How to win at: Life

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If you have moved to Romania (or indeed anywhere) & are feeling a little confused about your future, where to retire to, not sure how to best spend the time you have here or to return home one day, I want to share with you a simple tool that I found absolutely invaluable. Easy to use & very powerful.  Coaches charge a fortune for tools far less effective.

Many people I have met over my half century, from 25 to 60, have from time to time been confused about the future, instead just hiding from the subject & taking each day as it comes.  The simple tool below, having used it 24 years ago, helped me map out how I wanted to feel 25 years from that time. 24 years on, I found that it not only helped me follow the path I wanted but also to feel settled in me about the future.  I hope it helps you as much as it did me.

This tool is about making sure you FEEL how you want to, not where you are, what job you have, what friends you have, how much money, good health or spirituality you have. But how you feel emotionally about those categories. For many, it will be the first time in your life that this allows you to focus on the important part, how you actually feel. E.g., you could be just as happy selling Eggs in Tesco, Manchester, as you could cut grass in Rio, Brazil. The location does not matter. How you feel, however, very much does matter. It allows you to quickly check if your life is in balance & how to correct any deviations from what you really want from yourself, deep down. Read on.

Download or print the article here

Step A/

Rate the last 3 months of your life between 1 & 10. 1 being dissatisfied & 10 being very pleased with yourself. Do this for each of 5 categories. Repeat this every 3 months until you are where you want to be.

Example:

A1/ SOCIAL/ LIFESTYLE (period July, August, September 2018) – 8/10

Why I scored 8?

Regular meetings with friends, visited X, Y, Z, holidayed at X, have 3 close friends, had xx dinner parties, wrote to xx people, saw xx family members etc. I am living in a location that allows me to fulfill my dreams & am with people that make me feel good. (add as much detail as possible here)

Why didn’t I score 10?

Didn’t see family members XX, haven’t seen XX friends, not doing enough of XX. (add as much detail as possible here)

What next?

Do more of the things that prevented you from a 10 score, any of them will help you. Any progress on these will lift that segment of your life. (add as much detail as possible here)

A2/ SPIRITUALLY (period July, August, September 2018) – 6/10

Why I scored 6?

Spent time reflecting, reading XX, being charitable.(add as much detail as possible here)

Why didn’t I score 10?

Too judgemental, not enough Soul reflection, being unkind, not following my values well enough. (add as much detail as possible here)

What next?

Do more of the things that prevented you from a 10 score, any of them will help you. Any progress on these will lift that segment of your life. (add as much detail as possible here)

A3/ PHYSICALLY (period July, August, September 2018) – 7/10

Why I scored 7?

Lost weight, avoided sugar, coffee, fatty foods, got weekly exercise, joined a gym. (add as much detail as possible here)

Why didn’t I score 10?

Too much smoking, not enough sleep, excess stress, working too much. Not using my gym mebership! (add as much detail as possible here)

What next?

Do more of the things that prevented you from a 10 score, any of them will help you. Any progress on these will lift that segment of your life. (add as much detail as possible here)

A4/ FINANCIALLY (period July, August, September 2018) – 3/10

Why I scored 3?

Cost-conscious when shopping, cutting back on luxury items. (add as much detail as possible here)

Why didn’t I score 10?

Spending too much, no retirement plan, careless with money, impulse buying. (add as much detail as possible here)

What next?

Do less of the things that prevented you from a 10 score, any of them will help you. Any progress on these will lift that segment of your life. (add as much detail as possible here)

A5/ PROFESSIONALLY (period July, August, September 2018) – 8/10

Why I scored 8?

Job going well, building a business, good market reputation, satisfied clients leaving good testimonials, website improved. (add as much detail as possible here)

Why didn’t I score 10?

Not focused on mandatory tasks, poor time management, poor prioritization, working too late & on irrelevant work, not reading up on current knowledge, not attending trade shows, not developing at the same speed as previously, avoiding challenging tasks. (add as much detail as possible here)

What next?

Do more of the things that prevented you from a 10 score, any of them will help you. Any progress on these will lift that segment of your life.  add as much detail as possible here)

Step B/

Write a 25 year-from-now diary entry for each of those elements of your life, in the present tense, describing how you want to feel at that time. Let’s say you are now 35 years old, so you set the point at which you are 60. Then for each element, you write down the necessary milestones needed to achieve that emotion.

