Ever get the feeling that you're not living but simply existing? How do you get out of that rut and really start living? Maybe guest contributor Wambui's post could help!
Most of us yearn to live an authentic life - one that reflects our values. We get this nagging feeling that something is missing but we don’t know where or how to start. The first step to unlocking your inner potential and to start living a more authentic life is to reevaluate your priorities.
1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOUR TOP PRIOTIES ARE and CLARIFY THEM
Priorities or governing values can fall in the following categories- Health, Relationships and Career. Clarify what your top priorities are and write a goal statement under each one. Here is a goal statement for one of my values «Spending time with my family is important to me, we eat meals and spend quality time together every day.»
2. Do ONLY THOSE ACTIVITIES THAT ADD VALUE to YOUR LIFE
If you were told by your doctor that you had 6 months to live, what would you want your legacy to be? Wouldn’t you go home and plan carefully what to do for those 6 months? No one I know would say that they would like to go to work and finish a project. Most people would want to spend more time with their loved ones or do something that gives them the greatest joy. With this in mind, identify what is stopping you from achieving your top priorities and eliminate them.
3. PLAN DAILY and WEEKLY to SUPPORT YOUR PRIORITY
If one of your priorities is to achieve optimum health, take an action every day to support this value. Ask yourself what is the most important thing I can do to achieve my goal for this priority this week? Does it involve eating a wholesome diet, exercising, meditating etc.
Stephen Covey, author of the bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People advises «if you don’t plan weekly, you will manage your life by crisis.»
4. LEAVE ROOM for OBSTACLES
Always plan with the seventy percent, thirty percent rule. If you plan well, seventy percent of your time should be to meet your daily goals. However always leave 30% for unseen circumstances like traffic jams, computer crashes and other things that may arise unexpectedly.
Delegate those tasks that you know others can do, so you are left doing only what you can do effectively. Delegating frees up time to do what is important. If one of your goal is to spend time with your kids but you find that you are spending 4 hours every week cleaning the house, that’s 208 hours a year that you can spend with your family! Hire someone to clean your house. Remember your children will not remember how much you made the house sparkle - it is those moments that you spent with them that will leave a lasting impression.
6. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Research from Harvard Women Health Watch reveals that, more people are sleeping less than six hours a night. Sleep deprivation can affect your mood leaving you irritable and not able to concentrate and do the things you love to do. If you have difficulty stopping what you are doing to go to bed, set an alarm for bedtime.
7. SHARPEN the SAW (SELF CARE)
Constantly renew yourself by sharpening your saw. I call this self care. Meditate to connect with God to nourish your spirit. Exercise, get enough sleep, eat right to support your physical health. Read a book in any topic to keep your mind sharp. Have a circle of friends who value true friendship, for support and encouragement.
«What we think we know or what we believe is, in the end of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.» John Ruskin – English author, art critic, and social commentator