Thursday, September 8, 2011

Figuring Out What You Want Most

I have been thinking about a post I read back in July.  Kelly at Almost Frugal wrote about deciding what we really want most and then examining whether our actions support that.  You can read more about her thoughts here.  It's the same approach I have used with some of my coaching clients.  Really look at how you spend your time and then assess whether or not your time usage reflects your critical objectives.

So looking at this stage of life - If you want to have lots of energy, why are you sitting around so much?  If you want to travel, why are you holding on to the house with the yard?  If you want great colleagues and to use your talents and experience well, why are you not looking for a job or volunteer work that provides that?

Kelly suggest that the reason is that many of us trade what we want at the moment for what we want most.  I know I am guilty of that.  My trades are pretty typical.  I go to the coffee shop and get a snack as well as coffee instead of having a healthy snack at home, sit and read instead of taking longer walks, and go places by myself instead of making plans to go with a friend.  The challenge is that when I think about it I realize I really want all of those things.

However, I do spend my time is on what is easiest at the moment and I don't take action often enough to do the harder things.  Courtney Carver at Be More With Less addresses this in her post 5 Reasons to Start Before You are Ready.  I most relate to her comments about momentum - getting started is the hardest part.

So how do you figure out what you want most?  One way would be to keep track of how you actually spend your time and then ask yourself if those actions match what you really want.  Another would be to decide on something you really want as part of your life right now and each week add one action that will help you get there.  This will probably require that you drop something from your life as well.

One thing I know I really want most is to maximize my energy.  Sitting defeats that goal.  I looked at the actions I already take: Pilates once a week, walking dog daily, relatively healthy eating, etc.  They aren't enough to get me where I want to be.  I decided to do three things short term to help my actions match what I want most.  I am going to take the dog on longer walks now that the weather is a bit cooler and we will both benefit.  I signed up for a once a week Zumba class (which will also help me be more connected).  I am spending more time planning dinner menus to make them even healthier.  Longer term I'm going to get better clothes for walking no matter what the weather and get a book on local hikes so we can get out in nature more during nice weather while getting some exercise.

Do you find that you trade off what you want most for what you want at the moment?  Or have you pretty much aligned your actions with your wants?

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