‘It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.’ [Terry Pratchett]

change1Last year i ran a series called New Year’s Evolutions in which i challenged people, instead of making the traditional resolutions [that i’ve seldom heard to have worked] to rather take a bit of a stock take of their life and be intentional about making a series of evolutions [small discernible changes] so as to live a more effective life in the coming year. The end of the year is a great time to do this as often people are off work and have a little more time and the start of a new year feels like a good time to add some new things to your life, or to remove some things that are having a negative or even sometimes just neutral effect.

This year tbV and i ran a book study using a book that our friend, Mark Scandrette had written called ‘Free: Spending your Time and Money on what matters most.’  I would highly encourage you to get hold of a copy and work through it with a bunch of friends over an eight week period – was such a great time for us and we ended up with some new friends and better life habits as a result. But even if you don’t go that far, to make some time to address the premise of looking at how you SPEND YOUR TIME and SPEND YOUR MONEY and then really being honest about whether those things line up with what you would say MATTERS MOST in your life.

I spent a lot of years at ‘the singles table’ at weddings growing up and inevitably you’re grouped with a bunch of people you don’t know and i used to find small talk excrutiatingly difficult and awkward until i came up with a simple solution. I changed the question ‘So what do you do?’ [which, let’s be honest, unless they’re an actual lion tamer, astrophysicist or spleen dissection technician we really don’t care about and likely won’t remember] to ‘What is your passion in life?’. Often it initially throws people a little bit, because they are not expecting it, but when they take a moment and think about it and start putting some words to the reality of their life, when people answer the question ‘What are you passionate about?’ you start to really find out who they are. And quite often it has little to do with what they do.

Take a minute to answer that question… What are YOU passionate about? 

Once you have that thing in your mind, and it might be a number of things – write them down – then ask yourself these questions:

# How much of my time do i spend doing something related to that? [If my passion is the outdoors and i am stuck in an 8 to 6 office job, well then…]

# How much of my money do i spend on things and experiences related to that?

Do they align? If not, then as you end off this year and are about to start a new one, maybe this is the best time to do something about it.

And maybe that thing will be something quite dramatic. [Handing in notice at your work, start planning that overseas trip, make a phone call about that volunteering you have been wanting to do…]

Maybe it will be something smaller and more manageable, but decide now to be intentional about doing it. And then jump…

change2# One of my evolutions for 2014: Taking responsability