We're almost halfway into December and if the Mayan Apocalypse doesn't materialize, we'll find ourselves starting 2013 in a matter of weeks. It's the time of year to begin thinking about New Year's Resolutions, changes we want to make in our daily lives over the next 365 days, and what steps we need to take to achieve the goals we set for ourselves in 2013.
I am reading up a frantic storm right now, trying desperately to make up for my laziness over the summer and cram in about two months worth of books into three weeks. I scoured the bookshelves in our guest room and our basement for books I hadn't read that looked like both quick reads and interesting. Tall order. The pickings were slim, as most of the unread books on the shelves were throwbacks from Mr. Sweetie's undergraduate and graduate studies and I didn't feel like slogging through texts that would require me to read each page twice, just for basic comprehension. Then I happened upon a small book, less than 150 pages with BIG type: Off Balance - Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction by Matthew Kelly. Bingo. Something quick AND it might help me organize my life.
In short - great book, well worth the time it took to read. Basic premise: people want SATISFACTION out of their life more than they want balance out of their daily pursuits. And the road to satisfaction isn't always paved with gold or lined with puppies pooping rainbows (an altered amazingday-ism). Sometimes there's alot of hard work, long days, sacrifices, etc that go into making a final product or an achievement satisfactory. Lesson 1 - getting what you want out of life isn't easy; be prepared to work hard. Satisfaction out of life also doesn't come about haphazardly. We need to PLAN the life we want to lead - think about short term and long term goals, what things you can do right now to start working towards those goals, and constantly assess and reassess where you are on a daily basis. Lesson 2 - plan your day, your week, your month with the same care that an art fanatic would plan a trip to the Louvre. Set aside some time at the end of the weekend to map out the week ahead; know what tasks you need to do in your personal and professional life to move yourself forward. Planning saves time and energy in the end. Part of planning out a deliberate life is adopting healthy, core habits and figuring out your priority list in life. Think back to really great days that you've had - how did they start, how did they end? Lesson 3 - figure out what healthy habits and daily rituals start and end your day on the right foot.
There were alot of other helpful pieces of this book. It has me thinking (and trying to take) small steps to improve my daily life so I finish each day feeling like I accomplished something. I've been dreaming about what I want my priorities to be in 2013 and how the lessons from this book could be applied to triathlon and making me a better athlete. What do I need to do to start the day off right (go to bed relatively early and DO NOT bring the computer into the bedroom. And spend less time on Facebook and the like). What habits should I be adopting to become a better triathlete (eat all the fruit I bring to work with me; eat less refined sugars/processed foods, more real foods. Write down my workouts at least one day ahead of time and plan when I will do each workout during the day. Update training peaks DAILY - that is for YOU Jen!). Without a doubt, this book has given me a bunch of food for thought as I look ahead to 2013.