I hate sports. I honestly don’t even understand most of the rules for any sport. But one thing I know for sure is that a goalie has ONE JOB! To block any ball from passing them by! In that sport (you know the one where goalies are); blocking that ball means protecting your teammates from losing traction in the game and, ultimately, keeps the unwanted advances of the other team AWAY!
So for the start of 2018, let’s talk about YOU and the value of your time, energy, love, investments and life, and how waiting around for other people to do your very important job of being the goalie of what gets in, out and through to your life is no longer working.
This is the year of you, and choosing yourself first means learning how to protect yourself from things that, at the very least distract you, and at the very worst, harm you.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what last year brought. It doesn’t even really matter what this morning brought. You get to start over now, if you feel like it (and, of course, if you are willing to put forth a little bit of time, effort and work).
Three Steps for Learning to Be the Goalie of Your Own Life
1. What Matters Most to You?
Do you know the answer to this question? If not, it is time to take some serious stock of your life. Whether you are 19 or 95, if you don’t know what matters most in your life, then you need to figure it out. As soon as possible. Once you find that out, ask yourself these questions:
Is my life currently a reflection of the things I value most?
Am I spending my valuable days, minutes, years investing in the people and things I love most, or am I investing time in things out of fear, obligation, playing out old tapes of worthlessness, and/or avoidance?
Do I spend a lot of time doing things that I feel I should do and avoid making enough time for the things I need, desire and want?
Are my days a reflection of my needs and wants or are they a reflection of my fears?
Now these questions are all variations of basically one idea, but they are all meant to get you marinating about what you are really doing with your days and hours and if those things actually reflect your true heart’s desires…or NOT. If they are, then you probably can skip steps 2 and 3 (and give yourself a huge pat on the back); but if they aren’t, then you should probably read on.
2. First is Knowing and Next is Doing.
Now that I know — based on my answers to the questions in suggestion one, that I am potentially spending more time than I should in obligation, avoidance, fear and shame — or that I’m just having a hard time prioritizing things that matter to me in this life, now I need to ask myself a few more questions.
What things that I am doing now am I willing to stop doing in order to create more space, time and openness to add in the things I have determined matter to me the most?
When I think about becoming willing to let go of things that don’t serve me to add in things that do, what old tapes, emotions and thoughts try to seep in to control me and change my mind?
What old stories, narratives, messages and ideas is my brain trying to get me to hold onto in order to keep me stuck in safety rather than joy?
What am I willing to do about the fact that, until now, I have been letting these old narratives run my life, rather than letting my value system run my life?
Now, take some time to reflect upon your answers. Spend a few days thinking about old patterns and things that you have used to keep you from what you truly want. Think about how those ways of self-protection have served a huge and important purpose at some point in your life. Think about thanking those protective thoughts and ideas, but also beginning to let those parts of you know that you no longer want, desire or need them to run your life. Your life is short. You deserve to take risks and be happy, even if it isn’t perfect or quick or when you wanted it to happen. You get to choose. Keep this dialogue with yourself and the old narratives going as long as you need to, but don’t let that stop you from moving along as soon as you can to step three.
3. Make a Plan and Take it Seriously.
Stop messing around. This is your life after all. You are lucky to be living it. Take the answers you found in steps one and two and set some definitive timelines for yourself about when you are absolutely willing to start taking the need to create, allow and, most importantly, safeguard the most important things you want in your life seriously. What date are you going to start the practice of stopping those old behaviors and running towards things you feel you SHOULD do instead of things you really need to be doing? Do you need to set mini-goals? How is this plan going to look specifically for you and your unique needs? If you need to set a few different dates for a few different things, then do that, but don’t tell yourself you don’t have choices. You do.
Next, think about and devise a plan of action for how you will make yourself accountable to these target dates and target behavioral/time changes. Maybe you share it with a friend. Maybe you share it with your inner-most self and tell yourself your time is now. Maybe you tell your dog or you get a dry/erase board. You decide. But figure out a way of accountability that keeps you moving forward even WHEN the original challenges/narratives come back to trick you into thinking you should remain in your comfort zone or keep in line with the status quo.
There is no wrong plan. There is no wrong way. The only way you can fail at this is waiting another minute of another day without realizing that there is never going to be a “good time” to start living your best life. And there is never going to be a time where it is convenient for all of the people who will be disappointed that you stop catering to them instead of catering to yourself. That is okay. You weren’t put on this planet to please everyone. You were put on this planet to live your greatest life and make a difference in the world. And the best way to do that is to figure out your affairs, figure out what you value, allow yourself to name it and to live from the place of protecting all of that as though your very life depended on it —— because, you know what, it kind of does….
If you are wanting to live your best life, perfectly imperfectly, I would be happy to help. For a free, 30-minute phone consultation, contact me and refer to this blog.