15 Minutes in 2015 – Creating a Plan

Our much needed new beginning arrived yesterday like an unopened gift. Inside contains beautiful renewal, an awakening of our minds, limitless potential, and 365 opportunities. Let’s tear it open and enjoy every moment!

Yesterday, I shared my guiding word for 2015. The theme that I want to live by in the new year. The power-packed prompt that I will use to infuse into my thoughts, my choices, and my actions. And my word is CREATE.

What word did you come up with?

Now that we have our words, we need to set some structure for the word to work its magic. At least I need there to be structure. Because I can be passive. And a procrastinator. And a wait-and-see’er.

The structure helps me to be proactive. And in the moment. And a do’er. And those qualities are instrumental in a life well lived. Although those qualities don’t always come naturally for me. How about you?

So to remedy my reactivity, I need structure and am creating a plan!

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Here it is… (and maybe it will work for you too!)

I looked at the key areas in my life that I want to CREATE opportunities in, which helped me narrow my focus. Certainly I want to create wonderful things in every area of my life, but that scope is too wide. Too much. Unmanageable. So the areas that are a true driving force for me are the areas I will intentionally focus on. The things that have the greatest impact on other things and lay the foundation for my best self.

What are the 3 or 4 most important areas for you? Take a few minutes to work that through in your mind.

Mine are faith, health, connection, and mindset. Let me be elaborate.

Faith: I know that when I fuel my faith, I feel more centered and more peaceful and far more connected to my purpose. When I create opportunities to nurture that part of my life, I am just plain better.

Health: I am not very good at focusing on my health, so this one is a challenge for me. I want to be healthy, but I don’t always want to do the things I need to do to create health. Like eating right and exercising. Because I love french fries and dessert and lounging around. There, I said it. The unpopular truth. So I need to focus on creating opportunities for a healthy lifestyle.

Connection: We are made to crave connection in our lives. We need to know we are not alone and we take comfort in sharing thoughts and feelings and ideas. It is a key component of community and it wards off depression and isolation. Although, I admittedly love my alone time, so I need to create opportunities for meaningful connection in my life. My relationships are so much better when I nurture them. And I am better when I am filled with a sense of love and acceptance and understanding.

Mindset: Our thoughts are a powerful force in our lives and our choices and actions are a direct result of our thoughts. So I need to consistently create opportunities for my thoughts to surface in positive ways, and I need to create ways to redirect my thoughts when they are not serving my well-being.

Now comes the real action…

I am choosing to commit 15 minutes each day to each key area. 15 in ’15 to create my best self!

15 minutes each morning to fuel my faith and create greater spirituality in my life. I was blessed to receive two devotional books this Christmas, and am going to set the tone for my days – every day – spending 15 minutes reading and pondering and praying and rejoicing.

15 minutes each afternoon to enhance my health and simply get my butt moving. I will take a walk, do some jumping jacks, dance around like a lunatic, or whatever will get my blood pumping. I know that 15 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but I am doing zero minutes right now, so carving out 15 minutes in every day to create a healthier lifestyle is totally doable!

15 minutes each evening to cultivate connection and nurture the relationships in my life. Simple gestures like sending a caring email, calling a friend, making plans to get together, or being truly and fully present in conversations will go a long way in creating deeper connections with the people who matter most to me. I do these things now, but a commitment to be more intentional in this area of my life will improve this area of my life.

15 minutes each night before I go to bed to stimulate my mindset and create a peaceful and positive headspace. I spend a lot of time in my head now, so 15 focused minutes will be easy for me. I will read something uplifting, watch an inspiring TED talk, add to my gratitude journal, write down my thoughts, or meditate. Any activity to infuse my internal chatter with hope and possibilities and power and positivity will be a wonderful way to nourish my mind.

15 minutes in 2015! It’s easy. It’s doable. It’s manageable. It is a minimum, not a maximum, so longer time frames are perfectly fine. But for me, 15 minutes is an amount of time I can embrace and can be energized about. 15 in ’15 is admittedly a little corny and gimmicky, but it is memorable and that will help me stick to my focus to CREATE an amazing year.

I realize that my 15 minute plans actually equate to an entire hour. And I recognize that there will be days where finding an hour may be challenging. But it really is all in how we manage our time and what we choose to prioritize. Set a kitchen timer or phone reminder or schedule an appointment with yourself in your Outlook Calendar. You have the time. You’re just spending it on something else right now. And so am I.

But I want things. I want more meaningful connection in my life. I want relationships that add to my joy and well-being. I want ample opportunities to love and to be loved. I want to be understood and accepted. I want to learn and grow. I want passion and purpose to surface every single day. I want to be healthy and happy and active. I want to express myself creatively. I want to embrace my imperfections and allow myself grace. I want to fuel my faith and protect my peace. These are the things I want more of.

I need to CREATE space and time and opportunities for all of those things to occur. Life doesn’t just “happen” to us. We create it with every thought, every choice, and every action. And we can take actions that will create the best version of ourselves and our best year yet!

A few things to ponder…

Can you commit to 15 minutes of focused time each day to reinvent and reclaim your life?

What key areas do you want to nurture?

What do you think the outcome will be if you apply structure and action to your wishes and hopes?

Here’s to a year filled with all the things we wish for. Here’s to thoughts and choices and actions that support our goals. Here’s to being a life-giving force to the people around us. Here’s to giving ourselves grace for our imperfections. And here’s to a beautiful, exciting, meaningful and memorable new year. Here’s to our best year yet!

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