So much of health and fitness and the benefits it brings revolves around what goes on in between your ears.
The stories we tell ourselves, the obstacles we put in our own path, the excuses we accept so easily accept and, the focus of todays blog, the value we place on our time.
Time is one of the most valuable resources we have yet so many of us squander it on self-destructive habits that don’t really connect to our core-values and goals in life.
- Mindless tv
- Ignoring family because you’re on Facebook all day
- wasted days on the couch nursing a hangover
- working in jobs we hate
- reactive (instead of pro-active) drama-filled lifestyles
- hours spent with people who drag us down instead of lifting us up to be our best
Of course, this is a huge generalisation but it’s a fact of life for many people. We squander our precious time on mundane activities that provide very little in the way of true value.
I was listening to a podcast recently (sorry, can’t remember which one) where they were discussing a research study in which hundreds of terminally ill people were interviewed about their lives. The goal was to find out the biggest regrets of the dying when they looked back on their lives.
Not the happiest of topics but this is how we learn and progress- hrough experience, data collection and application of the collected information.
Do you know what the top regret was?
Not living a life true to myself and instead trying to live up to other peoples expectations!
Isn’t that powerful?
Have you let it sink in yet? Most people look back and regret what they did with the time allocated to them.
Not doing the things that truly delivered value in their lives and connected with their core values.
And once time is gone, it’s gone so as with everything in life, the best time to start is now because thats the only time you have available to you- NOW!
Let’s back it up a bit and see how we can apply this to our own lives.
As I always point out, I’me never talking about anyone who is suffering from a medical condition, freak accident, tragic life event, etc. I’m talking directly to those people whose quality of life is a direct result of the choices they make on a daily basis.
This is the approach I take. Anytime I feel that I’m not living the life I’d like to be living I do a brain dump to get myself clear on where I focusing my time.
A brain dump is simply a blank sheet of paper where you right down everything you can think of that you are currently spending your time doing so that you can get a clear view of it.
Every time I get bogged down and a bit disheartened that I going off track, my brain dump shows me exactly why. This is what it looks like in 2 simple sentences:
- I’m spending too much time doing mundane things that don’t connect with my goals in life- e.g.. eating junk, watching too much tv, getting up too late, going to bed too late, excessively surfing social media, etc.
- I’m spending too little time doing the things that, for me, add true value to my life- e.g. quality family time, practicing my hobbies, studying my craft/profession, preparing healthy food, getting quality sleep, reading, exercising, meditating, etc.
This is the result every single time. I’m simply wasting my time doing things that don’t deliver value to my life instead of focusing it on the things that do. And the result of this is a reduced quality of life compared to the one that I want.
But it’s not until I get it out of my head and onto a sheet of paper that I can see it clearly and take action to correct course.
People who enjoy a high standard of life guard their time and use it wisely because they understand this- you quality of life is directly tied too how you spend your time.. You simply won’t find them watching hours of big brother or coronation street, dying from a hangover every weekend, on surfing through social media while their kids beg for their attention.
You’re more likely to find them reading, exercising, educating themselves through blogs/workshops/etc., practicing their hobbies and giving quality time to their family. Thats the mindset they have developed.
Is it the same for you?
If you’re unhappy with your current quality of life, I would bet that it isn’t. If the choices you make on a daily basis are driving that result, you’re not spending enough time devoted to the things that TRULY matter to you.
So, what to do
Take 15 minutes to do your own brain dump. Simply write everything you spend your time on down on a sheet of paper and then review it.
- What adds TRUE value? Dedicate more time to it
- What’s mundane and doesn’t add TRUE value? Reduce it (nothing wrong with a bit of tv) or get rid of it completely if you see fit.
Do this simple exercise and follow through with it for a few weeks and I guarantee you’ll see a huge improvement in your quality of life if you’re not happy with the level it’s at now.
You’ll have more energy to be your best at work, inspiration to be a great role model for your family and friends, look back at quality life experiences you’ve shared with those you love and, ultimately, live a life true to yourself.
I hope you found this useful and can take some meaningful lessons from it.
Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
Have a great day and cherish your time because you can’t get it back.