When measuring success, it all starts with your mindset. However, your mindset may be limited to only your experiences. Exposure helps broaden your perspective and makes room for you to intentionally shift the narrative of your future. This system will help you make room in every area of your life.
Reading opens the mind and the heart to learn, grow and be exposed to other cultures. Reading is often a great escape from what some call monotony or routine, and others may call chaos, and suffocating. With access beyond books in a library, there is no reason why anyone should feel like they do not have an avenue to finding answers. Physical books, digital books, audio books, and even videos of some books on YouTube or webinars and online courses have made the ability to learn a new skill, hobby, or even language so much more attainable than it used to be 20 years ago. The amazing thing is that many of these options are low cost which means the barriers to access are even lower. Unsure of how to manage your money; read up or even watch videos from the most well-known to the least known financial gurus. Questions about parenting toddlers or even teenagers; search the biggest library accessible by all - Google and find your answer in articles, books, videos, presentations, and images. What are you reading these days to help you gain insight, give you a deeper understanding, or become aware of a limiting mindset that is restricting you from achieving certain goals?
Researching takes the reading to another level. It helps with understanding a word, a phrase, or even an entire concept. Challenge yourself to research things and broaden your horizons. From places you want to travel to why your eating habits may need to change. From why exercise really is your friend to why you have certain allergies. Research the words you don't completely understand and build your vocabulary. Research why apple cider vinegar has so many useful ways to be used topically and internally, for your body and your home and save money on some other products you may be purchasing. Research that business idea and see if there's a reason why no one is doing it or if there's a market for the way you want to approach it. People's advice and wisdom are great, but when you do the research on some things, you may find it gives you a better understanding of what your next steps should be.
Explore the systems and methodologies that are out there and pick one or a combination of some that may work better for how you flow. I often wind up combining existing systems to manage my time and keep me focused. I am not an all traditional paper person, nor am I an all digital person for managing my time, planning my day, or tracking my progress. More often than not, I wind up using a combination of methods for my productivity, scheduling, and follow ups. From morning routines to time management. From planning your day to planning your year, the systems and routines that exist are all amazing; it's up to you to find the right one or the right mix for your productivity. However, if you have a mindset that is stagnant "This is the way I have always done it" then you will not even make it through the Explore part of this system because you won't feel the need to read about it to open your mind. Your future self is depending on you to make wise choices now so you are in the perfect position to successfully achieve and attain all of those life intentions you set out to achieve.
Is it a new language? A new habit? A new hobby? A new revenue stream? A better leadership style? A better self-care regimen? A better investment portfolio? An investment property? A travel destination? A summer/winter home in another state or country? A (better) relationship? Parenting techniques? A fitness regimen?
What is it that you will make room to explore?
Read. Research. Explore.
Embracing changes doesn't mean you close the door on yesterday's memories, as it is all part of the journey, it just means you now have better options to choose from for your food, clothes, grooming, and every area of your life. When you go through life embracing the changes as they come your way, you are more open to the possibilities and opportunities that are presented to you. Whether you love flying or refuse to fly, you must admit the ability to get from one side of the country to the other in less time than it does to work a full day is pretty awesome. Especially when the other travel options take about 3 days on a train and longer if you drive.
Embracing change can sometimes be challenging because it is an opposing change, one that has you starting over or regrouping. It could be a bad business decision that cost you money, but you now know not to make that decision based on that amount of information or you now know to research it more. It could be a bad relationship that left you scarred and hurt, but don't let the not so good times have you forget all of the good times together; instead allow it to help you identify red flags, communicate better, and speak up for yourself instead of ignoring it.
Why not look for and embrace change and become the solution to the things you either complain about or annoy you? Often, the reason change is necessary is because there is a more efficient way to do something. How will you maximize the opportunity to embrace changing an outdated or unproductive system or routine? Embrace the networking event to grow your business though you have never gone to one before. Embrace the business idea and do the research to help you prepare to execute it in totality. Embrace going after that relationship you have been too afraid to pursue because you did not want the rejection.
Live. Learn. Embrace.
Change is not always easy, but it is inevitable. The way the world was 10 years ago is not how it is now, and the way the world will be in 10 years will not be like it is now. Some changes are easier to make than others, but whenever a change comes that raises your anxiety, a great first response is to exhale. Exhale to intentionally cause your brain to process the change. Exhale to allow your body a moment to readjust by re-routing that adrenaline to a productive response instead of a panic response. Exhale to pause before you assessing your next move. All of this provides you the opportunity to readjust and determine what questions need to be asked, what exploring needs to be completed, and what additional resources, if any are needed. When you exhale to readjust, you provide the pause you need to make a strategic decision instead of an impulsive one.
When you exhale first, you also resign the negativity that tries to rise up as a result of the friction due to the change. The mentality that opposes because "I like the old way better" or "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." In some cases a change could prove that the old way was the best way to do something, however, if the change never took place, the old system wouldn't have the opportunity to become the new proven standard. It is easy to fall into "this is the way it has always been done," however, that can also lead to a very stagnant approach. An approach like that would still have an affinity for car phones, desk top only computers, and no online banking capabilities. Change usually comes from an attempt to make things better, so if the response to change is to be open to resigning the old ways for a possibility in a more effective or more efficient way, then embrace the change after you exhale to intentionally pause the natural response to oppose the change.
Readjust your perspective.
Resign the natural tendency to oppose.
Exhale and embrace the exploration of a new way.
Readjust. Resign. Exhale.
Some of the best plans remain just that, as a plan because they are never fully executed or implemented. Sometimes plans get caught up in an approval process and then the next best thing comes along and that plan becomes less of a priority. Whether the plan is for a new system, a new process, or an update, follow the plan all the way through to the end. It is in the execution that the success of the plan can be measured. It is in the execution that areas for improvement can be identified. It is in the execution that the next opportunity to execute it becomes improved as lessons are learned from the previous execution.
Some plans are for things we only get one chance at. Planning for retirement. Once you are retired and collecting your pay, there is no opportunity to do it again. While other plans are cyclical and could be based upon learning the lesson. Finances is a great example. How many times have you had to recover from debt overload? Whether it was self-imposed or situation-imposed, many of us have had to do this at least twice to get good at saving, delaying gratification, or doing without. When it comes to forgiveness, sometimes this is a result of missing red flags in others and as a result, the relationship or situation creates an opportunity to forgive. There are quite a few scenarios where we can plan and have multiple chances to practice, or just one chance, but until we get to the execution phase, it is still just a plan.
Some may argue that it is impossible to prepare for the unknown, and while this is true, practicing for it can prepare you better than not even thinking it through. With the ebbs and flows in the financial industry, having access to money (in your home, or some other non-baking institution) is a solution. With the ebbs and flows with gas, having access to a gas container to hold you through a couple of fill ups is a possible solution. Another solution for the ebbs and flows of rising prices is finding apps, coupons, or other sites where you can receive cash back, discounts, or gift cards for regular purchases such as gas, groceries, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. When it comes to business or your professional career, researching and being as informed as possible are your best practice routes to execute all plans to success.
Execute the plan so it does not become extinct without being proven.
Execute the plan through practicing in real life or through brain storming situations.
Execute the plan after exploring alternate paths and solidifying the current best course of action.
Plan. Practice. Execute.