There is a lot of information out there on how to achieve the life you want. This article may echo some of the information out there but I would hope the practicality of the tips here listed will help you in developing a system that results in having or moving towards the life you want. I like giving practical and realistic tips drawn from my own experience because they are people with the best tools to design their own systems. So make sure that you catch the principle and apply it to your life as it suits your goals.
Well, the first to get where you want to go is knowing where you want to go. Intentional living is all about that. It’s one thing to say or think about wanting something but pursuing it is a whole different ball game. It requires a dedication to that which you want to do that goes beyond the time you are focused on it. Remember those annoying people who used to spend the whole day repeating a new word to learn it? Sure they annoyed us but one thing they certainly did is learn the word. They even taught us the word. That is intentional living in practice.
A perfect compliment to intention is consistency. Consistency means to live in a manner that compliments the desires you have. Consistency can be best expressed through how you spend your time. If your top were to learn how to master spreadsheets for example we would hope to see a considerable amount of your available time being applied towards learning or practising spreadsheets. It’s easy to see if you’re living consistently with your goals by logging how you spend your time. A time log is a great tool that simply groups your activities into the different sections of your life. You can total them and see what percentage of your available time is going to what. The results may surprise you but may also be the kick you need to realise that perhaps you are not living consistently with your goals.
I of course have the benefit of speaking to many people about these matters in different capacities. What I have noticed that usually derails many people from their goals is not the lack of intention or consistency at the start but rather things they didn’t realise about the process of attaining their goal when they set the goal. This gets many because it is not only a shock to your plans but it will also shock you on an emotional level and sometimes enough to discourage you. On the other hand, some people are discouraged because of a lack of research. Some tasks or pursuits will seem really daunting from the outside but once you do a little research and understand the process you will find that these tasks are actually not so daunting. I would hazard a guess that more people fall victim to the latter kind of demotivation caused by lack of research.
Where I have been in a mentorship or teaching position with people I have always tried to hammer one point home; action is not a selector of persons. All other things are held equal, if you do the actions the results will flow to you, if you don’t they won’t. Of course, in practice, other things are not always held equal but the point holds. If you pursue the correct actions you will get the results. Knowing the right actions comes from doing the research. And everywhere you look where there is success it is a result of action. How do you ensure you take action towards your goals? This point will make perfect sense once combined with the next point but you need to develop a culture of noting the next step and setting a deadline for its performance. You went and found out about the application process but when will you apply? You discovered that you need some documents that you don’t have to proceed with. When will you go to get that document? Someone asked you a question and you cannot respond immediately but when can they expect a response? Sounds small but this is a huge productivity boost to those that are willing to try it.
At least once a month I get to experience the pleasure of quoting Peter Drucker’s saying “if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”. A big part of creating the life you want is measuring progress and reviewing things. When it comes to plans things change and reviewing things helps you to factor in new information that you become aware of. Develop a culture of reviewing progress and adding new information regularly. Weekly is best but sometimes daily may be warranted depending on what you’re dealing with.
Designing the life you want is not easy. The skills you will need to learn to do so are not instantly developed. Understand that it is a process of sometimes slow learning and unlearning that culminates in a better you.