Every day you wake up, it’s a new day, a blank slate, a new page of your life. A chance to make each day a better day than the day before. It’s a time to shift your focus to the positive and to forget about the negative.
It’s the same for a new year. If 2013 just wasn’t your year, forget about it and write a new chapter to your life in 2014. To help you get started, I decided to ask 14 questions for 2014. Fourteen questions to ponder as you think about what could happen this year and what you might want to accomplish. There are many more questions I could ask, but these are just a starting point.
1. What do you love doing that you aren’t doing now? Are you doing what you believe in or just settling?
What is your dream job? Do you wake up in the morning looking forward to starting the day? Do you look forward to going to work? If not, then find your passion and go for it. If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. I like being creative and in 2013 I took the initiative and created my own position at work. Now I’m doing what I love for a nonprofit that I love and work with people I enjoy being around. I’m living my passion.
2. Where do you want to live?
Are you living in the house, city or country you want to be in? Have you thought about taking the leap and looking for a job in your dream location? Why not? I have to admit, I would love to live in another country. My top places are England – my second family lives there and I would love to live near them; Australia – love the year round great weather; Tuscany, Italy – I’ve always wanted to live here after seeing Under the Tuscan Sun and Paris – I don’t speak French and I’m not very good with different languages, but I LOVE this city. All different locations and different reasons for each of them. I wish I could at least spend a few years in each location.
3. What adventures do you want to have?
Make a list of things you want to do that you might think are impossible to complete. Something you have always dreamed about trying but people have said “are you nuts.” Break down the steps to enjoy the adventure. What steps would it take to scuba dive, jump out of a plane, ride the tallest rollercoaster or even camp for the first time. Whatever the adventure may be, breaking it down into smaller steps makes it easier to achieve.
4. How do you manage your time? What works for you?
Time management is really important because if a president can get a workout in, you can too. I’ve used a Franklin Planner for over 23 years and I also put appointments in my phone and on several different calendars. I also keep a To Do List and prioritize importance with A, B and C. I read a book once that said tackle the frogs first because if you go after the tadpoles first, you will never get the big important projects done. So don’t procrastinate, eat the big frogs first.
5. What do you want to accomplish in your life?
This one kind of goes along with #3. This could be a new job, a home improvement project or getting the degree you’ve been putting off. Again, break down the steps to accomplish your goal and make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
6. What makes you come alive?
What makes you happy, what makes you smile? Those are the things that make you come alive. It could be the first steps of your child, the unconditional love from your dog or watching a flower bloom. It could be something at work or going a little bit further in your workout. Find what ignites you and makes you smile. Find your passion.
7. How can you express yourself creatively?
I know, not everyone thinks they are creative. But you would be surprised the creativity that lives inside you. Do you know how to pick great colors for the walls of your house? Are you good with numbers? I think being creative comes in all different forms. I hope I’m creative when I write social media posts for work. I hope I’m getting more creative with my writing.
8. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Last year, I was at a baby shower and we were asked to write a letter to the baby as if she was 16. What advice would we give her? I wrote a very long letter. It might make her roll her 16-year-old eyes or laugh at what I wrote, but it was everything I wished someone had said to me when I was 16. What would you say?
9. What type of people inspire you and make you come alive?
Who motivates you to be a better person? Make sure you surround yourself with positive people. Our nonprofit holds a luncheon that is so inspiring every time I listen to the winners’ stories, I want to be a better person. Energy vampires or negative people, whoever they may be, will really suck the energy out of you. Believe me, I’ve felt exhausted after talking with certain people. They have slowly been eliminated from my life. Eliminate the negative people in your life.
10. What ignites your brain?
With me, a good book where the characters and their lives sit with me for weeks and sometimes months after I’m done, that ignites me. A great conversation with friends, a challenging equation, solving an issue at work or listening to an inspiring person speak. There are many different things that could do it.
11. What physical exercise do you enjoy that makes you sweat and enjoy?
Find something that you enjoy doing that will get your heart rate up and make you sweat. Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it, you won’t stick with it, you won’t make it a habit. Again, find something you love doing.
12. What does your body need in order to function at its best?
Think about it. Food is pleasurable to eat, but if you think of it as fuel, you might think of it differently. Would you put sugar in your gas tank of your car? Then don’t dump it in your body. Make sure you have plenty of the right fuel. If you need a little bit of sugar in your engine, make sure it’s only a small additive and not a tank full.
13. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I know I would have traveled more. I love the enjoyment of seeing different cultures and different landscapes. I would also probably take the leap of faith and tried living in one of my dream locations. Think about what you would do differently. If it’s not so far out there, then why not go for it?
14. What do you want to be remembered by?
I’ve heard the phrase over and over, it’s not what you do but how you make people feel. I hope when I’m gone that people remember how they felt being around me. I hope it’s a positive feeling and not a “thank God she’s gone” feeling. Make sure people remember you in a positive light.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat