This is a guest blog by Peter C. Atherton, P.E.
Imagine being your best self.
Imagine how much more content and less stressful life would be if you could “do you” really well and effectively—and do so all the time?
The First Step Is to Imagine It
For most, being our best self includes:
- Doing excellent work,
- Doing what we do best every day,
- Growing and advancing, and
- Having a life and impact beyond our career alone.
The good news is that these are all possible and all in our control. Once we imagine them, we can begin to take other steps to realize them.
The Next Steps:
Step Two: Gap Analysis
Take an inventory of where you are in terms of work, family and friends, finances, personal growth and development, and connections with others.
Are you where you want to be?
For most of us, there is a gap. There is also a need to retarget to help align us to move closer to where we want to be.
Step Three: Begin to Retarget
As a way to get started, we can identify specific steps by answering some version of the following questions:
- What stops me from excelling at work?
- Does work allow me to see, develop, and leverage my skills, talents, assets, gifts and experiences? If not, what other pursuits would allow me to develop and deploy them?
Family and Friends:
- Do I have all the relationships I want at home and with friends?
- Are the relationships I have in development, growing, maturing, or at peaking phases, or are they in a decline and in need of a refresh?
- Do I have a savings and retirement “number”? Am I on track?
- Does my income exceed my expenses, and how can I increase the former and decrease (and avoid adding to) the latter to create more financial freedom?
Personal Growth and Development:
- Am I growing personally, spiritually, and in terms of my physical health?
- Am I taking on new experiences that push me out of my “comfort zone” and expand my horizons?
Connections With Others:
- Do I know my passions outside of my work and family?
- Am I learning more about issues that upset me and the causes that inspire me, and am I taking action to make a difference?
Once we retarget, we can develop our “to do” list and begin to bridge the gaps. This process of moving forward step by step helps us to revitalize.
Step Four: Begin to Revitalize
Time for action.
Take one step toward your targets each week—and then keep going.
In terms of work, it could be establishing a long-term career plan and then sitting down with your supervisor to begin a new dialogue about creating a better future.
In terms of family and friends, it could be scheduling a date night with your significant other or picking up the phone to call a friend to make plans.
When it come to finances, it could be establishing that long-term plan for more financial freedom.
In terms of personal growth, it could be reading a book, subscribing to a podcast, or committing to an exercise plan.
And in terms of connecting with others, it could be reaching out to a local nonprofit to take a tour and learn more.
In my case, in order to stay on track and begin to realize the full life I desired, I needed to see all my priorities at once. To do so, I redesigned my weekly “to do” list.
A previously “all work” list transformed to a six-box list with two columns and three rows with a “to do” box related to work, family, personal growth, professional growth, nonprofit and community connection activities, and other items related to miscellaneous appointments, errands, and home projects.
Such a well-informed and developed “to do” list can be designed to take us from where we are to where we want to “be” at work and beyond.
You can find a more detailed version of this blog and read the entire “R&R 2.0” series at https://actionsprove.com/blog/.
About the Author:
Peter C. Atherton, P.E., is the President and Founder of ActionsProve, LLC, author of “Reversing Burnout. How to Immediately Engage Top Talent and Grow! A Blueprint for Professionals and Business Owners,” and creator of the I.M.P.A.C.T. process. ActionsProve works with leaders and high-achievers to create greater growth and profits through better strategic planning, executive coaching, leadership and management development, performance-based employee engagement, and corporate impact design. Prior to founding ActionsProve, and for more than 20 years, Pete was a very successful and accomplished professional engineer. Pete sold his engineering firm ownership to focus on designing systems for you and your organization to grow and succeed in the 21st century. Pete is also host of the AEC Leadership Today podcast.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share about how you determine your to be list?
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success