One of my other side gigs is coaching others who want to positively impact their lives. An exercise I like to do is a roleplay where we pretend that I am a close friend who they haven’t heard from in a while.
Upon running into each other unexpectedly, I excitedly ask the person to tell me all about what’s happened in their lives since we last spoke. The purpose of this activity is to invite my clients to describe in detail, all of their intended manifestations. The inspiration for this idea came from my own life experience. After meeting someone I haven’t seen in a while, and being asked what’ new, I really couldn’t come up with any exciting to share.
That’s when I came to the realization that I didn’t have anything new to talk about because I wasn’t up to anything. I was just allowing life to happen.
As we grow up, there are distinct occurrences that happen in our life to signify the mark of a new era. Every 4-5 years, something new is happening in our lives. We’re growing, changing and constantly moving out of our comfort zones. By the time we reach our late 20’s, things start to stabilize and not much new happens. Aside from marriage, having kids, and earning promotions, nothing new tends to happen.
I realized that at a certain point, we have to cause new experiences and milestones for our lives, otherwise things will stay exactly the same.
If someone were to ask you today “what are you up to?” Would you have a hard time responding? I don’t mean the “what are you up to”like when someone asks you what you’re doing this weekend. That’s an easy question to answer. But what do you say when the person inquires about the exciting things that are happening in your life?
Instead of being caught off guard, I like to proactively ask myself this question from time to time. This helps me put into perspective the realities of how I’ve been allocating my time. The real question is…..what have I been creating in my life?
If I don’t have the answer, then it becomes my responsibility to craft it. It doesn’t have to be this grandiose plan. Just something that gives me a little dose of excitement when I think about it. If I were to run into an old friend 6-9 months from now, what exciting piece of news would I want to share? If you can’t think that far ahead, try shortening the timeline to 30 days. By this time next month, what would you love to have accomplished?
Once you have an idea of what you want to create in the near future, it’s time to put your plans into effect now. Sometimes I like to condense the process by asking myself to describe an ideal week then working backward to create it. On Sunday, when I think about the plan for the week, I start by asking myself, “what would make this week awesome?” It doesn’t have to be much, just something I would be proud to boast about like saying I’m working out 4 days a week or I launched a new marketing strategy for my business, or I got to spend some quality time with loved ones.
If I really want to get fancy, I incorporate a creative element to my planning. By that I mean, I reflect on goals I want to achieve and work on them. For instance, I found my next travel destination. One creative action I could take is to find an Airbnb or hotel. Then maybe I set up an automatic draft to passively set money aside for the adventure. If someone were to ask me how my week went, I could excitedly tell them that I’ve started preparing for my next vacation.
The whole point is that if we just wake up and follow the path of the week, chances are that we aren’t creating anything, we’re just participating. Participation is ok for a while but if we stay in that mode for too long, our lives become mundane. From grade school to landing our first job out of college, new milestones happen in our lives every 4-5 years. From that point on, we become responsible for creating our own story. One we’d be excited to tell over and over again.