Well – it’s a new year. What are you going to do with this precious gift?
One of my favorite books seems to intersect with a tradition we began in our family about five years ago. The book is The One Thing by Gary Keller. Gary asks what is called the focusing question –
“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Now, our tradition is that we did away with New Year’s resolutions and replaced them with a focusing word for the year. For me this past year it was Be Present (I know – that’s two words). An an INTJ, too often I was planning for the future or evaluating the past and my challenge was not being present with those important to my life.
So, what is your one word focus that aligns with your One Thing for this year?
With what lens do you look at your life? Is life an adventure or is it something to be endured? The thing is, our attitude, the way in which we view life is our choice. Granted, with some of the terribly difficult backgrounds some have or the trying conditions in which they now live, having a spirit of adventure in life may be incredibly difficult, but it still is a choice that can be made.
I mentioned that I am going back through Gary Keller’s The One Thing Book. in the book he tells the following story:
“One evening an elder Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us. One is Fear. It carries anxiety, concern, uncertainty, hesitancy, indecision and inaction. The other is Faith. It brings calm, conviction, confidence, enthusiasm, decisiveness, excitement and action.’ The grandson thought about it for a moment and then meekly asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’ The old Cherokee replied, ‘The one you feed.'”
Which wolf are you “feeding” each day? Do you dwell on your fears and feed them? Or do you live life with a mindset of gratitude and faith? Do you feed your faith each day?
Stop and listen to your self-talk; that tape that is continually playing in your head. Is it a tape of faith or one of fear?
Have faith and live as God intended you to.
Do you feel tired most of the time? Is getting out of bed most mornings (especially Monday!) a laborious task?
More and more, people are writing about energy management and priority management and less about time management. The reason being is that the way most of us are working may be productive of efficient in the short term, it is usually detrimental to our long-term health and productivity.
I have been reading The One Thing and Gary Keller talks about a simple rhythm for the day that helped him become healthier and more productive. What he is saying has been said by others in different ways, but the core elements are much the same. Following is a slightly edited version of what he calls “The Highly Productive Person’s Daily Energy Plan”:
- Start your day with prayer
- Eat right and ensure you start your day with a healthy breakfast
- Get 7 -8 hours a sleep every night
- Exercise 5 – 6 days a week (just 20 – 30 minutes a day will be life changing!)
- Hug, kiss, and laugh with your loved ones
- Set your goals, plan, and calendar for the day
- Make sure you time block for your most important priority – what he calls the ONE Thing.
Most of this is not new, but I like the way in which he handles the subject. The challenge is that while we know what we should be doing, we aren’t. So, develop the desire, discipline yourself to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life (one thing at a time, you can’t do it all at once!!), and after you start seeing some small wins you will start feeling the motivation to continue. Remember, in this case, motivation follows action!