Focusing On The Important Parts

Within the next week, will be welcoming our second child into our family.  Anyone who’s had children realizes the next few months will involve some hectic and sleep-deprived nights.  A lot of people make such a big deal about it but some of those nights were some of my best memories with our son over the past 17 months.

Yesterday, I was thinking about how my available time to work on my goals and projects will be effected and how I need to focus on completing what’s important in my life.  Which made me think about the key parts of my life and what I need to accomplish each day to achieve my long-term goals.  What are the things I’ll regret in ten years if I don’t work on them now?  The main one is focusing on my family, meaning spending time with my wife and kids and being a father.  The next thing is taking care of my health, working out regularly, and eating healthy.  I have a history of family health issues and I want to do what ever it takes to avoid them.

Here are the main things I need to do everyday to feel fulfilled. They are in no particular order.

1) Write

I need to write everyday.  I want to continue writing a daily blog post everyday this year.  Whenever I go a day without any sort of writing, that’s a day I feel like I missed an opportunity.

2) Read

This could really mean Learn.  I want to spend sometime reading a good book or article everyday.  I don’t want to look back ten years from now and realize I’m no better off then I was today.  Work on my craft everyday.

3) Move (&Sweat)

Whenever you talk to older people, one of the main things they wish for is good health.  Without good health I’ll never be around to enjoy all the wonderful things in my life.  Good health starts now.  My doctor related my health to retirement planning, “if you don’t take care of your body now, you’ll pay for it in 20 to 30 years.”  It’s no different if you don’t start saving for retirement in your 20s.  You’ll be at a serious disadvantage if you wait to start in your 40s or 50s.  I need to concentrate on doing some type of physical activity everyday.

4) Eat Well

This is similar to the above Move (&Sweat) goal.  I need to take care of my body now and reap the benefits later on in life.  I could get away with eating whatever I want now but how will my later years be affected by those choices.

5) Express Gratitude

This goal is really all about making sure the people I care about know how I feel.  I want to make sure my wife, kids, parents, extended family, and friends realize that I appreciate them.  It’s also about making sure I’m there for my wife and kids.  Play with my children and dog every night after work.  Daily talks with my wife. Monthly data nights.  Taking our dog for long walks.

Make time to see our parents, extended family, and friends.  It’s hard to be there for everyone but it’s important to let people know that you care about them and thinking of them.  Even if it’s just a brief phone call or text message to say hi.

It’s important to be present.

6) Meditate / Pray

Since high school, I started praying every night before bed.  At least, I called it prayer but it’s really similar to meditation.  I usually think about all of the important people in my life and I hope the are able to live safe and healthy lives.  I ask for the strength to make the right decisions and try to live a meaningful life.  It’s something like that and it only takes a few minutes.  It helps me prioritize life to its simplest form: what do I want for others, what I want for myself, and giving thanks for the opportunities I’ve been given.

7) TOP 3

What are the top 3 things I want to achieve today to allow myself to feel like I had a full day?  That is what the Top 3 means to me.  Before I go to bed each night, I’m guilty of always thinking about what I didn’t accomplish during the day.  It brings me down and causes me to stay up entirely to late to try to achieve one more thing.  Which only makes the next day worse because then first thing I think about in the morning is, “I didn’t get enough sleep.”  Brene Brown talks about this in her great audiobook, The Power of Vulnerability, which I’ll talk about another day.

I need to work to focus on what’s important and what needs to be accomplished today.  If I accomplish my Top 3 then I need to be satisfied with my day’s work.

Those are my Seven Keys to a Successful Day.  Your keys may be different and I hope they are. Go figure out what’s important in your life and make sure you do something about it everyday.

These keys were inspired by a HeyAmberRae blog post but I can’t remember which one.  Check any her blog posts out they’re really great.