Real life isn’t boring: How to live life with no regrets
By Anne Bachrach
A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)
Life goes by so quickly. Don’t miss out on the extraordinary opportunities you have to live life without regret. Ask yourself this question: If you left this world tomorrow, would you feel as if you lived life to the fullest extent?
While you can’t turn back the clock and change past events, would you, if you had the power, change the way things are now? Perhaps you would change where you live, your financial status or improve your personal relationships. Maybe you would drive a different car, play more golf, travel to exotic places, be more physically fit or relax in a hammock on the beach.
You’re probably thinking, "That sounds great, but that’s not real life. You can’t spend your life in a hammock!"
Then let me ask you, what is real life supposed to be about? Work? Responsibility? Bills? More work? You may be tempted to answer yes, but hold that thought.
This is where most of us get it all wrong. Most of us were taught that being an adult is about being responsible, and life is not about having fun. You’re supposed to have all your fun when you’re a child, then “grow up” and live responsibly in the real world.
I challenge you to break that false perception and create a new rule of your own.
If you could live life exactly as you wanted, what would you change? Without even realizing it, you could probably come up with at least three things that would involve less work and more fun. Go ahead, try it.
If you could change three things in your life — right now — what would they be? Here are some examples:
1. Work less
3. Spend more time with children
Now it’s your turn:
Why would you change these particular aspects? Next, write a specific reason for wanting to change these three things.
1. So I have more time and energy to do the things I like to do: work on the house, watch football, go fishing with the boys, etc.
2. I’d like to explore the world and take romantic trips with my spouse/significant other.
3. Spending time with my children makes me feel good, even when I’m down. They make me laugh!
When you wrote down your reasons, did you notice that they probably have nothing to do with responsibility and boredom? Still think life is supposed to be one dull ride? The things that matter most to you — and the things that allow you to live life to the fullest — are always the things that make you feel good.
This is where you have to retrain your mind to think of life in a whole new perspective. Real life is not about being bored, exhausted, frustrated or unhappy. Real life is about experiencing the things that allow you to feel whole, free and blissful.
Do not waste one more day of your precious life. Take stock of the life you live now and the life you would like to live, and start moving in that direction. Here’s how you get started:
1. Make a list of 100 things you would like to do before life’s end
2. From your list of 100 things you would like to do, make a list of 10 long-term goals (five to 20+ years)
If you’re tempted to write down more than 10 goals, go for it.
Put them in priority order with those most important to you at the top of the list. Once you begin accomplishing your goals, cross them off and add new ones.
Now that you have your long-term goals, you can create short-term goals. Long-term goals don’t happen overnight, and involve a series of smaller steps over time. The idea is to break down the long-term goals into smaller steps that can be achieved now or in the near future.
3. Make a list of 10 short-term goals (one day to three years)
Again, if you’re tempted to write down more than 10 goals, stay on that roll. Remember to prioritize your list. Once you begin accomplishing your goals, cross them off and add new ones.
Your short-term goals should encompass easy actions that you can begin taking today. Some steps may require only a few hours, while others will require one week, six months or longer. Start with the short-term goals that are the building blocks to your most desired long-term goals — and the easiest to complete. What you’re looking for are the goals that carry the biggest bang in the shortest amount of time.
You now have a new perspective on living life to the fullest. I challenge you to find just one goal on your list of 100 things that is boring and “adult-like.”
If you found one (or more), shame on you. Nothing on that list should be anything remotely close to boring. Go back and review your list. if you find anything remotely boring, stop and ask yourself if you really want it or if it is something you think someone else wants you to achieve. The only items on that list should be things you want because you want them. No one else can help you live life without regret, which is why your goals should always be what you want, not what someone else wants for you.
Create the kind of life you truly want and one with fewer regrets. Be a great example for your clients.