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Multitasking Is Destroying Your Relationships – And How To Fix It

Do you think that you can accomplish multiple things at the same time? Do you consider yourself a multitasker? 

I bet that most of us do. We think that we can listen to a podcast while we are reading our email. Talk on the phone while we are texting someone else. Or even, check our email while we are having a conversation with our spouse.

I used to think that I could successfully complete multiple tasks at the same time too. What I found is that it is not possible to do more than one thing at a time.

In fact, Stanford University researchers have found that multitasking doesn’t work. They found that:

“People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.”

[box] Focusing on one thing at a time is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

Multitasking And Relationships

How do you think that your spouse feels when she is trying too have a conversation with you, and you are texting, checking email, watching TV, or surfing the web? I am willing to guess that they feel annoyed, frustrated, and unimportant to you.

I bet that your relationships will improve if you learn to focus your attention on one thing at at time. Complete one task before moving on to the next one, and focus your attention on your spouse when you are with your spouse.

The 5 Senses Rule

I recently found something that can help called the “5 Senses Rule” by John Richmond. The “5 Senses Rule” is very simple, and states that when you are interacting with someone you give them all 5 senses. You do not look at, listen to, touch, smell, or even taste anything else if it will take away from your focus on the other person. 

Try this the next time that you are communicating with your spouse, give them all 5 of your senses. Make eye contact, listen to what they are saying, and focus all of your senses on them. 

Implementing the “5 Senses Rule” will not be easy if you are like me. It will be hard work, and it will take some practice. If you try it, I am sure that the “5 Sense Rule” will help you improve all of your relationships.

Try this for a week and let me know how it works for you in the comments below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box]

 

[box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better  and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, , and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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Photo Credit: Christopher

 

6 Simple Habits Of A Healthy Man – And Why They Matter

I know that you’re thinking that you have heard it all when it comes to living a healthy life. You are tired of hearing that you need to drink more water and eat your vegetables. You are tired of hearing that you need to make more time for exercise.

What you may not have heard is that you need to stay healthy because your family is depending you. If you don’t stay healthy, you may not be there when they need you the most.

Several years ago I became ill because I was not taking care of myself. It happened so quickly that I didn’t even realize that I was sick until it was too late. I was so sick that I spent four months in the hospital, and it took many months of focusing on my health before I had anything close to a “normal” life.

[box] Taking care of your health is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

It changed the way I see life, and it taught me these six simple habits that you can use to improve your health.

1. Get Enough Sleep We all know that we need more sleep, and the evidence is pretty clear that that lack of sleep can shorten your life. Although it’s not entirely clear how many hours of sleep we really need, it is clear that failing to get at least seven hours of sleep increases your risk of major illnesses including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep.

2. Eat Your Breakfast I am sure that you have heard this a thousand times, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So the next time that you are busy, and you are tempted to rush through breakfast – don’t do it. Get up earlier (so you don’t lose sleep) and eat something containing carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of healthy fat.

3. Energize Your Exercise Let’s face it, finding the time to exercise can be difficult. We all live busy lives and getting to the gym might not be at the top of your list. The good news is that if you are creative, you can find opportunities to exercise everywhere. Walk instead of driving or taking public transportation. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. The secret is to find something that you enjoy doing so that exercising will not feel so much like work.

4. Maintain Your Hydration Since water makes up 60% of our body weight, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that water is important to your health. In order to maintain a proper water balance, you need to keep yourself well hydrated. Make sure that you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.

5. Minimize Screen TimeOne of the reasons that we don’t have enough time for exercise, and to prepare healthy meals is that we spend too much time watching TV and following our Facebook “friends.” Minimizing your screen time will give you more time to exercise and build other healthy habits. It will also give your more time to spend with your family. Minimize your screen time.

6. Brush and floss daily I recently learned that brushing and flossing can add 6.4 years to your life. I was shocked to learn that poor oral hygiene leads to a long list of diseases including cardiovascular disease. Save your heart and add years too your life by brushing and flossing daily.

