ZoeOur beloved 11-year old chocolate Labrador Zoe left us unexpectedly earlier this month. I am usually the first to say carpe diem (Live and love now! Don’t wait!), and the loss of Zoe provided another reminder of how short life can be.

I’ve written on this topic before, but felt it needed to be revisited. It’s so easy to get caught up in the distractions of the daily grind. It takes conscious effort–and sometimes the reminders from a friendly supporter–to keep the big picture and what’s most important fresh in your mind.

In my coaching of two business partners last week, we talked about how challenges like employee turnover and delayed closure of a key contract can cause you to forget your overarching vision. And in another coaching session with a business owner we talked about the importance of celebrating the small successes of daily work that build toward the bigger goals — important for staying the course even when unexpected challenges arise.

What are you waiting to take action on? What distractions are drawing your attention away from what is most important?

One client recently re-hired me to help her tackle those distractions so she can stay on track toward her biggest growth goal. But sometimes the goals are more personal, like meeting that special someone…or taking a bucket list trip…or finally completing that next level licensing exam.

If you have not ever or not recently read the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, as shared by a bedside hospice nurse Bronnie Ware in her now well-known observations, I invite you to read on and consider what small step you can take in the direction of a long-held goal or desire.

(1) I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

(2) I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

(3) I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

(4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

(5) I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Carpe diem!