The A Word: Do you have time to waste another day?

How to live your best life!

Here we are in January, the worst month of the year. It’s cold, there are no festivities, we’ve spent all our money, already failed the new year’s resolution, eaten too much over Christmas, and it’s dark. To top it off, some bright spark invented dry January. So, what better time to think about how to live your best life? And why am I qualified to write a blog on this subject; read on, and I’ll explain.

I’ve done loads of sales training in my career; most of it was average. Yes, I learned some stuff, but in my humble opinion, you can either sell or you can’t.  It all comes down to emotional intelligence, and that’s a story for another day.  But one wet Monday morning, when I was in my early 40’s, I turned up for sales training and was pleasantly surprised.

This sales training was different because, technically, it wasn’t sales training. It was about living your best life, and that’s why it resonated with me.  Many people have feelings of uneasiness about their progress in life. And this is not only true of older people; I’ve come across many in their twenties and thirties who experience these same feelings.  And so it was, on this wet Monday morning in January, I learned something very important.  I was unlikely to live my best life if I didn’t have a plan.

With the help of our trainer, we prepared a draft plan.  We returned the following week having filled in our personal data. As you can imagine, with twelve salespeople in one room, our plans varied from the sublime to the ridiculous! I was somewhere in the middle. My plan was realistic, and I’ve continued to make reasonable progress against the goals I set.

We were asked to prioritise what was important to us, so we could make decisions based on those priorities and find ways to achieve our goals.  Readers of my blog will know that I’m not a detail person, so my plan was very simple.  I didn’t want to evaluate myself based on all my failures; I just wanted to write down my goals and list the steps I needed to take to get there.

Perhaps that’s oversimplified, as life throws up terrible challenges for some people. There are also obstacles we must overcome to live our best lives; the biggest by far is our health and wealth. Whilst those elements are partly outside our control, we can control what we eat and how much we exercise.  We can also control how hard we work and how much money we fritter away on stuff we can’t afford. 

We often don’t plan because of inertia, lack of focus, or other factors; changing our life is easier dreamed than done. But during that sales training, I had a “lightbulb moment”.  I knew that creating a life plan and following it would be far easier and less stressful, and my chances of success would be far greater. 

With that in mind, imagine what you want your life to be like professionally and personally, as this will help you identify the key elements within your life plan.  It’s important to remember all the good things you have going on and be grateful for what you already have, as that will form the building blocks.   You can find many templates online to build your life plan, and I would ignore all the negative evaluation stuff and focus on the positive, as I don’t believe negativity helps.

Finally, I can’t stress enough how much regular exercise contributes to living your best life.  It’s healthy for you and your body and will also clear your mind.  Your stress levels will reduce, and you’ll be more motivated to achieve your goals. 

Finally, I will share the MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE. Research suggests that it takes more than two months before a new behaviour becomes automatic — 66 days, to be precise.  

So if you start to exercise tomorrow, you will need to persevere with your new habit for a minimum of 66 days before it becomes part of your life. In other words, set your expectations appropriately; it will help you succeed.

Remember, no matter how badly 2022 treated you, walk tall with your head held high; this is a new year.  If you want to join in dry January, I find dry white is the best option; at least you’re participating.

Until next time xxxxxx

Published by meadandrea

Blogger, writer, author, love to travel, photographer

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