5. All aboard!

It’s time to get moving. It’s time to map out our plan and get to work.

You guessed it. It’s time for action!

But before you start I want to make sure you are setup for success. So often in the past I have failed because I decided to take on too much and I’m not alone as it’s also one of the biggest reasons I see people fall short of achieving their goals.

No surprise here, taking on too much is also one of the biggest reasons that people give up so quickly.

It’s tough, I have been there so many times myself. It’s like we are conditioned to believe that doing more is the answer. It’s simply not sustainable but I can understand the logic behind it as the burden of doing too much leaves us feeling tired, unfulfilled or with a sense that something is missing. So we search for that magical thing to add to our already full schedules to help address this gap that we are feeling.

Now, I said I understand the logic – I never said it was logical. Have you ever experienced this yourself? You feel like the weight of the world is pushing on you yet there is a deep belief that adding saxophone lessons, decoupage or taking up distance running is going to be the magical task that makes it all feel right.

I can say with certainty friend that what you need in your life to set yourself up for success couldn’t be simpler. It’s not that one more thing. Actually, what you need is less. Yes, Less but Better.

Less areas of focus and better outcomes

There is a wonderful article “Whack-a-mole (Home Edition)” that I have written on this important topic (it’s certainly worth the time). You can check it out here

Life is not a sprint. Sure we might have a finite amount of time so there is the urge to move fast but the goal isn’t to do the most things or be the fastest. The goal is develop an understanding of what a fascinating life would look like for you and then take the necessary action to make it happen. That’s it! You take action and you do it slowly.

We must choose to move slowly as it’s important that we build a strong personal foundation. A foundation that can endure and withstand all of the aspects of life that are outside of our control. A foundation that can support your commitment towards filling your life with what excites you and everything that accompanies it.

Now why is this important? It’s important in the same way that It’s important for a building. We want to build the biggest most wonderful life and we want to be certain the framework we have built can support a lifetime of growth. If we build to quickly, it’s very likely that we will get knocked over as we meet resistance and navigate our way through the seasons of life. Remember what I shared above, taking on too much is one of the biggest reasons I see people give up.

I encourage you to start small as we are looking to build good habits, develop a rhythm, consistency and strength – we are setting ourselves up for a marathon that is going to extend through the rest of your life. We want to build and then leverage momentum and a focused start is going to give you results, confidence and perhaps most importantly, the evidence you need to be certain that this approach works.

Speaking of evidence, how much evidence have we collected over our lifetimes that supports this truth -> if we start off with more than we can handle we will become exhausted and need to stop. The problem with this kind of exhaustion is that it lands us on the bench for an extended period of time. Out tank is empty, there is nothing left and we simply don’t have it in us to get back up for another try.

This is why we give up. We essentially sabotage ourselves by taking on too much. We’ve all felt it when we over commit at the gym, on a work day, on a run, in a relationship, essentially everything. We can do it! Until we can’t. We swing the pendulum to an extreme to make these feats happen and it should be no surprise that it swings back the other direction with the same amount of force. When it does, it’s usually at the cost of our health, mental wellness or our ability to take action.

It’s important that you hear that you don’t need to swing the pendulum at all. You don’t even have to touch it, it can hang right in the middle where everything is calm and at peace. Again, what we are doing is not a sprint. So let’s start slow and focus on building good habits and become very discerning with the action you decide to take.

Here is a work sheet that I like to use to look at how much time I have – yes, we all have 24 hour days and use the same clock but we all have different personal commitments during each season of life which greatly inform the amount of time we have to support our other commitments and what we would like to be doing + learning.

Right now you may only have an hour per day and I might have six. This will undoubtedly change with the seasons of your life and the worksheet gives perspective to how much time you currently have, how you are spending that time and will provide some context for what you can let go of to become even better at what is most important to you right now.

As you practice and increase your reps, you will build strength and proficiency. This is an important step of building that strong foundation that I am speaking about as what you are doing will normalize and essentially become routine. When this occurs you can consider taking on more without risking your pace and without breaking momentum. This process will continue to repeat as you learn, build strength and wisdom.

Remember, start small and work on doing what you have committed to better each time than you had previously. It’s a practice and a big part of consistency is going to not be getting in your own way.