What do you really want?
The New Year is almost here – a time when we all make a resolution to improve some aspect of our lives. Maybe it’s quitting smoking, maybe it’s losing those unwanted pounds, maybe it’s something you have always wanted to do – take that big vacation to Italy or go for that job you have always wanted. So the question is, what do you really want? What are your goals? You only have one life to live – what do you want out of it?
I have asked myself that question a whole lot over the past 2 years. I have made a lot of huge changes in my life based on that question. I realized that I was spending a whole lot of my life doing what other people wanted me to do because it kept the peace or because it was what I thought I “should” be doing. I also thought “maybe someday”, but someday was getting less likely as I got older. A lot of times I would hear or see stories about people doing amazing things in life – climbing mountains, traveling, entering races, helping to make the world a better place – and I would wonder why I wasn’t one of those people. I thought of myself as one of those people. I wanted to do those things. So why wasn’t I doing them?
One day I decided to make a bucket list – 100 things I would like to do before I die. You can see that list here: http://itshardtocrywhenyourerunning.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/the-bucket-list/ . This particular list was very specific – I didn’t allow myself to put anything on there that I wanted for my children. And I couldn’t put anything on there that was vague (help make the world a better place). These all had to be very specific things that I wanted to do or accomplish in my life. Some of them were kind of silly like learning how to dance the tango. It’s just something that sounds fun. Other things were a little more important like auditioning for a musical. That is something I have always wanted to do and always been afraid to do and if I died tomorrow I would be disappointed that I didn’t at least TRY. I don’t really even care if I get the part anymore, I just want to be able to say I tried. Other things were very important like being able to support my kids and myself in a relatively comfortable lifestyle. That list made me look at my life very differently. I realized that the direction I was going in life made the majority of those things almost impossible.
I have made a lot of changes in my life since then. I have accomplished a lot of the items on my bucket list. I have also added new things to my bucket list – it’s funny how the more you do, the more you want to do! I am on the road to living the extraordinary life I was meant to live… and you can, too! Here are some tips on how to start.
Step 1 – make a bucket list! 100 things you want to do or accomplish before you die. Don’t include anything you want for your kids or anyone else (or if that just makes you feel too guilty, then enter it as one item – I want to have happy, healthy, well-rounded kids and be able to send them to college and encourage and inspire them to lead an extraordinary life full of love and joy – done!) You will be surprised how difficult it is to come up with 100 things. I found myself looking at a map trying to think of every place I would like to visit. There will also be several things that you think of later and you will think, “Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t put that on my list.” Don’t sweat it – it’s your list and you can change it any time you want.
Step 2 – Put stars next to the ones that are REALLY important to you. Or highlight them or type them in bold – whatever works for you. Then choose the 3 MOST important and write them on a separate piece of paper. Be VERY SPECIFIC about these 3 items. For example, don’t just say you want to lose weight… say, “I want to lose body fat and gain muscle so that my arms and legs look sculpted and I can fit into a size 6 pair of jeans again.” Or say, “By the end of this summer I want to take a trip to Florence, Italy for one week and see the Coliseum, Vatican City and Pompeii while I’m there. I also want to be in good enough shape to walk all over Italy and have enough money to afford the trip and everything that goes with it.”
Also, be REALISTIC! Don’t expect to lose 10 dress sizes in 1 month or get rich when you have no job. Hang the piece of paper on your bathroom mirror where you get dressed every morning so that every morning you see your goals.
Step 3 – Create a plan to help you get what you want. If your goal is to quit smoking your plan might be to cut down 1 cigarette a day until there are no more cigarettes a day, or to get an electric cigarette and use it until you have weaned yourself. If your plan is to go to Florence, it might be to round up the financial means, research hotels and airfares, create a savings plan especially aimed at this trip and get in good enough shape to walk all over Italy. Whatever your goal is, try to be as specific as you can be in how you are going to accomplish those goals.
Step 4 – Tell everyone what your goals are. Telling everyone makes you more accountable and will help you get support in your endeavors.
Step 5 – get started! Take at least 1 step every day toward your goals. Mark them on your calendar and stay aware of the goals and your progress. In very short time, you will be on your way to success in the New Year!
If you would like help setting your goals or creating a plan to achieve those goals, come to CrossFit Odyssey and we will help you on your way. We will help you get your mind and body in a good place so that you can focus on the things that are important to you. We can also help you create your plan and follow it if you would like. Just give us a call!
Ellie and John – 214-234-0299