Come Alive by Jonathan Mead: “Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.
Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?
If I had one week left to live, I certainly wouldn’t be tearing my hair out searching for jobs that might not fulfill me. I’d much rather spend that last week having picnics and playing board games with my family. I’ve been preparing to re-enter the workforce, preparing to be a business owner/ freelancer, preparing to get back to life as I once knew it. Obviously, I can’t just stop the former two items, but it’s time to stop expecting a “return” to normalcy. Things can’t go back to the way they used to be. That’s an etched mark on the timeline now. It’s time to stop waiting for the life I planned and start living the life I have. (Loosely paraphased from an Honest Tea bottle cap via an old friend.)
This past week, I began writing manageable to-do lists — items I knew weren’t contingent upon variables like illnesses, family issues, and the like. I resolved to do everything in my power to eat healthy breakfasts and lunches, mind my snacking, and get moving. The sense of accomplishment alone made up for any unexpected dilemmas that I faced this week. These simple goals can help me to feel a sense of accomplishment on a daily basis, rather than stressing over the long range planning. It’s all about baby steps. As Marla Cilley would say, it didn’t get this way overnight, and it won’t get fixed overnight.