by Dr. John J. Franey, CEO/Founder of Developing Difference Makers
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It only comes once every four years, yes that’s right it’s Leap Year Day! It is a fun day in our calendars that we don’t see very often. While for some it may just seem like another day that is going to make this year even longer, for many it can be a very positive experience. This is because it offers us a time to hit the refresh button on items that we have let slide by since the last Leap Year Day!
This day is a great opportunity to reflect on parts of our lives that we have neglected for the last four years. It is a great time to reflect on parts of our lives that we have continued to put off until the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Maybe it is that commitment to lose the weight once and for all. Maybe it is the idea that we were going to finish the book we were writing and publish it. Maybe there is someone in our lives that we haven’t talked to in the last four years that we wish we could get back in touch with. Maybe it is the idea that we want to spend time with our families. Maybe it is that project in the house that we swear we will get to once we have the time and the money. Maybe it is that vacation that we have dreamed about for years. Maybe it is that move up the corporate ladder that we tell ourselves we deserve.
For each of us, the things we have neglected or put off for the last four years will be unique to our own lives and situations. The commonality is that all of us have something in our lives that we swore four or more years ago we were going to accomplish, but have never gotten around to doing it. We have a ton of valid reasons why we never accomplished whatever it is we have neglected – too busy, too tired, too stressed, too poor, too upset – and so we continue to let leap year after leap year pass us by without movement. Make this Leap Year Day different! Make it a day to hit the refresh button and finally move ahead on these items. Here are four simple tasks that can help you hit the refresh button:
Reflect: Find a quiet, peaceful place where you can sit and reflect on what has been missing or not accomplished over the last four years. We do not find enough time to unplug and reflect on our lives as we get too caught up in the busyness of life. So make a commitment today to take at least 15 minutes to turn off your cell phone, find a place outside of your home or business where you won’t know anyone, and then just sit down and open your mind to the thoughts that will come flooding in. Try to think about things that you have neglected for the last four years, not just what you didn’t get down this week. Listen to your subconscious as it reminds you of the items that need attention.
Journal: After your reflection, pull out a journal or piece of paper, and begin writing down everything you just thought about. This doesn’t have to be in perfect sentences or even make sense, just start jotting down the things that your subconscious reminded you of. Get it all out on the paper, don’t try to justify anything you write, or even to make sense of what it all means. You will have time for that later. This has to be an immediate journal entry.
Plan: Take out your journal entry and begin putting the puzzle of thoughts together into a coherent plan of action. On a new sheet of paper, outline the process for taking the next step in moving towards accomplishing the parts of your life you have neglected. What do you need to do next to have forward movement? Write it down and concentrate heavily on the first steps rather than the end of the process.
Take Action: Pick one of the items that you have on the plan and do it today! Whether this is texting or calling someone you haven’t talked to in years, or its going for a walk to start your weight loss journey, just pick one item to do today! Not tomorrow, that’s too late, it has to be today! Chalk it up to its Leap Year Day and you are hitting the refresh button. Tomorrow will bring all new challenges to continuing this journey, but you will have taken a step in the right direction, a step that you can build on into the future!
Hope these four steps help you to have a great Leap Year Day! Hope that hitting the refresh button on the items you have neglected over the last four years will propel you into even greater success and happiness in your life moving forward!