Do you create time to do what you value? Do you find yourself waking up most mornings and not looking forward to your day? Do you wakeup and ask yourself, Why do I have to do this today? If you have answered yes to this question, you are like many other people. We live in a world that is full of things we feel we should be doing. Or even worse, we feel that we have no choice and that we have to be doing these things.
We have the power to choose what we want our lives to be filled with. It is critical to remind yourself that all things you are spending your time on are decisions that you chose. No one truly forces you into your unique situation. Whether your decisions occur consciously or as an automatic response to your previous habits, you are still responsible for making your decisions. You are responsible for the rules and beliefs held in your own brain. That is not to say that other people don’t influence your decisions and thoughts, because I will admit that people do influence others’ decisions. What is helpful to remember is that you are ultimately the only one who is in control of your decisions, and you are the one that lives with the consequences of your decisions. Not others.
In my experience, I have always found it helpful to leave open a small portion of time in my schedule to do the things that are important to me. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning and thinking of all of the things you have to attend to, but sometimes aren’t interested in doing. I love Eddie Cantor’s saying:
What’s the use of running when we are on the wrong road? There’s a big difference between being busy and being fulfilled. Eddie Cantor makes my point clear – Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
The point here is that when you are always busy and tied up to your regular scheduled routines, you have no time to step back, reflect and evaluate what’s actually going on in your life. Sometimes people get so caught up in their regular routines that they miss out on, or forget about the potentially meaningful opportunities in life, and fail to recognize their other talents, desires or callings. When we create a little bit of extra time for ourselves, we honour a space in which we can make more conscious and effective life choices, which consequently empower us and give our lives more vitality.
Decide today that you will not over commit yourself to a schedule that is jammed packed with “shoulds” or activities that you feel pressured to participate in. I think that over-commiting ourselves can be one of our biggest stressor. Decide today that you will not be in such a rush to get to your destination.
There’s a famous quote that says, Life is a journey, not a destination. Slow down and learn how to enjoy life along the way! Realize that you will always be trying to achieve something, finishing a project, putting out a fire, or attempting to make a life transition. Life will always present circumstances to keep you busy, distracted or occupied with important things. Do not be in the habit of putting your passions off until ‘tomorrow’. Ultimately, tomorrow is today!
Perhaps you are already busy with meaningful endeavours, but you never take a break. Be careful to not get stuck in the vicious cycle of achieving one destination and then immediately running for the next. Take time to learn how to enjoy your achievements. Do you work or run a business so that you can ‘get by’ and live, or, do you live to enjoy the process of the beautiful moments of your work? If you are a workaholic now and want to slow down your pace of life, it is possible. It’s not easy, but it is possible. The best way to get started is to take baby steps. You have to understand that overworking and over-committing is a learned habit. We must learn to question why we do the things we do. Are we doing them out of guilt, pressure or prestige? Are we doing it not because we like it, but because we just want the credential for it? Or do we like what we’re doing but we are spending too much time on it?
How do you know if you’ve over-commited to something? The answer is simple. You always find yourself wishing you were somewhere else instead of where you actually are. You wonder why you joined what you joined. You wonder why you are doing it all. Perhaps you did not leave yourself enough time to make a good decision, and instead immediately jumped into something spontaneously.
Be very careful in your decision to commit to something. that will take up a considerable portion of your time. When you are thinking of taking on more work, joining a club, organization or are planning to register for a course, think your decision over carefully in the beginning. Examine your reasoning behind your decision. Is this really what you want to do? Is this activity going to bring you closer to your goals? Will this make you happy? Who’s idea was it for you to engage in this anyways? Was it your own or someone elses idea? A lot of time people make commitments because they think they ought to. They are constantly concerned with peoples’ judgments around them. A person takes on a new project at work thinking about how it will boost her resume, which will land her a higher-paying position within her company. Just thinking about carrying out the tasks makes her feel sluggish and de-energized. One must ask one’s self what alternative, creative options are available that would be a more efficient means of achieving his or her end goal.
