Some years ago I realized that having goals and objectives, wanting to do things, making plans to do things, and so on, wasn’t leading to enough of the outcomes that I so much wanted and needed in my life.
Then one day I realized, what if I reframed all my goals and plans as things I choose to do instead of things I simply want to do?
Wow. What a difference that made! All the difference in the world!
Let me illustrate. For many years I had a long term goal of taking a year off from work. As much as I wanted to do that, I could never seem to get started on a path to get me there. Plus, being completely honest with myself, I was somewhat terrified of the whole prospect. Until one day I sat down and simply wrote down: I choose to take a year off starting on my birthday two years from now. I made a point of reading that statement pretty much every morning. Very quickly it became a choice. Not a dream, not a goal, not a hope, not an ambition, not a plan – BUT A CHOICE.
It may sound like an oversimplification, but with my mind in the right place, focused daily on that choice, the rest followed. In about 18 months I had over a year of income saved (the strength and conviction of my choice gave me the discipline to make the right fiancial decisions and sacrifices) and I submitted my resignation from my then C.T.O. position about three months before my birthday.
Beyond that, I now have an “I Choose…” list I read every day. It’s a list that I continue to refine, edit, update, and change as new things come to mind that I want to do, or improve in myself, or gain a new understanding from things I read or hear. This list has become an important part of my daily reading, journaling, and life planning times— TIP: the tools I use for this planning time are Evernote, Penultimate, Kindle Unlimited, and Asana.
It’s a bit personal, but here is my daily list of things I choose to do; I keep it under a notebook page titled Mind Training that I read almost every day:
- to work only in my own circles of influence.
- to make small commitments that I can keep.
- to be part of a solution, not part of a problem.
- to begin with the end in mind.
- to focus 80% of my time and energy on ESSENTIAL things that are not-urgent but important.
- to like the results I am getting or try something else!
- to not let things happen to me and make things happen for me.
- to stop focusing on problems and look for the opportunity inside the problems.
- to be focused on discovering the truth rather than determining blame. (Ask the 5 “Whys?”)
- to not chase “rabbits/squirrels/shiny objects”.
- to remember if the answer is not a “Hell Yes!” the answer is “NO!”
- to remember that “No.” is a complete sentence; a “because”, “but”, or “maybe” not required.
- to remember I don’t need to be good at everything, just great at some things.
- to remember faliure is a “LIE” – Limited, Isolated, and External.
- to be a founder, not a follower; an entrepreneur, not an employee.
- to make life an interesting story, not a perfect story.
- to acknowledge that I’m not for everyone, and that’s OK.
- to acknowledge that I’m not responsible for how others feel or react or think about me.
- to ask myself “What would I do in this situation to act in my complete self interest?”
- to stop saying “sorry” and apologizing for ordinary things I do or say.
- to know I will never fully succeed until I am willing to go “all in” on something.
- to think in terms of “healthspan” versus lifespan.
- to recognize and overcome “resistance” as my biggest enemy in life.
- to recognize introversion as my “super power”, not my weakness.
- to not ignore but recognize, analyze, and use “FUD” – Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.
- to try and “preach what I practice” more than try to “practice what I preach.”
- to identify the “one thing” I can focus on daily that has the most impact on making life simpler and leading to successful outcomes.
- to know that humans on average live 26,353 days and I expect to live more than 36,524 (100 years).
- to know that today I have lived 0000 days and counting… (Install the MyLifeTimer App to track this number if you like.)
- to achieve financial independence on MM/DD/YYYY
- to achieve financial independence by choosing to… (list of sub-choices)
Just an idea.
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