Creating healthy habits can be hard, but these simple habits will help make it easier for you. As we start a new year, make these habits part of your daily routine.

These habits will help make you a stronger and healthier man. They will help you become a man who will live a longer and healthier life. They will help you become a man who is better able to take care of his family.

Choose to adopt these simple habits, and become a better man, a better husband, and a better father.

Question: Which of these six habits will make the most difference in your life? Comment below.
[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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 Photo Credit: fabrizio.binello

1

You Are Not Your Job

I recently read an article about Matthew Bowers. In the article, Matthew was expressing his concern about what he referred to as an “alarming shift” in his mindset concerning his career. What alarmed him was the fact that he had recently discovered that his identity was no longer exclusively tied to his job.

“I always saw myself as a high-performance individual who was focused solely on working my way up to VP, but lately I’ve been worried that I may be developing aspects of my personality that have nothing to do with climbing the corporate ladder,” said Bowers, 42, noting that he has recently observed in himself an “unhealthy” level of preoccupation with personal interests, activities, and relationships that can in no way give him a leg up professionally. “Just the other day, I was telling my boss about my son’s soccer game—at work, mind you—and he responded by calling me ‘a real family man.’ My boss called me that. It was a huge wake-up call.” TheOnion.com

After his “wake-up call” Matthew determined that he would return to his roots, which for him included working until at least 9 pm each night, and missing his kids soccer games and piano recitals.

I can relate too Matthew’s story. In the past I have found it easy to get caught up in my career at the expense of everything else. I have a feeling I’m not alone. For many of us work is often where we spend most of our time, energy and attention.

[box] Knowing that your job is not your identity is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

You Are Not Your Job

No matter how much you may love your job (or not), you have a life outside of your career. If you are reading this you probably have a wife and kids. You probably also have some interesting side projects that keep you busy. You are not your job!

We work for a variety of reasons. At a basic level, we work to pay our bills. In some cases, our jobs provide us with a creative outlet, a way to grow, contribute to a team, and a sense of fulfillment.

I like the way that Jonathan Fields puts this in his book, Career Renegade:

“Much to the contrary of what we’ve been told for the better part of our lives, we do not exist for the sole purpose of paying our bills, grooming our kids to be able to do the same, and maybe, someday, retiring to finally enjoy life, should we ever reach that point. We are here to let our lights shine as brightly as possible, to drink in the joy of friendship and family, to serve and better the greater community, and to tap into and inspire passion into everything we do. We are here to come alive. In doing so, we serve as an example to others that a life beyond muddling is not only possible, but mandatory.”

Even if your job provides you will all of that, and provides a major portion of your identity – you are not your job!

You Are Defined By Who You Are – Not What You Do

Have you ever noticed that whenever you meet someone new, they usually ask the question, “What do you do?”

This starts when we are children. Every 5-year old has an answer to question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From an early age we taught that we need to be something. We are taught that we need to connect our identity to our career. As we grow older, people are impressed (or not) with what you do.

Wouldn’t it be great if people wanted to get to know us for who we are instead of what we do? It is who we are, and not what we do that makes an impact on the lives of others.  

You are a worthy human being – no matter what your job is!

It doesn’t matter if you have a job, are between jobs, own your own business (or are owned by it), are bankrupt, or are still trying to figure out what you’re going to be when you grow up – you are not your job. It is who you are, and not what you do, that makes a difference in the world.

Be proud of who you are, for you are not defined by what you do.

Question: Are you defined by what you do or who your are?

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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2

4 Types of Men That You Need In Your Life

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ― Jim Rohn

I have been thinking a lot lately about the idea that we’re only as good as the five people that we spend the most time with. I think that a lot of my struggles have come from trying to go it alone. I have found that if I surround myself with men who encourage and challenge me, it helps me to become a better man.