Don’t engage or participate in things simply because you think you should. Your passion will never be unleashed because your energy or vibrational level will be too low. Instead, engage yourself into activities that inspire you and would hold you enthusiastic! Many times we find ourselves committing to things for other people’s sakes, and not our own. We do things to make other people happy and forget our own needs and wants.
What will happen if we don’t regularly incorporate this special time into our schedules, whether it be time to pursue our passions and desires, time to reflect and explore new opportunities, time to relax, or just plain and simple quiet time? The answer to that question is that we might develop a sense of unworthiness. When we do not schedule time for ourselves we are unconsciously telling ourselves that we are not worth it. We are not worthy enough to do what we want to do. This will result in low self-esteem and lead us into the cycle of not believing in ourselves. When we don’t believe in ourselves we end up following the mainstream footsteps of society and engage in a way of life that is already designed for us.
There is a saying, Design your life before the circumstances of life design it for you. Let this idea be something you ponder when you make decisions with how you want to spend your time.
Reflective Questions – Create Time to do what you Value:
1. How can I give myself permission to create the time and space needed for self-reflection and/or the pursuit of meaningful endeavours?
2. What do I always wish I could give myself time for?
3. What do I admire about how other people spend their time, and how could I incorporate something similar into my own lifestyle?
4. When I consider the possibilities for how I might use my extra time, which uses of time will I immediately look back on and regret? Which uses of time will I look back on and not regret, but be proud of for giving myself permission to use my time in that way?
5. What limiting beliefs or rules stand in my way of giving myself permission to spend more time doing what I value?
6. If my morals stand in my way, how can I be moral and still give myself the time that I need?
7. Am I worried about what others might think regarding how I want to spend my time? If so, how can I overcome other peoples’ judgments regarding the way(s) that I desire to use my time?
8. What excuses, reasons or justifications do I use to prevent myself from having time to focus on what is important to me? Although these reasons are all ‘valid’, you must realize that they still prevent you from being able to spend your time in your own personal way.
9. In what ways do I conform to social norms when it comes to how I spend my time? Which of these are truly necessary?
10. How will I raise my standards when it comes to freeing up more time?
11. What things do I want to enjoy and have time for in my life, but am avoiding taking responsibility for?
12. In terms of how I spend my time, which habits in my life have I absolutely got to get rid of?
13. Which patterns of my time use drain my energy?
14. What is out of balance with respect to how I spend my time?
15. Which decisions have I been putting off regarding how I am spending my time?
16. How does thinking in ‘black or white’ or ‘all or nothing’ prevent me from taking time out for myself?
17. How do I want to design my life?
18. What could I do or focus on during this extra time that would give me momentum and a forward moving feeling in life?
19. What things or activities am I currently pursuing or participating in that I don’t feel good about?
20. Are there any particular people whom I constantly give my time away to, or spend too much time with when I don’t want to?
21. How can I raise my standards or expectations about how I use my time?
22. If I can give myself this needed time, how will this produce a positive domino-effect on the other areas of my life?
23. Who will I be a great role model to, if I start using my time in this purposeful way?
24. Who will admire me for what I accomplish or do with this time?
25. How might valuing my time in this particular way change my life forever, in a positive way?
The word “goal” is only one piece of language that describes goal oriented behaviour. The definition goal setting, is not clear cut in my books. That is, there are many different ways to think about what goals are. I’m afraid though, that for a lot of people, the term has negative connotations. People think of deadlines, time committments, and last but not least – the idea that failure is possible. So, to help move away from this typical way of thinking about goals, I want to provide several pieces of language, or other ways of thinking about goal setting. There is obviously more than one definition. Goals can also be thought of as:
- Desired Changes
- Hopes for the future
- Manifesting what we want
Do any of these words or ways of thinking speak to you? If so, then I want you to think about one of these particular words as your definition. Goal setting is most effective when you have a way of understanding what works for you!
