At New Year, what did you imagine you’d do, have, or be six months down the line?Did you commit to exercise and diet so you could change your look or improve your health? Did you start to straighten out your finances, your closets, and your office so you could lead a more organized life? Did you declare that you’d have a new job, a new car, a new attitude so you could start fresh? Maybe you knew you’d be having a baby, or be getting sworn in as president, or moving to a new house. If so, you left yourself no option. If you had a baby, became president or sold your house, chances are you met your goals. Good for you.
So, how’s it going for the rest of us?If you are like me, you’ve spent a few hours, if that, on each project you took on and then got distracted…by life. I am no stranger to the unfinished project. Let’s just say I’ve embraced the concept in many areas of my life. For every finish line I cross, there are twice as many uncrossed. I contend that the biggest difference between starting and following through is passion. I’m talking about passion in terms of the intensity and purpose with which you go for your goals. The thing that those finishers all have in common is having jumped in with both feet. They leapt off a cliff. They came ashore and burned all the ships. There isn’t much room for backing down from getting sworn in as president. Once the baby is on the way, chickening out is a non-issue. Sold your house; gotta move.
We all make effort to come up with decent, doable goals – both short term and long – so why is it so common to not finish? Are the stakes not high enough? Are we making goals for things that aren’t really important to us? Are they someone else’s goals that we think we should achieve? When you made the choice to go for that one thing to be, do or have this year, did you jump in with both feet? Did you summon your greatest most passionate effort and stick on course? If you can say, “Yes!” to those questions, you have a great chance of finishing. If not, I suggest that you look at the level of your passion for getting to the end-product and then examine your process and see if it is missing passion too.
There is no doubt that patience is necessary when making changes, but sustaining passion about it while in the process is crucial. Can you really say, “I will _____, no matter what?” I have found that announcing to the world (my world) that I want to lose weight, be in a bodybuilding competition, get a different job, that I wanted to teach Nia, that I was ending a relationship… helped me immensely with staying on course. Without exception, being very public has heightened my passion about getting those things done. Yes, I pressured myself but it’s because I knew I wanted those things with all my heart, no matter what. Being proud and passionate enough about a decision to tell everyone has infused my efforts with extra umph!
I think it’s time to look at what you’ve said you want to be, do or have and evaluate whether it is your true heart’s desire. I give you permission to let yourself off the hook for having fallen off the wagon, for procrastinating on that organize-your-life project, etc… But I strongly recommend that you give yourself another chance at the same time. What, of all the things you want, can you work on? For what thing can you sustain passion? Make a fervent choice, and now… go public with it. Come ashore with the intent and purpose and burn all the ships. Give yourself no out. Indulge in the process. Get really, really interested in whatever it is you want to be, do, or have. Trust me; I know that living fully in passion about a goal is not always easy. This is where your people will help you stay on course. If you’ve told everyone what you are up to, enlist them in your process. They’ll help and you’ll feel loved and supported.
Need suggestions for how to create the intensity you’ll need to sustain?
When you have nothing to say at a party, tell someone what you’re up to. If you are in the elevator with one person… out with it. Maybe you think that people won’t care, but in fact (and I speak from experience) people are charmed to get an impassioned update even on a stranger’s success. Do some research online about your area of interest. Become an expert on the subject. By learning all you can, you will be able to move through your process with confidence and preparedness rather than by default. Be prepared. Your enthusiasm, pride and success will start to in spire people. That’s a new and different place from which to operate, huh?
I invite you to write and tell me what action you’ve taken on this. You can go public right here on SuzSez.