Life Happens, Do it Anyway

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Life Happens - Do It Anyway 

Have you ever made a New Year's resolution with the best of intent, only to have it fade and disappear sometime during the first quarter?  Have you ever made a decision to upgrade your business in some way, but things got busy and the upgrade never happened?  Have you ever committed to learning a new skill, only to have urgent matters push the goal aside?  I think we all have been guilty of this at one point or another.  

Our lives and our businesses are going on around us every day.  It should come as no surprise that we get busy and are presented with urgent matters that need tending to.  However, if we let them derail our goals and intentions to improve ourselves and our businesses, how, exactly, do we accomplish our goals and improve ourselves and our businesses?  

The first answer is that we DECIDE to.  Not wishing, hoping or thinking it would be nice to, but actually deciding to.  If it's important enough, it will get done.  If you had stage 3 cancer and were in a fight for your life, do you think you would let other matters deter you from your radiation and chemo appointments?  My guess is no.  You would have made the decision that these appointments and whatever else was necessary for your survival would take priority over just about anything else. 

So the reality is that when you put off your goal, or completing the project that would improve your skills or your business, you made the decision, consciously or unconsciously, that other items were more important.  Now that's OK if you gave some thought to the decision and concluded that, based on your vision and values, putting the goal off was the right thing to do.  But most of the time that's not what happens, is it? 

When you didn't achieve that goal you set for yourself or finish that project, was it really after careful consideration and determination that this was the best course of action?  Or was it a case of "letting it slide"?  Letting things slide is a far too common occurrence.  Letting things slide is when you get caught up in the day to day busyness and administrivia, and lose sight of what's important.  It's when you let the urgent completely replace the important.  The decision was unconsciously made that I'm not going to do it.  The decision was totally unspoken, facilitating the existence of a good intention with no commitment to action.  That is, a fantasy. 

So make a decision and a commitment to take action to complete that goal, project or activity that would improve your life or your business.  If you're not going to do it, then don't allow yourself the self-indulgent and destructive luxury of a good intention with no commitment to action.  You're just kidding yourself.  However, if you've made the decision and commitment to achieve your goal, here are a few tactics to help you. 

  • Decide what's really important.  Do some soul searching and some evaluation, and decide what is important enough to you and your business that it warrants action.
  • Create a set of high value activities that will get you there.  This is your roadmap and your to do list.  Since we've already established that time and energy are at a premium,  identifying and doing high value activities will get you there sooner.
  • Get rid of low value activities to make room for high value activities.  There are only so many hours in the day.  Eliminate, delegate or outsource low value activities to make room for high value activities.
  • Have a system in place to make high value activities happen.  My favorite is to time block them.  Make an appointment with yourself and make it as sacrosanct as if it were an appointment with a client or a doctor visit.  Keep the appointment and do high value activities during that time period. 

If the goal or project is important, even if life seems to get in the way, do it anyway.  If it's not, stop pretending it is important.  Getting clarity will allow you to focus on what's important.