As the year slowly comes to an end, you can’t help but to recall how fast it went by! The old saying “Tempus fugit” pops into your head as you start cleaning out your desk. You are in dire need of a fresh start. Buried under a stack of paperwork you come across a sticky note that has all of last year’s resolutions scribbled on it. As you review the goals, an old hip hop song comes to mind, and the chorus seems to be stuck on repeat.
“… you need to git up, git out and git something
Don’t let the days of your life pass by
You need to git up, git out and git something
Don’t spend all your time trying to get high
You need git up, git out and git something
How will you make it if you never even try
You need to git up, git out and git something
Cause you and I got to do for you and I.”
As the song fades away and your focal point zooms back to the sticky note, you cant help but wonder why not a single one of these goals were accomplished. How is it possible that not one, measly goal got crossed off this list? I have to be the biggest procrastinator to ever grace the planet!
So where do you start? How can you change last year’s path? For years I did the exact same thing. Goals went by the wayside because I was unable to follow through with any of them! Today, now, I am here to share with you how I broke out the cycl, and how rewarding it felt to actually accomplish some of the goals I set out to reach. It was the first year that I was able to cross anything off the to-do list. Now, I didn’t exactly reach all of my goals. But, I was able to put a decent dent in the lingering revolution list.
I am going to share with you some of the goals that I achieved and, more importantly, the techniques I used to break out of my procrastination cycle.
Here is what I was able to accomplish in 2016.
So, how was I able to go from never following through with any goals to accomplishing eight things from my list? Simple. By visualizing each goal. In his book, “The Strangest Secret for Succeeding in the World Today”, by Earl Nightingale, he says “Here is the key to success and the key to failure: We become what we think about.” Could it be that simple? There is an old zen saying that goes, “Control the mind, and you can control anything.” For those of us who’s brain is constantly racing, this could be extremely hard to implement. My brain goes non stop, so I had to take the first step and teach myself how to meditate. For the first three months, I was unable to sit still for even two minutes. But, I kept at it because I knew there had to be a turning point. The biggest key to meditating is focusing on breathing. Anytime the mind starts wandering off, bring your thoughts back to your breath, and simply follow the natural flow. It will take a while to accomplish a steady meditation pattern. Once you do, the rewards are very beneficial. I recommend listening to Alan Watts. (http://www.alanwatts.org) He will not only help you become more connected with meditation, but he will also help change the way you perceive your surroundings.
With any goal, whether it’s losing weight or journaling everyday, the key to success is to build daily habits. Here is how I built my daily habits, and it’s no joking matter. I used the Seinfeld Strategy, by James Clear. This technique is the simplest and easiest habit building routine. And it will cost you zero dollars to implement. I have turned multiple friends on to the Seinfeld Strategy, and they have all had great results with it. I also highly recommend the 1% Theory, by James Clear. This process is brilliant, and can be adapted by taking small steps. Keep in mind that small gains eventually add up to big results.
The next step I took was probably one of the most rewarding changes I have ever made. I became a Toastmaster. From the minute I opened the door at the center, I was greeted with open arms. For those of you who don’t know what Toastmasters is, it’s a group that meets every week and helps you become better at public speaking. Not only do they focus on public speaking, but they also work on your listening and leadership skills. From the time you start, you will be paired with a mentor who will guide you through the program. After a short period of time, Toastmasters will boost your confidence, as well as introducing you to life-long friends that are in search of the same thing you are… growth.
My next piece of advice can be very challenging to accomplish. But, if done correctly, you will soon notice a big change in your daily life. It’s called “finding 5”. Grab a piece of paper and write down the top 5 people that you spend the most time with. While jotting down names, realize that you are the average sum of those five. Do all of these people encourage you to grow? Do they challenge and/or educate you? When we are affiliated with a certain group, it greatly influences our daily habits. My mom used to preach to me, “Be careful of who you hang out with, because eventually you will become them!” At that time I found this statement to be way out of context. But over the years, I saw the true meaning within. Visualize your goals. Then, surround yourself with friends and family members that will help you obtain these goals.
Find a creative outlet. It’s unhealthy to be plugged in all the time. Just like meditation, you will need something to help you unwind and turn off the constant flow of negativity, consumerism and social status. My creative outlet has been drawing. Each day I set aside fifteen to twenty minutes and draw. No computer, no phone and no wifi. Just me, a sketch pad and pencil. This process has allowed me to become a slightly better artist, but more importantly, it has spurred creative ideas that have translated into more beneficial relations.
In order to make of any of these ideas stick, you need to actually WANT change in your life, and you need to be willing to start today. Tomorrow is for that other guy.
For a more in-depth look into these steps feel free to call or email me, and I would be happy to help.