Here's the thing: If you don't know what you want, how are you going to get it? How are you going to know if you won your game this year? And if you want to win your game, you might want a coach to help you do that. And if you can't afford a personal coach, at least find yourself a mentor, even if he's virtual, even if he's dead. One of my gurus is Ben Adkins who, fortunately, is among the living.
I've been growing as I've been watching him grow. He does this annual Better Life Sequence call. It's been getting simpler and simpler. He's been getting more to the point, and making it simpler and simpler to take the first steps.
So here's what Ben suggests, which is your next assignment. A few years ago, he had us write down three things we want in each of the areas listed below. That was great for the over-achievers among us, the ones who already have good discipline, but it might have a been a bit overwhelming for those of us who weren't yet at his level. I'll include myself in this group. So what we're asking now is that you write down one thing in each of the following areas that you'd like to do better. I'll share mine as we go so you know I'm also doing the work.
- Family: I'm going to sit with each of my children at least once a week and help them choose and design the kind of life they want.
- Faith: What I like to believe is that we are bigger than our politicians make out. My practice here is to publish at least one article every two weeks on issues of the day, and include a call to action so that we can help America's Greatness shine.
- Health: I'm going to cut down on the coffee intake. We'll start with one coffee free day a week.
- Hobby: I'm still liking the music; so I'll sit down at the piano at least three times a week. And weeks during which I'm driving a lot, I'll do at least a half hour of voice training in the car.
- Work: My big practice here is to say no. This for me is the hardest. I have so many things I like, so many things that interest me and that I am pretty good at. What I need to do is go deep in one, to turn it into money and create the systems around it so that it can function without me, or at least mostly without me, and only then move on to the next.
There are two ingredients necessary to succeed: time and money. So we'll start with time. This is what it takes:
- Family: An hour a day.
- Faith: Ten minutes a day
- Health: Thirty minutes, three times a week.
- Hobby: Twenty minutes, three times a week.
- Work: Two to eight hours a day.
If you're off in one, the whole system will suffer. So if things are going wrong, you want to note what's not in place. If you can't seem to get it right in one area, don't double down on it; look at what's missing and get that back in place.
As to the money, we'll get to that in our next post.
Completing What Was
If you've been following me for a while, or even if you just scrolled back, you might have noticed I set up a bunch of goals at the beginning of 2016. In the spirit of completing that, I copy them here, and note my progress, and what I am already doing.:
- ✓ Visit with three of my cousins: I took a trip with my oldest to Germany and accomplished this. We also got to see my uncle and aunt before they died. In addition, we've been to visit my parents twice.
- Outing with Sharleen once a week: Maybe every week was too ambitious, but we do get out to a landmark event usually twice a month. I count this as our date. We also take the time to stop and look at our goals and communicate.
- Outing with family at least once a month: This didn't happen. We did have a handful of excursions, but not at this frequency.
- What is already in place is that we eat as a family I'd guess at least four times a week. We also play a lot of games together, and communicate well.
- ✓ Assist at Landmark: I did this.
I also completed my measures on a goal I had set for myself there.
- ✓ Altucher Podcasts: I have many virtual gurus now, and the hours I spend in the car are often spent listening to their podcasts.
- ✓ Political Activism: I've upped my campaign by registering it and opening the bank account. I've podcasted inside it, and blogged more.
- Prayer: I already do this every morning; so I haven't listed it as a goal.
- ✓ Assist at Landmark: I did this.
- 200 lbs. (91 kg.): I've rowed a lot (more than two million meters in the last nine months alone), done some weight training and push-ups. As a consequence, my weight is not here, but I'm a bit more solid.
- Sugar, smoke and Coffee free: I haven't smoked since March 2016; I've gotten much better about curbiing my sugar intake, but I'm not sugar free. Coffee intake might just have gone up.
- Politics: I've made more efforts, but didn't set a solid measure; so I can't call it a win; but I am happy with where I am.
- 10k a month: Have not hit this milestone yet.
- Help five people build their business: I'm still working on the first.
- Buy three new pieces of Real Estate: Not.
- I've answered 4507 questions on Quora which have been viewed in total 798,400 times. I've also coached a handful of people. So I've touched a few lives along the way.
- Politics: Covered above.
- Finish Alfred’s Book 2, Guitar Book 1, Accordion Book 2, Mandolin 1: A no on all of these, though they all received a little attention.
- Build our House: It's not built, but the foundation is, and it is in process.
And I just want to add as I was completing this, that I got that I have done a lot more than my day to day self tends to admit.