…And Using Time

08 February 2010, by A. Cedilla

In this companion piece to Building Goals , we’ll discuss how to work with the time we’re given to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen to us. Ready?

  • Pick an age, any age older than you are now. If you can’t settle on anything, pick your current age plus 1-3 (or 5-10 years).
  • Then pick some pictures of your best moments in life, if you caught them with the camera. For those moments not captured on film, write down the details, nothing wordy, 2-3 sentences ought to do.
  • Add some more images of people you respect and admire. List down the reasons why.

This activity is a way to take snapshots of the future. If you want to be technical and metaphysical about it, photographs and movies are just images of captured light. The snapshots you’re preparing now are the light-source for the future you want to have, the one that you can work towards.

Once you’re done collating the images and supporting reasons, here’s what you do next:

  • Set your age, and picture you living your life at your best at that age, being someone you respect and admire, enjoying moments better that what you have now or in the past.
  • Work back to see what you need to do, to be that person when you reach that age.

When you’ve finished, you can connect the dots. Make an inspiration collage and put it where you can see it. If you don’t keep your vision in front of you, you can lose sight of what you really want and you can get lost, sidetracked, or even completely off-course.


Time passes.

Time will pass, whatever you do or don’t do.

Whatever you choose to do or not do.

Barring accidents and illness, you’ll be your age plus 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. Do you want to be that admirable person, or be the default you in plus-X years when you didn’t do anything major to change your direction?


What can you do see the dream to fruition?

  • Review the past – See the goals that died on the vine, and ask why.
  • Find the common denominator, let go of the emotional flogging – it’s in the past, review, see the lessons and move on.
  • Break the present down – Put your days into blocks and see which activities bring you closer to your best vision, which ones are true to your core image. We’re not advocating a full-speed change-of-life complete overhaul, but you can structure what Daniel Pink calls a results oriented work environment (ROWE)….one where you can do what you choose but be sure you still produce the results you want as well.
  • Work towards the future – It’s not set in stone — everything can change in a second, but you have to have something to steer by, otherwise you’ll be drifting in other people’s wakes. On the default setting.

A few things to finish:

  • To-do lists shouldn’t dominate your day. Don’t let ‘ticky fever’ (when crossing things off make you feel good) lead you. Are you attending to the important stuff, or just checking off your list? Results matter more, not lists.
  • You need measurable differences –and this means keeping records, updating them regularly (tracking your progress and the variables, so you can see what works, and how soon you get bored and need to switch methods, etc.)
  • Measure the results of your actions regularly. Review your processes and their results regularly, adjusting and tweaking as needed.
  • Know what you really want, where you want to be (and how) in Now + X years. Plan backward, have a plan, apply it
  • Adapt to changes, don’t lose sight of what matters to you, or of your Best Picture.

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