Pillar #10 – Review and Track Your Progress

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design.  Congratulations on making it to the end!  Here’s what we’ve covered so far in the first nine Pillars:

In this post, we’ll cover the final Pillar, Pillar #10 – Review and Track Your Progress.

A wise person once said, “What is expected must be inspected.”  The point here is that we need to set aside a regular time to inspect or check the progress of our targets or goals.

This is another area where many people fall short in achieving success.  They set out with the best of intentions when they make their goal, but if they don’t visualize their success on a regular basis (Pillar #9) and set aside a time to review and track their progress, they lose sight of the goal and it gets forgotten.

I recommend you set aside at least an hour every week to review and track your progress.  Maybe you choose a time at the beginning of the week or maybe toward the end.

Go over your Master Dream List and add any new ones that come to mind.  Then review your life purpose, values, and Plan of Action.  Are you on track with the goals and deadlines you set?  Have you set aside enough time in your week to accomplish the goals that have the highest priority?  Do you need to adjust your deadlines, or set aside extra time in order to complete them?  Have you achieved any goals that you can celebrate this week?

If you stick with it, the weekly review will become one of your best allies in achieving your dream life, because you’ll have a set time to review your progress, make adjustments, and celebrate successes!

That’s Pillar #10 – Review and Track Your Progress.  I hope these 10 Pillars of Lifestyle Design have been a help to you in designing the life of your dreams.  Now the achievement of those dreams is up to you!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me!

Pillar #9 – Visualize Your Success

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design.  Congratulations on making it this far!  Here’s what we’ve covered in the first eight Pillars:

In this post, we’ll cover Pillar #9 – Visualize Your Success.

You already possess one of the most powerful tools that will help you succeed in achieving your dreams and goals.  Master it, and nothing will stand in your way.  Ignore its power, or use it wrongly as many people do, and it will surely keep you from achieving success.  What am I talking about?  Your mind!

One of the biggest reasons people achieve success is that they regularly visualize their success.  In other words, they make time every day to create a picture, or a movie, in their mind’s eye of the things they want to bring into reality – whatever it is they want to do, have, or achieve.

Professional athletes and highly successful people use this technique regularly.  One of the most famous examples is Jim Thorpe, known as one of the greatest athletes of all time.  He was a Native American, All-American, Olympic champion, star NFL running back and Major League Baseball player.

On his way to the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Thorpe and his fellow Olympians sailed aboard the ocean liner Finland. As others trained on a cork track laid on a deck, Thorpe sat nearby in silence. A sportswriter named Francis Albertani asked him, “What are you doing, Jim? Thinking of your Uncle Sitting Bull?”  “No,” Thorpe said, “I’m practicing the broad jump. I’ve just jumped 23 feet eight inches. I think that can win it.”

Thorpe, who preferred visualization to actual workouts, did in fact win the broad jump event in the Olympic decathlon!  He also won three more of the 10 decathlon events en route to the gold medal. He also won four of five pentathlon events to earn a second gold.

How does visualization work?  When you visualize an outcome you want over and over again, you build “cells of recognition” in your memory bank.  This helps you become consciously and acutely aware of everything that can help you achieve the visualized outcome that you desire.

When you continuously focus on an idea or image in your mind, you program every cell in your body and mind to work toward achieving that idea or image.  Once you impress it into the subconscious part of you, it eventually becomes ‘fixed’ and you automatically attract and move towards that which you desire.

The reason athletes do this is because they want to condition their mind in such a way that the body automatically behaves the way they want it to without effort.  They become “unconsciously competent”.

The same is true for you!  If you visualize the success you want over and over again, your body will eventually automatically do whatever it must to make the image a physical reality.

Take the time to review the Goals you’ve set in your Plan of Action.  Write out a vivid, detailed description, or draw a picture, for each one.  Then review that description or picture in your mind at least three times a day.  I’d suggest morning, noon, and bedtime.

For example, if one of your Goals is to have a better relationship with your spouse and children at home, visualize yourself coming home at the end of the work day, and greeting each member of your family with love.  Visualize sitting around the dinner table having a great conversation about each person’s day.  Whatever it is that you want to see happen, see it happen first in your mind.  Make a picture, or movie, in your mind’s eye and review it over and over.  Eventually, it’ll become a reality.

That’s it for Pillar #9 – Visualize Your Success.  Next time we’ll cover Pillar #10 – Review and Track your Progress.

Pillar #8 – Identify People or Tools that Can Help

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design.  Congratulations on making it this far!  Here’s what we’ve covered in the first seven Pillars:

In this post, we’ll cover Pillar #8 – Identify People or Tools that Can Help.

Take a good look at your Plan of Action.  Then make a list of all the people who might be able to help you achieve it.  It doesn’t matter whether you know them or not.  If there’s anyone at all whom you think can be of help to you, write their name down. If you don’t know them personally, then also write down who it is that you know who might know them, or who might help you get access to them.

Next, make a list of all the things you need to know or do in order to achieve your plan.  For example, if your life’s dream is to be a published author, and you currently don’t know anything about how to write or market a book, then perhaps you need to attend a writer’s workshop or retreat.  Or maybe you need to sign up for an agent.  Whatever it is that you think you may need to know or do, write it down.

Lastly, make a list of all the tools you might need.  Maybe you need a new computer in order to write your book.  Maybe you need to get your home or office organized so you’ve got a good space to do your writing.

Once you’ve made your lists, start working on them.  Prioritize them in the order you think is important.  Then get going!  Start contacting all the people who can help, make a plan to help you learn what you need to learn, and figure out how to get the tools you need to get started.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly things start to move when you identify the people or tools that can help!

