This step in the process was probably the hardest for me but it was also the most revealing. We all know there are areas that are in obvious need of an overhaul, but often we allow all the daily responsibilities to distract us from the goals we really want to achieve. In the Getting Started section, you clarified what is important to you, now it is time to really look at how you have been spending your time and how the lifestyle your living is going to help or hinder you from reaching your goals. Be aware of your current attitudes and behaviors if you want to progress towards meeting your goals.
- Write down all the things that you are doing well, list all positive behaviors that do not need to change and that support the achievement of your goals.
- Refer to your list of value/ priorities that you completed in step one, write down ways that you could be doing better in each of the areas.
- List all the behaviors that need stopped completely since they only hinder you from completing your goals and living the life you want.
- List behaviors, habits, or attitudes that you would like to improve on.
- What behaviors or habits do I need to spend less time and energy on?
- How is my behavior, habits, or attitudes contributing to the negative things and situations in my life?
This exercise helps you become self-aware of how you have been contributing to your own success or lack thereof.
- Keep a time log for the next 3-5 days. Maintain your log in real-time, do not try to estimate how long you spent on each task at the end of the day since this leads to emissions and inaccuracy. Be thorough and include how long you spend on things like grooming, the internet (whether at work or at home), returning phone calls, cooking, spending time with family or watching t.v.
- After you have completed the time log for 3-5 days, review it. Was there anything that surprised you about how you spent your time? Is the way you spend your time supportive of the achievement of your goals? Are you spending your time doing things that you decided were important priorities? This was the most revealing step in this process for me, it really made me aware that despite what I told myself, in actuality I was spending very little time on things that I had decided were a priority and tons of time not really accomplishing anything.
- Decide where you need to devote more time and energy. What activities will you streamline or delegate so that you have more time to focus on what’s important? Are there any activities that could be replaced or discontinued all together? What times of day are you most or least productive? Are you spending time doing things that are in complete opposition to your values or priorities? How much time are you wasting?
- How can you change the way you spend your time in order to support your goals? What behaviors can you change in order to support the achievement of your goals?
- Make a list of immediate changes you are willing to make in the way that you spend your time in order to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Be honest with yourself about the attitudes and behaviors that have been holding you back from enjoying the life you want. Hopefully after completing the exercises you see that the way your life is now is directly proportional to your attitudes and behaviors as well as the way you spend your time. You have a solid foundation on which to start changing your life into the life you have always imagined.
At this point in my journey I was aware where I needed to make changes and I could no longer convince myself that I was just a victim of circumstance. I had made all the good and bad decisions that had led to this very moment, now was the time that I could take this new-found knowledge and start my personal metamorphosis, or I could decide that being where I want may take too much effort. It is up to you what you do with your life, the changes start happening when you have the courage to change. Only you can decide what is important to you and how to spend your time, make that decision and accept all the consequences that follow, good or bad. Take responsibility, you have created this life and only you can decide where to go next.