OK, today is all about taking it to the next level. This is not a quick fix; it’s about changing your life structure and the way you do things… permanently. That takes practice aka ACTION. It takes doing these things over and over until they become habit. There is no magic potion to making big things happen. Success takes hard efficient purposeful clear work. Step by step. Keep acting on these things and you’ll never want to go back to the way things used to be. Set yourself up for success and – above all – remember that achieving your 2013 Goals is not about perfection. It’s a process. There is no “messing up” here. Making things happen is all about owning where you are – flaws and all – and doing the hard work every day to clear the clutter and realize your full potential. Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
A thing as small as writing down everything in your head (either in a physical journal or in an online journal – I love Day One on my iPhone and Mac!) has worked wonders for so many. I call this “downloading”. It’s basically dumping every thought you have on paper so that your mind can be clear to focus on what matters. Can you imagine what would happen if you did that ten times a month? Hello! MAJOR PROGRESS, right!? Progress is key, not perfection. It starts with YOU. You are the only person who can give yourself permission for greatness. You have to buck up and put one foot in front of the other to do something about your 2013 Goals. True success will not fall into your lap. You have to do whatever it takes to demolish what’s holding you back from your full potential. You have to get down and dirty and DO the hard work to clear the clutter. High fives to everyone who has started this process (and to those of you just starting today)!
Here’s where you start to make your life EASIER. You know what it felt like back in school when you showed up to class unprepared? What about for that client meeting you just had? Were you 100% prepared to OVERdeliver for them? Did you just “not have enough time to prepare”? Why do you think you lost that last sale? How often have you winged it lately? When was the last time you felt like you were running around like a wild chicken? Right now? Welcome to the hen house! You get the point. You go through days frazzled because, quite honestly – you just haven’t prepared or known how to.
On the flip side, do you know what it feels like to have a day where everything just works? You worked hard, you got things done, you made. it. happen. Your day just flows, things click – even if stressful situations arise, you have energy coming out of your ears! To make the right things happen efficiently and effectively, you have to prepare ahead of time. Shaun White doesn’t just fall into the half pipe. He purposely trains and plans everything leading up to that moment so he has no other choice but to soar. Preparation is everything. And it does. not. take. long. How many of you feel frazzled in the morning and are so crazed you feel like you don’t even have time to make a to-do list? Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to make your list while your kids eat breakfast or on a hurried commute to work. Do it the night before. Prepare for action. When you wake up, you will know exactly what you need to do instead of flailing around trying to figure out what to focus on. Sound familiar? It that you right now? You’re not alone. That changes today.
The Next Level: Here’s what I do to set myself up for success every day. Before I go to bed or sometimes before I finish work at 5pm, I download (dump all of my thoughts, to-do’s, worries, everything) on my laptop for 10 minutes (I literally set the timer on my iPhone) then I transfer everything that needs to be acted upon (“to-do’s”) to Things on my Mac. Things is great because it syncs with Things on my iPhone. I can add items when I’m working out or out running errands or rocking Grace to sleep or whenever they come to me so they are out of my head. After looking at my entire Big List of to-do’s, I choose just five things – enough to fit on an index card or a post-it – to accomplish the next day. I purposely do not keep my Big List out. It will overwhelm you – as many of you know – if that huge list is out in front of you all day. The worst part? Even if you check 10 things off of your Big List, you still feel like a failure because it’s not ALL done. Yeah, you know what I mean. It’s self-sabotage. Don’t do it.
At night, after I download and get my head clear (and Gracie to sleep!), I make sure I have enough healthy food for the next day. I sleep in my workout clothes. I make sure my workout playlist is ready and I literally point my gym shoes toward the door in the hallway at night (…if I am planning to go outside to run. I cancelled my gym membership and bought a used elliptical on Cragslist for cold days!) I set a full bottle of water by my bed for the next day. I make sure my office is clean before I go to bed. I lay out my clothes for the next day.
How many times have you sat there staring at your closet in the morning, hating everything in it? It’s not because you don’t like your clothes. It’s because in the morning most people are rushed and you get stuck just picking something to wear because your head is thinking about all the work you have to do that day. Try picking out your clothes the night before and somehow that decision takes 1/10000th of the time. Right? Right. Try it. I practice what I preach. Preparing the night before saves me so much time and brain space! I literally – no matter what happens – walk right into my ideal day because I crafted it to be that way. Even if the ceiling falls out, I’ve worked hard this year to put certain things in place to keep me ontrack. Save yourself a ton of time and set yourself up for success tomorrow. That entire prep list takes me all of 5-10 minutes to do (MAX) the night before and it saves me up to two hours the next day. If I follow-through, I go to bed happy and excited to work the next day. Efficiency and preparedness are addicting! They produce results. No matter what your circumstances are, you have five minutes to prepare for tomorrow. Stop making excuses for why your day happened to you. Take the reins. When it comes down to it, preparing for greatness is so easy. Success is where preparation meets opportunity. I do not give myself any excuse to not live a prepared day that FUELS ME to make things happen.
Your challenge today: what can you do today to set yourself up for success tomorrow? Right this second, start by writing this on a post it and stick it somewhere you will see it first thing tomorrow morning:
‘A year from now you will wish you had started today.’ TODAY IS THAT DAY.
1. Write down 3 things you can do to set yourself up for success tomorrow. 3 actionable, realistic, tiny things. Do them. Prepare. If you do more, awesome. Don’t overwhelm yourself though. Progress, not perfection.
2. Write down one thing that you can do to prepare for greatness next week. Do it.
3. Write down one thing you can do to prepare for greatness next year. What’s on your dream goal list? It could be closer than you think if you just take the first three tiny action steps. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney Shoot for the moon, people!
I never ever thought I’d have a national magazine. But, I do by the grace of God and because I felt the fear and took action anyway. I didn’t have a lick of experience in publishing. It started with taking me taking the very first step. Plant a seed today and act on what you want in a year. It may very well happen faster than you think! But, you have to start. Prepare for greatness and take action right now.
COMMENT with your answers to the three questions above and spread the work to get others involved. What you are doing to prepare for greatness? When you comment, you are entered to win a one-on-one branding session with me OR your choice of gold foil art prints (one for you and a friend) when my new shop opens soon. Don’t lurk any more, friends : ) Take ACTION and comment with your progress!