not speaking up. It is in fact, emotional disengagement that destroys relationships rather than the feared conflict from a spoken truth.

Ware found that not expressing feelings had an additional cost. She found that not expressing their true feelings was something many people regretted at the end of their life. "Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others", she writes. "As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."

Once we start practicing expressing our true feelings, we begin...

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Buy yourself time

Sonja Lyubomirsky's third principle to enjoy your wealth so that it brings you happiness is this:

Spend money to give you time.

Time, as they say, is the great equalizer. We all have the same 24 hours regardless of the dollars in our bank accounts.

Research shows, that 'time affluence' – (time to do things that matter to you and bring you joy) is a better predictor of happiness than pure affluence (how much money you have).

Makes sense, right? If we are too busy making money, we don't have time to enjoy it.
So here is an easy way to "buy happiness".

Use money to buy time for yourself. Hire someone to do something that you would normally do yourself.

For those of us who like to do everything ourselves, here is another way to look at it: you will be distributing your blessings and being a source of income for someone else.
(Not to mention having one less thing on your "to-do" list).

(When I shared this with a group of mothers recently, that you could get someone to help you do...

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Share it to savour it

Sonja Lyubomirsky's second principle to enjoy your wealth so that it brings you happiness is this:

Spend money on others not yourself.

There is some fascinating research here. It turns out that if you give people $20 and have them spend it on themselves they'll be less happy than if they spend it on others. Cool, huh?

(I wonder if this is the one reason why people like Bill Gates give away such a significant portion of their wealth?)

So, shall we experiment with generosity this week?

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Think its too difficult?

Have you noticed, , that the hard and difficult stuff only ever seemed hard and difficult before you began it?

One of the easiest ways to get over overwhelm is to start taking action.

It really IS that simple.

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Write down what the critic is saying

When the familiar story of self doubt or negativity starts playing in your head, take a moment and write it down. Word for word.

It is often helpful to write this down in two ways:
First, write down everything in the first person: "I cannot do this", "I will never be able to do this" etc etc.

Now rewrite these stories in the second person: "You cannot do this". "You are just not organized enough, clever enough, good enough . . . ." "What makes you think that you will succeed this time when you have failed in the past . . ."

Blah, blah, blah. . .

Now ask yourself: Are these stories adding value to your life? Are they helping you live your best self?

If not, simply thank the critic for sharing their view, and then get on with your day.

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Paint a picture

Now that we are clear that negative emotions do not need to hold us back when setting goals, let us take one key area in our life and visualize what success looks like.

Go ahead and dream.

If you achieved WILD SUCCESS in this domain in your life, what would it look like?

If you had the job or the relationship of your dreams,

What would you be seeing?
What would you be hearing?
What would you be feeling?
How would your life be different?
Who would notice?

Dream big. This is not the time to be 'realistic' or 'reasonable'.

Allow yourself to picture what wild success looks like.

Are you smiling yet? Excited?

Good.

Meaningful goals should make you smile and get you excited.

(And maybe make you more than a little bit nervous!)

 

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You will not meet all the goals you set this year

Here is your daily dose of Wisdom for Living Your Best Self!

You will probably not meet all the goals you set this year.

Most likely not.

Even with the the best intentions, the right plan and consistent effort, you may not meet all your goals.

So what?

Realistically speaking, with some smart goal setting and positioning yourself for success, you are likely to meet about 70% of the goals you set.

Of course, it is also possible that you may exceed some or all of the targets that you set for yourself.

And without concrete goals . . . .

Well, you already know what happens to all the new Year Resolutions that you have been making in the past.

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The one thing you must do before setting goals for next year

If you are anything like me, about this time every year, you ask yourself the same question: where did the year go?

Some of us get into a mad dash at the end of the year, trying to accomplish everything that we meant to do this year. Others are already thinking ahead to January and planning what goals they want to set for next year.

In order to start the year 2017 off well, there is a very important step we need to take right now.

Taking stock of this year as it ends.

Writing an end of year reflection is an excellent way to acknowledge your successes and wins and start considering where and how you might do better next year.

Begin by setting aside some time in your calendar over the next week to complete your end of year reflection. We will start going through some questions to help us with this starting tomorrow.

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Check your assumptions!

Human beings are meaning making machines. We often take 2 + 2 and make it 22, filling in all the missing numbers in our head.

Making assumptions, or mindreading as it is also called, is not always a problem. When I am grocery shopping for example, I will often pick up things that I assume my family will like.

Other times, however, when we make assumptions about what someone is thinking, why they are doing what they are doing or what they are thinking, we need to remind ourselves that it is very possible that our assumptions are wrong.

The only way to know for sure if our assumptions about someones behaviour or thinking is to check them out.

How? Just ask!

"why did you . . ."
"why didn't you . . ."
"am I right in thinking that . . ."
"would love to know your thoughts"
"how do you see this"
"am I right in thinking . . ."
"help me understand . . ."

This week just begin to notice how many times you are assuming what is the motive behind someone's action. And then check your assumptions. You...

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