Four Questions to Jumpstart Your Life

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. ~~Alan Lakein

I felt like an air traffic controller this summer.  Both my sons worked two jobs, my husband traveled a lot for work and I took on a number of new  projects.  I should have installed a revolving front door—it would have saved on our air conditioning bill.  As September arrived, my husband flew to South America, my two sons returned to school and I took a breath. I love when everyone is home, but I love being home alone.  It gives me a chance to reflect on my life.

With this quiet time I asked myself four questions, an exercise that I do a few times a year.

  1. Am I doing things that bring me joy? 
  2. What’s working in my life… what’s not?
  3. What dream needs action?
  4. What help do I need?

 After answering these questions, I developed an action plan for the next couple of months.  The first question encouraged me to reject a job for a potential customer.  The compensation would have been lucrative, but I knew in my gut he’d be a difficult client. The moment I made the decision not to take the job, I experienced a sense of relief.

Each question gave me a concrete action to take.  Question 4 is one of my favorites.  I had a mound of ironing overflowing two baskets.  I hate ironing!  Action Plan…I’m sending our shirts to the laundry!  That decision had me dancing around the room.

Try these questions on for size and see if they help your develop an action plan. I call them my jumpstart questions.  They help me get moving when my battery is dead.  What’s your favorite question?

This Week:  Answer the JUMPSTART QUESTIONS.



5 responses to “Four Questions to Jumpstart Your Life

  1. Thank you, Mary Jo. Those are four really good questions. I will sit with them today… Perfect timing with the Autumnal Equinox!

  2. Oh sending the laundry out is an excellent idea. I plan to have a housekeeper someday. 🙂 Great questions, worth pondering. Thanks!

  3. Great questions. Similar to #4 I always ask myself, “What can ONLY I do, (e.g., write my memoir, spend time with my family) and what can others do for me. Of course it takes resources to hire others to get things done, but what’s the payoff? What can you sacrifice that you think you “need” (e.g. a $4 latte per day) to get time, our most precious commodity and truly limited.
    Also, Lakein was the very first time management book I ever read (in my twenties) and it changed the way I thought of time and how I used it. Still working at it! Nice blog

    • Love your questions and I totally agree. I think we get stuck thinking….I don’t have the money to change what I’m doing or I can’t hire someone. BUT, when we really look at what is most important, I believe there are always options.

  4. Agree. It’s leaving behind entrenched habits or “beliefs” that one must do something (may be from upbringing: e.g., I was always stripping woodwork as a young adult because that’s what I saw my parents do. I realize now I was a victim of that upbringing and would have done many other more interesting things with that time).

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