Maybe you are in the same situation. If so, you’re not alone!

[box] Having the right men in your life is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

The title of a recent post on Salon.com was American men’s hidden crisis: They need more friends!” The article says “that of all people in America, adult, white, heterosexual men have the fewest friends. Moreover, the friendships they have, if they’re with other men, provide less emotional support and involve lower levels of self-disclosure and trust than other types of friendships.

You might find it encouraging to know that you’re not alone in this, although it might not feel that way.

Who you surround yourself with makes a huge difference in your life, and when you’re surrounded by the wrong people, it has a huge negative impact on you.

If you find that you spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and flinging a lot of mud, but never moving forward, it might be because of the people that you surround yourself with.

 

How Do You Surround Yourself With The Right Men?

My problem has been that I have not always surrounded myself with the right people. I am a total introvert and I have a problem with meeting new people. In the interest of being completely honest, I don’t have a lot of men friends. I don’t hang out with the wrong people… just very few people. I have found that I have a lot of resistance to forming relationships with other men.  

In the past, I connected with a group of men from my church. We would meet every Friday morning, and we would also plan regular “man dates” for dinner, movies, etc.

Over the last year, I have been meeting every Monday morning with a group of 3 other men. This has made a huge difference in my life and it is one of the things that I credit with helping me become a better man, a better husband, and a better father.

I met these men through a mutual friend, and although the three of us live in different parts of the country we meet every week on Skype. We are committed to helping each other to grow and reach our goals.

You might meet a group of guys at work, a social activity, or at church. However you meet them, you need to have 4 types of men in your life.

 

The 4 Types Of Men That You Need In Your Life

It is always nice to have a group of men that you can turn to for prayer, advice, or just to listen to you vent. Statistics show that having guy friends will increase your chances of living a long, happy life.

Unfortunately having a bunch of fair-weather friends won’t do the trick. You need a diverse, well-rounded group of guys that will stick with you through thick and thin. The following four types of friends are just what you need to become a better man, and a better husband and father.

1. The Best Friend – Every man needs a loyal non-judgmental friend who will support him no matter what. This is the kind of friend who lets you be you.  Someone who knows all of your deepest and darkest secrets, and still loves you all the same. When your world is falling apart, it is your best who helps you stay focused on what really matters.

2. The Trustworthy Confidant – There are certain situations in life where we need to hear the harsh truth. That’s where your trustworthy confidant comes in. He will listen to you, provide honest constructive advice, and not share your secrets with anyone else.

3. The Wise Mentor – We all need a friend who inspires us to be a better man, a better husband, and a better father without making us feel inadequate. Your wise mentor is simply someone who is a few steps ahead of you in life, and has enough wisdom and patience to guide you in the right direction. He can anyone that you look up to and want to be more like.

4. The Polar Opposite – As men, we tend to develop friendships with others who are just like us. Men who share the same values and beliefs that we have. Developing a friendship with someone who has a different world-view, will help you to learn and to see things differently.

With a best friend, a trustworthy confidant, a wise mentor, and a polar opposite in your life, you’re destined to become a better husband and father. If you put yourself in the company of other high achieving, driven, focused men, you will become like them.

Question: What can you do today to begin to form relationships with the 4 men that you need in your life? Comment Below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box]

[box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

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Photo Credit: Bob Bob

4

7 Secrets to Choosing the Right Tools for Achieving Your Goals

We all know the importance of setting goals for ourselves, but many people haven’t realized the great value a good goal setting tool can offer. Selecting the right tool or setting up a right goal tracking system, not only can help you clarify and organize your goals, but more importantly, it can significantly increase your chance of reaching them faster with less effort.

[box] Setting goals is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

 

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2

5 Myths About Bible Reading

If I asked you, “What are your most important priorities?” my guess is that “God” would be at the top of the list. As Christian men, we want to honor our Creator and live according to God’s principles.

