Well, my plan was to stay in touch with all of the amazing people in the Place of Joy community, to do it consistently, and to share things I think you’ll value.
I wanted to do this because (1) I have a lot to teach and writing is a great way for me to get it out there, (2) people respond to a lot of what I write about and it seems to make a difference to them, and (3) because the general consensus is that if you stay in touch with your community consistently and provide value, your business will grow.
All good reasons to stick to my plan. I even created a beautiful spreadsheet so I could lay out themes, topics and potential guest experts for 2015. So organized! And then I had to just check Facebook for one minute.
It was all downhill from there.
Relate at all?
Somehow, no matter how good an idea seems, no matter how much I want the results it’s sure to yield, I consitently find myself being drawn into the vortex of “other things I need to do,” also known as “I just need to take a quick break” and “Is there any chocolate in this house?!”
Why is it so hard to stay focused and follow through on something you actually want to do?
Well, I've been thinking about it, and here are some possibilities:
1. Some part of you doesn’t really want to do it. Part of it may be that you'd just rather just be sprawled out on the couch watching Vampire Diaries than organizing your desk or writing your newsletter, and at the end of a long day, who can blame you? Breaks and joy are essential, you just have to make sure you're actually doing something to take a break from.
But there also may be some subconscious resistance--what if I do this and my business grows then I get too busy and don't have time for my kids? What if I do this and no one responds and then I'm a total failure? A great way to avoid dealing with those fears is to not keep your word, not follow through, and not see what would happen if you actually did what you said you were going to do. (This is where Facebook really comes in handy.)
2. Some (a lot) of us work better around others. I remember a great anecdote from one of the original professional organizers (I think it was Judith Kolberg): A client hired her to come to her house, and had her sit in a chair next to the client's desk while she paid bills. At the end of a (silent) hour, the client thanked her, handed her a check, and said, "I'll see you next month."
Having other people around you while you're working can make a HUGE difference in keeping you focused and on task. Like having a trainer at the gym, you're much more likely to show up if someone's waiting for you. You're more likely to keep your butt in your chair when everyone around you is working too. You'll have someone to troubleshoot and brainstorm with if you get stuck. And you'll feel motivated to have something to show everyone at the end of the day.
3. You don't only get to do the fun part. Unfortunately, I haven't quite figured out a way around this one. Delegating helps, but there will always be parts that you need to do that you just don't wanna. You may love the idea you have for a business, but actually writing up a plan or sending out a warm letter introducing yourself to potential clients makes you break out in hives.
As part of my crusade to encourage people to face things head on, I'm just going to tell you to embrace the fact that you're not going to love every single piece of what it takes to create what you want. Checking Facebook will only delay the work you don't want to do, and if you delay it indefinitely you'll never get where you want to go.
SO...what to do? Start here:
1. Write down what you want, and then write down all the reasons why it's a bad idea, won't work, what trouble it will cause, and why you don't deserve it. That should give you some insight into what might be sabotaging you subconsciously, and then you can take steps to address and heal those pieces from there.
2. Get people around you. On the phone, in person, whatever works for you. These need to be non-judgmental, encouraging people, and they need to be people who won't let you off the hook if you don't do what you say you're going to do. (Moms and most friends are generally not ideal for this. Consider paying somebody to be this person.)
3. Accept that some of the pieces aren't going to be fun or easy. Get help when you can, and build a structure that helps you stay focused. With the right structure and support in place, you'll likely knock these things out a lot more quickly than you thought you could. I see that happening all the time.
If you want to slide right into a solution that's built to address all of these things, join one of my upcoming Get One Thing Done experiences.
Ideal for people who want to get things done : ) People have successfully tackled stacks of filing, messy desks, event planning, program design, contact entering, financial organizing, personal projects and more. Book yourself this day and immediately start to feel a burden being lifted off your shoulders. You CAN do it, you just need the right support. Click here to find out more and to register.