January of 2011, what is your existence? Has this past year been one of moving forward in various domains of your life, or have you slipped backwards in some areas? What are the measuring sticks for progress or regression – or do you even care about it? If you are a person “slacking” through life, you need not read any further, for the content is not aimed at you. The following thoughts are for those who want to live life fully and continually are seeking ways to maximize personal and professional opportunities.
The beginning of the year is a traditional time to assess one’s status. What are the categories that you use to assess your well-being? May I suggest a few:
PHYSICALLY: How is your health? Have you had a physical exam this past year? What is your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc…? Do you know what your metabolic rate is so that you know how many calories are appropriate for you with weight management? Do you have a regular exercise routine? Are you taking your appropriate medication?
INTELLECTUALLY: Do you regularly exercise your mind through reading, taking in meaningful presentations, bridge or cross word puzzles? Keep those neurons jumping or senile staleness will creep up on you.
EMOTIONALLY: What are the dominant emotions of your everyday existence? Are they the negative emotions of Fear, Sadness, Anger, Guilt or do they emanate from the positive emotion of Love. I encourage you to write in a journal your feelings of the day, ranging from 1 (the pits) to 10 (heavenly bliss). What are the typical ranges of your emotional day? What do these numbers say about the way you are living?
SPIRITUALLY: What does that word mean for you at this stage of your life? What is your intellectual belief system? How emotionally close are you to a Higher Power? Do you need to take another look at the viability of your cradle religion? Does it need an update or revision? What behaviors do you practice, or actions do you take, that further your participation in your spiritual life? Are meditation, reflection, or prayer parts of your inner life? Are services and/or service to others part of what help you feel connected to a more profound life? Does your life have purpose?
RELATIONSHIPS: I invite you to draw a set of concentric circles emanating out from a central core point. The central point is your deepest most vulnerable place, a sacred center. Each circle represents distance from your core existence. Place each person currently in your life on a line out from your center. It will tell you who are closest to you and how far they are from your inner being. Upon this assessment you may wish to rearrange a few people who are too close or not close enough. The presence of family, friends, lovers, and acquaintances should all be represented here.
CAREER: Where are you professionally? Are you happy with your current career? Do you want further advancement? Are you burned out, ready to retire? Are you interested in exploring a new avenue of employment? Do you need some retraining to go forward? Are you looking to find a better balance between professional and personal/family time?
FINANCIALLY: How does the “bottom line” look these days? What are future projections? Are your investments where you need them to be at this time of your life, or is some fine tuning needed? Is your spending/ saving ratio what you would like, or do you (and your partner?) need to make some adjustments?
I hope that this past year has been a good one for you and that you are optimistic and capable of making the next one even richer and happier. Perhaps the following may be meaningful as you address your life. “Grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and the WISDOM to know the difference.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!