I can’t believe it is May already and I have made little progress toward my goals.
With one-third of the year now complete, how far along are you towards your yearly goals? As per an article on Inc.com, science says that over 92% of goals fail.
Do you feel you are not progressing at all?
Are you progressing but at a pace that is too slow for your liking?
Is this affecting your mental health, physical health, or relationships?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, the good news is you still have two-thirds of the year left. My goal is to share with you how you can progress towards your goals (let’s call them summits moving forward) faster.
Everybody talks about adding things to your life, whereas I want to focus on removing things (clutter) from your life. As a mountaineer, having climbed some of the tallest mountains in the world, if you are carrying things that no longer serve any function or purpose, your climb to the top will require more time and more energy, and you may not even make it to the summit. So, over the course of this article, I want to share three tools that will help you identify and then break free from the clutter in your life, allowing you to scale your summits of success faster.
Tool #1: Identify The Clutter
Most people I coach tell me they don’t really have much clutter in their lives. The reality is, if you are not continuously advancing towards your summit, there is something holding you down (or your summit was just too crazy to start with). So let me share with you a simple exercise that will take you less than three minutes on a daily basis. At any point in the evening, ask yourself the following two questions and keep a note of the answers:
- What raised my energy levels today?
- What drained my energy levels today?
Over time, you will start to see patterns of things that are draining your energy levels, essentially the clutter in your life.
- Perhaps you are worrying about things that you cannot change.
- Maybe you are eating things that do not suit your body.
- Perhaps relationships that matter are distancing because of avoided conversations.
Whatever the case may be, it is critical to give yourself time daily to ask these questions and more so that you can scale your summits of success faster. Congratulations on entering a higher level of awareness. Now we just need to focus on some decluttering tools, which will result in a higher net positive energy result.
Tool #2: Energize Your Mornings
I used to wake up in the mornings, wake the kids up and get them ready for school. Drop them off and then come back for some exercise, after which I got ready and went to work. I was on the run from the time I woke up – sound familiar?
The reality is the first hour of the day sets the tone for the remainder of the day. Can’t say about you, but my productivity dropped, my mind was distracted, and I wasn’t much fun to be around if the morning started on a bad note. If, however, my mornings began high on energy, I could perform at a much higher level, get things done faster, and was pleasant to be around. So here is my three-step strategy to start high on energy:
- Don’t press snooze – you do not want your first action to be snooze which sets a precedent for the remainder of the day. I know you don’t want to be known as a snoozer. Just get up and go (ideal would be to sleep early enough that you do not need an alarm).
- Stay away from all digital devices and the news until you have energized. Do you really want to risk reading or seeing something that drains your energy levels?
- Do any activity that energizes you for at least twenty minutes each morning. This could be reading something elevating, taking a walk outdoors, practicing deep breathing, etc. You can even mix it up so it does not become mundane.
Now that you have the tool to energize your mornings, let us talk about how you can declutter your communication, as most issues in life are usually stemming from a misunderstanding.
Tool #3: Declutter Your Communication
I cannot emphasize enough how many relationship issues I come across in my coaching. The majority of them derive from expectations or assumptions.
I come across many couples where one will tell me that even after 20 years of marriage, they still haven’t changed. My reply is, “it is astonishing that after 20 years of marriage you still think they will change.” The truth of the matter is that people rarely will change, and acceptance brings relationships closer. Put it this way, wouldn’t you love it if people accepted you for who you are rather than who they want you to be?
What are assumptions? An assumption is basically you filling in the blanks based on what you have learned or your experiences. There is a chance you could be right. However, there is a greater chance you could be wrong. What confuses me is why you would risk the health of a relationship on an assumption that may be right or wrong? Here is a great solution – be curious and ask! I often get family members and colleagues telling me I ask too many questions and stating that the answer is obvious. Although that may be partially true, I remind them that the relationship matters too much to me to base on an assumption, and I would rather ask a few questions more to be certain.
Gone are the days when you say I shall do it later. Now that you have the ability to identify the clutter in your life and the decluttering tools make sure you start applying them today.
Saahil can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org