Why do you do what you do? What are your values? What are the most important things to you? What do you spend most of your time on? What drives you to go to work every day? What motivates you?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have real answers to those questions. We never have had a good answer for them either. We don’t really know what we want. We think we know our values. We think we have an idea of how busy we are or aren’t. If we tracked our time and our activities, would we be able to see our values?
I have lofty personal goals; both business and personal. I think I value hard work, determination, and sacrifice. I feel like I spend most my time on work and work related issues. I go to work every day because I love helping clients. I’m motivated by change and obtaining financial independence in my own life.
However, if I really look at how I spend my time and look at what my real priorities are, I am selling myself short.
I went down to Chicago this weekend to have an early birthday dinner with my brother and girlfriend (my parents are out of town or they would have been there too). I had to work Saturday and my girlfriend had a girls night out on Friday in the city so she was already down there. So I took the train down by myself after work on Saturday. I started doing what I often do when “I have nothing to do,” I scrolled through my facebook feed. I came across a post, I am not even sure which of my friends posted it, that contained a video. The video was of Dr. Eric Thomas who is a motivational speaker.
Here is a link to the exact video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Oxz060iedY Now Dr. Thomas is animated and not everyone might enjoy his style. I haven’t researched him or know who he is as a person. This video really got me thinking though. It is kind of amazing to me because the things he said clicked and I didn’t really have to do any deep self analysis to know that I wasn’t valuing what I thought I was.
I ended up watching a bunch of videos from Dr. Thomas and thought a lot about the message. I know if I want to accomplish my goals, I need to change some habits and get priority in line. Over the next couple of days and weeks I hope to analyze how I spend my time and what I’m working towards.
I have a renewed sense of clarity on what actually is important to me. That got me thinking about people who are trying to change their lives. I can’t tell you how many times I have given a free session (if I get asked I normally do) and have spoken with people about how to accomplish their goals in the gym and kitchen. People seem so motivated and ready to make a change. When they get a plan though, the follow through lacks quite frequently. These people haven’t figured out what they really want and how important making that change is. I have come to realize that no matter how hard I want to help these people, they can’t be helped until they decide they want it.
I encourage people to ask themselves that question and clarify their direction. Do you want to lose weight, gain weight, get ripped, complete a 5k, or just be able to run around with kids/grandkids? If you have that type of a goal, look at how you live your life and see if it fits. Do you complain about not having time? Is dieting too hard? Everyone gets the same 24 hour days, some people just are more productive with their days than others. Most people have a choice of what to eat. We just would rather focus on the tv or facebook than focus on our health. We have time and we know what we should and shouldn’t eat, we just make a choice to do other things or ignore what we know to be true. As Dr. Thomas says, “Until you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, you won’t be successful”.
I think we get to a point where we don’t hold ourselves accountable anymore. We find excuses like jobs for why we can’t eat right or exercise. The truth is, we just want something else more than we want to lose weight, get ripped, or just look better naked. That is fine because not everyone has the same desires and goals. If changing your health status is a goal, know in advance that it will take sacrifice of time wasters, dedication to yourself and your goal, and a discipline that you aren’t currently demonstrating.
At the end of the day what we accomplish is up to us. It will be your hard work that makes you succeed and it will be your lack of discipline that keeps you from succeeding. What do you want to accomplish?