Living with Purpose

In 2015 I am determined to live with purpose  To make it a more rewarding year I’m making a few changes.

Even though the New Year is a few days ‘old’, this is still a time of new beginnings as I suffered a bout of the flu during the celebrations. I’m feeling rejuvenated from the rest I took while recovering. With the return of health and stamina, I feel like a new person for the New Year.

There’s an overused saying that states “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” This phrase has rung in my head for the past week as I’ve thought about purpose, my 2015 word of the year.

I chose this word to guide and focus my behaviour and activities.

Living with purpose requires decisiveness about use of time. In 2015 I’m making changes to make sure that I don’t squander any precious retirement days.
Use Time effectively — photo courtesy of beautifulfreepictures.com
Use Time effectively — photo courtesy of beautifulfreepictures.com

Purpose Reflects Intention

Wikipedia defines intention as “a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future.”

By living with intention, I can focus on deliberate actions to bring about the results I want to achieve.  Setting an intention  for each day that relates to purpose, my word of the year,  will help me to take better control of my life and my time.

Purpose Reflects Resolve

Resolve means backbone to me. It will take  strength and confidence to make deliberate choices consistent with aspirations of how I want to live.

I may have to get up earlier to spend time writing or exercising.  I may have to refuse interesting invitations to avoid distractions that take me away from purposeful activity.

If I am true to my decision that I won’t squander precious retirement days, I will need to make courageous choices about eliminating activities, meetings and appointments that don’t satisfy, inspire and fulfill my life aspirations.

Purpose Reflects Determination

When I am determined to make things happen my productivity improves.   I have achieved difficult goals throughout my life.  Having a tenacious mindset allows me to stick to my purpose regardless of obstacles that I encounter.

Judicious use of precious time

You might wonder how ‘purpose’ with its related meanings of intention, resolve and determination relates to use of time. In my mind, each of these relates to time and how easily it can slip away.

You’ve heard it before — everyone has the same 24 hours each day.  The choices we make are totally up to us. By using time effectively — and with intentionality — our choices will lead to outcomes that are consistent with the big dreams and aspirations we have for our lives.

Unless longevity takes a steep up curve, I know that I am living the last third of my life.  I realize that I have a finite number of days so how I spend each day has to count. Because I can’t get wasted time back, I’m cautious about squandering precious days and hours.

If I’m not careful, my free time can get cluttered with unnecessary activities.  This results in getting behind on things that relate to purpose, missing out on sleep and then finding myself grumpy and de-energized.

I’m focusing on commitments that I make.  I won’t say  ‘yes’ unless making that commitment is consistent with how I want to live.

A few months ago I realized that I had made too many volunteer commitments.  Precious time was used going to meetings of boards and committees that no longer held interest for me. Many of the roles and responsibilities were similar to those I had during my career.  I have stepped away from most of these commitments to free time for activities that I find more rewarding at this stage of my life.

The Rule of Two

I am  implementing ‘the rule of two’ when it comes to my schedule.  I will commit to a maximum of two activities in a day. A class at the gym or a workout counts as one activity.  A meeting or appointment counts as one activity. A social commitment counts as one activity. A major project or task at home counts as one activity. 

Limiting what I do will leave time to work on writing projects, to spend time with my husband and family, for hobbies, and to goof off — if goofing off suits me.  I’m determined to have free time to just be me.

Allow extra time

To stop feeling rushed all the time, I’m allowing 30 minutes of extra time around scheduled activities.  If an appointment is at 10 am, I’ll focus on 9:30 am as the targeted time. Unexpected delays won’t derail my plans because I’ll have a cushion of extra time.

As I am time-conscious, this simple mind-game should help me to manage distractions and arrive on time. By living with the ‘rule of two’, I won’t be over-committed and stressed rushing from one over-booked activity to another. When life throws a curve ball, I won’t have to make an excuse.

These  changes should give me more time for the things in life that matter to me.  Who knows, there may even be time to spend learning new things, or de-cluttering the basement, or thinking about what really matters in my life.

Thanks for reading this post. I’m interested in how you have decided to make 2015 rewarding, remarkable, or memorable.  If you like my blog,  please consider becoming a subscriber.

  

4 Replies to “Living with Purpose”

  1. I felt relieved when I got to the part about time for goofing off… good points, I like the rule of two.

    1. Goofing off has to be part of a happy retirement! I’m having difficulty with the rule of two, however, I’ll have to stick to it if I want some unscheduled time to just be me.
      Be well,
      Jeanette

  2. Hi Jeanette, Your blog is inspiring. However, I’ve been out of commission since November and am out of shape. The priority is to repair the damage to my ankle, then engage on a fitness regime. During the course of both, writing must be become a daily practice.

    1. Hi Joy,
      Thank you for the compliment on the blog post. I do hope that readers find inspiration from my words.
      I hope that you are able to rehabilitate your ankle. I know how difficult it is to have mobility issues. It took months for me to deal with the chronic tendonitis in my ankle; these were months of frustration. For someone like you who has always enjoyed walking, an injury such as you suffered is a real setback. Perhaps time for writing will come more easily as you sit at your computer and allow the healing to take its course.
      Be well,
      Jeanette

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