Inspiration, motivation, passion, and mission are all precursors for success. These things help launch the idea, product, program or service and give us the start for achieving success. But how do you actually get there? How do you get to the kind of success that goes viral, that starts trending, that is big, bold, and for some, sustainable? It comes from taking consistent action. One swim stroke, one step, one breath, one word, one brush stroke, one phone call, and one email at a time. This is continued over a long period of time. A long period of time is at least 6 months and most times, it can take a year or two, or even more, to see the results of your efforts.
It takes heartened commitment and sometimes it can be painful. So how does one do it? What is it that keeps us from derailing and getting off path? Many think it is inspiration or motivation that drives consistent action, but that's not it at all.
Consistent action comes from strengthening your will. To do something even when you don't want to. Not feeling inspired? Do it anyway. This is where most people fail. They fail because they haven't put the plans, systems and habits in place to overcome challenges as they work towards something. Besides feeling uninspired or unmotivated, there a lot of people who feel completely clueless and are unclear about what they actually need to do to get the results they need. They try one thing then quickly jump into something else. Soon they are faltering because they aren't seeing results.
So what does it take? There are three steps you can put into place to exponentially grow your chances of following through and to growing your will to achieve greater levels of success. Whether it's achieving fundraising goals, sales goals, finishing that book, implementing your marketing, or working out consistently, these tips will help you towards achieving it all.
1. Develop a Plan
There was a time when I advocated for long-range planning. Organizations and businesses set up weekend retreats to create detailed strategic plans that looked out 5, 10 even 20 years. No more. I definitely want you to have a vision of where you want to go and be in then next 5 to 10 years. But, planning is best done short-term in this new economy. Things are changing way too fast so even the best laid long-term plans are bound to need revisions in major ways. Therefore, having a short-term, 6 to 1 month, plan is best.
The plan outlines where you are and where you want to be and the specific tactics you will use to get there. Then, under each tactic are the actions you need to take. These actions might have sub-actions under them. Each action should have a deadline assigned and the person responsible. Each evening, go over your actions and choose the priority actions for your day. Take care of your priority actions first thing in the morning.
I know that the above paragraph was written much more easily than it will be done. I know because it takes work to create the plan. A lot of brainstorming and deep thinking about all the actions that need to take place over a period of time. If you feel stuck over the actions and you can't come up with all of them, don't worry. Move one or stop. More actions will come to you as you start working the plan.
So how do you stay motivated and inspired to keep working the plan? You don't. You create systems that support you instead and inspiration and motivation become a non-issue. More preliminary work. I know. But if you really want this. This is THE way to go about it.
2. Create Systems
A system is a set of principles or procedures for getting something done. You can also view a system as an organized scheme or method to get things done. So what procedures, schemes or methods do you need to put into place to get things done? Rather than go on and on about this, I am going to share with you a system I created in order to set aside time daily for both working in my business and ON my business.
SYSTEM: WORK ON BUSINESS
1. At the close of every business day:
3:30pm- Planing time before end of workday
2. At the start of every business day:
9:00am - Start work day: PHs - two hours of working ON my business.
It can be this simple. I know that I have to block 9am to 11am everyday on my calendar to work ON my business. Then, I set out every single day and work through these. In fact I POWER through them. I get so much work done in those two hours It's unbelievable. So your plan is now supported by your system. Next, create habits to support your system and then you're golden.
3. Instill New Habits
One of the first things I used to do is start my workday looking at and going through emails. I then read something by a productivity guru that has stuck with me. When you make the start of your day about emails your emails will drive the outcome of your day and you essentially have given control to others for setting up how your day shapes rather than YOU having control over it. That is so profound and has changed the way my day looks dramatically. If you change or create just one habit this year, make it this one. But, you will likely need to create several new habits (you should start small and do it one at a time) if you are looking to support your system. So, if you take the example I provided for my system, I needed to do several things in order to support myself to make that work happen.
There are 4 things I need to do in order to support myself. I need to get myself ready to take those actions. I have to remove any potential distractions that may come my way. I have to nourish my brain to help me do my work. I also need to have good energy levels to get through those 2 hours.
So, every night, I pack my bag for all the things I will need in order to work through my PH actions. I pack my laptop and any files I may need. I do this every night before I get ready for bed. I do my workout in the evenings now instead of in the morning. I also eat a nice protein based breakfast to provide plenty of energy during my power hours. I take my vitamins and drink at least 24 oz. of water before I leave the house. So that's 4 habits I needed to put into place in order to support my morning power hours.
1. (Get ready) Pack my bag every evening with essentials
2. (Removing potential distraction) Workout in the evening
3. (Brain food) Eat protein based breakfast
4. (Sustained energy) Drink 24 oz of water prior to leaving house and take vitamins
The recap Create a plan, create a system to support your plan, and create habits to support your system. Base your habits on the system. Base your system on the plan. Base your plan on your goals. Now get to it.
I want to hear from you.
Do you have a plan that you are working on now? How are systems and habits getting you through your plan? If you aren't succeeding in achieving your goals, then do you see how this might help you achieve the results you want? Leave a comment below.