Most of us are so busy taking care of life’s daily responsibilities, we generally don’t think about the steps needed to maximize quality living. We create daily patterns of living attempting to accomplish essential tasks. These patterns have a tendency to develop as a RESULT of these tasks rather than an implemented STRATEGY. We tend to improvise as needed instead of planning. This method increases stress, frustration and poorer outcomes. This improvised planning eventually affects all aspects of life. It also leads to a lifestyle mirroring SURVIVAL rather than FULFILLMENT.
Americans are not educated well on planning. As we begin to feel the “pain” resulting from spontaneous “decision making”, we create temporary patches to “solve” the problems. Like any patch, they eventually weaken. This typically happens when we’re least prepared and magnifies the original problems. The end result of this style of planning commonly results in:
Americans are excellent at identifying problems. We are weak at constructing solutions. Our media bombards us with atrocities on a daily basis. We become so overwhelmed by all this negativity, our brains shut down attempting to escape this vision. Once this crucial point is reached, our path in life commonly approaches a fork in the road. One road leads to happiness; the other road leads to depression. Those able and willing to take one step backward and look with objective eyes at their situation, can develop a “plan of action” to address the various issues. This sounds simple, but it requires separating one’s emotional response from one’s logical and rational response. Even if capable of doing this, a successful outcome is not initially guaranteed. All new learning requires time and experience. It is this repetitive learned skill to plan ahead that creates improved outcomes.
What does it take to begin this new thought process?
The ability to take responsibility to change behavior from “I don’t want to,” to “I need to.”
The ability to take responsibility to change behavior from “I don’t like to,” to “I have to.”
The realization that no one cares more about your health and happiness than you.
The realization that your children will likely follow a similar path in life using you as their example. Are you satisfied with the kind of example you’re setting for them at this time?
The understanding that this new path (just like any new venture in life) has a learning curve that may result in bad decisions with bad outcomes early in the process. Failure has two roads; it can lead to insecurity or it can lead to growth and development. Failure gives us an OPPORTUNITY to LEARN. As long as one is willing to persevere with open and objective eyes and willing to navigate the different roads (choices) to achieve the desired outcome, the possibilities become endless.
Our past choices and decisions have morphed us into the people we have become. It is time we stop pointing our fingers at everyone else and begin pointing them at ourselves. This is not intended to berate anyone as much as awaken all of us to a new reality in life. Taking responsibility for one’s own life on a global scale improves the lives of everyone. This way of thinking unites people. The willingness to educate and be educated through communal sharing of ideas removes the impedance the current “isolated” family model produces. Our society experiences less stress if everyone has an opportunity for improvement.
Where do we begin? All PLANS OF ACTION need a starting point. I always recommend starting with small achievable changes to help grow self-confidence. Success leads to motivation. Motivation leads to further commitment. Commitment leads to lifelong changes.
So, for the growth and development of our blogging community, I wish to share an idea on starting a PLAN OF ACTION:
Create a SHORT list of simple achievable tasks that would make you feel happier when accomplished.
Create a realistic timeframe to accomplish these tasks.
If difficulties arise in achieving these tasks, discuss them with people who care about you. Having a second set of eyes and ears can add great value in overcoming problems.
Stay committed. We have a tendency to fall back in to OLD PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR. If you notice this happening, listen in your head for that GPS message, “re-calculating!” Do what it takes to get refocused and back on course.
Celebrate success by doing something that makes you feel good AND IS GOOD FOR YOU. We have a tendency to feel entitled to behaviors that result in destructive outcomes. Think about it. Should we celebrate an accomplishment by eating something unhealthy that damages our health as a reward? What kind of message are we reinforcing in our own minds. Wouldn’t a weekend getaway to celebrate quality time as a couple or a family be a better choice? Which reward reduces stress and truly increases happiness? Which reward is more fulfilling? Which reward is more likely to help you change behavior improving the quality of your life?
Starting with these 5 steps, you can transform yourself and begin experiencing MAXIMAL LIVING. Gaining control and living a life with reduced stress and greater happiness is certainly achievable.
What will it take for you to start your own PLAN OF ACTION?
What changes have you made in your life (that you would like to share with our community) that can help others improve the quality of their lives?