Monday, December 27, 2010

Will It Matter In Five Years?

It was about a year ago that I read a blog by Dian Thomas titled, “This New Year—Live a Designer Life.” She listed ten things she was going to do during the 2010 New Year to accomplish specific goals to make her life what she wanted it to be. Initially, I thought “YES! This is what I am going to do, too!” I immediately set about coming up with my list of ten things. I think my enthusiasm lasted all of two minutes (if that).

Then I felt very tired.

Defeated, I put away Dian’s blog for some other time.

I never got back to it.

It wasn’t that I forgot; it just always made me tired to think about it.

This morning, I read yet another article in the newspaper about making New Year’s resolutions. I almost just skipped it, saying to myself, “Making resolutions is a sure-fire guarantee that I will utterly fail at every single thing I list!” Perhaps the word resolution carries a negative connotation of compulsion which causes me to instinctively resist.

But, I read the article anyway, and decided that they (writers Linda and Richard Eyre) wisely offered a common sense approach to making resolutions. They suggested that resolutions should be our priorities; and that to know whether something is worth doing well, ask the following three questions:

Will it matter in five years?

Do I need it?

Can I simplify it?

Then they suggest that three is the magic number when it comes to resolutions or focusing on priorities. Juggling three balls is relatively easy, they say; four balls are many times more difficult. The mind, they point out, can stay consistently conscious of three items. With four or more, some are always overlooked or forgotten.

The Eyers then tell us that the highest, deepest, and truest priorities of life fit into the three categories, family, work, and self. (“Self” includes service and interests.)

Each day we are to spend just five minutes deciding on the single most important thing we can do that day for our family, for work, and for ourselves. We are to list these three choose-to-dos before listing any have-to-dos. Thinking hard enough to establish one single priority for each day, they assure us, will cause our minds to stay aware of all three priorities all day long.

It sounds just simple enough and easy enough to be doable! I felt optimistic, not tired!!

To read their entire article, “Our Resolutions Ought to Be Our Priorities,” go to:


Rebecca said...

I like that approach.

When I worked for Dole Food Company I was sent to several Franklin/Covey seminars. The approach is similar.

The list that I began with each day was modified through the day. What I thought was a priority might not be by the end of the day. If it was still valid to do it would be placed lower on the list to be accomplished some other day.

I never felt stressed. I think I need a new franklin/covey planner....

shydandelion said...

That's a great idea! I should do that...I sorta already do when I wake up in the morning, but that would be great for bigger goals I have in mind.