With the new year underway, I’m sure that many of you have set goals for yourself of things you want to do, experience and accomplish during 2012.
And with that, often comes the dreaded “but will I actually do those things?”
I know that I can get super duper excited about something new , but I can also start to feel anxious, wonder if “this time” I’m really going to follow through.
Doubt and worry can creep in mighty fast, leaving me with the urge to scale down my goals, or WORSE! -> abandon them all together.
Yeah, I admit it. I do that.
When it comes time to perform, to take action and get started, the fear of failure, or the not not knowing where to begin can leave me walking away from whatever it was that was inspiring me.
Does this happen to you?
Or maybe you do get started, you do take some action, but the results don’t come right away, so you give up.
Or you have some days of being lazy and neglecting the stuff you said you’d do, so you tell yourself “it’s okay, I’m not sure that’s what I really wanted to do anyway.”
Or… you fill in the blank.
All of that is a problem of action.
Or, more accurately, a problem of NO ACTION.
And that can make us feel crummy.
So, then we start working on feeling better. “Being okay.” Accepting where we are at – right now. Being at peace with how things are. etc.
Except the thing is that we aren’t okay with the way things are.
We want to make stuff happen.
We want results.
We want to achieve great things that inspire us and leave us feeling life we are, in fact, living life the way we want to be living it.
So, how do we overcome the “no action” problem?
Here are the things that work for me, that make a difference and that help me to get up off my butt and do stuff that matters:
1. Know that you will likely fail.
It’s true. You will. Anything worth doing, that’s big and inspiring and courageous.. well.. life will throw up road blocks.
You will get stuck. Things won’t go to plan. It’s just what happens.
Don’t be afraid to fail, because you probably will. Jump on in and get started anyway. And when you do fail, learn from it and keep going.
2. Know what there is to do.
What’s the time frame for accomplishing your goals? How are you going to get things done? What are the steps along the way that need to happen to get you to the final outcome?
You have to have a plan.
It doesn’t need to be super detailed and specific unless that helps you. But, it does have to be clear.
Break down the big picture into bite sized chunks so you know what there is next to do.
Will the plan unfold exacty as you said it would? Probably not. (see #1). But having a path to venture down will lead you toward your goals much more effectively than just wandering aimlessly.
3. Know when you’re going to work. (and then work)
If your dream is to write a novel, do you have time each week to work?
Whatever it is you want to make happen requires that you work on it.
Make sure you have time set aside to do that. Create a schedule for yourself and then stick with it.
Yes, sure, sometimes the kids will get sick or there will be a bonifide emergency that you’ll have to take a “sick day” for. But otherwise, give yourself specific times to work and then show up for work during those times.
4. Keep moving forward.
Baby steps. A little goes a long way. You don’t have to get to the end over night.
BUT! When you keep moving forward, even just doing a small chunk, it keeps you in the game.
If you are overwhelmed and can’t see how you will ever make time to start something new, just do one small thing.
And then another, and then another. Keep moving forward. All those small chunks add up over time.
5. Be flexible.
The universe works in mysterious ways. What you initially set out to do may not be what you end up with.
If you are really clear on your why, your vision, the Big Picture and you keep working on manifesting that in the world, new opportunities and paths will likely open up. Don’t close yourself up to those.
You may start out wanting to learn photography and end up a world famous painter. You never know.
Don’t get stuck thinking that what’s going to inspire you and make you happy is the only thing.
6. Start today.
Life is here, happening right now.
If you want to start your own business, start it today. Sure you might not be 100% successful and able to live off that business right away, but it’s never going to happen if you don’t begin.
So stop waiting. Jump on in and go for it. See what happens. You might surprise yourself.
7. Be unreasonable.
Don’t give yourself excuses. Push yourself.
I know that it’s hard to do, but the more you push, the more you challenge, the more you let go of all your reasons why today is not the day, the easier it gets to do that over and over again.
Practice this and it will become a habit.
8. Get away from distractions.
If you can’t write your grand novel while the kids are climbing all over you, escape to a coffee shop for a few hours.
If the dishes keep calling your name, go lock yourself in the guestroom.
If you find your attention being pulled to other stuff, find a way to get away from the temptation so you can get your work done.
I often leave my house to work on stuff. I camp out in my favorite coffee shop, put on my headphones and tackle whatever it is that needs to be done for the day. I can get so much more work done this way. It works for me.
Find your “safe space” with the fewest distractions and go there.
9. Be organized with your workstuffs.
If you are a painter and it takes you an hour to set up before you can get started, you’re not going to be motivated to get going.
Have your supplies/materials at the ready.
Keep your work plans easy to get to, so when you sit down to work, you can get started right away – knowing your doing the right stuff.
I cannot stress this enough: if your work is not sitting there ready for you to dive in, it will be so much harder to get started. But, if your workstuff is ready to go, then you can get in the groove quick and easy.
10. Have a clear vision.
What are you stressing about all this productivity stuff for anyway?
To make some money? Buggers to that! That is not a sufficient reason for working your butt off.
To feel better about yourself? Yeah, that won’t motivate you to keep going.
Know WHY you are doing what you do.
Have a reason that inspires you, that leaves you saying YES to life, that wakes you up and gives you purpose.
Having that kind of vision behind your goals and dreams will motivate you so much more than trying to fix or change something in your life.
11. Be grateful.
Celebrate your life, your accomplishments and who you are.
Do it often.
And by often, I mean many times throughout the day. The more you can stop and say yes to all that is working in your life, the more motivated you will be to work on the stuff that matters.
Gratitude keeps us in the presence of our own awesomeness and that’s a key ingredient to making big stuff happen.
12. Finish one small thing.
I find that when I’m crazy not in the mood to get to work on something, whether it’s cleaning the house, doing my schoolwork, working on my business or cooking dinner… if I can complete one small thing, it gets the ball rolling.
Then I do another small thing, and another, and before you know it, I’m in full on getting stuff done mode.
Finishing something, no matter how small, feels good and makes us want to finish more.
So if the big stuff feels way too big, start with one small thing.
13. Give up trying to be perfect.
Because none of us are.
Well, we are perfectly US! But we don’t usually give ourselves credit for that.
Instead of trying to be this perfect version of yourself that exists only in the fantasies of your own mind, why not just be you?
And, I’m all for working toward being the best you possible. But the bar for that will always be raised. You won’t ever “arrive” and be perfect.
Focus on working hard, trying your best, giving it your all.
In the end, that’s all any of us can do.
14. Work on your dreams inside of a community.
Get support, community, cheerleaders, people that encourage you.
Have people who want to see you succeed around you.
Talk to them about your ideas. Share your vision. Let them lift you up when you get stuck or don’t feel like it anymore. Even better? Have a group of people that will not only support and encourage you, but will hold you to account and keep you focused.
15. Don’t give up
Every moment is a choice. Every day is a chance to make something awesome happen.
Your dreams are right here, waiting for you to start working on them.
You always have a choice about whether or not you are going to get started on your dreams, or if you are going to give them up.
Your dreams matter! You making them happen is MAGNIFICENT!! Don’t give up.