Most of us want to accomplish something in the short or long-term. We want to lose a few pounds, get better organised, get a Master’s degree or clean up the house. No matter what you want to accomplish (or change), there is a gap from where you are right now to where you want to be in the future.
And for most of these things you want to accomplish it is likely you know, at least roughly, what you need to do to achieve it.
If you know what you want, and you know what to do to accomplish it, what’s stopping you?
I’ve been struggling with this for a long time now. I know what I want to accomplish with my health, and I know what I must do to achieve it. Still, I have been inconsistent in applying what I must do. When I stop and analyse why things are not working, I realise two things are not where they should be:
If whatever you want to accomplish is not motivating you, you are unlikely to do what it takes. You will always find an excuse. Excuses should always be a warning sign as they are a form of procrastination. We use excuses—however tenuous they are—to avoid doing something we know we must/should do and feel less guilty about not doing what we should be doing.
But excuses do not lead to accomplishment. Excuses either take you further away from where you want to be or leave you in a place you no longer want to stay.
Taking consistent action
If you are not acting—doing whatever it is, you need to accomplish your goal—you won’t achieve your goal. As you slip further and further away from your goal, your motivation will ebb away, and you find all the excuses you need not to take the necessary action.
It becomes a negative loop. Low motivation makes it hard to take action, and if you are not acting, you will be making excuses.
If you are struggling to get started with your goals for 2021, revisit your reasons for doing whatever you want to accomplish. If your reasons are not exciting you, if they do not motivate you to do something right now to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be, then find better reasons.
Lack of motivation = excuses = lack of action
If you can break the circle of defeat by focusing on why you want something and take a few small actionable steps towards achieving your goal each day, soon you will find progress that will act as a powerful motivator.
It’s often the lack of noticeable progress in the early stages that destroys your motivation. It gives you ready-made excuses (this is too hard / I don’t have time) and stops you from taking the necessary action steps to accomplish your goal.
Break that circle.
Learn and Master Photoshop
Learn and Master Illustrator
Get Fit & Healthy
Become someone who has standing and holds respect
Decorate the flat
Be able to earn money by doing what you enjoy
Learn to paint digitally
Turn my WordPress websites into something tangible
Get through Carl Pullein’s Course
To save £7,500
I’m getting there, slowly but surely I’m getting there. Life on a high living with bipolar is good coz I can see all this and in the past that good vision hasn’t lasted long and I stumble, lose my way and give in.
I’m trying hard to break that pattern and the waiting game to get started is one of the hardest things to put up with but I’m getting closer to making things happen in my plan to become someone better than who I am now, and that’s not bad, only it is to me. I always want more, I’m such a perfectionist and it’s been a long road trying really hard to lower my expectations which change like the weather like every morning when I wake up in a totally different mindset to what I had when I went to bed. I’m trying to change that pattern though. How? I don’t know right now but I’m sure I’ll work it out.
My plan is to join a gym and stop smoking.
It’s raining now, after a super hot week and it’s forecast to go on for a few days at least, and on a few days next week. Even if it’s pissing down I’m going to hand these gym joining forms in on Friday. I have to.
Stopping smoking will be harder and I really don’t want to stop, I enjoy it. For health reasons though I really need to. It’s making that initial break from it that’s a hard prospect but actually doing it I’ve in the past found to be really easy and even pleasureable. My plan is that with all of the exertion in the gym I’ll struggle with coz I smoke and that that will give me the incentive to stop. I just need to get there!
The most important thing that I can do for myself at the moment is to stop smoking. Forget about all the mental health stuff problems that I have and focus on that. Like I said, it’s a waiting game and Friday is only a few days away.
Join the gym>go to the gym and knacker urself out>then stop smoking so that you can do more gym and hopefully start to feel better in yourself and about yourself. It’s a no brainer to me, I just need to do it & then keep on doing it! When I was in junior school I had a teacher called Mr. Green and Mr. Green was a strong man. When we left junior school going up to senior school he left each pupil with a parting quote written down on a piece of paper. For me he wrote, “Keep on keeping on”, and it’s only now, 46 years later do I have to put that saying into practice by keeping on at the gym and stopping smoking.
Will I? Probably not but it’s been fun writing all this down!
Check out my next post and I’ll write about how I got on and what I did. For now though I’ll just wait until Thursday night when I plan my next day.
Have you got 10 minutes?
One of the crucial parts of becoming more focused, better organised and less susceptible to procrastination is a simple ten-minute task you perform at the end of your day.
It is so crucial that not one well-organised, highly productive person ever skips it.
What is it?
It’s an end of the day planning session.
An end of day planning session gives you ten minutes before you finish the day to look over your tasks and your appointments for tomorrow. It makes sure that whatever you have planned is still relevant to your overall objectives for the week. It allows you to step back from the daily ebbs and flows—with all its crises and emergencies—and look at the bigger picture of where you are going.
The problem with spending all day down in the trenches is you cannot see where you are going. You could easily be going in the wrong direction—working on the wrong project, dealing with the wrong emergencies or spending too much time on one thing and completely missing something else that is more important.
Unless you give yourself a few minutes at the end of the day to look ahead, assess where you have been and check you are working on the right things, you will soon find yourself drifting off in the wrong direction, working on the wrong things for the wrong people.
But by far, the most significant benefit of giving yourself ten minutes at the end of the day to plan the next day is you will be a lot less distracted and stressed in the evenings because your brain will relax. Knowing what you have to do tomorrow, that you have enough time to do it and that you are where you want to be will allow you to be far more present with your loved ones at the end of the day.
You won’t be worrying about emails, unfinished work and deadlines. You will be away from your day-to-day work, talking with your partner, kids, and friends without that annoying thought that you have forgotten something important. Furthermore, you will be more focused on the things that matter—your family and relationships.
Surely, being present and attentive with your family and friends every day is worth ten minutes of your work time.
That’s the plan. I just hope that I can make it work.