My lack of blogging about my hustle is because a) I have had a lot of paying writing to finish, b) I’ve had to try and get caught up on my hustle after one day of bliss and 2 1/2 days of other-world living, c) … I’ve just had a lot going on, period.
I think my morning routine is finally back on track, though, I’m happy to report. The Evening Must-Dos are back into place. I’m hitting most of my to-dos for the morning. My days are back to feeling productive. I’m just relieved that my Post-Concertitis didn’t permanently derail me. (For a while, I feared it might have.)
Now that that is out of the way, let’s dive into Fearless Leader Jon’s directives.
Half way done!
Hard to believe it’s already been 15 days.
We don’t have time to mess around.
Today’s task is to do a quick progress report.
Take out a piece of paper. Draw a line horizontally across the page. On the left side, write “0” at the end of the line. One the right side, write “100%.”
Now, where is your goal at? Are you half way there? Are you 25% there? If you and I had coffee to discuss this, where would you place your goal?
That’s the first part of a progress report. The second part is figuring out what it will take to close the gap between where you are today and 100%.
So the challenge to you becomes, write down one “bridge,” an action that will take you from today to finished.
Write it down in your journal or share it in the Facebook group.
I settled on 75%, and here’s what I wrote in my journal:
I changed the first part of my morning routine a tiny bit. I moved my waking time back 15 minutes, from 5:30 to 5:15. I did this because I was struggling to get my devotional/journaling time finished before it was time to wake Kiersten. An extra 15 minutes was very helpful.
Thus far I’ve been readily able to hit all my “to-dos” on part 1 of my routine. Part 2, though, has been harder, and I’m not sure why yet. I’ve extended part 2 to 10 a.m. instead of 9:30, but I’m still struggling to complete one writing task.
Do I need to:
a) move 1 task from part 2 to part 1? I’m usually finishing everything in part 1 well before 7:30.
b) end part 1 sooner? Maybe I should end it when K leaves for school, rather than 1/2 hour later.
c) extend part 2? Maybe 10 is just an unreasonable goal for completing 1 writing task. Maybe I should extend it to 10:30.
And/or d) change the writing task? Maybe I should forget about marking when I finish a writing task and instead focus on when I start it. I can control the start time; not so much the finish.
Today I’m going to try b) plus d) and see where that gets me. If it’s satisfying, I’ll stick with it and see where it gets me. If not, I’ll try something else.
Even after I wrote all this, though, I wound up changing my mind. Instead of b, that is, ending part 1 sooner, I’ve now been doing certain tasks of part 2 before 7:30. For instance, Elena has been consistently waking well before 7:30, so I’ve been giving her breakfast along with her sister or shortly thereafter. I’m also often feeding Winnie before 7:30, too.
As for the writing tasks, I have decided to give myself more flexibility. If I’m writing by 10 a.m., I’m satisfied, even if I haven’t gotten very far. I don’t often stop a writing task once I’ve started. So even if I don’t start until 10 or even 10:30, it’s getting finished, and by lunchtime I will have a writing task finished.
Oh no, it’s the Dip!
Why did I recommend you read good books the other day? Because they teach you good things.
Case in point, Seth Godin’s book, “The Dip.” This is probably on my personal list of “Top 10 most influential business books.” I read it for the first time years ago when I was building my blog, Stuff Christians Like.
The concept is simple. Godin argues that in any endeavor or goal there is a period of easy wins. He uses learning Spanish as an example. When you first start studying, it’s fun to pick up those initial words and you feel like you made some progress. But after this rise in your ability, you hit what he calls the Dip, a time when things get hard.
This is the valley of any adventure where most people quit. This is conjugating verbs or the 7 days in a row when the scale doesn’t move an inch. This is the Dip. And I would suggest that depending on what you are trying to do, it can start happening as early as day 16. So if you are in the Dip or will hit it soon, here are three things I think you should do:
1. Admit it. Sometimes, just giving yourself permission to acknowledge that’s where you’re at is very freeing.
2. Reconnect with your WHY. Remember that from day 2? Studies have shown that if we’ll reconnect with our WHY during difficult times it actually helps us get through them.
3. Tell your WHO. Don’t go it alone. Tell the person who is holding you accountable what is going on.
The Dip isn’t fun, but it’s often where a lot of growth is hidden. For more on the concept, check out Seth Godin’s book.
Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), I already hit the Dip earlier this week, and you all know about it because I’ve already blogged about it. And Jon’s right — admitting it and making it public did help. Accountability really does help when you’re trying to change a habit or develop a new one.
As for “remembering the Why,” that definitely helped, too. Tuesday morning, when I reflected on the previous day’s failures and wondered, briefly, if this was just too hard and whether I might as well accept that this wasn’t going to happen and that a few days’ success was all I was going to get, I started thinking about that “Why.”
How I wanted to be more productive and more intentional, how I wanted to be a good example to the girlios, how I didn’t want to live in panic or catch-up mode (catching up on my blogging doesn’t count, haha), how I wanted to make more times for the things I’m passionate about, how I wanted to transform other parts of my life and start with this.
It helped. A lot. Because these were all things I still want, and I wanted them badly enough to be willing to keep trying.
I don’t like when goal setting books and blogs are so serious all the time. It feels like a chore and the duller something is, the less likely I am to actually stick with it.
We talked about fun last week, now let’s get a little more specific with an idea I always talk about when it comes to goals.
Every big adventure needs a big soundtrack.
We know this is true when it comes to things like jogging. We all run a little faster when “Welcome to the Jungle” comes over our headphones. But most of the time, we don’t do a good job applying the power of music to our goals.
Today, I want you to find one song that keeps you going.
Now it doesn’t have to be hardcore rap or “Eye of the Tiger.” Motivating doesn’t always mean fast and loud. Mine for instance is by a guy named “Ulrich Schnauss.” (I don’t know why I put his name in quotes, probably cause it sounds exotic.) He has a really chill song called “…passing by.” I listen to it some mornings when it’s early and I need to ease into my goal of writing.
So that’s it.
In your journal or on the Facebook page share your song. (In fact, someone should create a spreadsheet of all the songs and put it in the file section of the group! That would be awesome!)
Oh, Jon. You just fed right into it. Ha.
It probably isn’t going to surprise any of you that the first song that popped into my head with this suggestion was a Graham Colton song. Here’s what I wrote about it:
Graham’s “Hands Untied.” I just started associating it with his independence from everything weighing him down musically. But why not adopt it for my own journey? Loosen myself through this music. I love it.
And since it’s not available anywhere else yet, I’ll stick my Soundcloud recording of the song from Saturday’s show.
I love this idea so much that I want to ask all of you: what song would you choose as the soundtrack for the goal you want to achieve?