What’s Your Purpose?

There continues to be a growing body of research to support the impact of purpose on mental and physical health and how it can lead to longer life expectancy. Blue Zones newsletter

Dr. Robert Butler, the first director of the National Institute on Aging, estimated that an ability to define your life meaning adds to your life expectancy. His study found that individuals who had something to get up for in the morning that made a difference to them, lived longer and were sharper than those who did not.

My friend and I recently discussed this issue and drew the same conclusion. We also concluded that, as we age, we frequently need to overcome challenges, either mental or physical, to do that which brings meaning to our life. Sometimes our goals have to change with our abilities. Quilting might take the place of rigorous gardening for instance. As I consider this issue, I’m reminded of Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking. Physical disability need never be a factor as we define and carry out a meaningful life purpose.

Affirmation: I have purpose in my life.

Coaching questions: How do you define your purpose? What gets you up everyday (especially if you’re retired)? If you feel lost, how will you discover renewed purpose in your life? 

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Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Take One Step At a Time

Break every objective into its smallest pieces and take action with just one of them, even if it is the smallest one and seems insignificant. Bahram Akradi, CEO of Life Time

If you recently set a goal to run a marathon, 26.2 miles can be daunting. Break it down and think of 29,000 strides, taken one step at a time, and it may feel doable. Writing a book is challenging until you consider one word, one sentence at a time. Losing weight starts with saying “no” to one dessert or one dinner roll. Last year, when I reached only a handful of people with this blog, I never dreamed it would be read by people from 52 countries within a year. It happened a day at a time, a post at a time. 

When we break our goals into smaller pieces and begin to take action, we can achieve our objectives. We can even play a role in turning around daunting, world-wide events like climate change by simple, everyday actions like eating more plants and less meat or buying locally. 

Affirmation: I can reach my goals and make a difference one step at a time.

Coaching questions: Where do you want to make a change in your personal life and/or in the life of the Earth? What’s one step you will take to make this happen? On a scale of 1-10, how strong is your commitment? 

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Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash

Get Off The Roller Coaster

Success isn’t magic; it’s generally the product of picking a good system and following it until luck finds you. Scott Adams, author of How To Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Tis the season of resolutions and goal setting. I’m a Life Coach and I’m supposed to be all about goals, right? For 2019, I’m changing my tune and suggesting success (whether business or personal) is about systems, exercised with such consistency they turn into habits.

Want to lose weight? Rather than setting a weight loss goal, create a system of eating and exercise. “I will exercise thirty minutes, four days a week and lower my carb intake to two a day.” Want to attract more clients? “I will make three cold calls a day.” Want to have more peace in your life? “I will sit quietly ten minutes a day.” You get the picture. Wondering how systems are different from goals? They sound suspiciously similar. Goals can be attained, which is a good thing (I’m not suggesting you eliminate goals), but then what? We lose those ten pounds, goal accomplished, and we resume our old habits. Once a system becomes a habit, there is no end. The behavior continues, you stay healthy and successful and you get off the roller coaster of annual goal-setting/achievement/failure.  

Affirmation: I create systems designed for success.

Coaching questions: What systems do you need to put in place? What’s standing in your way of doing this? How will your life be different if you create positive systems for success? 

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