Once when Jesus was asked about priorities, he said this one should take the top spot: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30, NIV).

Most of us struggle with putting God first in our schedules, particularly in the form of Bible reading. The Barna Group, a premiere research organization, reports that only 37% of Americans read the Bible once a week or more.

In the same report, the Barna Group also shares this shocking finding: ”Among those who say their Bible reading decreased in the last year, the number-one reason was busyness: 40% report being too busy with life’s responsibilities (job, family, etc.), an increase of seven points from just one year ago.”

Two truths emerge here: Most of us don’t read the Bible regularly, and that trend is increasing because we feel too busy. How do we counteract this trend and make time for Bible reading?

The answer is not just in managing your time better. It’s about changing your perspective on Bible reading. Here are five myths that hinder spiritual growth and how to address them.

[box] Managing your priorities is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

Myth #1: Your Bible reading has to mirror what someone else is doing.

In the Christian community we tend to compare ourselves to others. If we see Joe reading the Bible a certain way or using a certain plan, we tell ourselves that we should be doing the same thing.

But Joe’s plan may not be what you want or need in this season of your life. It’s important to read the Bible in a way that fits your schedule and needs. We can certainly learn from others, but we should never blindly copy them.

Myth #2: Your Bible reading should stay the same from year to year.

One of the biggest enemies of Bible reading is boredom. Make some changes from year to year to keep things interesting.

A few suggestions to spur your creativity:

Read in a different version

Read on a phone or table rather than a printed Bible (or vice-versa)

Listen to audio rather than reading

Read with a partner or group

Share verses on social media

Share your progress with friends (you can do this with the YouVersion app)

Myth #3: Your Bible reading has to take a large chunk of time.

Having a meaningful time with God in his word doesn’t have to take all morning. This year I decided to read through the Bible using a plan from the YouVersion app.  It only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. (One of the great features of the YouVersion app is the “catch me up feature” that shifts the whole plan forward if you miss a day or two.)

At other times I’ve listened to the Bible on my 30-minute  daily commute. (You can do this through the YouVersion app also, or with CD’s or mp3’s.) This doesn’t add any extra time to my day. You could do the same when you exercise or do chores.

Myth #4: Your Bible reading has to be in the morning.

There is a notion in the Christian community that the most spiritual people get up very early in the morning and spend an hour or two in Bible study and prayer. This is a construct that is based on legalism, not grace. If you’re not a morning person, you shouldn’t feel guilty about doing your Bible reading at some other time of day.

As men, we tend to think of everything as a task to be completed. But Bible reading is not about a task; it’s about a relationship with God. It’s about building our faith and knowledge, not just checking something off a list.

My wife doesn’t care when I say “I love you.” She just cares that I say it. The same is true for Bible reading. The act of doing it is more important than the time of day it happens.

Myth #5: Your Bible reading is the most important indicator of a spiritual life.

Bible reading is a key part of your spiritual growth, but it’s not the only part. What really matters is putting into practice what you are learning. If you’re reading about love, generosity, faith or worship, but don’t integrate more of these elements into your life, you have defeated the whole purpose.

In summary: The goal of Bible reading isn’t to complete a task, it’s to become more like Christ. Once we begin to destroy many of the myths surrounding Bible reading, we are free to read God’s word with joy and know that we are truly pursing the most important priority.

I challenge you to put first things first. Decide on a Bible reading plan and set aside a little time each day (no matter when it is) and watch how God begins to transform your heart and mind in 2015!

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box]

[box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Kent-Sanders-new-headshot-color-3-copy.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] This is a guest post by Kent Sanders who writes about art and the creative process at kentsanders.net and is the author of a guide to Evernote for church leaders. He is also Professor of Worship at St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, Missouri. You can connect with him on his blog and on Twitter. [/author_info][/author][/box]

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Photo Credit: Ryk Neethling

How Dealing With The Big Rocks First Helps You To Achieve Your Dreams

There is a story that is often told in Time Management Circles. It is often credited to Steven Covey, and it goes like this…

One day an expert was giving a presentation to a class of MBA students about managing their priorities. To illustrate his point, he placed a one-gallon wide-mouth glass jar on the counter.  He then placed a handful of fist sized rocks into the jar. We he couldn’t fit anymore rocks in the jar, he asked, “Is it full?” The class enthusiastically responded “YES!” To which the expert replied “not yet.”

