Step #3 To Becoming Awesome
Assess your situation
After looking at your life to acknowledge the good stuff, now we need to look again for the things we want to change and/or enhance.
There are plenty of places to start. If you are new to this, you may want to start slow with just a few things and work your way up. If you are a nerd like me, you may want to go whole hog and be more comprehensive. Remember that a baby step forward is still a step forward. But the point is to get motivated to make the change, not depress yourself because you feel you are so far away from your end goal. This is a life-long challenge, and though there can be some very rewarding accomplishments along the way, assessing your life isn’t a task you will ever cross off your “to-do” list. There is always more to do, which is a good thing, because I imagine life would be very boring for the truly perfect person.
– Are you in debt? Write them down!
– Are you spending less than you earn? Do you even know?
– Do you have a Roth IRA? Are you funding your 401(k)/403(b) at work?
– How many hours a week are you watching TV?
– How many times a week are you eating from restaurants? How often do you cook?
– How many hours a week do you exercise? Are you as healthy as you want to be?
– How often do you learn something new?
– Do you feel fulfilled at work? Is there more you could do or is it time for a change?
– If you are in a relationship, how much effort to you put into building up your partner and strengthening your bond? If you aren’t, do you want to be in one? Are you keeping open to the possibility?
– Do you take advantage of the things your area has to offer? Have you walked through the parks? Toured the museums? Do you ever go to plays/concerts/films, and do you want to?
I could (and probably will) write a blog post on each of these. This list is just off the top of my head, there are countless more things you could think of. My own list includes
– Increase my retirement savings contribution. I’m funding my Roth, and my 403(b) contribution is at 16% but I want to push that higher.
– Get out of debt. I’ve paid off my school and car loans, I have one final personal loan that is my sole focus. Once that is paid off my goal is to stay out of debt forevermore. Forevermore!!
– Increase my physical activity level.
– Do more. I live in Washington DC, where there is no lack of free concerts, museums, historical sights, etc. I’ve done a lot, but I know I could do more.
Don’t worry about whether you have too many or too few things on your list, we will deal with that next. For now you just want to brainstorm ideas of things you could do, in areas you want to change or improve. Don’t edit yet, just write down everything that comes into your head. Naming your goal is the first step in achieving it.
PS: I can’t say it enough, but I love to-do lists. Making and crossing things off lists comes second in satisfaction only to popping bubble wrap in my humble opinion. Are there any other list-makers in the house?