It’s one thing to think about it, but it’s another thing to act on it.
It’s too easy to procrastinate.
The intention’s there, but the follow through’s lacking. Distractions, other priorities, self doubt, getting stuck, external pressures or simply being enticed away by something more shiny. These are all at war with our efforts to change.
It takes time for change to happen. Many state 21 days is the breakthrough period in developing a new habit. I bet this isn’t the first time you’ve read that. It’s become a cliche; but sadly one we’re often on the outside of. Forget 21 days. For some of us we rarely get past a week.
And that’s why New Years Eve Resolutions feel so good. We get the ‘hit’ of saying to ourselves that we’ll change, but the reality is after a few days, the desire runs thin. We can’t be bothered, we’ll get round to it later and the enthusiasm dissipates. It’s like a drug that we hope each year will give us the real results we need.
Perhaps, we can call this the ‘old’ us; the one who went for the quick fix without putting the preparation in.
So before you go any further, I want you to read back over your ‘Challenge’ and the ‘Help’ you already have. Be reminded why it’s important and how you’re a lot closer to creating the lasting change than you give yourself credit for.
If you haven’t jotted down your thoughts on these past two questions, I’d be so bold as to say, that there’s little point in continuing till you do. Because if you’re one of the 92%, you’re likely to fail without this thorough preparation.
OK- let’s say you’ve planned out your Challenge and you can see the Help you have, and you decided to kick out by now, and you’re already facing setbacks.
If you’ve slipped from your intended perfect outcome, don’t stop and throw the towel in. Celebrate.
Because everyone slips. Everyone makes a mistake. But 92% who fall choose to give up. Why? Because the slip had such a defeating effect on them, that they let it overwhelm them. Celebrate because you’re not going to be one of them. There’s still fight in you isn’t there.
I love the reality of 5 steps forward and 2 steps backwards. Why do I love it? Because it’s real. I’m yet to meet a true human titan who is flawless and only takes steps forward relentlessly without any trips. The person who consistently delivers the actions day in day out, without any bad turns, doesn’t exist.
Naturally lots of books are presented with a lofty level of success that we’re expected to reach if we follow their procedure. But surely, that thinking gives over emphasis on how we can have victory. Sometimes perhaps it would be more helpful for people to be open about their struggles to bring about change.
I’m a case in point. This week. These blog posts. Much to my initial shame and embarrassment, I found myself experiencing all the emotions that people feel when they give up.
1. I missed my perfect performance. The blog post every day. That was one of my goals.
2. I then berated myself, and subjected myself to negative ‘You failed talk.’
3. I became ashamed that it wasn’t just one day overdue but a few days overdue. I mean seriously- that’s embarrassing. I’m supposed to be professional. I’ve breached the golden rule of not delivering on expectations.
4. I then started doubting my ability to write it. ‘In fact isn’t everything I’ve written pretty poor after all? I need to improve so much. Should I just stop now.’ And the beat goes on…
5. I wanted to delete the posts and pretend I’d never started them in the first case. I realised that some friends had read the promises of future posts, so knew that wasn’t a cowardly exit I could get away with.
6. When I realised I couldn’t delete them, I wanted to come up with some excuse, change the dates, hope few people would notice the delayed posting.
7. I then found a lack of discipline in other areas of my life, as a result of how I was feeling about this. (I started eating more, I was going to bed later, I wasn’t going for my run). This all further compounded the mini weeks failure I was feeling.
Can you relate to any of that? Oh, so it’s only me….. 😉
And I’d like to be able to say that I spoke truth over my life, saw sense and looked to put it all right. That’s why I got back to finish this mini project. But in truth it was when my internet connection wasn’t working and I wasn’t able to get on with other work, that I finally came face to face with myself, and stopped running away from getting this done.
I could no longer give in to the ‘I’m ultimately going to fail and do a bad job’ message that was going round my head. The ironic thing was, I’ve spent a lot of this week coaching people about their need to see themselves through different lens and re-write the scripts they speak over themselves. Seems like I need to practice what I preach. Again.
The truth is, we’re up against so many thoughts that will derail us. The challenge is how much we listen to them.
So now. Berating over. Action taken.
I’m celebrating. Can you?
Can we grow more comfortable with a few steps forward and the odd step backward. The likelihood is over time, we’ll increase the forward momentum, and get better at avoiding backward steps. But either way, a job or habit is made from the the time and attention given to it. You don’t remember the backward steps once the behaviour is changed. You don’t focus on the heartache to get there once a project is complete. You bask in the joy of success.
Here’s 5 questions you can move forward with.
1. What actions do you need to take?
2. Who do you need to contact?
3. What practical changes do you need to implement?
4. Are there any items/ objects you need to buy or borrow?
5. Where do you need to go to for further knowledge?
Let me know how you’re getting on? I’d love to hear in the comments below.