Get a life!

In fact, get the life you really want for yourself.

An often-made observation to teams and individuals, who protest that they haven’t got the time, is that ‘we can all make space for the things that are important’. But is what we actually do truly important? Is it really more valuable to spend time sending that last e-mail rather than getting home to do my share with the kids? Is going to the mall (again) a more significant contributor to my life than going to the gym (at last). Do I really want to continue this endless, meaningless phone call with such a mean-spirited gossip when I’m already late for my mother/child/date/lesson/ book club/supper/etc.?

Many of us spend a lot of time doing only what’s in front of us rather than what we dream about doing because:

  • ‘They’ need me to do it
  • ‘They’ will think badly of me if I don’t
  • It’s easier/safer/cheaper to do this rather than what I really want to do
  • I actually don’t deserve any better.

Getting the life you want is as much about dealing with limiting beliefs as it is about time management’ it’s about the ‘why’, as well as the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. The Best Year Yet methodology focuses very clearly on the importance of defining the roles in our lives, for two significant reasons. First it gives a sense of direction and purpose and secondly, it causes us to unearth what’s getting in the way. ‘Where in my life am I not getting what I want?’ ‘What am I doing or not doing that allows that to happen? ‘How do I rationalise, excuse, justify etc., those behaviours?’

Contained within the approach to roles is the persuasive counsel to have ‘Me’ as one of them. To this role falls the task of looking after yourself; your well-being, your recreation, attaining your vision, ensuring that you stay in good enough shape to look after everyone else in your life and to get what you want. So in the get-a-life stakes, start by being clear about how you want that life to be shaped – Questions 6 and 7 in the Best Year Yet process which define your eight key roles, and which of those is the major focus. Be robust in choosing some roles that you truly want rather than trapping yourself in roles you feel obliged to adopt – ‘hardening of the oughteries’ is a debilitating condition at any age.

Think deeply about each of your chosen roles. Ask yourself ‘am I mentally prepared to be as successful in doing this as I know I deserve to be?’ If ‘yes’ then great; get on with planning your goals. But if not, then stand back and observe what’s going on. Be honest with yourself about what you are allowing to happen that is impeding your progress. Things you do yourself; things you allow others to get away with. And then by digging deeper into the honesty chest, grasp the paradigms that are making this OK. (Scan back to the second paragraph here for some ideas.)

Until you grasp this nettle and change these limiting beliefs, you will not get the life you want and deserve. Revisit page 79ff in ‘Your Best Year Yet!’

~Peter Baxter

Peter Baxter Best Year Yet

Peter Baxter’s career has been spent predominantly in financial services, initially in sales and more recently
in marketing and product development. His last two corporate jobs were as Marketing Director, first at Abbey Life and then for the life and unit trust companies at Natwest Bank. It was at Natwest that he first experienced the power of culture in driving business results. This continues to be his primary focus in facilitating successful business teams and coaching executives.

Peter Baxter is a UK-based partner of Best Year Yet LLC, a global organisation, headquartered in Colorado, USA and operating on five continents.

He works within the Best Year Yet community as a programme facilitator and business coach. In the ten years since the launch of the business, he has facilitated upwards of 75 teams and their leaders, in a range of large organisations. His commercial experience makes him a particularly valuable contributor to coaching and change programmes in large financial services businesses.

Our role is to create an exclusive, secure environment in which executives and senior managers are stimulated and encouraged to higher levels of achievement. We characterise this as developing the skill of ‘self mastery’, enabling individuals to boost their ability to:

  1. Recognise and work upon, behaviours that are holding them back.
  2. Distinguish between those things that are ‘important’ and those which are simply ‘urgent’.
  3. Successfully confront the difficult issues facing them.
  4. Focus on those goals that simply must be achieved.
  5. Step beyond short-term issues and start to live in the organisation’s future.
  6. Achieve that balance between work and private life that is missing for so many of us.