How do you think about time? How do you make use of your time on Earth? Do you utilize time as though it is a finite? Do you waste it as though you think that you are invincible and time will never run out?
In a couple of weeks, we are coming not only to the end of a year, but also a decade. Usually at this time we evaluate. We reflect on what we have accomplished. We take stock of what we have yet to do. Sometimes, we make new years’ resolutions. In fact, about a month ago, I did this exercise with my coach. Yes, I have a coach, as well. I will explain more below. Please keep reading.
How do I think about time? I would previously describe myself as a time waster, and of the opinion that I was invincible and time would never run out. My perspective on time shifted about three years ago when my mother passed away. I was 37 when my mother died and she was 68. A few weeks after her death it occurred to me that if lived to the same age as her, I would only have 31 years left on Earth. I can honestly say, that my mother lived a full life and did not leave anything unresolved at the time of her death. If I had the chance to ask her if she had any regrets about passing at the age of 68, the only thing I can imagine her saying is “I wish I had more time with my family and friends.” Of course, we never know when our time is up, and I would hope that I live longer than she did. However, that thought process thrust me into a whole new perspective on time. If I was lucky to live to 68, how would I spend those next 31 years? Would I spend them at a job I didn’t like? Would I spend them with toxic people? Would I live my life according to someone else’s plan? Would I wait until retirement to embrace my passions? Would I choose engaging in frivolous things over spending time with friends and family?
No, I decided that if I only had 31 years left (again, I have no way of knowing this), I was going to live every second of them to the fullest. I left an unfulfilling corporate job. I eliminated toxic people and toxic behaviors from my life. I went back to school. I started my own coaching practice. I looked at my passions and I started embracing them. I decided to travel more and spend time with friends and family. I become very Meredith-focused. I wasn’t going to spend another moment doing something that wasn’t in my best interest or in the best interest of people I care about. I became very goal and list oriented. I would not waste any more time because all of a sudden, time became finite. Like my mother, when my time comes, I don’t want to leave anything unresolved.
Now that you know how my perspective on time shifted and how I want to make use of each second I have left on Earth; this is what I discussed with my coach. I came up with three lists: A 2020 task list (little To-Do items, like pay annual insurances, renew memberships to various organizations, etc.), 2020 resolutions list (items I can reasonably accomplish in a year), and a list of nine-year goals to accomplish before I turn 50 (this was referred to as a 10 year list in 2019). Of course, these lists are amendable, and not written in stone. I typed them on my computer, but I printed them out and I keep them with me in my daily folder so I can look at them regularly to make sure I’m on target. Another reason that I printed them out is so that once I accomplish an item, I can strike through it in pink permanent marker. I get such satisfaction out of that. I recently looked at my 2019 list and saw all the pink lines, I felt so satisfied.
So why am I sharing all of this with you? I’m sharing it because, it took me 37 years to realize that I only get one life, that I am not invincible, and that I was not living my life to my fullest happiness and potential. It took the worst event in my life to shift my perspective. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen to you. I’m sharing what I have learned, so you can learn faster than I did.
As 2019 ends, we not only get a new year with 2020, but we also get a new decade. What are you going to do with the new year and the new decade?
How can I help you organize and formalize your goals so you can live every second of the time you have left to your fullest happiness and potential? No one should live their lives according to someone else’s agenda.
Perhaps, you aren’t as list oriented as I am, or you don’t get satisfaction out of seeing crossed out items on your list, but I am here to help.
My final thought to you in this blog post is that time is finite and you deserve to live a life that you are proud of, that brings you happiness, and you leave nothing unresolved at the end.