Back into the Chute again

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I was officially in the movie Groundhog Day.
I climbed back up the chute and did it again.
I must have done it five times before I figured out what was stopping me.

Let’s get concrete here.How many things should we focus on?I’ve decided to focus my year on five things.If it doesn’t, then I politely decline.Because for me, it seems to work.It covers the most important things that need to get done, and it’s not overwhelming.On the other hand, you may come up with three.And if that works for you, then go with it.You’ll know if it works for you because you’ll feel accomplished in each of the categories without getting confused, feeling overwhelmed, or dropping balls.Because a lifetime is too much and a month is too little.That depends on your life.BusinessDo Great Work with Current ClientsAttract Future ClientsWrite and Speak About My IdeasPersonalBe Present with Family and FriendsHave Fun and Take Care of MyselfMost of these are not clearly measurable.Not everything has to be a goal.They’re areas of focus.They’re where you want to spend your time.If you want, you could create specific goals in each category.Your list will be different because you’re different.What’s important is that you intentionally create the list.What are the five things you want to focus on over the next year?They should be substantial things, so when you spend your time on them, you’ll get to the end of the year and know it was time well spent.In other words, step up to the buffet with a plate that has enough room for five different foods and no more.Since you’re selecting only five, make sure they are nourishing and tasty.What’s the time equivalent of nourishing and tasty?Make sure that your list leverages your strengths, embraces your weaknesses, asserts your differences, and reflects your passions.It’s also important that it includes opportunities to be challenged, opportunities to work with others, and opportunities to be recognized.I decided to step down from the board of an organization, though I found it very worthwhile, because it took a considerable amount of time and didn’t clearly fit in my five.Still, contributing to the community is important to me.So now I do service work with my family.It’s part of the category Be Present with Family and Friends.When you decide on your five, commit to spending 95 percent of your time there.The other 5 percent is miscellaneous.Maybe a project on your colleague Jane’s top five doesn’t make your top five, but she needs your help.Maybe you need to take the car in for an oil change.Those are all fine uses of your 5 percent.But if it becomes 20 percent, it means you’re spending too much time on other people’s priorities, your frivolity, and life maintenance, and not enough time on your own priorities.Sometimes you’ll be faced with conflicts between your categories.And my speaking there clearly fit into my priority of Write and Speak About My Ideas.But the date conflicted with a party celebrating Eleanor’s fortieth birthday and her father’s seventieth.It was tempting, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider it.But ultimately I declined the conference.There’s no formula for deciding how to prioritize within the five.But when a conflict arises, think about it, and most of the time you’ll know what to do.Think about where you’ve been spending most of your time lately.If one of the five has been getting the short end of the stick, then choose in favor of that one to balance it out.And if you still can’t decide?Last week was the first time in many months that I went to a buffet.I walked up to the line with a little trepidation and a lot of resolve.But I stuck to one plate, five different choices.And for the first time I left a buffet feeling good.Focus your year on the five areas that will make the most difference in your life.Where We AreLeverage your strengths, embrace your weaknesses, assert your differences, and pursue your passions.That’s the recipe for the tastiest and most nourishing year.And for a life that will satisfy and reward you.The solution is in a day.Because a year is lived one day at a time.So