Last updated on July 6th, 2022 at 06:25 pm
It is midsummer, and the living is easy — Saturday mornings at the outdoor Farmers’ Market on the river, breezy evenings spent enjoying dinner by candlelight on my best friend’s back deck!
Yet “midsummer” also means that half of this year has magically evaporated.
Midsummer feels like the perfect time to check in on again on how you are doing with living your dreams, and to regroup and make sure you have a plan for the rest of the year.
Mid-Way Check In
The verdict of my living my dream check-in? I am on-track with some goals, off-track with others, and reevaluating whether the goals I set at the beginning of the year still feel meaningful to me. An article I recently read online by Bronnie Ware, “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying” (excerpted below) inspired me to re-examine my dream goals and where I am putting my energy.
The goal on which I have made the most progress, which I am most proud of, is creating my successful life coaching business. This year I took on my first coaching client at market rates (my other, first few clients were at highly discounted rates, just to help me build my confidence to do this work!).
I have created a clear vision for the future of my successful coaching business, including bringing in six figures next year, coaching 12 individual clients, leading three group coaching programs a year via phone, and teaching a dozen live workshops or retreats a year, as well as one longer retreat for “Goddesses” in a remote, exotic location.
I am not where I want to be yet with some of my other goals, but I remain optimistic that I will make more progress this year. I set a goal to pay off all my credit cards, for example, and instead put more debt on the cards for my life coaching training program. I’m confident I will make that money back, but I definitely need to be more mindful in general about how I’m managing my money.
I have completing been procrastinating on revising my book manuscript, and that clearly needs attention! I’m updating my goals and timelines for that so I can have a polished manuscript completed by the end of the year, as intended.
I’m reevaluating all my goals now to be sure they are still meaningful to me.
Are Your Goals Really Meaningful?
When you are setting goals it’s important to be sure they really serve you, and help you to actualize on the dreams that matter most to you, so you aren’t focusing your energies in a way that you will later regret.
The article, called “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying“ was written by a woman, Bronnie Ware, who worked in palliative care for many years. In hospice work, many patients return home to die. Bronnie spent time with them and learned about their lives, hopes, fears, dreams and regrets. She said that the following were the top five regrets of her patients (the article is excerpted, below):
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
Lisa P. Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, TED motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning in their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on her website or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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