That’s Lifestyle Design Pillar #8 – Identify People or Tools that Can Help.  Next, we’ll cover Pillar #9 – Visualize Your Success.

Pillar # 7 – Create Your Plan of Action

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design.  Congratulations on making it this far!  You’ve invested a lot of time and energy in following the first six Pillars:

That work is about to culminate as I share Pillar #7 – Create Your Plan of Action.  In this step, you’ll synthesize the work you’ve done so far into an action plan that will propel you to achieve your targets (goals).

  1. Refine and rewrite your Life Purpose onto one sheet of paper titled “Life Purpose”.
  2. Review your list of Personal Values and make a master list of your most important values.  Title this page “Master List of Personal Values”.
  3. Review your list of Goals for each life area and make a master list of your most important targets to work on for the next season of life (I suggest three months).  Prioritize them by order of importance and indicate which Life Area they’re from.  I suggest you work on at least one target in each life area per season, but I recognize that some will require more time and energy than others.  Next, set a due date for when the target should be attained or completed.
  4. Make a separate “Goal Planning Worksheet” for each one of your seasonal targets.  At the top of each sheet, write today’s date, the Life Area that this target corresponds with, and the due date. Leave space at the top for a completion date, which you’ll fill-in when the target is completed.  Next, write out the target using the SMART format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible).  Then list the benefits you’ll receive by achieving this Target.  Feel free to write a few sentences – these will help motivate you to achieve the target.  *HINT* Make sure you ask yourself “Why?” several times until you get to the answer that will really motivate you!  Next, list the obstacles that could keep you from successfully attaining the target.  Next, list some ways you can avoid or overcome the obstacles.  Lastly, identify the specific action steps that are necessary for you to achieve this target.  You might list them in order and put a target date next to each one…or you might create a mindmap or use some other kind of chart or timeline.

That’s Pillar #7 – Create Your Plan of Action.  We have a little more work to do on your Target Planning Worksheets.  But we’ll save it for Pillar #8 – Identify People or Tools that Can Help.

Pillar #6 – Set Well-Defined Goals

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design. So far, we’ve covered:

Now I’ll share Pillar #6 – Set Well-Defined Goals. In this step, you will set targets, or goals, for each Life Area.

First, look back over your Master Dream List, and all the other worksheets you’ve done so far, and write down any targets or goals that come to your mind re: each life area.  What are the things you’d like to do, change, or see happen?  What are the things you’ve always said you should do but haven’t done?  Write it all down- get it on paper and off your mind.

You obviously, won’t have the time, energy or resources to tackle everything on your lists all at once.  So, in this next step, refine your list by picking the top three or four targets/goals for each Life Area.

There are two ways to approach this step.  You could choose to pick the targets that will help propel you the farthest, fastest in achieving the change you want to see in that Life Area.  Or, you could pick targets that are the “lowest hanging fruit”, that is, the ones that are the easiest to achieve and cost the least in terms of time, energy and resources.

You might even choose a combination:  pick one or two that will propel you farther, and one or two that will give you some quick “wins”.  There’s no right or wrong here, just make a conscious choice of which tactic is right for you.

That’s Lifestyle Design Pillar #6 – Set Well-Defined Goals.  Next time we’ll cover Pillar #7 – Create Your Plan of Action.

Pillar #5 – Reveal Your Personal Values

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design. So far, we’ve covered:

Now I’ll share Pillar #5 – Reveal Your Personal Values. Last time I mentioned you’ll want to keep your Life Area sheets handy, because you’ll need them for this next step.

Each of us have a set of personal values, or beliefs that impact each Life Area.  These values, or beliefs, guide us when we are faced with choices, set priorities, and make decisions.

We all have a tendency to “default” to unconscious values or beliefs that have shaped us due to influences or decisions from the past.  This shows just how powerful our values and beliefs are, and how important it is for us to consciously determine our values for each life area.

For example, those who have been told that they’ll never amount to anything in life end up believing this is true.  Therefore while they may say they want to make change in a certain area of their life, they fail to take action to change their current reality because they believe deep down that it will make no difference.

So, in this step, I want you to take each of your Life Area Worksheets and write down what you currently value or believe about each Life Area.  This will require some thought…and quite a bit of honesty.

Example:  Life Area – Health

Current values/beliefs: I can eat or drink whatever I want and it doesn’t matter.  I don’t really care how much I weigh or how I look.  No amount of exercise will make a difference in my life.

Once you’ve written them down, take a good look.  Is what you’ve written satisfactory to you?   Does it match the dreams you’ve listed or your life purpose or preferred future?  If not, then write out new values or beliefs that do.  Here’s an example:

New values/beliefs: I value maintaining my ideal weight.  I value regular exercise to maintain my body and keep it in good condition.  I value drinking water more often than I do soda pop.  I value choosing fresh foods over processed foods.

Example: Life Area – Family

Current values/beliefs: I’d rather read the paper and watch television than talk with or do things with my spouse.  My work comes before my family – after all, if I don’t get paid, they don’t eat.

New values/beliefs: I regard my marriage as the most important personal relationship in my life.  I spend quality time with each member of my family every week.  I teach my children to manage money and use it wisely.  I keep communication open and comfortable with every member of my family.

Allow yourself plenty of time to do this.  And if you get stumped and can’t think of any values or beliefs for one life area, just skip it for now and move on to the next.

That’s Lifestyle Design Pillar #5 – Reveal Your Personal Values.  Congratulations, you’re half-way through the Lifestyle Design process, and you’re moving closer to achieving your dreams and finding more freedom, purpose and fulfillment in your life and work!

In the next installment, we’ll cover Pillar #6 – Set Well-Defined Goals.