I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately.
How we use it, how we waste it, how quickly it flies by, how much we have left of it – the whole kit and caboodle.
Ageing often causes us to pay closer attention to time. It’s probably no coincidence that I have a birthday coming up next month and I am pondering the concept of time.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I did up a personal timeline in 2010. Originally this document started as a way of trying to work out when I went on a particular overseas holiday since I was writing a blog post about it. I was looking at my timeline again yesterday (research for another article) and some questions started to surface.
Let’s dive in.
Has your life changed much in the last 10 years?
If you have had a child or perhaps several children in the last 10 years, your life has most likely changed dramatically. You may not even remember what life was like before becoming a parent.
Your life could be completely different if you have been through a divorce as well.
Maybe your changes have been much more subtle or perhaps things haven’t changed and you are quite happy with that. You may have already done the hard work and built your life, family, home, career or business exactly the way you want. Congratulations to you if that is the case!
Think back to what you were doing 10 years ago. I’ll use myself as an example.
At the start of 2002, I’d moved into a gorgeous apartment with my best friend, I had a wonderful new job and I was in a budding relationship. My Dad had passed away the year before in July. His death was a traumatic event in my life and a major turning point.
By the end of that same year things had changed dramatically. Amazingly enough, I checked my timeline and my boyfriend broke up with me exactly ten years ago today. At the end of the year I was facing redundancy (along with my whole company), the boyfriend was long gone and I was planning on moving out of my lovely apartment.
This story has a happy ending though, in March 2003 I left to go backpacking for eight months overseas, heralding another exciting phase of my life.
Now back to you. What were you doing 10 years ago? How much has your life changed?
Have the changes been for the better?
This might make you feel uncomfortable but you need to be honest with this one.
Has your life changed for the better?
If the answer is no than you need to think about why. Are you feeling trapped by other people’s expectations or even perhaps by your own? Are you holding yourself or others back?
Perhaps it is much more serious than that. Illness, a death in the family or a personal tragedy can all have a profound effect on our lives.
Related post – What If You Change and People Don’t Notice?
Has your life stalled?
Maybe your life hasn’t changed. Maybe it is exactly where it was 10 years ago. Maybe that is a positive thing and you are happy in your current situation.
What if it’s not a positive thing? What if your life has stalled and you feel stuck? Perhaps you are even repeating a loop of some kind. You might feel like the last 10 years have been one long version of Groundhog Day.
The important thing is not to give up hope. Life can change for the better in an instant.
Firstly you need a plan. If you are stalled you might need a radical plan to get you out of your slump. Sometimes small changes won’t get the job done. Depending on your situation you might have to make some big adjustments.
Work out what changes your life needs to push it forward.
Related post – How to Stick to Your Plan
What have you accomplished in the last 10 years?
This is the time for reflection.
If you are the sort of person who likes to write things down you can use my timeline idea. This is the time to pat yourself on the back and list all of the amazing things you have done in the last 10 years.
Don’t hold back; think of as many as you can. Highlight which events were the most important to you and most in line with your values.
Be kind to yourself particularly if you are the self-critical type. Don’t edit as you are making up your list of accomplishments and activities. You might surprise yourself by just how much you have achieved and grown.
Related post – Know Your Own Values
What have you not accomplished that you really want to?
Now it’s time to get serious.
What is the one big task (or series of small ones) you wanted to do in the last 10 years that you have not be able to bring to fruition?
It’s time to start working out how you can make it happen. Clearly I am not talking about winning the lottery here. It has to be something tangible. It needs to be a project you can have control over and work towards.
When it all comes down to it, you can’t change the last ten years but you do have control over this moment. This moment right now is where the magic happens.
Read next – What Does 10 Years Represent For You? – Part Two
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