To make things happen we have to prioritise them

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

― J.P. Morgan

It is all well and good to dream. But if I really want that “Perfect Summer’s Day” I wrote about yesterday I am going to have to work at it.  It won’t magically appear unless I really focus on the steps that I can make to get me there.   So for the rest of the month I am going to push myself to do 3 things that will get me closer to my best life.

Now for the hard part. What are the things that I can do that will actually help me reach my dream of being location-independent, of working with passionate-souls and having the ability to develop myself further through learning, exploring and doing?   Mmmm. Not easy (Must admit that at this point I re-read yesterday’s post again, stared up at the sky, mouched around on the outdoor couch and chewed the end of the pen – yes I did have a pen to hand!)

active outdoors

Ok so one of the key elements that came out of yesterday’s blog post, was my desire to have outdoor activities in my day.  This seems achievable.  Although with the amount of travel planned in the next 3 weeks for the day job, it will definitely be a stretch.  But I will commit to doing some form of exercise outdoors for at least 30 minutes each day. Now that can be walking, cycling, swimming, circuits, climbing, anything in fact.  The important thing is being outdoors and actually doing something more than sitting! That’s the first thing, being more active.

Jump at Sunset

get the low-down on a virtual business

Second one. Well it dawned on me I don’t “know” too many people actually working virtually. Sure I know some from the online world, but that’s just it, they are online. I don’t actually know what their day-to-day looks like; how they organise their day; what they find most effective for moving forward; how they keep motivated etc etc.  So number 2 is to connect, in person, preferably over tea and cake, with someone working virtually. Someone who is actually making a success of the type of lifestyle I desire.  Ok this one will be more tricky and will need more thought on how to achieve it, but donning my corporate hat “isn’t that what stretch goals are for?”.

Tea and cake at Knotlow Farm

working on the move

And finally number 3. Although not mentioned too explicitly in yesterday’s post, travel features strongly in my best life. I want to be able to combine exploring and seeing new places with being able to work.  I have done plenty of business trips all over the world and am very adept at working in airport lounges, on trains, in planes and in hotel rooms.  But I have never tried to work on my own things whilst away from home.  Will I have the motivation and discipline? Will I be able to focus?  I know that I have a 10 day holiday coming up (to an as yet unknown destination) and I want to use some of this time to test out this part of my imagined “best life”.  In other words, I would like this trip to be a little bit of a trial run, to see if I like working while on the road.  So in the next few weeks I will plan the 10 day trip, decide which 3 days will be work days and then give it ago. (I know 3 days might be a bit short, but I think I will get a pretty clear idea if it is something feasible or if it is something I hate!)

Working looking at this view, will it be possible?

Working looking at this view, will it be possible?

So there you have it,

my three actions

  1. 30 min activity each day
  2. Connect with someone working virtually and making it a success
  3. Have a go at working on my things whilst travelling.

This post was written in response to the Day 6 challenge run by The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

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Delving Deep to “Soar like an Eagle”

I decided to join the Suitcase Entrepreneur’s 30 Day Blog Challenge, albeit a few days late and so now am playing catch-up. This is an all too familiar state of affairs for me at the moment and is something I desperately wish to correct. I am still working hard in the corporate world and sometimes it feels like all I do is work and travel for business.  But since the start of the year I have been making subtle changes both in terms of my mindset but also in my actions.  Now I have a bit more get up and go. I am determined to make the most of my time away from the office, by really focusing and doing those things that interest me, which have sparked my imagination.

the birth of Leisure Guru 

Funnily enough this has coincided with my sister experiencing a similar desire for a change in direction.  We got chatting, as sisters do, and before we knew it the Leisure Guru blog was born. We are not experts, and neither do we pretend to be, as we haven’t yet got this leisure lark completely sussed, but one day we might!  The Leisure Guru blog is really our way of sharing our experiences of trying to maximise our time away from the office, so that we can look back on the last year and have some really cool stories to share.  Plus in years to come we will have a full suitcase of memories. Our hope is that you will enjoy sharing in our adventures and maybe it might inspire you too to grab life by the scruff of the neck and make it work for you!

