Okay, I let you get through the last of the Christmas dinner leftovers and the first set of New Year resolution failures. Now it’s time to get back to the daily grind of just slugging it out.
All those books and online courses that promise to make you more productive and help you reach your life goals? They’re the same old set of common sense principles that have always made people successful gussied up to look like you can make it happen without breaking a sweat. The bottom line is: dreams only come true when sufficient labor is applied to them. Change only occurs when more force is applied to it than to the status quo.
So, put the book back on the shelf, log out of that how-to website, put your work clothes on, and get back to work.
Every Do More Stuff program and every Reach Your Goals class can be summed up in these few steps.
- Decide what you want to accomplish (Goals).
- Decide when you want it accomplished (done-by date).
- Write down all that has to happen so #1 is finished by #2 (identifying tasks).
- List the tasks in the order that they must be accomplished (determining your strategy).
- Schedule the results of #4 on your daily calendar and to-do list (working your plan).
- Put #5 on your daily list before any other tasks or distractions are scheduled (setting priorities).
- Do the work to make sure #6 happens every single day.
And there you have it.
I just saved you $24.95 if you were going to buy the book, $195 if you were going to purchase the online course, or $1,399 if you were going to attend the three day retreat and get personalized hands-on guidance from the author.
You don’t have to send me any money for what I’ve helped you with so far, but you should send me a pretty hefty bundle of cash for what I’m about to share with you.
Are you ready? Here it comes.
Without #7, #1 through #6 is wasted time. All of the the planning, yes, even that anointed and approved by the Grand Guru at the exclusive planning retreat, won’t get you one centimeter closer to your dream.
Planning produces nothing but a false sense of accomplishment.
Go ahead. Try it.
Plan the perfect meal. List all your favorite foods. Don’t worry about the cost or the calories. Be sure to include dessert. And use real butter. Lots of butter. Take your time to get it right, because you only get a few thousand meals in your life and it would be a shame to waste one. Don’t hold anything back.
Got it all written out? Good. Doesn’t it feel wonderful to identify exactly what you love and want?
Grab your fork, take a seat at the table, and wait for it to be served.
How long will it take before your brain realizes that the food isn’t coming, and that short-lived sense of accomplishment turns into the familiar gloom of disappointment?
This might seem a bit simplistic, but it aptly illustrates what millions of folks do every January. They make big plans to change and improve, and develop a mind map to the future. Because the brain can’t tell the real from the imagined, when it reads that wonderfully constructed plan, they get a dopamine rush that boosts their excitement.
But then they get to #7. The brain that got so excited to see the finished plan isn’t quite as happy to consider the pile of work that’s now before it. So, it conveniently finds something else for them to do so they can avoid those messy and unpleasant tasks.
Funny thing, your brain. It will provide the natural chemicals so you can celebrate when the work is done, but until then, it will do all it can to prevent you from doing the work. Especially if you’ve started and stopped before. Your mind will welcome you back to your comfortable little spot in the middle of mediocrity – right where you belong – just like the little Pekingese puppy who runs growling to the door every time the neighbor’s German Shepherd barks is always welcomed back to his safe little bed beside his master’s chair.
So, are we doomed to be whatever we are? Are some destined to succeed while others were born to always be bottom dwellers?
No! Man was created to work. To take the abilities God gave him and see what he could make with them. If he will work, his dreams are attainable. But if he won’t, his dreams are wasted.
While plans alone are worthless, in the hands of one willing to work they become the artist’s masterpiece, the scientist’s greatest discovery, the engineer’s finest design.
Are you feeling a little lethargic? Do you have that sinking feeling that 2017 is going to be just like last year and all the years before that despite all you’ve dreamed and planned?
It could be that you’ve expected #1 through #6 to cause #7 to just automatically fall in place. It ain’t going to happen.
Don’t toss away those plans. Get busy and attack them. Just one a day is enough to get started. But getting started is the key. No matter how good you are, you’ll never win if you don’t get into the game.
Don’t let your brain defeat you. Don’t stop the work. Regardless of how lofty your goals, you must always be a working man, a working woman.
When you stop working, hope fades.
Give your brain something besides fancy plans to cheer about. Get to work!