It is the beginning of a new year. And, every year we promise ourselves that things will somehow be better or different. Yet, most of us can see by the end of the first month that things will not be different than the last time we made this promise to ourselves.
This is not to say that we cannot change or that we cannot evolve. Change can sometimes be painful and uncomfortable and can make us feel less confident or out os synch with our world as we have known it. Any change we want to make, whether it is in our professional live, personal live, or relationships, require that we are observant and that we make plans to do things differently.
Change requires that we choose to live life by some manner of thoughtful design, rather than by default.
Life can be frustrating, especially when we know that we could be doing much better. We may be highly intelligent, friendly, and talented, but we still flail about trying to make significant progress in our lives and in the lives of others. The potential we posses should not be confused with actual results. We may hold great capacity to accomplish much, but if we out no concrete actionable plan into motion, we will obtain mediocre results, at best. Stop confusing your potential with results. No matter how talented we may be, it is still necessary to apply time and effort effectively to move forward.
There are only a handful of reasons why we continue to struggle in our lives, and most of them are under our control. And, if we can control something, we can change it.
Strategies for progress in life by correcting our errors:
1. Get clear.
- Most of us do not know exactly what we want.
- When you sit down in a restaurant, the wait staff brings you a menu. You must choose something or go hungry.
- Much of the rest of life functions in the same way.
- You may be stuck choosing between a career in nursing or administration. But if you fail to make a considered decision, you might find yourself stumbling through life doing a job you do not want.
- Making a choice is more important than making the perfect choice.
- Weigh your options and be brave enough to pull the trigger.
- Choose something!
2. Follow through.
- We change our minds too frequently.
- Imagine if you started from Chicago with the intention of driving to Los Angeles. But after 500 miles, you changed your mind and decided to drive to Orlando, so you turned around. A thousand miles later, you change your mind and decide to go to Seattle. You will find yourself passing by your hometown when you are struck by the realization that you do not have enough vacation time left to drive all the way to Seattle, spend a couple of days, and drive back. So, all that is left is to drive back home for a few days of a stay-cation.
- You have busily planned and worked hard to earn your time, but you have hanged your mind so many times that you have failed to accomplish anything. You are exactly where you started this endeavor, but now you are tired and annoyed as well.
- It important to choose a direction for the course of your life and stick with it.
3. Use Your Time Well.
- Have you ever thought about how much of your time you spend effectively?
- The average office worker spends less than 25% of their time at work actually doing anything of value for their employer.
- How much of your time are you spending to enhance your life?
- How much time do you fritter each day?
- Playing on your phone, watching TV, surfing the internet, daydreaming, worrying, and hanging out with your friends will never help you to make progress in your life.
- Time is the great equalizer. We all get the same amount.
- The better you understand how you spend your time, the better your life will be.
- No other resource matters as much as our time.
- Try doing a time-study on yourself to get a handle on your efficiency:
- Keep track of your time for a week.
- Set a time and every 30 minutes or so, record how you spent that time.
- You will be surprised by how much time you waste each day.
- When you can clearly see the holes in your day, you can change what you do.
4. Don’t Quit too soon.
- We often give up too easily.
- Good things take time.
- You cannot lose 50 pounds or make a million dollars in a month’s time.
- It will take time and effort to make significant progress in life.
- There will, of course, also so be obstacles along the way.
- Perseverance is critical.
- Be patient and keep moving.
5. Manage Your Emotions.
- We must be able to manage our negative emotions well enough to be successful.
- We have all had friends and colleagues who get bogged down or fail to make advancements because of their inability to deal with frustration, fear, boredom, anxiety, or impatience. These are common emotions we feel over the course of the day. Their impact seems to be magnified when we are dealing with something complicated challenging.
Mastering ourselves is the ultimate pathway to mastering our lives.
If we know exactly what we want and where we want to go, the biggest true obstacle we must deal with is ourselves.
Life is smother and easier if we can manage and control ourselves.
You can begin making meaningful progress in your life, no matter how long you feel you been stuck in a rut.
We must stop, investigate and recognize how we have been contributing to our own struggles.
Make a choice and stick with it.
Progress comes from using each and every day effectively and efficiently.
If you press on and manage yourself effectively, you can accomplish almost anything.