These goal setting software programs have become popular because they are helping people to organize their personal goals. I myself, was contemplating on buying some goal-setting software until I encountered many great free goal setting software programs. However, I’ve realized there are pros and cons to using these tools as opposed to writing your goals down on paper.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Goal Setting Software
One benefit is being able to have all your files together, and this includes your personal goals. Just as you are in the habit of checking the online news, your email, Facebook and anything else online – now you can check your goals at the same time.
Also, many of these programs provide for a nice visual background, and a sense of true interactions since others can also read your goals. You feel supported and you feel a sense of community which can be motivating in and of itself.
There are a few disadvantages to using these online programs. First, are you going to take the time to login to check your goals? Or, will it become one more ‘to-do thing’ on your list?
For myself, I love to read my goals every night as I lay in bed. Somehow, this seems more real and personal for me. My journal is so easily accessible, whereas I don’t always feel that my software is if I’m not at my computer all the time.
Also, if I’m plugging my goals into the computer, I’m more likely to get distracted with all the other things occurring online, and so I might not focus as much on setting my goals.
In contrast, there are many benefits a person can reap from the power of hand writing their goals. It has been thought that it is a more active approach integrating many different sensory faculties. As you move your had across the page, often times your hand will cross the median of your body, and this is thought to activate different parts of the brain.
Handwriting might actually ingrain the goal more into your subconscious mind. This is important, because it normalizes and ingrains how badly you want your goals – your desire and expectation to achieve these goals simply becomes your true waking reality -and you won’t accept anything less.
Of course, if your goals are in notebook, they aren’t as confidential as someone could find your notebook. Also, if you’re the type of person who would lose your notebook, or paper on which you’ve written your goals, then maybe using a goal setting software program is best for you. Check out the following goal setting software programs!
Goal Setting Software Programs
Joe’s Goals – Free Goal Setting Software
Take the tour, and check out this amazing platform first! You can easily add new goals and new logbooks to track everything! This program is all about measuring your success. You just click on a calendar to log in information! It’s fun!
A Program that Creates Wallet Size Goal Setting Cards!
Try this totally advanced platform now!This along with the free goal setting program will keep you inspired and taking full action!
Receive Your Goals by Email!
goal setting software program because you can have your goal emailed to you each week! Advertise your goals to yourself through email so you don’t have to remember to go out of your way to read them! How great is this? Reminding ourselves of our goals is half the battle in my opinion!
The Fun Life Tango Goal Setting Program
This is a totally cool, easy to use goal setting program. The platform itself is very colourful and well put together.
It sort of reminds me of Facebook in that you can decide whether or not to share your goals, and your level of privacy. The flip side is that you can view your friend’s goals as well! You can choose an alias name if you’d like. They have a really unique set-up where you can view a whole bunch of people’s goals, and you can even adopt someone else’s goal and have it set up on your own profile!
There is also a task tracker, so you can remind yourself of the little steps required to meet your bigger goal. I promise that you won’t be disappointed with this site – you’ll love this one for it’s ‘looks’ alone!
Value Based Goal Setting!
This is yet another great site – no joke again! As soon as you get to the site, you can watch an inspiring video informing you on what the goal setting software includes. Watching this video alone is worth the trip to its site!
Join A Goal Setting Ring for Group Goal Setting
This good program has all the standard features as above. While it is not as visually appealing, it does include other perks such as a goal setting guide, the ability to set goals as part of a group, and finally, it also includes charts to track your progress. Have a peak at this program, and you can begin sharing your goals with others and receiving support right away!
8 Goals Online: Set Your Goals and Track Your Progress for Life!
Another user-friendly goal setting freeware program that allows you to track your progress in achieving your targets. This has a video demo for you to follow instructions on how to use it. It has current, future and lifetime goal categories. What is unique about this program is that it contains a section called “Reason to Achieve”, so that you write down why the goal is important to you. The program also contains some decent charts as well.
43 Things Goal Setting Freeware
What I like about this site, is that you can type in your goal without registering to see how many other people have that goal as well! This is a great site that is user friendly and free of course, – well up to 43 goals, and then you’d have to pay. You can take the 43 Things Goal Setting Tour to see what it is all about. While this site is not overly aesthetically appealing, it has a very nice basic look.