I was going to put all 10 (11?) days that I hadn’t blogged about in one huge post, but then I realized this would be suicide. No one would read a post like that. No one has time to read a post like that.
(I’m learning… really!)
So I’m going to try to break these posts up into bite-sized chunks that will hopefully be easier for you all to read.
Fearless Leader Jon’s Day 7 e-mail:
When I asked folks in the Facebook group for ideas they’d like me to address in these emails, one thing kept coming up – Interruptions.
They wanted to know how you keep moving forward with a dream or goal when other things keep interrupting you. Great question!
Here’s what I suggest:
1. Decide if it’s an interruption or a commitment. Fixing your kids lunches for school isn’t an interruption, it’s a commitment. Get up earlier if you know each morning at 7:30 is lunch making time.
2. Decide if it’s a one time or regular interruption. A fender bender on the way to work that ruins your plans for the day is hopefully a one time event. Doing the laundry every other day is a regular interruption. Don’t act surprised by the regular ones. You’re lying to yourself. Make a plan instead.
3. Don’t confuse an interruption with failure, they are not the same thing. You will be interrupted. Today, tomorrow, forever and that’s OK. We all are. But don’t think you’ve failed when you get interrupted. It’s only failure if you stay there for longer than you need to.
Interruptions are a fact of life, like the sitcom, but they can’t cripple us unless we let them.
Get up, get ready, get back on track!
If you read my preceding blog post, I think you’d agree with me that I basically lived this e-mail over the past week.
If goals were easy to get done, everybody would do it and you wouldn’t be all that unique. But they’re not, which is why we need ideas and tricks to get things done.
Today’s is called the “Not now note.”
What often happens when you start working on a goal is that some other idea pops up. Some people call this the shiny object syndrome. Just as you buckle down to execute something, another idea pops into your head and demands attention.
Our fear is that if we don’t focus on this other idea we will forever lose it and miss an amazing opportunity. But in doing so, we lose sight of the first thing we were supposed to be focusing on.
When that happens, create a “Not now note.” The not now note or NNN is exactly what it sounds like. It is a one sentence note about something you will not do right now. For example, while I was writing this idea I suddenly decided that I should think about a 30 days of hustle tumblr. I realized I didn’t know how to do a shared page and should look that up.
In the past I would have stopped what I was doing, gone on Google and disappeared for half an hour. Instead I wrote a NNN. I wrote down in my notebook, “Look up how to share a tumblr with other people who can post on it too.”
Done and done. The key is to make sure you remember to not write a whole page and to plan some time to come back to all your notes.
Fight your distractions with NNN.
This is what I was talking about in my last blog post: the Not Now Note. That is how I should have handled the distraction of my rediscovered novels. The fact that I lost so much time to them is the perfect instance of why I should have done that.
In fact, right now, right in front of you guys, I’m going to write a Not Now Note to remind me to return to the novels once I’ve scheduled some time to work on them.
One of the biggest reasons people fail at their goals is that they forget why they started them. They take tiny steps and make small decisions that lead them away from why they wanted to do something initially.
Today, I want to give you one simple task – review your WHY. It’s been five weeks since we talked about WHY we are doing what we are doing.
So has yours changed?
It’s OK if it’s changed in a good way. It’s OK if you’ve added a new why to your list. Both of those things involve deliberate thought and action. But if you look at your why and it feels wildly different from what you are doing right now, it might be time to tweak it.
Is your why still your why?
I’m going to look at both of my “Why?”s — my morning routine why, and my budget why — and see what I come up with.
1) I want to be more productive. A morning routine will set the tone. (yes– definitely still true)
2) I want to live more purposefully and mindfully. (also still true)
3) I want to be a good example to my girlios. (couldn’t be truer)
4) I don’t want to spend any more days in “panic” or “catch-up” mode. (Painfully true. That’s how I spent yesterday… I had almost forgotten how much that sucks.)
5) I want more time to do the things I’m currently not doing because I’m in that panic or catch-up mode. (Yes. Definitely, yes.)
6) I believe that, by getting my mornings under control, I’ll make more way for other transformations. (Definitely; when my mornings had gotten out of whack, my budget hustle suffered as well.)
1) Because I want to know exactly where our money is going each month. Because I don’t like those last few days before Eric’s next paycheck, wondering if we have enough money to cover whatever it is we need. Because I want to spend and save our money more intentionally. (Yes — all very true.)
2) Also, because by nature I’m more of a saver than a spender, it will help me not to feel guilty every time I spend money. Because I’ll be spending only what we have budgeted for, and I’ll know we can afford it. (Also very true still)
3) Finally, I want to avoid the panic of those expenses that sneak up on you. Like our car insurance that we pay only once every six months, or the birthday and Christmas gifts that suddenly we panic about, wondering how we’ll afford any, or clothes. (Definitely still true)
That almost seemed like a pointless exercise… everything is still true, after all.
However, reviewing those did help strengthen my resolve to get back on track, so I suppose it wasn’t really pointless. So, thank you, Jon.
Let’s get small!
People often ask me how to break big goals into small actions. That trips us up a lot of us. The problem is that we see the need for small goals in some areas of our lives but not others.
If you told me you had never run but were going to run a marathon tomorrow, I would tell you that you were dumb. No one runs a marathon the day after they decided to. But I know a lot of people who think they can write a book next weekend or start a blog that is successful in a few days. We put such wild expectations on our dreams that we get overwhelmed and quit.
The way that I break my big goals into small actions is the 50% rule we talked about last month.
I simply cut my goal in half again and again and again until the first step for me could fit in a thimble.
The second thing I do is double the timeline.
Case in point.
You want to write a book in the next 6 months.
We would half the first part. So now you only have to write half a book, maybe 30,000 words instead of 60,000.
Then we would double the timeline. Now you have an entire year to do it.
We’ve got decades of inaction to shake off, don’t try to do it all at once.
Then I stick with the math approach and divide 30,000 words by 180 days. Do you know how many words that is? That’s only 166 per day! That’s nothing! This email will end up being twice as many words. I can do that. Want to make it even easier? Divide your day into two ten minute writing sessions, one before work and one after.
Now you’re only writing 88 words per session. Holy cow that’s cake!
Want to accomplish your goals?
Divide and double. Divide and double. Divide and double.
I’m still not sure how this relates to a budget, aside from taking one day at a time. Right now I’m in catch-up mode, and honestly I think the only thing I can do now is just do it.
Although, when I set about reestablishing the budget, I didn’t do everything all at once. One day we worked out a new budget, and the next day I set up our checking account ledger again. So maybe what I need to do here is first, concentrate on the ledger, and second, concentrate on the budget. Or vice versa.
In other words, I should try not to do it all at once, because that would be an exercise in failure. Or futility. Something like that.
It’s time to stop now, because I’m at 4 pages in Microsoft Word, and I’m trying to cut down on the length of my blog posts. So I’ll be back later for more catching up!