I don’t know about you but I just feel more relaxed in the summer. Even when I am still working or caring for others, life’s pace seems to be more manageable. It seems easier to smile and my outlook is overall much more positive even if nothing else has really changed and I am still dealing with the same problems or issues.
For these reasons, summer is the perfect season to create change. We are more likely to implement it and our positive outlook makes it more likely to be long lasting.
This is why I am inviting you, just as I did a year ago to take charge of your life by taking charge of what you do on a day-to-day basis, because as Annie Dillard wrote, ‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.’
We need to be very intentional in how we spend our time and energy and I, for sure, can only succeed at this if I have a structure so that I can direct my focus without having to think about it. It is so easy to revert to our default setting every single day especially when we feel tired, overwhelmed or distracted by reality or easy entertainment.
I am not talking about a rigid structure but a Do’s and Don’t’s list carefully and thoughtfully crafted that I can refer to daily to create the day ahead.
“Commitment is an act, not a word.” Jean-Paul Sartre
This list is a way to translate our commitment to a better life into action. So, to stay focused on what really matters to me and how I can continue my work to create that better life, I will be re-using Jennifer Lee’s exercise from her book The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success: Stop, Start, Continue and apply it to all areas of my life. I thought you might find it helpful. Here are some items on my list.
• Spending more than 20 minutes a day on social media altogether
• Ordering new books or even checking out new books (in Amazon’s Look Inside feature)
• Watching any video on Facebook unless it was shot and posted by someone I know and love.
• Watching business webinars and video series
• Negative thinking of any kind and on any topic
• Reading a book a week from my selected list
• Working on an email course for a non-profit organisation
• Doing the Creatively Fit Coaches Team’s Photo Quest (see details below!)
• Sleeping more than 6 hours
• Emptying my office to create a new office/studio in the conservatory and a bedroom for my son in that room
• Working on my daily creative challenges
• Working through the two online courses that really matter to me (and let go graciously of the ones that were not what I needed or expected)
• Doing my new Pilates/yoga routine in the morning
• Drinking lots of water
• Making more time for friends and outings
This is not my exhaustive list yet but I intend to keep Start and Continue very short. However I am determined to list more things I do that are not serving me in Stop so that can free my mind and timetable as much as I possibly can. I will print this list and have a copy by my bed, by my computer, in my diary and in my journal.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” Peter Trucker
Create your own Stop, Start, Continue list today and let me know if you found it helpful.