He then reached under the counter and grabbed a bag of gravel. He added the gravel too the jar, and tapped it down until it filled all of the spaces between the rocks,  and he couldn’t fit anymore in the jar.  Again he asked, “Is it full?” and again the class responded “YES.” He again told them that it wasn’t full yet.

Smiling, he reached under the counter again, and this time pulled out a bag of sand. He used the sand to fill all of the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. When he couldn’t pour anymore sand into the jar, he asked once again, “Is it full?” This time the class was sure that the jar was full, and they replied, “Yes, it is full!” The the man opened his water bottle, poured it into the jar until it was ready to overflow, and said, “It is full now!”

 

[box] Managing you “big rocks” is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

The Moral Of The Story

The moral of the story is that you must focus on your “big rocks” first, if you want too make sure that you accomplish the things that are most important to you. The minor things in your life will always fill in the blank spaces between your big rocks.

Unfortunately, some of us spend too much time on the sand and water, and never seem to find the time for what matters most – our “big rocks.” Don’t spend the next few years focused on your sand and water, start to focus on your big rocks today.

Another point that is often missed in this story is that, eventually the jar is full! If you were to try to put more water into the jar it would overflow. The same is true for your life, you only have 168 hours in a week.

Over-scheduling yourself will always lead to missed opportunities, conflicts, overwhelm and fatigue – all signs that your jar is overflowing. When this happens, and it will, it is time to step back and evaluate how you are filling your jar. As long as you are putting the big rocks in first, you will be on the path to success in life.

What Are Your Big Rocks?

What are the big rocks in your life? A project that you want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? Teaching or mentoring others? If you don’t schedule these “big rocks”  you’ll never get them all in.

How To Manage Your Big Rocks

1. Choose your “big rocks.” The best way to do this is to know your priorities. If you are not sure of your priorities start here. You should have 3-5 things that are a priority to you this year. Once you have developed your list of priorities, list them in a Word document, Spreadsheet, or simply write them on a sheet of paper.

2. Know your “Why.” Knowing what your “big rocks” are is the key achieving your dreams, but knowing your “why” is the key to staying motivated too achieve them. Why do you want to be a better husband? Why do you want to be a better father? Why do you want to earn some extra income? Why are you willing to make sacrifices that you need to make to make it all happen? Identifying your “why” helps you to stay motivated, and it gives you the ability to say no to those things that don’t help make your “why” happen. Think about your “why” for each of you “big rocks” and add it to your list directly below each of your “big rocks.”

3. Ask yourself what things that you need to accomplish this year for you make progress on your each of your “big rocks.” What things would help you become a better husband and father? What things would improve your finances? What can you do to improve your career? You might even want to discuss this with your spouse, children, and/or your boss. Write each of your answers under your related “big rock. “ This doesn’t have to be a comprehensive list, but try to capture at least one next action for each or your “big rocks.”

4. Place each of these items on your calendar before you schedule any other activities. You might even want to schedule important dates while you are at it. For example, your wife and children’s birthdays, your anniversary, and any other dates that are important too you. Once you have scheduled your “big rocks”, your gravel, sand, and water will fill in the blank spaces on your calendar.

5. Check your calendar at the beginning of each day (or the night before) to make sure that you schedule your most important activities for the day, before everything else gets in the way.

6. Review your calendar and your to-do list on a regular basis too make sure that you are on track to accomplish your “big rocks.” This will help to ensure that you accomplishing the things that truly matter to you.

