The lake at The Gardens at Versailles. Another memento of our last big trip.
I'd like to start this series by discussing how to remain focused. I believe this is important because we all start a new idea with the very best of intentions, be it a diet, a savings plan, or a shopping list. Before you know it though, we're distracted, and then we throw caution to the wind. Staying focused is actually the most important thing.
I watched an old Jim Rohn presentation a few months ago, and whilst it is very much aimed at the corporate sector, there's much to be drawn from it that is helpful to us, I think. I particularly liked Jim Rohns' style when I was younger and climbing the corporate ladder, and clearly, judging by the number of videos on YouTube, others have continued to enjoy his message more recently. He has now passed away which is sad, but he certainly left a lasting impression on many people.
So the first thing is to review your performance. In my language, this means that you can't keep doing the same old thing, and expect a different result. Some of the methods I now employ that make my life easier, have literally been a lifetime in the learning, and I've fallen down, come to a full stop, deviated horrendously, and had to get back on track many, many times. So if you're popping in here, and retreating quickly because you feel you can't keep up, well, we've all been there too. You just have to remain dedicated to your goals, whatever they may be, and remember that every day is one small step closer to the life you want.
Next, and this might seem an odd one, but it's one I really took to heart when I was young and which has served me well, and that is to always do more than you get paid for to make an investment in your future. Now you may well ask, what has this got to do with our roles in the home? Well, there's more to being a successful Guardian of the Home and Budget, than flicking the duster around, putting your feel up to watch Ellen at midday, and throwing some pasta and sauce in the oven at 6pm, whatever people might think. We all tend to think in terms of 'reward for effort' no matter how altruistic we imagine ourselves to be. And let's face it, some days, being the Home Manager, just doesn't cut it in terms of reward. So maybe the secret is to redefine what we see as rewarding. Where once my pay packet defined how successful I was, my day to day savings on insourcing my home duties are now my successes. Where once I rewarded myself and my loved ones with expensive gifts, I now gain pleasure in creating those gifts myself. I get a kick out of spending under $100 on a grocery shop, seeing my 10 year old car shining and gleaming and scented inside and knowing I've done it myself, and stepping just outside my back door and snipping a few home grown garlic chives to toss in an omelette makes me feel ridiculously happy. All of these savings, and they are significant overall, ARE my investment in the future.
And thirdly (there are more, but I'll share them over the next few days or it's too overwhelming), is to exercise your willpower. Now I am brilliant at this with my household routines, but frankly pretty awful with my eating and walking routines *blush*. So this is a great reminder for ME that looking after myself is just as important as looking after everyone else. Willpower extends to so many parts of our life. The willpower to eat appropriately, exercise regularly, shop with discretion, treat our fellow human beings with compassion, speak well to our partners and children, walk the dog, practice random acts of kindness, take pride in our appearance, be organised, and so on and so on. It ALL requires willpower and sometimes willpower is the thing we lack most. Like anything though, the more you 'exercise' your willpower, the stronger and more effective it is.
I love the Chinese proverb that says 'The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step'. What single step will you take today, towards securing your future and that of your family?
Be clever, creative and inspired today, take that first little step, and see what you can achieve.