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It’s easy to drift through life. Feeling blown about. Not really planting ourselves in the things that matter most to us, but letting people, life, and circumstances push us where they will. Funny thing is, it’s always easier to spot the drift in others. In their marriage, health, hobbies or kids. It’s kind of hard to watch. Drifting through the things that do matter, existing but barely living. 

Not that all drift is bad…your quit list should be long, but it should never show up in the areas of our life most important to us. 

Sometimes we can be killing it in one area, maybe our money, but drifting in others.

How do we put some stakes down and lay claim to the ground that we really care about?

This is kind of a part two to Time to Quit. First, we need to quit to make space in our life. To free up some time, energy and money. Then we can really show up and lean in.

Show Up and Lean In

Amazing, fun and unexpected things happen when people show up and lean into something that matters to them. I’ve spent most of my adult life in roles helping people show up and lean in. I’ve seen how incredible the results can be when that happens. And how lackluster and boring the results are when people just drift.

What if we make this year the year we really show up and start to lean in to the things that matter most to us? What does that even look like?

Marriage:

Drift: Marriage can often look like ships passing in the night. Or a work remote team trying to manage work projects.

Show up: Showing up in your marriage might be taking 30 minutes a day for real conversation, or a weekly date night. It might be going to bed early at the same time instead of watching Netflix until you are zombies.

Lean in: I’ve watched people with great marriages really lean in. And it’s awesome to see! Adam and I have worked on this over the years. It’s reading a few relationships books together a year. It’s doing life planning together a few times a year. It’s purposeful weekends away with time for reflection and dreaming. It’s marriage conferences and retreats where we learn new skills.

Money:

Drift: Drift happens when we earn, spend, and pay bills but rarely give any thought of intention to those things. It’s when the only time you think about your budget is when your shopping for a new house or car.

Show up: Read some blogs or books. Know your net worth, track your spending, and how much you are investing.

Lean in: You review your expenses each month. You have money dates with a spouse or friend. You interact in the places you learn (blogs, fb groups). You have accountability partners or mentors. You set goals and take challenging, stretching steps to hit those goals. You take classes, courses or attend conferences (partly because we always have more to learn, but partly because we all need more like-minded friends to find and keep momentum).

Health:

Drift: Hardly giving your health a thought outside of yearly check-ups, occasionally weighing yourself, and trying to fit into your same clothes from last year.

Show up: Think about what you are eating, and what actually nourishes your body. Eat veggies every day. Move every day. Weigh yourself every day. Go to the gym and sweat a bit. 

Lean in: Since our mini-retirement, we have really leaned in. We log 90 minutes 4x a week at the gym. I hired a personal trainer. We started tracking our food. I added HIIT workouts. We take measurements in addition to weighing ourselves. We added weekend adventures and do more walking, hiking, and outdoor adventuring. I have started building more relationships in the health and fitness community.

Friendships:

I’m not going to lie. Friendships are hard. When you are in the throes of a growing career, marriage, kids and home responsibility. Drift often takes over. It takes me twice the intention to show up and lean in. Because my friends don’t wake up in the same house as me or require me to spend the 9-5 with them.

Show up: Showing up in this phase of my life, looks a lot like trying not to fall off the radar completely! 

Lean in: Leaning in right now looks like calling, on the actual phone. Going out for coffee or dinner. Frequent emails (monthly). Trying to Skype a few times a year. Sending a gift.  And if I’m really upping the anti, flying to get together.

This is a hard season to lean in. But I am. And amazing things happen when I do. I meet up with people. Send gifts. Go out for coffee. I did a mentoring weekend with my best friend and that investment is still something I pull from each month. We were just chatting on the phone about lessons we are learning and were able to reflect back to the deep conversations we had over that weekend and continue to connect some dots.

With less to give, I give more strategically in my friendships. I make the time more intentional, more focused and more meaningful. AKA Less scrolling social media, more sending actually messages.

My friendships aren’t random anymore. They aren’t by chance or circumstance. I’ve curated an absolutely incredible group of people to do life with. And they make me better every day. It’s a huge benefit from this blog. People I’ve emailed with, skyped with, met in real life, attended FinCon with, started masterminds with, mentored, or worked with in my courses.

It’s possible to read and consume content for YEARS and never lean in. Consuming is fine and well. But the magic happens when you start to lean in.

I probably have a thousand great stories about the way I or others have chosen to show up and lean in, but I want to share this one little story. Just in case you ever wondered how these friendships actually come to be.

I just received a Christmas card from a reader, Audra. That might seems strange, but it’s not. And here’s why. Here’s what it looks like when you lean in.

Audra signed up for my email list. One day she hit reply. She wanted a bit of help with some planning. She offered a trade.

She did a bit of graphic design for me. I LOVED it! (If you have taken any of my courses, she did 100% of the graphic design!) 

I hired her to do more. We’ve Skyped probably a dozen times. She does amazing work for my courses and is a sounding board for me in my creating process. I help her a bit too.

Audra is incredible and just knowing her makes me better. And she might say the same of me.

Audra showed up, and leaned in. She is getting more graphic design work as she navigates her own work optional kind of life. (Of course, the story doesn’t end there, because the more you lean in the more things continue to happen.) 

There is a saying that: People pay attention to things they pay for.

You might need to pay in time, energy, focus or a little cold, hard cash. Actually, for the best result, all four is best.

I’ve seen people experience exceptional growth in all sorts of areas of life that really mattered to them. Life changing growth. In their work, marriage, health, faith or relationships. None of it came from drift. None of it came when they were hardly paying attention to that area. All dramatic growth came with intention and investing in that area. 

This isn’t random. The more people invest, the more growth they see.

You can lean in for your personal development. You can lean into your hobbies and interests. You can lean in to your purpose and calling. You can lean in for your work. You can lean into travel and adventure. You can lean into self-care.

Whatever we focus on, that is what improves. We just need to really show up and start to lean in.

We can’t lean in to everything. In fact, our quit list should be long! But we can pick a few of the things that need it the most right now, in this season of life.

We can’t even show up for everything. But we should show up for the things that matter the most to us.

 

Additional thoughts:

Steve’s Post about almost buying Rockstar Finance I learned once again that getting involved is the spice of life.

David’s Post: I love this post from David.  When we give ourselves fewer places to dig, we go deeper, and what we uncover is more rare and valuable than the usual stuff near the surface.” 

I leaned in by sending Fritz and Vicky the book Younger Next Year (which is on my resource page). Not only did that give us more to chat about and common ground, but now a new Facebook group has started!

Question: What’s one area you want to show up for more or lean in to in this year?