How do you manage your time? Are you getting the big rocks in, or are you filling your days with sand and water – the endless distractions and minor tasks that take up time but don’t advance your goals? Take some time today to identify your big rocks.

How can you manage your big rocks more effectively? Comment below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

Photo credit: Damian Bakarcic

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Photo Credit: Irwin Scott

4 Steps for Life Success: You’ve Got a Plan, But What Are Your Priorities?

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” -Earl Nightingale

You’ve got a plan, and that’s excellent!

Plans really are necessary for managing our progress toward our daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and decade-long goals, and they’re crucial for knowing how to get to where we want to go.

But all too often, people abandon ship at the first sign of darkening skies. Isn’t it interesting how our goals and resolutions tend to go by the wayside when we hit that first brick wall? It’s a tendency that’s hardwired into our human DNA.

[box] Knowing your priorities is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

Where Did I Go Wrong?

So, is it the universe is somehow telling us it just wasn’t meant to be?

No, I see a different story here: it’s that we’ve already set our course for failure, because our plans did not fall in line with what we truly wanted in the first place. Our priorities are what rule the master blueprint for our lives, and when our immediate plans don’t match that blueprint, then naturally our life begins to move in a direction we never wanted it to. To, you, the creator of that blueprint, this equates to failure.

So here are 4 steps to realign your plans to match your life’s master blueprint, and experience massive life success.

1. Survival: You’ve Got To Look After Yourself First

What does your lifestyle look like?

One of the first issues, especially with overworked individuals who are experiencing an unhealthy level of stress, anxiety, a slump or depression, is they just don’t have the energy to accomplish the tasks they set for themselves. It’s not that these tasks are out of reach; it’s that their lifestyles don’t allow them to sustain the energy required to accomplish otherwise feasible goals. Here are 4 of the most common ways you could be sabotaging your own life success:

  • Sleep (not enough or inconsistent)
  • Diet (fatty, processed foods, lack of essential nutrients)
  • Exercise (a lack thereof, sitting for too long, low metabolism)
  • Unhealthy habits (smoking, alcohol, drug addiction, etc.)

If you’re overburdened by vices and lifestyle choices that result in a lack of energy, then that’s the first reason why you’re experiencing seemingly constant failure. You want to be able to grow and, more importantly, provide for others, but that means you’ve got to care for yourself first.

2. Vision: What Are Your Priorities

Sadly, statistics show that 45% of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution this year, while only 8% will stick to it.

What does this tell us? Perhaps it’s that most people attempt to achieve these goals based on their own feeble willpower. But let’s face it, the human condition is to meet its basic needs and not to achieve above and beyond that level. Such achievements require a vision that pulls you, rather than relying on your own willingness to accomplish something greater (for the sake of feeling accomplished).

Your priorities must be powered by YOUR VISION.

You need to have a “mirror-moment,” when you look at yourself, your life, and ask a few honest, revealing and possibly difficult questions. Let’s get down to business:

What do I TRULY want?

What does “success” mean to me?

What does my blueprint actually look like?

Am I following my own blueprint? (Or appeasing someone else’s?)

How would I define my ideal life, my vision?

Now, let’s compare that to the blueprint we started with.

3. Reevaluate: Does Your Plan Fit Your Vision?

When you’ve finally figured out what YOUR vision looks like, then hold on to it, close your eyes, and see it in your mind.

It’s not until you’ve defined your vision can you envision and identify it. That’s how you can nail your priority-defined blueprint to the wall and see more than just a set of plans: You can mentally picture what those plans represent.

But now, are you noticing anything different? For example …

The slump: Perhaps your original plan was to land that promotion at the office so that you could afford a vacation to the Caribbean in order to spend time with your family and make them happy.

Mirror moment: But once you realized you simply wanted to spend more quality time with loved ones, something changed.

Envision moment: You perceived that it’s NOT about the promotion. In fact, your job kept you away from your family, and thus was counterproductive to the detriment of your true priorities. So you created a new vision, a new blueprint, and a new PLAN.

