Create a Lifestyle that Works for YOU

“Get a Life!”  That’s what I told myself staring in the mirror in 2010.  It was 2 years after the end of my second marriage, the one that ended with a 911 call for help and an 18-month no-contact order.

I had been tucked safely away in an apartment but was getting weary of holding myself back.  I truly did not fear my ex – he was as shell-shocked as I in many ways and focused on his own recovery.

But in 2010, there I was, ready to set my foot on solid ground, not really sure what I was signing up for but itching for a change. All I knew for sure was that I needed to get a place of my own.  I knew I needed all of my possessions under one roof instead of scattered through various storage facilities.  I knew that I needed room to create.

Then, as I was preparing for the move I ran across Thomas Leonard’s advice and kept it in my journal to refer to as needed.  Thomas Leonard was a pioneer in the coaching profession, famous for his top-10 lists.

This is the Top 10 list that spoke to me in 2010:

Get a Life, not just a Lifestyle

by Thomas Leonard

  1. Understand that there is a difference between living life and having a lifestyle
  2. Start learning about different ways of living
  3. Identify what about your life isn’t really you at all
  4. Identify what is natural for you, even if it’s not normal for others
  5. Lifestyles are expensive to support and prevent you from evolving
  6. Identify who gives you life and who are merely players in your lifestyle
  7. Downsize, rightsize or even toss out your current lifestyle, just for the shock of it
  8. Spend an hour and write down what an ideal life for you would look like
  9. Get to know what your values are
  10. Stop striving, acquiring, pushing yourself

I made that leap.  In 2011, almost exactly 7 years ago, I bought my cute little condo in Fort Collins where I snuggled in.  The cats were added a year later.

My lifestyle fits me now.

Here’s an example.  One of the criteria I set at that time was to have a home that allowed me to extend my hospitality to friends and family.  Connection with friends and family is a big value of mine, and my commitment to that grows year by year.

When I reflected on how I celebrated Easter with my son and his family earlier this month I recalled that criteria.  I made room in my house for 7 to stay overnight.  I have a basement with room enough to hide kajillions of plastic eggs and a ping-pong table that gets a really good workout.  I opened the door wide – and that’s just the way I want to live.

The way I choose to live IS my lifestyle.  You too,

I’m curious – which item from that list speaks loudest to you?  How do you bring it to life?  I’d love to hear your comments!


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