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 and starts trending, the success that is big, bold...and for some...sustainable?
It comes from taking consistent action. One swim stroke, one step, one breath, one word, one brushstroke, one phone call, and one email at a time. This is continued for the long haul, taking at least 6 months to 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 the path? Many think it is inspiration or motivation that drives consistent action, but no so...
Consistent action comes from strengthening your will. To persevere 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, people often feel completely clueless and/or unclear about what actually needs to be done to get the desired results. They try one thing then quickly jump into something else. Soon they are faltering because of a lack of results.
So what does it take? There are three steps you can take to exponentially increase your chances of follow-through and to strengthen your manifestation of greater levels of success. Whether it's fundraising goals, sales objectives, finishing that book, implementing your marketing strategy, or working out consistently, these tips will elevate your game.
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 want you to have a vision and a long-term trajectory. But planning is best done short-term in this new economy. Things are changing way too fast. Even the best laid long-term plans are bound to need revisions in major ways. Therefore, having a short-term 6 month to 1-year plan is best.
The plan outlines where you are, 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. As well as much brainstorming and deep thinking about what needs to take place over some time. If you get stuck on coming up with all the right actions, don't worry. Move on or stop. More actions will come to you as you start working on 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. Therefore, inspiration and motivation become a non-issue. I know...more preliminary work. But if you really want this, this is THE way to go about it.
A system is a set of principles, procedures, schemes, or methods for getting something done. So which of these do you need to put into place to achieve your goals? Rather than go on and on about this, I'll share an example of a system I created to carve out time daily for both working in my business and ON my business.
SYSTEM: WORK ON BUSINESS
At the close of every business day:
3:30 pm- Planing time before the end of the workday
At the start of every business day:
9:00 am - Start workday: PHs - two hours of working ON my business.
It is that simple. I know that I have to block 9 am to 11 am every day 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.
Instill New Habits
One of the first things I used to do is start my workday looking going through emails. Then I read something by a productivity guru that has stuck with me. Starting the day with emails will drive the outcome of your day and you essentially have given control to others for shaping your day 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 (start small and change one at a time) if you are looking to support your system. In the example above, of my system, there are several steps I built in to support myself and be productive. It is essentially a diagram of new habits.
There are 4 things I need to do to support myself.
So, every night, I pack my bag for all the things I will need 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 to support my morning power hours.
So...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, do you see how this blog might help you achieve the results you want? Leave a comment below.
Let's Illuminate our lives, together,
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photo credits: Genevieve Russell of storyportraitmedia.com | Tira Howard of tirahowardphotography.com