So back to the challenge

The whole premise of the 30 day challenge is to respond to daily blog posts with one of your own.  I thought this would be an excellent way to gather momentum on the blog and get into a routine of writing and posting.  Here’s hoping! But as I am now arriving on day 4, this first post will have to be a mismatch response to not only today’s challenge but also those of the past 3 days… But hey what is a girl to do?

life on your terms requires clarity

As I read the first four challenges it became abundantly clear that in order to live life on your own terms both from a work and a lifestyle perspective you have to be crystal clear on what that looks like. Otherwise how are you going to know if you have made it? It is a bit like getting into the car with no clear destination. You just drive aimlessly round, turning left and right as the mood takes you.  But how do you know when you have reached the destination and you can get out for a while and admire the view before getting back in and deciding where to go to next? It appears that living your best possible life requires some planning and some strategy….it seems that we need to have “goals”.

your best life requires “goals”

It is all too easy to say “I want to put the zing back into my life by doing more fun things, travelling and seeing new places, meeting new people.” Being a bit of a control-freak I, of course, want to have more control over what I do with my time and be able to do work that can come with me wherever I am. I want to be location-independent. And naturally being a bit of a leisureholic I need to have time to wind-down and chill-out. But what does all that actually mean in practice and what does it look like?

delve deep to find your true heart’s desires

To be honest, I am still trying to delve down into my true heart’s desires in order to have a really clear vision on where I want to be and what I want to be doing, but this is what I have figured out already (in no particular order).

  1. I love the outdoors. The mountains and the sea to be specific.  I need to spend time outdoors every day. As I work from home when I am not travelling, this has been relatively easy to achieve. Today I even worked on the balcony sheltered by the canopy from the rain teeming down. Surprisingly refreshing!
  2. I like being active, but hate the gym. However, doing all the same exercises outdoors is actually quite appealing. Getting on the bike for a cycle ride, jogging round the block, hiking in the mountains, swimming in the lido, doing the parcours (outdoor gym thing with 10 stations on a 1.5 km route) – now that sounds much better.
  3. I love to cook healthy food, and be inventive with it. My poor husband has been subjected to all manner of weird and wonderful combinations and creations. I am loving experimenting.
  4. I need to be able to explore and investigate and learn new things.  I explore in the online world as well as the real one. I have been learning about building the life I want; doing several courses or events which have sparked my imagination; researching trips and vacations; fiddling with and learning wordpress to create this blog; visiting new cities; getting out there and trying new things; scaring myself doing adrenaline-fuelled activities. And all this in the past 7 months!
  5. I love being with my family and friends and spending “quality fun” time with them, not just being there in body but being really present.
  6. I need for work to inspire me, to really interest me. I need to work with people who have passion, who are enthusiastic about what they do. I get a buzz from being around those people who care about what they do and believe that their contribution makes a difference.  I need to feel that passion, to end the day feeling I achieved something.
  7. I am not defined by my job title.  I want a “job” that is flexible, which allows me to work from anywhere, at any time. I need it to mould to my life. I may choose to work all the time from the coffee shop round the corner, but if I want to, I want to be able to pick it all up and work from the ski chalet in winter and from the beach in summer.  I need that flexibility so that I can spend more time with those I love and care about.
  8. But most of all I need to play to my strengths. No more trying to be good at everything. I need to focus. I know that when I am doing those things that I am truly good at, it doesn’t feel like work. I finish and it has been “easy” – I have worked hard, but I was happy slogging away, figuring out those little bugs, researching that idea, investigating the best deals.  I am a lean mean researching organising machine!

how did I figure this much out?

Well, quite a bit of soul-searching, of noting down what made me smile, what gave me a sinking feeling, realising when I had completely lost track of time and when it was dragging into eternity and beyond.

But the best exercise of all was creating a board all about me and what I connected with, what inspired me, what would make me feel like I could “soar like an eagle”.

My dream board part 1

My dream board part 1

My dream board part 2

My dream board part 2

If you have never done this, it is simple. Get loads of magazines, scissors, a piece of paper, glue and stopwatch. Set the stopwatch for 45 min and then you are off into your own world (fab music helps here too). Flip through the magazine cutting out pictures or words, which call to you. These could be activities you want to try, scenes you would like to visit, really anything that makes you smile and think “hell yeah!”.  Stick the pictures to the piece of paper and hey presto after 45 min you have your board.

My board sits on my dressing table so that first thing every day I see the elements of my dream and know what I am ultimately working toward.

Awesome leisure is part of an awesome life!

In response to http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/blogchallenge/blog-challenge-day4/