You know the moment I’m talking about. You had it and you put it somewhere. Now if you could just remember where, you could get it back. You really need to find it. But it seems the harder you try, the more elusive it gets. Perhaps it’s your car keys, your glasses, a book, a bill, a favorite shirt. You had it and now you cannot find it. It can be frustrating, even a little maddening.
But perhaps it’s something more. Perhaps it’s your money, your time, your health, your friends, other things of value that seem to be slipping from your grasp and you’re struggling to better manage and keep up with them. You know it was there, but where did it go? Where did you lose it?
It happens to all of us. One of the reasons it is showing up more and more could be that we think it’s a matter of just finding it again, a once and done sort of thing. But that is not the case. Keeping track of what matters is not a one-time thing or even a sometimes thing, it’s an all-the-time thing.
The core factor is whether we are fully engaged every day with our values and priorities. If we say that we are and yet, the reality is different we will struggle. But we have a choice. It can be a struggle or it can be a strategy.
This is the true meaning of “Live today like you want tomorrow to be”. It all comes back to living our values and the priority we are giving them in our day to day lives. It requires us to be honest with ourselves about what we want, where we are and what we are willing to do to close that gap.
Here are a few places we can check in with ourselves:
- Our Money– Do your spending habits reflect your values and priorities for financial responsibility and freedom? Are you being strategic with financial resources? When you want something are you looking at the true cost or just the payment? Do you spend like a consumer or an owner?
- Our Personal Calendars – Ah, time. The great equalizer! Do you keep a calendar? If not, perhaps that’s where you should start. Create a written record of what is happening and then begin to see how it changes because now it is about where you are choosing to be vs. where you are showing up.
- Our Kitchens – This is currently one of significant importance for me because health is not only a key value, it’s a new priority. So my refrigerator and pantry had to become my friend, my partner and not my enemy! They could not pulse with temptation; they had to provide healthy options. Once again though, it’s a continuous commitment. The cupboards being bare can be almost as detrimental as having poor choices.
- Our Personal Libraries – Did you know that one of the key resources identified by highly successful people as pivotal to their success is their personal library? Today this isn’t just about physical books; it’s about all kinds of media and resources. What do you have at your disposal and what are you leveraging for personal development? Many people tell me that they are life-long learners and yet when pressed for information about what they are learning now, it is undefined and certainly not strategic. How easy it is to change that! Whether it is a book, a class or even a subscription to a magazine, blog or podcast, having this in our daily routines is powerful and life changing.
- Our friends and families – A core practice within business, particularly for leaders is something we call a 360 degree or peer review. Getting feedback from those closest to us is invaluable in helping us gain a new perspective about our role and contribution. We often fear these because we think it’s about critique. But that is not always the case. In fact, from my experience, it can be just the opposite. Here is a good way to start: Choose the five people most important to you from your inner circle. A combination of friends and family is helpful but it really depends on you. Ask them to rate your relationship (not you – your relationship) on a scale of 1 to 10 for a level of satisfaction. If it’s anything other than a 10 –ask them what you would both need to do to make it a 10. It’s a conversation that has completely changed many relationships (and lives!). .
If this all sounds over-whelming (or like too much work!) then pick one and focus there for the next 30 days. Layering change is often the best way for creating lasting change. But get started. Find out where you put those all important things and reclaim them! Know where they (you!) are everyday.
Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.