Recently, I made a very important decision: From now on, I am going to live life on purpose. For a long time, I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. I was wasting a lot of time, talent, money, and energy running around trying to do whatever seemed immediately necessary, without considering my actions. Now, I plan on doing just the opposite. With that said, CHANGE IS HARD. It’s a regular bear. No, it’s more like a bear hug. I am in a huge bear hug that is just slightly too tight for my own good. Growing pains are good though, because afterwards you stand taller and stronger than you did before. Sometimes people avoid change and pacify themselves into accepting a life they would rather not have. They settle. I’m over settling. Here are some things that I found that need to change:

  • Diet: I used to eat like a pubescent trick-or-treater looking to get cavities. I acted like it didn’t matter what I ate, how much, or how often. I didn’t realize how much it really does affect how you feel both mentally and physically. On Monday, I signed up for Weight Watchers online. I am being honest when I say it isn’t fun to watch what I eat. After only two days, I know that I was really eating lots and lots out of boredom or emotion that was unnecessary. My saddlebags and muffin top are both rewards for my indifference and indulgence. With only 28 points per day, I’m budgeting my nutrition and planning my meals. You know what? Food tastes better when its budgeted. There’s just something about knowing how valuable food is in points that makes it matter what I eat. It’s a whole new way of living, and it’s not as fun as the willy nilly diet I had before, but I look forward to the results.
  • Exercise: I never enjoyed going to the gym before. I was always nervous because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I was afraid of looking foolish. The other day, while I was hauling my tail around the virtual track of my treadmill, I looked around. No one looks good at the gym. If you’re not sweaty, stinky, and out of breath, you could work harder. You can surprise yourself when you don’t say “I can’t” or “I’ll try” when your trainer tells you to do something, and instead just fight your way through. It is amazing how much better my mood is on a day that I go to the gym is than one that I don’t.
  • Time: This one is the hardest. People expect us to accomplish 29 hours worth of life in only 24, and sleep 8 of them. Right. Everything we do has an opportunity cost. If we spend time napping, we can’t get the house picked up at that time. If we play with our kids, we can’t spend that time working on other projects. We just have to prioritize and figure out where our time is best spent. In any case, I’m learning that the best way to spend time is by doing ONE THING AT A TIME. Trust me, there are many people reading this that are going to laugh that I just said that. I never did one thing at a time. I never even just did two things at a time! Now, I am making a conscious effort to do just one thing at a time. Working, Mommying, Wifeing, whatever I’m doing, I am going to try to do JUST THAT. Shut off the cell phone (or turn it to vibrate for those who can’t resist like me), and pay attention to just that one thing. You will be surprised by how much you accomplish in a short period of time.
  • Expectation: I’m learning to both raise and lower the bar on myself. Taking things step by step and learning from my mistakes is going to be a renewed effort for me. Breaking down projects so that I feel like I accomplished something when only one part is finished, rather than getting frustrated that I didn’t complete the whole, rushing, and doing a crummy job, is how I plan to attack this change. Hopefully it works!
  • Less is More: I never was satisfied before. I would always want more STUFF in my life. Be it activity, tangible items, or achievement: more, more, more! I would even get more organizational stuff to organize my excess. More. Now I realize that less makes me happier than more. I want the things, people, and stuff in my life be beloved and purposeful. If something or someone is not both of these things, I am going to do my best to eliminate it from my world. You should try it. It makes a huge difference to be able to put everything in its place at night, not have to look too hard to find things, and not stress over relationships that aren’t worth it.
Anyhow… I’ve talked enough. It’s coming up on New Year’s Eve, and I always go through reflection at this time of year. What are you trying to change about your life? What steps are you taking to achieve your goals? It isn’t easy, but it is so worth it! The reason why most people fail at living on purpose is that it’s hard. There is a reason why only so many people can be at the top of their game in any given field. It’s because they worked hard to do it. Now it’s your turn. What is your challenge? Don’t give up!