I’ve been staring at the calendar this month in disbelief. I think I’m in denial that I have another birthday coming up. Seems like one just passed…there’s no way it could be time for another one again. And, for sure I know without a doubt that time is definitely moving faster than it used to! Have you noticed how prone we are to “missing” entire years as they seem to slip right through our fingers? And once you have kids, forget it…life seems to move in fast-forward from that point.
When Moty & I got married, we had numerous lengthy conversations about what we wanted to do differently with our “second chance”. We wanted to find a harmonious balance of working hard and achieving our professional goals while living our personal and family lives to the fullest. (Who doesn’t want that, right?) We wanted to plan proactively so that we could create a life full of fun family memories, instill our priority values into our children, and live with minimal regrets along the way. When I really thought about what types of things would cause me the most regret, of course the typical fears popped up…lack of proper financial planning, etc. But most regrettable to me would be “missing out” on experiences and quality family time…like reveling in each holiday, taking long family vacations, exposing our children to the world, allowing them to learn through hands-on experiences instead of just reading theory from a book. And that one most feared regret – the fear of life slipping by without maximizing every opportunity – is probably the one that we are most susceptible to amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
So, to really make sure that we proactively planned our life to the fullest, I took a step back to examine the big picture. It’s always a surprise how much of a difference we can make in a year simply by analyzing a calendar year. It always strikes me as extremely ironic how we habitually lose sight of the life forest for the trees. The pattern of a year doesn’t change…and you would think we would learn that after we’ve lived 20, 40, or 60 of them. But somehow, we always manage to get sucked into the pattern, and we seem to be more and more overwhelmed by the busyness of the cycle. “I’ll do it later” becomes a way of life, and as a friend of mine recently shared with me, we’re running out of “laters”!
So, how do we rise above the busyness to stop merely existing between events? How to we keep our head down and work with enough consistency to generate some professional momentum while not neglecting our household responsibilities, sacrificing our precious family time, or completely losing sight of our own individuality in the process? Since many of us have been juggling work projects AND summer holidays for the past couple of months, I thought it might be a good time to share these 4 Seasonal Success Tips to help you fight off those defeating patterns and navigate the road to year-round victory!
- Get clear on your own personal or family’s definition of success. If you’re not sure how to do this, let me know and I’m happy to share my 8 Lanes of Living model to help you gain clarity.
- Do a calendar study and decide on your annual patterns of “Coast vs. Full Throttle”. Based on a 12-month calendar analysis, I work extremely hard and then carve out some planned time off the grid in multiple cycles throughout the year.
- Implement some life management systems. These will serve two crucial functions for you: First, they will keep you from falling behind on your household responsibilities, and secondly, they will keep you energized, refreshed, and powerful to embrace and attack every day with excitement and vigor. Again, here are some examples from my own personal life:
- Specific times every day for uninterrupted, quality family time. No phones, TV, or computers. Might be a walk, cooking dinner together, playing a game, swimming, or just chatting together.
- No-kids date night.
- At least one family outing per month. This may be an overnight trip or just a day trip, but it gets us out of the house and out of the rut of just doing the same things every day. It’s amazing how many entertaining, enriching, and/or relaxing things you can find to do around town without having to take a costly vacation.
- Family Maintenance Hour – I carve out one hour per day to attack projects around the house or otherwise fulfill our family and household responsibilities, such as paying bills and scheduling doctor’s appointments. This allows us to eat the elephant one bite at a time without giving up too much IPA time to this category.
- Get creative on teaching your kids healthy boundaries and healthy respect for Mommy & Daddy’s time. Easier said than done, for sure.
- Plan ahead and carve some vacation time or family trips into your calendar to keep you refreshed and rejuvenated. Remember, there is a difference between a family reunion and a family vacation! Make sure that at least a few of your days off are actually days off and strategically time them in your calendar.
The clock will keep ticking, and time is what we make of it. We have time for what we make time for. Are you charting your course and navigating your journey, or are you just along for the ride in the passenger seat of life? You can’t go back and reclaim lost time, but you can make the decision today not to lose another second.