I recently bought my husband a Fitbit for his birthday. Everyone who has ever met him knows the man has difficulties sitting still. As a full-time farmer/rancher/handyman, he is always moving from the time he gets started in the early morning until the time he quits at night. When I got him his Fitbit, I had no idea what we were about to see. In the last 5 days, he has averaged – AVERAGED – 22,535 steps a day. That is the quivalent of 9.7 miles. Think about that – walking almost 10 miles a day without even trying.
And then there is me.
We laugh now when we compare our numbers. I’ve had my fitness watch for a couple of years. Some days are better than others when I might reach 5,000 steps as part of my day-to-day movements. I can reach 10,000 with extra effort and making sure I get time outside helping with the animals or gardens, but that certainly is not an every day thing. Working at a computer for long hours a day, I don’t get many steps as I go to the restroom and to the kitchen for lunch and snacks. Is that an excuse? Maybe. I’m not trying to make one. It is the reality of my choices. I have not committed to the additional movement I need to make my goals a reality.
Let me go back to my husband for a minute and why I brought him up in the first place. I tell you this not only because I am proud of him and everything he does for our family, but I also think he is a living display of the difference in having vision and focus and how far it can take a person. Does his day start with trying to walk 10 miles a day? Absolutely not. It is a positive byproduct of a larger plan he is following in his head. Has he ever shared a grand vision with me of everything he wants for us and our farm? No. However, every day he has three things he focuses on and doesn’t quit until the day’s tasks are done. It ranges from the routine daily feedings of our animals twice a day to all of the maintenance (fixing fences, treating animals) to working on the next big project in his head for what he wants to do next. Right now, it is clearing out trees one at a time with a chainsaw to feed the limbs to our goats, cutting up the trees for firewood and dragging out all the brush as he works on creating a new pasture field. Does that mean some very long days for him? Yes it does, but he also is committed to create the best situation for our farm and that means putting in the time to get these things done. I stress the word committed.
Now, as I look at my week and the perspective my husband gives me, I owe it to myself to figure out a few things to give direction to my days and by extension, my life.
- What is my vision for my life? What do I see next for me as I figure out how to move forward? I don’t think I necessarily need to figure out what my vision is for when I’m 80 (several decades away), but I can focus on what I would like to achieve by the end of the year, a year from now, or 3 years from now.
- With my vision in mind, what items do I need to focus on to get me there? We all have many different ideas of things we want to complete/accomplish, but I think we get distracted with trying to do too much at once. There are only so many hours in the day so focus is essential if we are going to complete any of them. I know I can make the extra items my next “big thing” to focus on after I accomplish the first one.
- With focus on a particular item, what do I need to do today? Do I have items on there that hit the 3 categories – Routine, maintenance, and action towards achieving my goal to get me to my vision? I need to keep in mind my routine and maintenance could be things I need to do to take care of ME to make sure I am in position to achieve my next big thing. Do I need to get time in for more exercise? Or time to relax and meditate? Or reach out to family and friends for support? I need to consider them all as I figure out today’s “MUST DOs” and doing it again tomorrow and the next day, and the next day…
I know what I need to do and I’m hoping by sharing this with all of you, it helps hold me accountable and encourages you to do the same. Put simply, to achieve so many great things, it all starts with knowing where we want to go and taking it one step at a time and I am committing to my vision so I can focus and do just that!
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.”
Here’s to our many steps and wishing you life’s greatest success!