As you begin to make plans to grow yourself and achieve all your goals over this next year, you might find it’s a bit overwhelming to figure out when, where, and how to take action.
Life itself has so many things to offer. But oftentimes, we get so busy with doing the things that are right in front of us that we forget to spend the necessary time to focus on our goals.
Today, I want to help you design a plan for your life, your year, your week, and your day so you can spend more time focusing on accomplishing your goals while enjoying all life has to offer in the process – not letting the thought of doing so consume you.
Remember: The canvas is wide open. You have all the space you need to paint your own picture.
It’s a nice day in May when the telephone rings. I pick up the phone and am greeted by a great friend of mine.
“Terry,” he said, “I’ve got some great news for you. As a matter of fact, it’s for both you and your wife. My daughter and her friend are headed down to the Exumas. We’re going to be spending five fun-filled days on a yacht we’ve rented. A friend of ours had to cancel, but I’ve already had all expenses paid for. You’ll have your own cabin, we have a private chef on board to cook you all your meals, and a crew to bring us all around the islands. The water is crystal clear, the weather will be fantastic, and we’ll ride jet skis and paddle boards. I’ll take you to the James Bond Grotto where they filmed Thunderball. We’ll hike to this place called the Washing Machine. It’s a little sand bar where the water rushes in and out. You get in and it swirls you around, floating you in a big circle.”
“That trip sounds unbelievable,” I said. “I’m going to accept the invitation. I would love to come and spend time with you.”
“Well, listen,” he said reluctantly, “We’re going to be going down in about two weeks. I know it’s sudden, but we just got notice of the cancellation.”
Suddenly, it feels like I’ve been whacked in the side of the head.
How in the wide world of sports am I going to be able to get down there? I think to myself. I have so much to do. I’ve got a board meeting coming up, I have some personal things I need to take care of, I’ve got staff to hire, stores opening up… plus we’re still dealing with COVID… things are just piling up, piling up, piling up, man.
“My friend,” I said aloud, “There’s probably no way I’m really going to be able to do that.”
“Well, don’t think that way. You’ve gotta change your mind. What’s the first thing you have to do? Write it down. What’s the second? Write that down. The third, and the fourth, write them down.”
So that’s just what I did. And let me tell you, I think I was more productive in those two weeks than I’ve ever been before.
I tell you this story because so many times we get too busy that we forget to do the things in life that we really want to do – the things we deserve to do.
Consider this your reminder to do them.
Another concept this friend of mine shared with me is the idea of QTR: Quality Time Remaining.
I would like to encourage all of you as you enter into 2022 to start thinking about this concept. Are you doing things to keep you busy, or are you really living the life you want?
You might be saying, “Well, Terry, I’d love to do all that. How do I go about doing that? What are the action items, the things that I really should be doing?”
If that sounds like you, I want to remind you that you are the architect of your own life. You get to design the life you want to live. And life will drive you to answer these questions: What do I want to do? What do I want to have? What do I want to be when I grow up? Where do I want to go?
And maybe the most important question of all: What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind?
Two weeks ago, I took my team down to Disney World. Legacy was one of the many things we talked about. Certainly, Walt Disney out of anyone had left a large legacy in his wake.
But after you’re gone, after you’re finished, whether it’s the legacy you leave behind in your work, or your children, or your family, what is it that people are going to say about you and your life after you’re gone?
Sit with that for a while.
When you look out and you start thinking about designing, it might seem hard to see past a year or two. You might be asking yourself what you could possibly accomplish in just 5 years.
Well, Columbus discovered a whole new world in just 5 years. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel in less time than that. In fact, Shakespeare wrote five different plays in less than 5 years, too. Julia Child graduated and started up her own cooking show.
You have just as many years, days, and hours as the greatest and most accomplished people in the world. Dr. Seuss said it best:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
That all starts with what’s really important to you. And as you think about your plans, I would encourage you to be intentional. What’s important to you, really? Is it your health? Your family? Your wealth? Learning? Being part of a community? Creativity? Free time? Adventure? Romance?
Whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper. Next, write down the following:
- Three things you like about yourself
- The happiest people you know
- The people you respect
- Who you want to be
Now, you look for some of these qualities in other people. You find people who are more like you want to be, and you learn from them. Cultivate your own personal advisory board.
Another thing you’ll need to consider is your values. While goals are more short term, values are longer. Focusing on what you value will help you fine-tune the roadmap to your accomplishments.
Maybe you value your relationships. That’s going to help you decide how to spend your time in order to approve those relationships. What else do you value? Hard work? Integrity?
When I was doing this exercise, those were some of the things I wrote down. I value hard work and perseverance. I’ve mentioned this before, but everything – good or bad – is just a season, right? Hard work and perseverance help you get through the cold, bitter months and into the nice, warm ones.
Because at the end of the day, we all just want to live up to our potential, right? We want to be the best we possibly can. So today, go back and think about what you really want, where you want to go, and who you want to be with. Think about the legacy you’d like to leave behind. Write it all down.
And by the end of 2022, you’ll be able to look back and say, “I’m living the life I want to live. I’m taking the steps to be where I want and become the person I want to be.”
As always, thanks for reading my blog.
If you’re looking for more advice on fine tuning your processes and becoming the best possible version of yourself, be sure to tune into my podcast that airs every Tuesday.