The New Plan: Be home for dinner every evening, and spend less time at the office.

Well, it looks like we’re finally getting somewhere.

4. Reward: Treat Success Like Success Should Be Treated

Don’t forget that when you finally reach one of your goals embedded in your new blueprint, then you should reward yourself!

Rewards are important, because they reinforce our vision and sustain our commitment to overcoming the inevitable challenges along the way.

Your priorities define the intended destination.

Your vision pulls you toward that destination.

Your goals are markers along the way.

Your plan is the path between those markers, and when you reach them, your rewards are sweet reminders of your vision.

Life success, achieved. Happy New Year!

Question: What are your priorities? Comment below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Kayla-Matthews.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]This is a guest post by Kayla Matthews, Kayla is a blogger with a passion for self-improvement and productivity. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or at ProductivityTheory.com, to read all of her latest posts. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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8

Do You Know What Your Priorities Are?

Do you often find yourself thinking of work when you are with your family?

Do you constantly miss family functions because of your job?

Do you consistently have trouble finishing projects at home and at work?

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you have the symptoms of a life that is out of balance, and you need change your priorities now before things get even worse.

[box] Changing your priorities is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

What Is Life Balance?

We all have heard the term work-life balance and know what it means. Life balance is more than that. It is more than just balancing your work with the rest of your life. Life balance is prioritizing all of the areas of your life, so that can focus on what is most important to you.

When I coach people with lives that are way out of balance, they often tell me that they feel overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. When I dig a little deeper, I usually discover that they don’t know what their priorities are. Once they are clear on their priorities, they begin to accomplish extraordinary things. 

How Can I Determine My Priorities

The first step in creating a balanced life is to determine your priorities. The best way to do this is to develop a life plan. A life plan doesn’t have to be an elaborate document that takes days to develop. It can be a very simple document that helps you determine what really matters to you.

If you have not taken the time to create a plan for your life – do it now.  

I mean it, go ahead and click on this link and do it right now.

I will wait right here for you too come back.

Five Keys To Life Balance

Once you have developed a plan, you will have a better idea of what your priorities are. Your next step is to focus on developing your priorities in each of five key areas.

My Five Keys Focus Areas Are:

1. God – Developing my relationship with God and becoming more Christlike.

2. Family – Spending as much quality time with my family as possible.

3. Mission – Supporting my family by making a difference in the life of others.

4. Health – Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, and self-development

5. Finance – Becoming debt free and creating a solid financial plan for my family

If you want to live a more balanced life, you must master these five key areas. Balance will not happen by doing okay in one, great in another, and letting others fall by the wayside. While there are times that you might want to focus on one or two, each area is important. They are all interwoven, and you can’t achieve balance without developing each one.

I Created My Priorities – Now What

So, you have created a life plan, and you know what your priorities are, what’s next? Here are four simple steps to help you to create a more balanced life by adding more detail too your priorities.

1. List Your Areas Of Focus – The first step in creating a balanced life is too make a list of the your five key areas of focus (these should be the same as your priorities). If you have created a life plan, you can list the 5 areas of focus that you have already created. If you haven’t created a life plan, you can use my list and modify it to fit your life.

2. Develop Your Goals – Develop your goals for each of your areas of focus. Each area of focus should have 3-5 goals for the year. You might have a specific financial goal like paying off debt, or a career goal of starting your own business. For example, under my “Family”area of focus, I have a goal of dating my wife once a month. Take a few minutes now, to list 3-5 goals for each of your areas of focus.

3. Schedule Time – I have heard it said that what gets scheduled gets done, so the next step is to schedule time for each of your goals. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to date my wife once a month, I need to put it on my calendar or it will never  happen. Check out this post for more detail on scheduling time for your more important priorities.

