We all yearn for the perfect life. Imagine yourself at a time in the future and write a letter to the person you are now explaining what your life is like. Then take the action steps necessary to achieve that dreamed-of life.
Dear Old Self, It’s 22nd November 2011 and my life is so much better than it was six months ago. I have achieved the perfect work/life balance.
I have reduced the time I spend working. On Monday, I spend the day with my husband and each week we do something different, either walking in the country, visiting different places or going to the theatre. It’s so much fun thinking of these different things to do and it’s brought us much closer together. Once or twice a month, we invite friends over for dinner or a barbecue, and sometimes I just phone up friends on the off-chance and meet them for a coffee.
I no longer do any teaching related work at the weekends. If my children are free, we spend some time together, doing whatever takes our fancy. I know that they are developing their own lives and won’t have as much time for me, but that’s normal and healthy, so we make sure that the time we do have together is special. I used to feel I had to work on my teaching at the weekends; now I honour myself and my family and don’t think about it.
I now enjoy the teaching much more. I allocate time during the week to complete the necessary tasks. I am more selective in responding to requests to produce different paperwork and I don’t worry about everything being perfect. This has been a very liberating experience. I re-use lesson plans to cut down on the amount of preparation time and have streamlined the paperwork by blocking out an hour a week to dedicate to it rather than doing it as and when it materialises, which was more time-consuming. This part-time job now feels like a part-time job and not a full-time one.
I completed a life-coaching course, designed my own website and advertised my services. I saw my first client two weeks ago and feel inspired by taking on this new challenge. Six months ago, I was full of doubts but worked hard to overcome them and this has paid off. I feel that nothing can stop me or stand in my way.
My life feels so much more balanced. I no longer feel dragged down by work and do not allow it to be all-consuming. I control my work, it no longer controls me and my life. My new-found free time is spent on things that are important to me. I’ve already mentioned my family. I also have a cleaning routine for my house and it is free of clutter. This has cleared my mind and made me feel more relaxed. I potter in the garden each week, keeping on top of that, so that I can sit outside and enjoy it rather than looking at it and seeing a daunting amount of work. Keeping on top of home and garden takes very little time but has an enormous effect on how I feel. I still go to the gym and enjoy the classes but I also go jogging and cycling to benefit from the fresh air and I love the feeling of freedom and exhilaration this gives me. I have begun to write more and am currently working on a short story for a competition.
All-in-all, although I am busy doing lots of things, I seem to have more time and energy and I feel so much more relaxed and happier.
Yours, The Person You Have Become
What letter would you write to yourself?