What matters most to you, and how can you make room for more of it in your life?
A few last thoughts about what matters most
In past years, I did not publish episodes in the last two weeks of the year. Instead, I took those last two weeks off to enjoy my family and to think about the coming year. Listeners have asked about the “missing” episodes, though, so thought I’d use the last couple weeks to share some thoughts I’m pondering as the year winds down. I'll keep it short so you can get back to actually living your life that matters.
Managing our minds
One of the things I do throughout the year, both for my own sake and for The Productive Woman community, is collect inspirational and thought-provoking quotes. I share some of these in the Facebook community each week for Motivational Monday, but I also keep them as food for thought for myself.
My mind can go at a hundred miles an hour in any direction. Though I'm not a pessimist by nature, I have a tendency to see where things can go wrong, so I'm always trying to send my mind in healthier directions by giving it healthier things to think about. Inspirational quotes can help with that project.
In this last episode of the year I wanted to share a couple of quotes (in no particular order) I’m pondering as the year winds down and I’m thinking about plans for the coming year:
“Every thought we think is creating our future.”
~ Louise Hay
“You only have control over three things in your life, the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”
~ Jack Canfield
I hope these quotes help you, as they help me, think about how you're thinking about the world around you–what kind of thoughts you're meditating on as each day goes by about the people in your life, the things you've done or not done, or anything else.
Can you practice thinking more positively by being more aware of the thoughts you're thinking, and deciding whether they serve you or not?
What is productivity?
For me, productivity is not about doing, but about being. It's about experiencing life in a way that’s meaningful to you.
Whether you're listening to this episode during the last week of the year or any other time throughout the year, take some time to think about what it means to you to make a life that matters. What is it you want your life to be? What contribution do you want to make to the world?
Reflect on the year just ending
Knowing what it means to you to make a life that matters is the backdrop for the practice of reviewing the year past and looking forward to the year ahead. Consider some of these questions as you bring this year to a close.
- What went well for you?
- What are some of the highlights of your year?
- What lessons have you learned about yourself, your abilities, the people around you, about the world?
- What lessons have you learned from your experiences this year?
- Who do you need to thank?
- Who do you need to forgive?
Here are some questions suggested by another writer who wrote an article titled “How to Set Meaningful Goals“:
- What has given you the most energy in your life this year?
- Who have been the most influential people in your life this year?
- What moments are you most proud of this year and why?
Give some thought to the coming year
- What do you dream of?
- What would make the year awesome?
- What kind of person do you want to be?
- Choose a word (or 2 or 3), a verse, a quote, a theme song to inspire and motivate you
- Write your answers, and take action on them.
Below are some book recommendations if you want ideas and motivation for making this next year a great one:
- Finish, by Jon Acuff – about getting past perfectionism and other obstacles to finishing what we start
- Off the Clock, by recent guest (Episode 217) Laura Vanderkam – about getting more of the right things done without feeling stressed and overwhelmed
- The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst – about choosing wisely and intentionally those things we’ll say yes to, and finding the courage to say no to everything else. It is a faith-centered book, but it offers much wisdom regardless of your faith
Some encouraging words for all of us
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
~ Neil Gaiman
Savor the good things
Take some time in these last days to savor the good things. Find a bit of quiet time to think. Spend unhurried, unstructured time with those you love. Because in the end, what matters most is people. And that includes you!
Thank you for being part of this community. For your ideas and support and encouragement.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and meaningfully productive year in 2019.
Please tell me how I can help you make a life that matters
- What would you like me to talk about in future episodes?
- What guests would you like to hear from?
- What services could I offer? I will have openings for personalized productivity coaching in the new year. I would like to offer more mastermind groups, but only if you see the value there.
- Finish, by Jon Acuff
- Off the Clock, by Laura Vanderkam (guest on Episode 217)
- The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst
I would love to have your help!
- Subscribe, rate, and review The Productive Woman in iTunes or subscribe in Stitcher.
- Join the conversation at The Productive Woman on Facebook.
- Your feedback matters to me. Please share your comments, questions, or suggestions.
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