Are you waiting, waiting, waiting?

Stop waiting on life. The only difference between you and the people who have gotten what they want is that they kept moving and you didn’t.

by Kathy Gates — 

This week, as I sat on the phone with tech support, I thought over and over of the things I could have done while I sat there — waiting, and not living my life.

Are you “on hold” in your life? Are you waiting for a spouse to come along, or for him/her to behave better toward you? Are you waiting for the motivation to get your home organized? Are you waiting for a great job to fall into your lap? Are you waiting on winning the lottery to plan your retirement?

Stop waiting on life. The only difference between you and the people who have gotten what they want is that they kept moving and you didn’t. Here are some ideas to help get you started again:

Accept control-ability — We’ve all heard about deniability from the political spin doctors. I’d like to introduce the concept of control-ability in your daily life. You can’t control world politics, but you can vote. You can’t control terrorism, but you can be prepared in your own home. You can’t control the construction crews on the freeway, but you can control how much time you allot for a trip. Knowing what you can control and exercising that — and letting go of the things you can’t control — puts you in the driver’s seat of your life.

Focus on the who, not the what — If you find you’ve been stuck on a goal for a while, try restating it in “who am I” terms instead of “what I want” terms. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose 30 pounds,” say “I am someone who takes care of herself by keeping my weight around xxx, which is a healthy range for my height and age.” Be as specific as possible. Notice that “I want to be someone who helps others,” could mean anything from a clerk in the grocery store to a heart surgeon. Focus on who you want to be. Then ask yourself what actions would fit with your desire “to be” instead of “to get.”

Establish routines — You probably have something like a regular “pizza night,” so why not have a “pay bills night” or “clean your room night” as well? Like pizza night, routines show up in all kinds of ways in your life. While they may sound boring and confining, routines are actually freeing. Just like you don’t have to think about dinner on pizza night, instead of being worried and anxious on Monday morning, wondering if you remembered to pay the car insurance, you’ll feel calm because you always go to the bank on Fridays at lunch and pay bills on Wednesday evenings. Routines help eliminate the stress.

Analyze it — Did you know that a full 80 percent of your problems come from 20 percent of your life? It’s true. Determine what the 20 percent is that is affecting so much of your life, and start working to make it happier, more efficient and more satisfying.

Assign value — A big mistake is not assigning a true value to your time, to your energy, to your money and to the real estate (space) of your home or office. Realize that for each thing you say yes to — from a pair of shoes to watching a movie — you have said no to something else. Always ask yourself, “Is this valuable enough to me to crowd my life with, or even to bump something else from my closet, my schedule, my money?”

Feeling good about yourself will come naturally when you stop waiting and start creating the life you really want to live. Stress and frustration will be reduced as you make choices instead of being pushed around. You’ll experience a higher sense of self acceptance, and the self improvement will become easier and easier.

Stop waiting. Start today.


Kathy Gates is a professional life coach in Scottsdale, Ariz., who helps people deal with the stress of everyday living in a more organized and efficient manner. She is the author of several e-books and e-courses. 480-998-5843.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 4, August/September 2006.

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