Life Gets Away From Us…Until We Are Role-Driven


Posted January 8, 2014

Happy New Year to all!   Another year has come, gone, and now we’re off to 2014.  While we are making plans for 2014, I reflect upon what happened last year, “did my goals get fulfilled?” and “did I live my best life?”  Life moves quickly, and I’ll paraphrase Woody Allen, “One day we’re getting out of college, the next we’re getting movie tickets at half price.”  The point is that somehow we awake to find we’re 10 years older and 20 pounds heavier.  While I don’t think we can necessarily help our slowing metabolism, what we can decide is to wake-up 10 years later to a more fulfilled life—and I have a plan.

The plan is adapted from many people like Steven Covey (“the best way to change behavior is to change your role” and the “funeral exercise”), David Viscott (“The Action Board”), and others.  Essentially, the plan is a three-step process of identifying roles, articulating several goals for each role, and then putting your goals into your weekly calendar.  I say that our best life is aligning our behaviors with our values and roles.

To give you a simple example, I choose the role of a healthy physical being.  In this role, my goals this week are to do yoga 3x/week, cardio 3x/week and strength training 3x/week; I then schedule these 9 activities (about 5% of my week) into my 168 hour week.  I want to remind you that I don’t have to take on this role—I’m choosing this role, and I’m choosing the goals that align with this role.  When the week is over, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goals and fulfilled my role as a healthy physical being.  I also have many other roles too: I am a social being, emotional being, spiritual being, intellectual being, a son, a brother, and entrepreneur, etc.

What are your roles and goals?  What is important for you?  When 2014 is over, what will you be saying in January 2015 about how you lived, loved, and learned?  Will you wake up at a movie ticket counter wondering why you’re getting half price tickets or will you happily say “I’m here from the roles I’ve chosen.”

Have a magnificent 2014!

Warm wishes,

James Lani, Ph.D.


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