Do you have big plans and aspirations for the future? Do you act on those plans and aspirations each day? Exciting goals are easy to imagine. They even feel good. But putting them into action is another story. Too many people live their lives in a way that only preserves the status quo. How happy are you with the status quo?
Live each day in a way that changes your future:
1. Imagine your average weekday. Use yesterday as an example, unless something unusual happened.
- Consider what you ate and drank.
- How much exercise did you get?
- What did you do with your social life? Did you spend time with anyone else socially?
- Did you call any friends?
- If you’re single, did you ask anyone out on a date?
- If you’re married, what did you do to enhance your relationship?
- Did you do anything to increase your income or advance your career?
- Did you learn anything new that would be useful in the future?
2. Consider your average weekend. Ask yourself the same questions.
3. Imagine living those same days over and over for the next 10 years. Where would you end up? Based on your food intake and exercise output, where would you expect your health and body composition to look like in 10 years?
- Do the same with your finances, social life, marriage, and career. After 10 years of living your average day, what is your prediction?
Let’s use a hypothetical example, Rose.
Rose is 45-years old. She’s divorced and works as a first line manager at a large corporation. She’s not in bad shape, but could do with losing 20 pounds. She’s saved some money, but she doesn’t save regularly.
Consider Rose’s average day:
On Monday, Rose stops at Starbucks on the way to work for a café latte and a muffin. Breakfast sets her back about £7 and 1,400 calories, but she has a decent job, so she doesn’t worry about it too much. She figures she deserves it anyway.
She arrives to work 15 minutes late. Not late enough to get into any trouble, but she’s always a little late, so people notice. She’s not setting the world on fire at work, but she does enough to keep her job secure. Like most people, she avoids work if she can get away with it. She believes she deserves to be paid more if they want more work.
She eats lunch out of the vending machine and drinks a bottle of water. Water is good for you, she thinks, so it’s not a horrible lunch.
She drives home at 5:00 and watches the news while her frozen dinner is cooking in the microwave. The meal isn’t healthy, but it’s not too bad either. She eats dinner and surfs the internet…mainly the personal ads looking for the man of her dreams. She finds one man who appeals to her and she pastes the same introduction email she’s sent to few men before.
She watches a little more TV and then reads 20 pages from a love novel. She’s feeling industrious, so she washes all the dishes and pays some bills before getting ready for bed. In bed, she plays on her phone and texts her secondary school friends.
Tuesday through Friday are similar days.
Where can Rose realistically expect to be in 10 years?
Is your average day remarkably more meaningful and productive? Where will you be in 10 years? Are you living a day that will lead to positive changes in your life? Or are you simply passing the time with short-term comfort in mind?
As you live your day, ask yourself what the long-term implications of your current task are. Does that task matter?