Don’t be so busy being busy!

As 2014 draws to a close, a useful question to ask is did you achieve all your goals for the year? Did you hit your income targets?  Did you hit your feel good targets? Are your relationships where you wanted them to be? Is your health where you wanted it to be? Did you set any goals? 


Many people do not set goals. They spend their year busy, being busy. The end of the year comes and another starts.  They didn’t hit their bullseyes because there were no bullseyes to aim for.


There is a Sanskrit poem and it goes like this:


“Spring has passed. Summer is gone.
Autumn has dwindled…
And winter is here.
I have spent the seasons stringing and unstringing my instrument,

but I never got to play my big song”


This is a poem about a man who was so busy being busy that he never achieved his full potential, his greatness, and his dreams.  


I used to be the leader of one of NZ’s largest rest home providers. I used to love to talk to our clients, among them politicians, lawyers, accountants, doctors, tradespeople, and homemakers. It never ceased to amaze me that, all their stories were about “I wish I had…”, “I wish I hadn’t….”, “I wish I could live my life again, I would do so much more/differently”.

I figured that if all these old people were voicing the same regret, then maybe, just maybe that could also be me in time to come. I started making some changes in what I was doing and how I was doing it.  


I met a man called Robin Sharma. He challenged me to write my ideal obituary. What people would say about me after I had passed? I wrote what I thought was a pretty good rendition of a life well lived. He read it and quietly said, “Is that all. Why don’t you have another try”? Three tries later, he commented, “Now that is a life worth living.  All you have to do now, is to live it backwards, so that people will say these things when you do pass”.  


Big things can seem daunting, yet if you break them into small chunks, those chunks will, over time, add up to extraordinary achievements.


Here is something you might want to try. We live our lives in a number of domains:

✸ Physical health: image, diet, exercise, sleep
✸ Economic health: financial security
✸ Career health: chosen path
✸ Environmental health: home and surrounds
✸ Relationship health: primary, family friends
✸ Emotional resilience: amount of stress and coping ability
✸ Inner health: value system, self-esteem, happiness, spiritual/cultural, and personal development.
✸ Impact and legacy: achievement of dreams, significance
✸ Energy: zest for life


Next to each domain jot down a number, which is indicative of how happy you, are with that aspect of your life (0 – not at all. 10 – ecstatic).

Now go back and ask yourself “What would it take to make this “X” into a “10”. There you have the start of your goals and your plan. You need to write it down so that it does not get lost or forgotten. Exactly what do you want in each domain of your life? Picture how your life will look 5 and 10 years forward.


What could these goals look like? Here are some examples:

✸ I will be the top in my field by July 2016
✸ I will have an income of $100,000 per annum, by July 2016

✸ I will be living in my freehold dream house by December 2018
✸ I will lose 36kg, be able to jog 5 kms and have a healthy diet by November 2016


Sometimes you have to trade off goals. The goal of living on a commune growing your own food may be incompatible with earning $250,00 per annum. Find the middle ground.


Once you have your goals, break them into chunks. What do you have to do in the next 12 months to position yourself to achieve your longer-term goals? For example, to lose 36kg in 24 months, you will need to lose 18 kilos in 12 months, 1.5 kg per month, 375 grams per week. Get a team around you, people on whom you can draw on for knowledge and support. Make it happen.

Each week you will have targets in each of the domains. Each week review and reset your targets. Small achievable targets, will add up, over time, into extraordinary achievements.


Make up your bucket list, 101 things you are going to do before you die. Write down what makes you happy. Work out what really gets you going. The more you learn about yourself, the closer you will come to reaching your full potential.


Have a very clear vision of where you are going and put it out to the universe. You will be surprised what comes back.


I would like to invite you to join me in years to come at a rest home, so that we could swap stories of a life well lived. Unfortunately I cannot be there. I will be taking Tango lessons on a beach, with my youthful body, my younger wife, gazing at my yacht in the distance.


Article by: ClivePlunknett



Article by Clive Plucknett

- our expert health guru

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