A Better Life is Within Your Reach
A better life is within your reach and you can have it all while using less energy. I want you to think of goal planning in a way that you haven’t considered before. You have big dreams and plans and you are working really hard to make those dreams and plans come true. There you are, crushing it at work. You are going, going, going. Saying, “YES” to all the hard jobs, to the jobs no one else wants to do. You go home, at night, and do things to improve yourself, still going hard until you fall asleep. The next day, it starts all over again.
This type of effort will get you somewhere, even with no specific focus, even without a written plan. This pure hard work-ethic grew this nation from the time of the first colonists and then through the American Revolution. Now, it is the expectation that factory owners count on. They know hard-working men and women will break their backs to make a living to reach the “American Dream.”
Your Dream vs. the American Dream
My parents came from the generation that expected the “American Dream,” which was technically a goal. They wanted to raise a family, 2.5 kids in a nice house, with a picket fence and a dog. Make a better living than their parents did before them and create a good future for their children. There is one problem with the American Dream. There is no satisfaction in you are doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. This is “Everyone’s” goal. This is not the reason you were born. It will not satisfy your inner drive to make the world a better place.
Yes, my parent’s generation did do a lot to lift the standard of living for my generation. Our moms paved the way for us to thrive in the workforce. The reality is that many baby boomers are not happy. The baby boomers focused too much on the “American Dream,” then at retirement were not as fulfilled as they expected.
Are you ‘Killing it’ at Work or Killing Your Career?
Yes – you can kill it at work every day. You can bust your butt to make your boss happy and that will get you somewhere, especially while you are young. After all, many people simply will not try that hard. You will float up from a good work ethic alone. You see the others all around you. People posting on FB and Instagram, from work. They update their status saying, “Can’t wait for the weekend!” Of course, they post it with an edited work-selfie. This is practically the opposite of “killing it at work,” unless you are talking about killing your future growth opportunities.
Work Ethic Alone is NOT a Plan
The level of success you achieve from work-ethic alone is not a plan. I want you to enjoy the journey, feel like you are making a difference. You should work in a career with a trajectory that is worthy of your effort and sacrifice. You spend more than half of your waking hours working, and many of you spend more than that – I know.
This massive chunk of your LIFE should be spent doing something worthy. Something that fills you with energy and is aligned with your passion. You can have the feeling that you “can’t wait to start working” when you wake up in the morning. Does this sound impossible? Then you are working in the wrong position or career. When you believe you are making a difference you will be energized in a way you have never been.
Existing without Living
I know truly miserable people, people who hate their jobs. These people struggle, end up with bad attitudes, and just exist at work. They essentially sell their souls and the best years of their lives to their company, their boss, their mediocre position. Even though they spend 9-10 hours (or more) at work every day, they are beaten down, run-down, and hate it. Yet, every day they wake up and go there again and never do one single thing to change it. WHY?
I talk to these people about their plan to change, about their plan to create a better life for themselves. No matter how much they want a different life, a different situation, they have ZERO goals. They have never written down anything like a plan to create a better life. I occasionally talk to people who live like this and recommend they create a plan, write down a goal, and work toward it. They say, “Yeah, I’ll look into it.”
This is really a polite way to say, “Nah – I am not going to make a plan, I am not going to take active control of my situation, I am going to let life continue to happen to me and just wish it was different.”
This is not a Disney Movie, This is Your Life.
No one is going to care about your life more than you will. You cannot wish on a star and create a better life. I have no stars, no fairy godmothers, but I have something real, something possible. There is another way that takes LESS effort than you spend hating your time in that dead-end job now. It will also create tons of energy inside of you that you never thought was possible. You will be amazed at who you become when your work is aligned with your passion. Imagine what you will accomplish when you surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you. Kick the energy zappers to the curb!
No Decision is a Decision
What are the reasons people decide not to make a plan? What is the reason they decide to remain miserable? Because – it is a decision, you know. No decision, no movement, no plan IS A DECISION. It is a decision to remain broke, tired, sick, and to make someone else’s goals come true. Making someone else’s dream happen with the energy you burn in the job you absolutely hate.
You are a whole person with a layered and sometimes complicated life. The “decision” to NOT change or improve your situation does apply to all the other areas of your life. Do you have family issues, love relationships, friends, or a toxic person in your life you have allowed to linger? Is it a health issue you are ignoring that you know needs some attention? Are you allowing your finances to control you rather than the other way around? Is there something in your home that needs repair? A neglected house will rot from the inside out, just like a human body only fueled wtih sugar.
Eventually, you will spend a lot of time and money fixing something that could have been dealt with easily. It could have been a complete non-issue if it didn’t fester for years. It does not matter which area you are neglecting. If you do not have a plan of any kind, you are probably failing every segment in some way; Some much more than others.
How YOU doin’?
I developed a “cheat sheet” to help get your mind focused on goals in all areas of your life. I will make it SO easy for you to get started… you won’t believe it. Part of this cheat sheet is the Genuine Driven Women “Wheel of Life”. This wheel of life is a tool. It will help you figure out where you are doing well in your overall life. Areas that need more attention will be highlighted. Even without a plan, you will find some areas of life where you are fully engaged and doing great.