4. Review and make adjustmentsYou should review your progress toward your goals on a regular basis. This will ensure that you are on the right track and all of your priorities are in balance. If they aren’t, it is an opportunity to make adjustments to either your plan or your schedule to get back on track.

Your calendar and your checkbook are the best indicators of what your actual priorities are. You can’t claim that your family is your top priority,  if you only spend a few hours a week with them. You can’t claim that your health is a priority if you haven’t been too the gym this month, and you eat most of your meals at McDonalds.

How did you spend your time last week? Did your priorities get all of the attention that they deserve? Were you focused on things that are not on your priority list? How do you need to change next week so that your focus will be on your priorities and not on less important things?

Next week we will talk about how and why to schedule your priorities for maximum impact. If one of your goals is to become a better husband and father in 2015, don’t miss next weeks post.

Question: What are your top 5 priorities this year, and what are you doing about them? Comment below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box]

[box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

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Only One Finished the Race

Have you ever heard of a running marathon where 5,000 people start the race but only one finished the race? According to the BBC it happened recently in England. Here is their report:

“Thousands of runners who took part in the Marathon of the North race had been told the course they followed was 264 meters short. Competitors … took a wrong turn in the Sunderland events because marshals were standing in the wrong positions. Only the winner of the full marathon completed the full distance. Only the lead athlete followed the correct route through the Sheepfold area near the Stadium of Light. Unfortunately, the second and third placed runners were not within line of sight of the leader and lead bikes and vehicle. This resulted in all those who followed, taking an incorrect route through this section.”

This news account illustrates just how easy it is to get off course when we lack a clear plan.

[box] Having a clear plan for your life is the first key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

You Need a Life Plan

The runners in this competitive debacle were relying on others to tell them which way to go instead of personally knowing the route. The 4,999 were not just penalized, but were completely disqualified because they veered off course by “going with the flow.”

If these runners had a flight plan, like an airplane pilot does, they would have stayed on the prescribed route. A flight plan describes where and when the pilot will take off, the route he will take, and where and when he will land. Wind currents and weather have the ability to knock the pilot off course. Throughout the flight, he will be monitoring these conditions and constantly correcting his path so that he will successfully arrive at his destination.

Success guru, Brian Tracy writes, “Life is a journey. And as with any other journey, you have to do more than just think happy thoughts about where you want to go. You need clear goals, plans, and schedules to get from wherever you are today to wherever you want to be in the future. Like any good pilot, you need a flight plan that you file before you begin and that you use to guide you on your way.”

How Do You Stay the Course?

The phrase, “stay the course,” means to continue doing something, even when it is difficult. It is based on the literal meaning of a ship continuing in the same direction, even in bad conditions. No one, however can “stay the course” without a plan. Some call it a strategic plan; a statement of objectives, tactics and measurements that tell us if we have achieved our goals.

Your Personal Plan

The best life planning process I have come across is the GPS Life Journey. It is a series of 15 critical discoveries that you build upon, one step at a time. When completed, it describes the critical points of interest on the way to discovering and engaging in God’s purposes for the next stage of your life.

Those that complete the process know how God has uniquely made them and what He has created them to do. They don’t, like the marathoners who follow the herd, rely on others to define their destination. Instead, they personally know where they are headed and how to get there.

Flying High

With a life plan or roadmap in-hand, you will have all the tools necessary to reach your destination. On good days and bad, whether you can see clearly or your vision is obscured, you will be able to “stay the course” and pursue your mission. Your family, work, and other responsibilities will benefit and be on-track.

Don’t run with the herd and get disqualified. “Stay the Course” by making a plan for the next stage of your life so that you can accomplish great things for others.

What are you doing to make sure that you have all the necessary tools to reach your destination? Comment below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/George-Gundlach.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]This is a guest post by George P. Gundlach. George is the author of Journey: How I Discovered And Engaged In My Life Purpose. George has a passion for helping people engage in their life purpose and can be reached at Plan To Grow or on Twitter. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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