We create the lives we want by the things we think, the things we do, how we spend our time and the people we spend our time with.
The problem is, many of us mindlessly do things and spend time with people that do not support the life we are trying to create. We say we want to raise our standards and make positive changes in our lives, but our habits show otherwise.
This is a very common theme with the inmates I work with in the jail. I see some of the same inmates re-incarcerated over and over again. Many of them are generally good, caring and intelligent individuals who could do anything they set their minds to.
They have goals and dreams that don’t include being behind bars, yet when they get released from jail they tend to go back to the same neighborhood, hang around the same people and end up doing the same things that landed them in jail to begin with.
They are holding themselves back, just as many of us are holding ourselves back by wasting time and energy doing things and associating with people who are not going to get us to the lives we want for ourselves.
We may be in relationships with partners who don’t believe in us, don’t support our goals and dreams or worst, attempt to sabotage our goals rather it be weight-loss goals, financial goals or our happiness.
We may be at jobs that don’t offer room to grow, that doesn’t offer training courses for professional improvement and career advancement or simply requires so much of our time and energy that at the end of the day we have none left for much of anything else, let alone to pursue our passions and talents.
There are countless ways we can be in situations that are not supportive of what we are trying to create for ourselves. It’s real easy to get stuck situations and habits without thinking much about it, which is why I think it’s important for us to take a step back from time to time and become mindful about what we are doing and to remember what is it we really want.
So get into the habit of asking yourself, especially when you get that gut feeling or you know deep down you shouldn’t be doing something (i.e., going out drinking when you should be home studying): “Does this support the life I’m trying to create”.
At least once a week, get into the habit of taking a quick inventory of your life. It doesn’t have to take a long time or be complicated, but check in with yourself:
- How is my life going? (take a quick look at all the important areas of your life and how satisfied you are in those areas)
- Make a note of the areas that need adjustment (areas where you are not so satisfied) and then commit to making changes in those areas.
- Get to work making changes in those areas and repeat this check in again in a week or so. Little adjustments add up to big changes and you will realize you’ll start living more mindfully and intentional in creating the life you want and deserve.