Review the vision and goals you have written down for the five life areas and do the following exercise. Imagine this is your last day on earth. You are alone and sitting in front of a window looking out at a garden. You are thinking back over your life and reflecting on the period of time right after you quit using and drinking. You remember creating your first set of life goals.
Take your list of goals and for each one, take a minute and imagine what you would feel like if you did not reach that goal. Do you feel regret? Are you upset that you missed your opportunity? If you don’t feel upset, then the goal was not a must do for you. Circle the goals you are sure you will regret not doing. Take time and do the last day on earth test on each of your goals.
For the goals that pass the last day on earth test, divide your list into two categories, the “I must-do’s” and the “I want to do’s.” To determine your must-do’s, consider the ultimate importance of that goal for you. If the goal is a stepping stone for another important goal, such as, you can’t sail around the world solo next year, if you don’t meet your goal to first learn navigation, then where does it fit on your list? Remember to include your health goals. You can’t be in construction work if you are too weak to carry a toolbox. Ensure you are working toward a balanced lifestyle and create at least one must-do goal in each of the life areas:
- Work/ School
- Physical Health/Mental Health
Now choose your top three must-do goals. Think about how you will have to alter your current lifestyle to devote enough time to each goal to really make a change. What will you miss out on if you don’t achieve your top three?
Take a plain piece of paper and make a pocket leverage sheet. This is a motivator to keep physically in your purse or wallet or back pocket. Starting with your three most important goals, identify the cost of not meeting each goal by answering the following questions for each. Starting with the first goal:
- Write all the things you will miss out on if you don’t accomplish this goal.
- Write the negative things you will have to deal with if you don’t follow through.
- Write all the things your family and friends will miss out on if you don’t succeed.
Once you determine what it will cost you to not complete the goal, write a sentence or two on how you would feel knowing you missed out on those things. Here’s an example: If I don’t exercise and work out to get my physical health back, I will miss out on walking, biking, and hiking with my wife and kids. I also won’t have the energy to follow through on the rest of my goals, which means I will have less success and less money to support my family and have fun. I’ll end up spending more time at the doctors and hospitals as I age because of poor health. I will get weaker and look more and more unattractive. I will get to watch other people having fun. I will feel like I’m just an observer of life, an outsider, looking through a window, seeing things, not experiencing positive action and energy in my
Now that you’ve completed the first part, start again with the first goal.
- Write all the positive feelings and other benefits you gain when you complete this goal.
- Then, list all the negative things you won’t have to deal with when you follow through on your goals.
Now go through each of your top three goals and complete the full process for each. Yes, it will take a bit of time. The very next time you don’t feel like following through on your commitments, like working out, read your comments on your pocket leverage sheet. Start by rereading the negative things that will happen if you don’t follow through and ask yourself: do I really want to choose all this negative garbage? Then, reread the positive list and ask yourself: do I really want to get to my last day on earth and not have accomplished any of these?
Now re-examine your Life Plan vision and goals. Are they compelling? Are these goals and the differences they will make in your life (and the lives of others) more important to you than anything else you can imagine? When you read what happens by not following through, do you get upset in your very core? If you answered “yes,” then you are getting close to your tipping point.