By MGAL Expert Lin Eleoff
It’s become a well-worn phrase by now: Get a life! But what does it really mean?
Sometimes it’s said with sarcasm, other times with disdain… and sometimes it’s just plain funny, as in: You’re a fan of Real Housewives? You need to Get. A. Life.
But how does one go about ‘getting’ a life? Can you get one at Target? On sale? Two for one? I wish, because with everything I have to do I sure could use a couple of lives to get it all done.
Which leads me to the word all. What does it mean to have it ‘all’? Does all include a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, my favorite six-layer double chocolate cake, a perfect husband, two perfect kids, a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, and everything in exactly that order? Do I really need the shoes, the cake and the guinea pig? Well, maybe I do.
And therein lies the problem… we don’t know what our “all” is. (Don’t worry, we’re not going to now try to define the meaning of “is”). And if we do, we’re often afraid to admit it because of what Everybody will think.
So how can we ever know if we have it all? How can we know how to get a life if we don’t know what our so-called best life looks like?
Work with me baby! Because I’m going to help you figure this out. Why? Because if you don’t know how to get a life, it’s going to impact the kids, the husband, the dog, the cat and the guinea pig. Hell, it’s even going to impact your cake… and how you eat it. The shoes? Maybe not so much.
At Mom Gets A Life, Get A Life is no joke. It’s a call to action for mothers to not only live their best lives but to knock them out of the park! As Patti Digh says, Life is a Verb. It’s something you do.
So, how do we do this life we have?
Just like this:
Step 1: Everybody must die. And by ‘die’ I mean you must disconnect, literally, from every person who negatively impacts your life, even slightly. You need some time and space to think; to connect with your Essential Self, which is the part of you that knows exactly what you want. Do this for at least one whole day, longer if possible. Go to a park, or the beach, sit with your Essential Self, and ask her what she really wants, not what she should want. There’s a difference.
Step 2: Write it down. Your Essential Self has some very important things to tell you. Listen very carefully. Then write down twenty things that you want. Yes, twenty. Do not censor your ES. She gets very cranky when you do that. Write it all down. Including the cake and shoes.
Step 3: Pick your Top Five. Pick out the five most important things you want in your life, right now, as in, yesterday. If you don’t have any of them yet, I imagine your Essential Self is pretty darn pissed at you right now. No wonder you’ve been dragging your ass.
Step 4: Drop five. Pick out at least five things you can live without, for now. The shoes might go on this list. Definitely not the cake.
Step 5: Set deadlines. The rest of the things on your list are a priority, but they will have to wait until you tend to your Top Five, which you will now assign a deadline for each item on the list. These are your goals.
Step 6: Make a plan: Because a goal without a plan is a dream. Which is why you may not have accomplished many of the things on your list yet… because you’ve been too busy dreaming and not planning. For each of your Top Five you’ll need to write down a step-by-step plan. For example, DON’T write; go back to school. DO write; call admissions office to inquire about their design school application process. It’s important to break the plan down into small action steps, which makes the process much more doable… and fun. Keep in mind, this exercise ought to feel good, if not downright exciting. If it doesn’t, that’s your Essential Self nudging you again, because you’re trying to please someone else instead of yourself.
You see, the biggest obstacles to getting a life are not your parents, your boss, or your obnoxious neighbor. It’s you. If you haven’t been listening to your built-in guidance system, your Essential Self, the part of you that never wanted to go to medical school in the first place, you probably don’t have much of a life. In order to get one, you need to reconnect with the part of you that you can trust, because she knows exactly what you want. Besides, she needs you. And, you need her. More than Everybody.