Reaping what you Sow
Thoughts on uptaking a proactive lifestyle and defining what it means.
I’d like to highlight first how easy it is to get into the flow of this type of lifestyle. You very quickly reap the benefits of what you sow, and so the cycle of healthy and proactive living begins. This idea is based around curbing your impulses, minimizing spending, maximizing self-interest and the “Do what you NEED to do” mindset, consequently putting yourself on track to living the best life you can.
Definition: knowing you can control a situation, and so you cause a specific reaction. This is opposed to letting something happen, and reacting to it.
The ‘situation’: your life.
The ‘specific reaction’: the goals and achievements you layout for yourself.
The proactive definition is a cause and effect, rather than an effect and a reaction. You need to be consciously aware of what your actions will bring you in the future. A proactive lifestyle will give you control of your future and will liberate you from a seemingly ‘out of control’ lifestyle.
Start by making positive goals for yourself. Start small, then build up depending on how much you can achieve in your day-to-day basis. If you can’t reach a goal, don’t reprimand yourself. See where you could have made time for it, anticipate that in the future, and calmly reset the goal (if needed) and do your best to achieve it. Take it as a learning opportunity rather than a failure.
Goal: “I want to save $100 more dollars this month.”
A relatively small and achievable goal for anyone reading this. It’s positive and proactive: you are cutting costs in order to save, and you are proactively making a decision within your control and ahead of time. The next step would be to map out your expenditures (looking through bank records, money tracking apps, day-to-day spending habits, etc.), and commit yourself to the goal. Maybe one less bag of chips and soda every week can pocket you that extra $100?
Goal: “I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months.”
Achievable and healthy in multiple ways: giving yourself time to commit to it, and giving your BODY time to commit to it. Your body and your mind really are two characters in the same car: both of you are heading in the same place with two different agendas, but your body is the one driving. Your body is unpredictable at times and can surprise you with ailments now and then. As the person in the passenger seat, you need to be ready to actively guide your body in the right direction with as much control as you have.
For this particular goal, it’s typical to jump right into a ‘run a mile a day’ agenda and a ‘cut all dairy, fat, carbs you can’ mindset. If your body is used to a high consumption lifestyle, going cold turkey won’t be a positive experience. Map this portion out over a couple of weeks: allow your body time to adjust to a lower food consumption rate, a day at a time. Your body will react positively and will adjust to the new lifestyle.
Side note: listen to your body, take note of what you react positively and negatively to during exercise and eating. Don’t FORCE yourself to run a 5k every day, ease into it. Don’t FORCE yourself to eat kale and spinach every 3 hours, ease your way into it. Don’t FORCE a healthier diet/routine onto yourself as it may lead to a negative experience, allow yourself the patience and time to adjust to it. Just as you’d allow your friend or child patience, your mind and body deserve it too.
Sorry for the tangent...but I really wanted to specify some ideas there!
Back on topic: a Positive and Proactive lifestyle means you need to think consciously about how your actions affect you. Just like bringing in new goals and habits, you can just as effectively manage and eliminate some maladaptive habits and daily-life routines that may not help your long term proactive goals.
Going back to the ‘Save $100 dollars’ goal, that can very quickly eliminate a reckless and impulsive spending habit you may not have been aware of. That exact thing happened to me: I wondered where my income was going, made a goal to save more money monthly, and ended up showing myself how much I spent monthly on food/takeout! It wasn’t pretty...but it led me to a saving and budgeting journey that I’m very happy to say has successfully paid off (no pun intended).
So, to summarize:
Changing your lifestyle from reactive to proactive can not only save you money, but it can save your life! As I mentioned, work from small goals to bigger goals: Go from ‘Save $100 dollars’ to ‘Start an IRA’ to ‘Finish school’...As you make and commit to achieving more goals, your honing your ability to self-discipline. This will naturally lead to higher things!
I may end up making a part II for this topic; it feels like I have a lot more to address! Hopefully this idea has changed your way of thinking about your lifestyle, your habits, and hopefully has introduced you to a pathway to a strong and controlled lifestyle that will benefit you in the long run!!
Have an amazing day!