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James M. Lynch

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Free Life Course: The Game Of Life

Posted: 01/05/10 11:34 AM ET

My last few posts have had to do with having a great new year, without repeating the old, and useless (for many) New Year's Resolution. The topic has come up a lot and the people I talk to tend to argue for the 'not enough time' conundrum and I try to get them to just 'try it' for a while.

If you're convinced that 'that's just the way it is' and feeling stuck in a rut I urge you to try a course, take a chance and 'live in the possibility' that you actually can reinvent yourself, master time and live a life of genuine satisfaction, joy and contentment.

If you try, by the way, you stand a much better chance of having a breakthrough than if you dismiss the possibility as a 'never happen'.

Below is a sample week's instruction that I offer for free at www.doityourselflifecoach.com. I provide it here because it is topical for this time of year when the days are shorter and we realize that life is a limited commodity. Facing a New Year, I invite all of you to take the entire course, The Game of Life, and see what you can get 'up to' that will make this year the best of your entire life.

Week Four: Consider that, like a game, there is a clock running and it will run out.

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Annie Dillard
It's not the time that's behind us that counts as much as it is the time ahead of us - but who knows how much time we have left. So let's get to it, ok?

This week we'll focus on efficiency and use and mastery of time. It's going to be all about discipline. How much time a week do you spend on 'well spent' items and 'wasted' items? Let's find out by first taking a look back at last week before looking forward to this week.

Create a chart with two columns. Label one column 'well spent' and one 'wasted'. Under the 'well spent' column make a list of all the things you did last week in which you found value, from which you felt some sense of being fully self-expressed, engaged and joyful. Now fill in the 'wasted' column with those things which left you numb, empty and feeling wasted.

The next step may surprise you. Circle all of the items under 'wasted' that you needed to do in order to just give yourself a break or to recharge.

For example, watching TV, while mostly 'wasted' time, can actually be the 'down time' you need so that you can recharge and be sharp and attentive during the other activities of life. It's like driving a car without ever stopping to check the oil or fill up the gas tank; eventually you'll break down. Consider limiting, or spending a little less time on the 'wasted' items that you plan to keep.

Next take all of the 'wasted' items that you don't want to have in your life and cross them off of the list. That doesn't mean you didn't do them last week, it just means you're identifying them as 'true wastes' that can eat up precious time.

Now take out your appointment book or calendar and make a note to repeat all of the 'well spent' items that you can get to this week and add others that you want to do but didn't get to. Make a commitment that if it shows up in your calendar this week that you actually do it. Try to fill the coming week with as many 'well spent' items as you can.

Every morning, before you start your day, remind yourself of this quote: "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives".

Take the quote with you by posting it at your work station, using it as a screen saver on your phone, carrying it on a slip of paper in your pocket, etc. Do your best, each day, to fill your life with moments that 'count' and, at the end of each day, take some time to journal about it.

Don't worry about complaining about time you've wasted in the past; that will waste time now and, if not stopped, in the future.

Don't forget the lesson that happens every day at train stations around the world. The train pulls out of the station and you are either on it or you're left behind. No amount of complaining, explaining or theorizing will put you on that train.

Take the steps you need to be on the train, baby, and get moving!

 
 
 

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