We can have all the wants and wishes in the world, but if we can’t find a way to get them done, wishes is all they’ll ever stay.
Coaching my Live Life by Design, not Default group this January, we’ve worked through the Discovery phase (where are we), and the Design phase (how do we want our lives to be), and now I’m working individually with everyone on the Do It phase…the nitty gritty of embedding aspirations and wishes into our daily life. It can feel challenging because we want a Fairy Godmother to come along and wave her wand to make it all happen instantly. The thing is, life ain’t a fairy tale, and we have to learn how to wave our own wands.
The magic only happens with manifested, motivated, mindful moves.
Some people will tell you it’s about planning, prioritising, and pushing blindly on. These are indeed useful parts of the process, but they’re meaningless on their own. It’s about living it, from this moment onward, as if you are already there.
The only way to manage your time so that you live a life where you feel in control is ………. intentionally.
As author Karen Lamb put it; “a year from now, you may wish you had started today.” Living in a state of ‘if only…’ and ‘when I have’ means next year never arrives.
If you want something to happen in your life, start it today.
So here are my Top Ten Tips on Waving that Wand on your Wishes
#1 GET YOUR THOUGHTS IN ORDER
Your life is as good as the choices you make, and the quality of your choices depend on the thoughts you have. If we’re on autopilot , we’re not having thoughts that guide us intentionally. Only when you know what direction you want your life to go in, can you start steering in the right direction. Ask yourself some key questions:
- If you could wake up and it be done, what would it look and feel like?
- What’s stopping you? What forces are pushing you towards, and what forces are pulling you away from your wish?
- What are you telling yourself about your ability, your chances, your right to achieve this wish? Thoughts have a funny way of coming true.
- What will happen – and what will not happen – if you don’t achieve this in your life?
It’s not enough to tell yourself you want a calm household, time for yourself, to lose weight, read more, find more time to appreciate art, travel, or whatever. You have to emotionally connect to it. What does it feel like when you are living it, what does it look like, smell like, taste like? See your wish as a reality in progress, not an aspiration.
#3 TAKE ACTION TODAY
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Like a balloon dancing up high above, and you have to pull on the string bit by bit until the balloon is brought into your hand, so you have to pull the wish from an aspiration dancing in the air, bit by bit, into your life, beginning with your daily routine. Action it, give it a deadline, a time, block it out in your diary. You have to walk your talk, every day.
#4 KEEP MOTIVATED
It’s easy to get distracted and let other (and others’) issues take priority, so keep your wish in sight. One of my clients wanted to lose weight by the summer for a trip to Paris, so we worked together on motivation and she photoshopped a picture of herself wearing a fabulous red dress which was now too small, beside the the Eiffel Tower and stuck it on her fridge. Write it down in your planner, on your phone, on your fridge. Constantly go back to this question, and constantly answer it: What will happen – and what will not happen – if you don’t achieve this in your life?
Part of motivation is inspiration – you can build your chances of success by reading about your wish, listening to podcasts, arming yourself with knowledge, learning about yourself and what makes you tick, asking questions, finding answers. Inspire yourself by acknowledging how well you are doing, and how much you have achieved so far.
#5 GET ACCOUNTABLE
Being open and honest with others about where you want to be is part of reminding yourself that this is a really important commitment you want to make. This could be one person, or a group, or public. It can be a friend, a mentor or a teacher. Own your wish like a prize, and stick it on the mantelpiece.
A few months ago I went public about some personal goals I was setting before I turned 50. Like Facebook public. That’s not for everyone, but it keeps me accountable. Here are my Fab@50 goals (and to update, I’ve achieved, or doing well, on all but the fitness one. It’s been too cold to run ;-0)
#6 BREAK IT DOWN
Talking of running, marathons are run one step at a time. I didn’t decide one day to run a marathon, and the next day just did it. It took training, preparation, changing habits, but most of all, starting the first run of 5km, knowing it would take little incremental steps to build up training to get to 42km. Keep the big picture front of mind, but look at the snapshots that will get you there.
I could write a whole blog post on this word alone. It’s actually the filling of the success sandwich – visualise, prioritise, allocate (time). If you don’t plan your day, your day won’t go according to plan! If your wish is linked to a core value of yours, it should filter and colour every single decision you make. Ask how your day is making sure that happens, rather than wondering why there is no time in your day to make it happen.
#8 LISTEN TO YOUR GUT, NOT YOUR HEAD.
Our heads are mostly crammed with thoughts like crowds on a Black Friday sale, jostling for attention, elbowing everyone out of the way, and generally investing their energy on a fruitless pursuit. Know thyself. When are you energised? When have you achieved success in the past and what worked then that you can use now? What drains you? Know there may be discomfort around uncomfortable choices and accept that as part of the process, not an obstacle. This is a spark in your gut; don’t let useless thoughts dampen it down.
#9 BE ADAPTIVE
If you haven’t already worked out by now, life doesn’t always go exactly as planned. Accept that. Then don’t get derailed when something unexpected comes along. Regroup and carry on. This goes for slip ups too. It happens to everyone. Get over it, and get on with it.
#10 TREAT TIME AS YOUR MOST VALUABLE POSSESSION
Time is our most valuable resource, yet women give so much of theirs away. Really evaluate your use of time. For example, I’ve learned to never, EVER, do housework when my kids aren’t around. That is prized golden time for my needs (work and personal). Knowing when their prized golden time for needing me is (usually dinner time and bedtime chats) means I can do housework when they don’t need me per se, but need an adult in the vicinity to stop them playing with knives.
If you don’t guard and manage your time like Trump does his hairspray, your shit will never get done!! It’s that simple. There will always be someone or something else thumping on the door for your energy, attention and guilt. Hang up a Do Not Disturb sign and tell them you’ll be out in an hour.
So decide what it is you want to achieve, or how you want to feel, and make the wish come true through daily intention. This time next year, you’ll be really happy you did.