If you are super satisfied with your career, are you neglecting your home or not spending enough time with your friends or family as you would like? Are you happy with your fitness and health, but wish you had more time for spirituality, a hobby, or recreation? It may be hard to believe, but it is possible to get to a place where most of the areas on your wheel of life are clicking along well. It does take focus and attention – but it does not take more “energy” than “letting life happen” takes.
Just ‘Letting Life Happen’ is Freaking Hard Work!
If you are honest with yourself, you know what I mean. Have you ever let your laundry get out of hand to where you essentially have no clothes for tomorrow? So, you keep doing enough laundry to get through the next two days. This is mostly a young person’s thing to do. Eventually, you realize that if you do one load of laundry every two days, or do all the laundry once a week, things start to get easier. Folding the laundry immidiatley ensures you have unwrinkled, clean clothes to wear. You will know where your clothes are and getting ready in the morning will be relatively fast and easy. This is just an example, but you get the picture.
If you let laundry get out of hand, you will spend “weird” crisis-time fixing the situation. Time spent hand washing the kid’s “Field trip” shirt, because… DANG-IT! It is 7 am and school starts in one hour. You just found the smelly shirt at the bottom of a dirty pile of clothes in their room. There’s no time to use the washer so you hand wash it, which takes longer than you expected. As you spill water all over the kitchen, you aren’t even sure it is clean because you are rushing. You toss it into the dryer and pray it gets dry by the time you have to leave for school.
Worse, now you are 15 minutes behind in your morning routine and you’re going to be late for work.
If you are always tired, this might be the reason:
Have you ever been there? When I was a young 20-something single mom with a toddler, we did have a few of these days. This is an example of a life without a plan. This is letting life happen. The laundry is an example, but it can manifest in many ways and in all parts of your life; not only in your work-life. If you are killing it at work, but you have this kind of life at home, you’ll always be exhausted. You’ll wonder why you don’t have time to make the improvements to get to a better place, a better relationship, a better financial state, or a better career.
I have a podcast episode I am working on about reducing friction in all areas of your life – and I am really excited about that topic so I can’t wait to share it with you – take a minute to just click on that subscribe button in your podcast app so you won’t miss it. It’s going to be jam-packed with ideas on how to get your day running smoothly, which will free up tons of time and completely eliminate “crisis” situations that ruin your day and keep you from being the best you.
Your future you would want you to read this
So, no more letting life happen. You can get all the areas of your life in control. You have big things to do, ways you want to spend your life, adventures you want to go on. If you do nothing, you take no action, you are going to wake up in ten years and wish with all your heart and soul that you could go back to your younger days and make more focused decisions – different decisions. Even if you are in the darkest, hardest part of your life you have ever been in – you are only going to find your way out if you decide to make a plan and start taking the steps you need to take to feel good again. Only you know what those things are. I am not saying it is always easy, but I am saying it is always possible.
The Next Three Months of Your Life
This week, if you have a plan – that’s GREAT! Make sure you review your top goals and have tasks associated with them that move you toward completion. Schedule these tasks in your daily planner for the week.
If you do not have at least one goal written down, something specific that you are working toward, do that right now. DO NOT WAIT. This is too important. This is not an entire life plan – this is just writing down ONE GOAL. You could do this in about 5 minutes. Write down the most important goal you could accomplish to improve your life in the next three months. There is something that is gnawing at you, that keeps you awake at night, something you haven’t dealt with that you know you should. Start with that.
It might be a “just do it” type of activity, which is ok. If it is – then write down two goals. One of them I want to be fairly big and kind of hard. We’ll start there. I just want you to have a win, so you understand what I am talking about. If you KNOW you need to find a better job, then start with that. If you know you absolutely must get control of a health situation then definitely start with that: without your health, you have nothing. This includes mental health struggles you are dealing with. Your health is your base, your foundation. No one can care for you as much as you do, so take care of yourself. Someday it will be too late if you don’t put some focus there.
A Cheat Sheet with 60 All-Around Life Goals
Earlier in this article, I mentioned a cheat sheet to make this even easier for you. I thought about it and I realized that a lot of people who have never written a goal sometimes don’t know where to get started. This is not about writing SMART or SMARTER goals, you have heard you need to do that from me and million other coaches out there. You know that is what you SHOULD be doing. I am talking about what kinds of goals you actually have, the actual goal you are working on to improve your career, your health, your relationships, or your home.
One of the questions I always get is: “I really want to spend better time with my kids, get my home life in control, get my career on the right track, but I do not know what kind of goal to write to do that. Do you have any ideas?” The answer is YES! In order to inspire you and get you started right, I made a cheat sheet of 60 well written SMART goals based on the 12 categories in GDW wheel of life.
Modify or directly copy them into your planner and focus on your highest priority goal today. It could not be easier. You will get so many ideas in all areas in your life that you can begin improving on. Every single one of these goals is directly designed to move your whole, complex life toward becoming a well-oiled machine. Toward you becoming a woman who is ready to have the whole world handed to her. You can get the cheat sheet of 60 Goals here:
Grab your cheat sheet, including 60 goals already written FOR YOU, focused on every area of your life:
No More Excuses
No more excuses, no more wandering aimlessly through life. YOU can spend less energy and have a MUCH better life. All you have to do is focus your action on the things that have the most value. Decide you are going to keep taking those consistent actions. You will be amazed at how fast life will improve when you get out of your own way and take charge of your life!