Are you living a purposeful life?

How did you spend the last week? Perhaps a tough time at work followed by over-indulgence at brunch or dinner at the weekend? One for the road after a difficult day in the office turned into a hangover the next day? A trip to the shops left you with a big credit card bill to look forward to next month?

Time flies... whether you are having fun or not and the older you are, the faster it seems to fly by. Can you believe how long ago New Year's Eve was? We all start the year with grand ideas as to how this year is going to be different from last year and the one before that. We set our resolutions and we feel great about them. Then day to day life gets in the way and we are weeks and months on and they feel like a great idea that we didn't quite get around to achieving. Still, there's always next year!

Sometimes, there will be good reasons as to why we haven't achieved a goal or the outcome we set our hearts and minds on. Mostly, though, we don't get where we want to be, don't get to own what we want and don't get to be who we really would prefer to be because we don't live a purposeful life.

If you add up all of the time you spend right now doing things that yield little or no value for you, how much time would that give you to do something purposeful? Count all the time you might spend getting drunk, watching bad TV and working extra hours that no-one will thank you for, and how much time - and energy - would that mean you could invest in something meaningful for you? Enough to achieve one of your goals? Enough to help you make a really solid start in getting to that much desired outcome? Absolutely.

I'm not saying that you can't go out and have fun. I like a night out as much as the next person. I'm not saying you can't go shopping or get brunch or dinner. I'm just saying that we have a limited amount of time in each day, week, month and year and we get to choose how we spend it. Rather than not even being conscious about how we spend our time, we should consciously choose to do something instead of just watching awful television through habit or because we can't be bothered to try to do something more productive or meaningful. Indeed, sometimes doing nothing or sitting and meditating or going for a walk might give you a better outcome than any of the other things you do. Perhaps if you already spend a lot of time at home it might make more sense for you to go out to new social or work networking events. Making a conscious decision will free you from your potentially negative existing behaviors and give you the power of purposeful choice.

One of the key differences between people who succeed and people who believe they haven't succeeded is in setting a goal and going off and being purposeful about getting there. That's in stark contrast to being one of the many millions of people who simply dream about achieving what is important to them and don't do anything about it (aside, perhaps, from buying a lottery ticket - though that is flawed too, as this article explains when it opens in a new window).

So, here's your No Bull challenge. Over the next week, consciously decide whether you want to do something or whether that time is better served in a different activity. If you think you would get more out of that better activity, then go off and do that instead. Then see how you feel at the end of the week. I imagine that after just one week of being purposeful about how you spend your time, you'll have achieved more things that are important to you and you'll be happier, healthier and perhaps more successful in heading towards those goals than you would have been had you carried on as you were. There's only one way to find out; give it a try and then let me know by dropping me a line or posting a comment on this blog entry.

And along the way, enjoy being conscious and purposeful with your choices. It's very liberating.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

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As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.