I aspire to live a great life. I define this as follows: To live a life full of meaning and love. To be healthy and physically capable of doing the activities I enjoy. To experience new things and travel. To give back to others.

This kind of life doesn’t just happen overnight. In fact, I’m fascinated by how small decisions culminate over time to create huge opportunities and successes. Or on the flipside, how small poor decisions can add up over time to create massive failures. To me, this quote from Annie Dillard describes it perfectly:

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.”

-Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

At the new year, it’s common for goal planning to occur – fitness, dietary, financial, travel-oriented, etc. Instead of just forming a goal, ask yourself these two questions that will ACTUALLY move you a step in the right direction:

  1. What is the next small step I can take that will inch me closer to my long term goal? Don’t try to accomplish the entire goal at once – just ask yourself what is the next small incremental step that moves you closer to your end goal.
  2. Where are you veering off course in life? What are the small seemingly insignificant choices that could add up to colossal failure down the road. Identify these potential future failures and course correct now by cutting out these small indulgences.

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