Example:

B1/ Social & Lifestyle: As a 60 yo, I see my family as often as I/ they wish, we are open & honest with each other, caring, remembering birthdays & anniversaries. I have an old, loyal group of friends I see frequently, who I can trust. I feel cherished & I strive to cherish those important to me. I undertake pastimes such as X, Y, Z, take good holidays & lead an active life. I read, walk, exercise etc. I live in a house that I love, that feels like home & has views of ….., nearby to my home is X, Y, Z. (add as much detail as possible here)

Milestones:

  • Maintain family & friends relations
  • Discipline myself to take regular pastimes, new hobbies, challenges & adventures.
  • I keep a diary of important social events
  • I have a holiday bucket list
  • Ensure I love my home & move up when possible to attain this
  • Travel sufficiently to determine where I want to live
  • Make efforts to live where I feel most accomplished.

B2/ Spiritually: I am considered honest, upstanding, regularly check my values. I keep my faith by doing X, Y, Z & avoid poisoning my mind in such areas as X, Y, Z. I nourish my spirit & consciousness by reading, mixing company with X, Y, Z. I reflect once per week by taking a long walk alone & choosing a topic for consideration. I do not ignore injustice & unfair behaviors & set out to influence others by doing X, Y, Z. (add as much detail as possible here).

Milestones:

  • Maintain integrity & honesty
  • Discipline myself not be swayed against my values
  • I regularly read on the following subjects…
  • I keep a diary of important spiritual lessons
  • I maintain my faith by the following means..

B3/ Physically: At 60, I am healthy, fit, look good in my clothes. I avoid the following foods…., I have a medical plan & regular health checks. (add as much detail as possible here)

Milestones:

  • Maintain activity & exercise
  • Keep regular health checks
  • See dietician & doctors to a planned schedule
  • Avoid food groups such as ….
  • Inspire myself by keeping active sporty company & pastimes
  • I dance regularly
  • I own a dog, which helps me discipline myself for regular walks
  • My house is a good investment & I upgrade/ downgrade when appropriate

B4/ Financially: I have a financial plan; have reserves to cover my planned lifestyle, save as often as I can. I avoid excess spending. (add as much detail as possible here)

Milestones:

  • Set up a financial plan
  • See financial advisor
  • Plan for retirement including costed activity & lifestyle plans
  • Set up a regular savings plan
  • Carry out annual financial review & compare to plan 

B5/ Professionally: I enjoy my work, which allows me to express my creative skills. I am considered knowledgeable, I strive to be helpful & maintain my usefulness by regular training, reading, and education. I have learned foreign languages, time management, being careful to value my worth properly & seek fair reward for this. (add as much detail as possible here)

Milestones:

  • My education includes…
  • Regular reading in my domain
  • Regular networking with domain relevant inspiring colleagues
  • I seek regular promotion
  • I undertaking counseling/ coaching to push myself
  • I avoid people that would adversely affect this growth
  • I strive to make my work visible & gain fair recognition

Step C/

Repeat step B/ but for 5 years from now, adjusting where necessary. This may well be a copy paste. It should describe how you feel when you reach the 5 year point.

Conclusion:

Once you know who you want to be 25 & hence 5 years from now, use Step A/ to periodically check progress. Adjustments to your habits need only be very small. Any adjustment will bring you closer to target. When I did my plan, in 1993, to my surprise, I actually achieved almost all of it within 8 years. I then had to write a new one to aim higher & push myself further. As a result, I can look back at my life & in at least 3 areas, have a 9/10. Some areas I still need to develop & have consistently underperformed. I could have avoided this mistake by sharing my plan with a friend or mentor, checking regularly. But on a positive note, I am clear why I am where I am in life, have no regrets & have a clear view of the future. I automatically find myself doing the things I know are important to me & I do not need to review the plan, for the most part, except the low scoring areas which I allow myself to score lower.  Also, I know which areas I need to focus on, directly, to improve all areas of my life.  And above all, I live in a country & a location that I chose, rather than landed by mistake. I wrote my own destiny & am living it, daily. I am happy to be able to share this with you. I hope you find it helpful & feel free to share it. 

Expressions/ sayings that helped me along the way include:

None of us are getting out of this alive, enjoy yourself & are true to yourself.

You can sleep when you are no longer around!

You’ll be dead a long time, get it done!

Important notes:

1/This works better if you share it with a friend, before or after you write it. Verbalising it helps you stick to it.

2/ Setting a 25 year view is much much more powerful than a simple 1 year at a time plan. It allows you much more freedom to roam around along the way & to know you are still on track, without too much restriction.

Good luck,

Damian Galvin

 

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