Do you have a life process? Or life processes? Some will answer an emphatic “Yes” to this question and others will answer with a counter-question: “What planet are you on asking me if I have a life process?”
You may not have documented it but we all have a life process. For most, their life process occurs by default with not much thought or planning, but you do have one. Let me explain.
There are automatic actions that you do every day – that is, they occur almost spontaneously without forethought, you just do them – such as:
- Time that you arise each morning.
- Your morning preparing-for-the-day actions, such as brushing your teeth, morning exercise (if applicable), drinking , beautifying (if applicable), eating, shaving (if applicable), preparing kids for school, reading the morning paper etc.
- Your mode of transport, what time you leave and, if you drive, what route you take.
- How you organise your daily actions (do you use a diary, electronic or otherwise, a ‘To Do’ list etc), the order in which you prioritise them and how you handle interrupts.
- When and what you eat each day.
- Your end-of-day processes, evening exercise, preparing for the following day, family time, TV watching, reading, hobbies……
I could go into more detail but I probably have done so enough to get you reflecting about your daily routines and habits. Yes, these automatic actions are habits. They do not start as a habit, but they all become habits over time with repetitive use.
Some of the habits are good and others not so good and some are even bad. I’ll leave you to determine which fit into which category. Be objective!
Most, if not all, of these automatic actions are determined by a higher order. For example, what your beliefs are, where you work, where you live, what age your children are, what their daily requirements are and what your age is will play a major role in determining many of the above habits.
These habits will change when a higher order determinant changes, for example, if you change jobs, house, state, country, you have a traumatic experience or children finish school then new routines will need to be sought which will eventually become different habits.
But how do these daily habits align with your life process?
To my way of thinking we have many processes in our lives at different levels. At the highest level there is an overall life process which should be aligned to our personal vision and personal mission. Vision is what/who you want to become in the future, and why you want to become. You can keep this confidential. Mission is what/who you are and do right now and why you do it. You should be prepared to make this public. Your values and beliefs will play a major role in articulating both vision and mission.
Your goals and objectives define how the gap will be filled between your mission and your vision. Your life process defines the regular big picture actions required to achieve the goals and objectives. If the process is correctly aligned, executed consistently and objectively then you will perform your mission successfully and achieve your vision.
Process is action and task orientated. Your life process, once defined, determines which actions will get priority over others and which actions will get dropped altogether.
By definition, if there is any action that you perform that is NOT part of your mission and is not assisting you on moving towards your vision then it is an action that should be weeded out of your regular routines. In most cases this requires breaking a habit.
For example, if your mission includes family, business, friends, fitness and rock climbing, then your life process should align with these. If, for instance, your vision includes being a volunteer to a community organisation at some stage then your life process should reflect this. At a lower level you will need to define a process to incorporate this into your life and then determine how and when you will step into that process and start executing it.
Many clients over the years have spent many, many hours discussing with me their trials, tribulations and successes they have had with introducing an investment process into their lives. Many struggle immensely to do so and others wonder why it is even being discussed as it was so easy to implement.
The degree of difficulty/ease with doing this is directly proportional to the level of importance or priority that one places on the activity of investing. Importance or priority is determined by desire, that is, how badly do you want it? And desire is determined by what is required to perform their mission and to fulfill their vision.
So what is your life process?
Do you have sub processes for your level of fitness, your overall health? If not, then establish a process by defining the daily, weekly and monthly tasks and actions that you will undertake and then step into that process and energise it until the actions become habits.
If you know that investing should be a high priority in your life but it is not getting the time of day it deserves then you need to change something. Are there any lesser priority actions using up your valuable time? You need to establish an investment process and then step into that process.
We can provide well defined and researched investment processes complete with tools but we cannot provide the desire. That’s up to you……