For a meaningful life, make time for personal transformation.
If you google habits of successful people, or how to create the life you’ve always dreamed of you will get a plethora of lists and how-tos that your head can start to swim. And let’s face it, what works for one person may not work for another. So if you are really interested in creating a life you’re excited about where do you start? Just how can you go about it?
One thing I can say for sure with great certainty is that anyone who’s had a modicum of success or even happiness has had to make time for the things that are important to them. The grass really is greener where you water it.
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” — Jim Rohn
If you’re struggling with finding the time for your own personal development or growth don’t feel bad. Most people do. A lot of the time it has nothing to do with actually having the time, it’s really more about creating the habit. Here are a few tips on how to get started; creating and developing the habit, but how to stick with it too.
- The Truth of Time Exercise: We have 168 hours in any given week. This includes the amount of time we have to sleep, shower, get the kids ready for school and everything else in between. We then have 52 weeks in a year multiplied by how much time you think you have left on this earth. Are you starting to see what I’m doing here? When you layer in how you currently use your 168 hours and compare it to how you’d like to use your time, then magic actually starts to happen. For me, when I did this exercise, I admit it was sobering at first when I realized that I spend A LOT of time watching Netflix. [Can you say binge watch along with me here?] Among other things, seeing where I spent too much time making it easier for me to cut back, and refocus my energy on my own personal development. This is the one tip where you will find ACTUAL time for development. Here is the example of the exercise I’d done myself AND here is a Truth of Time PDF for you so you can try this at home.
- Take Responsibility: Investing in yourself really is your responsibility and no one else’s. If you are waiting for someone else to invest in you or take notice you could be waiting forever. So to be blunt, if you are relying on someone else to get started, please don’t. Most often for the majority of people change is scary and subconsciously it can be easier to deflect responsibility for your own development onto someone else and not realize we’re doing it. Our minds do play tricks on us – devious little things. Stephen Covey said it best: “The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.” So no excuses.
- Embrace the Struggle, Celebrate the Wins: Don’t feel entitled to anything you didn’t sweat and struggle for. — Marian Wright Edelman
This is such a great quote and it speaks nicely to what to expect when you embark on a path towards self-discovery or transformation. I think we all start with the best intentions and maybe we all are a little naive to think that the path forward will be nicely paved with little to no speed bumps. I recommend reflecting on the things in your life you are most proud of and what it took. Were there struggles? Is this when you learned the most about yourself? At times maybe there will be easier moments, but we do know there will be times where you want to quit..the key is to remember that struggles are meant to be embraced and not avoided. Expect the struggles, and see them for the lessons they are. Conversely and I believe this goes hand in hand, celebrating when you surmount any struggle along the way is as important because it makes embracing them easier to handle. Sound good? Treat yourself for the big and small wins. Every. Single. Time.
- Done is Better than Perfect: This has always been one of my biggest struggles. As a bonafide perfectionist, it’s easy to spend way too much time trying to perfect the plan, let alone when I do start in on something, I spend a lot of time tweaking here and there overthinking this or that. In context to personal development, there are so many different programs or tools you can choose depending on your development goals that it can be overwhelming, and many of us take too much time trying to pick the right program. When in reality, by taking your time or spinning your wheels, never picking anything means the choice you are actually making is to do nothing. So you’re still exactly where you are now. Deep right?
- Enlist a Success Partner: “Surround yourself with people who remind you more about your future than your past.” — Dan Sullivan
I believe this wholeheartedly. Having someone as an accountability partner who is as equally motivated and inspiring is the not so secret weapon that can be the kick in the pants you need when you’re having a down moment. I’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty incredible friends who are also entrepreneurs that are rocking it in their own way. It’s motivating to try to keep up and I’m there for them too. The key is creating a relationship with a person or people who are equally jazzed about your success as you are theirs. Whether you call it an accountability or success coach or partner doesn’t matter. It comes down to sharing your goals, checking in regularly on your progress, and ultimately supporting each other through the ups and downs.
So there you have it. When you make time for personal development, you are essentially designing the life you want. And if you ever wonder if it’s all worth it, successful people aren’t born that way, they created room to develop into their success. Once you embrace the “growth” habit, you too can start to design the life you want. At UGO we, of course, our biased about our own programming and would love to see you take the time to work with us, but truly we really want to see everyone embrace their own personal development in any way that makes sense for them. Good luck and let us know in the comments below if you have other tips that could be useful to someone else.