I hear this a lot: “I’m writing a book in 30 days!” I always wonder is it’s just me who hears the ambiguity in that sentence and thinks: In 30 days I’ll write a book too… Or is that old cynic in me? Anyhoo, it reminds me that it’s that time of year again… where all your wishes come back to haunt you 😉
Why I don’t do New Year Resolutions
- Because they aren’t resolutions – they’re revolutions, coming round again and again every year – they’re not decisions, they’re wishes
- They’re not motivating, they’re guiltivating!
- In 30+ years of ‘resoluting’ – I haven’t actually ‘done’ anything I resolved ‘on’ NYD. Yeah, I’ve lost the weight, built the businesses, written the books – but it wasn’t because of a guiltivating NYR.
- My birthday is on the 9th of Jan – so it’s of no use giving up booze, chocolates, sex on 1st Jan…
- I have always ended up starting again in Feb (March, April…)
- Often my NYRs haven’t fitted in with other people or life in general – which makes them much harder to achieve.
- Shit happens, life happens, and I have to stop beating myself up someday!
So, are there better ways of getting yourself to take the right action on the things you want in life, so you get the results you desire?
Of course there are – you’ve probably seen a hundred emails, articles, and newsletters showing you better ways. There are bazillions of books on the subject of getting what you want out of your one, very short, life.
To save you the trouble of reading all the articles, I’ll summarize the essence of what works: it’s all about systems and processes, baby! When you have a system or process:
You can be more in the now, not looking at the future (goal or landmark) but focusing on the journey (system or map).Each day is new, you get to start again if you screwed up, but you know where you are and still know where you want to be (and then you don’t feel like you’ve ‘failed’ at life, just a day!)
You can measure progress – steps along the way, actions taken, words written.
You can adjust direction based on feedback, because, remember you are not living, working or writing in a closed vacuum. You might realise the goal isn’t right and that you need to change it, but you will still have all the benefit of the process.
If you lose sight of the goal (landmark), the process will keep you improving and moving forwards until you find your shining star again.
A system or process seems easier – it’s only a day, a step, a page. (Of course, it’s every day, but you only have to think of today!)In fact a system could be just a morning (or evening), you can select an even smaller chunk to focus on. It’s easier for other people to join you in a system – they don’t even need to know your goal or landmark, they just have to enjoy the journey.
The same system could help you to reach different goals.
A system or process helps you BECOME the person you want to be – not just get the shiny object. A system or process creates a habit – and habits are constraints. We like constraints!
Let’s use the Directions, Map, Landmark system (that we’ve looked at for writing a book) to help get to where you want to be in your life, business and relationships.
Remember DML is all about getting from where you are now to where you want to be.
Start with your Landmark (what’s the transformation?): This is your goal or your vision for your future. It can (and perhaps should) be much bigger than you, broader, more exciting and challenging than normal. Who will you become on the journey?
Draw up your Map (what information do you need?): What will you see on the way? What milestones will you pass? Who has been there before, what do they have to teach you? Where do you need to educate yourself? What do you need for the journey?
Actually create this map – with pens and paper, stickers and scissors, glue and glitter (maybe not glitter, it’s a disaster for the environment!). Use all your senses, be creative. Make it detailed enough that you can smell it, touch it, and taste it (note to self: don’t eat a sandwich after playing with glitter). Put it on the wall where you can see it every day (look, just forget about the glitter!).
Then plot a route through this map so you can determine the directions.
Determine the Directions (how will you conform to get the desired outcomes): What’s the first next step? And the next? What will you get with each step taken? Don’t try to work it all out too far in advance, but get yourself on the right path with some simple next steps. Work out where the milestones are and set action steps to reach them.
Constraints: What you won’t do – your not to do list. When you will do things – timing. When you will review progress – course correction. When you’ll look at your GPS to make sure you’re still headed in the right direction. What resources you will deploy – money, time, people, software, robots. How you will measure results – how you’ll know when you get there.
As my client Ann Latham The Queen of Clarity says: “There is a huge difference between a series of steps and a series of results.“
Work towards a series of actual outcomes, results – minimum valuable assets that build and create an asset stack for your business!
Here’s an example…
I am the author of a best-selling business book. I have a speaking agent, and an exciting agenda of well-paid keynote gigs. I have a waiting list of clients who want to work with me.
The areas on the map will include: Write a book, get speaking agent, build business profile. Add your route through the map.
Step 1: Call Debs to help me outline my book (natch!) – the first next step…
Step 2: Write book… (I’d probably break this down into smaller steps, lol!)
Time: Write book by the end of 2023
Resources: Outsource research, set aside 2 hours per day, pay for a coach
NOT To Do List: No shiny things
Share your map with me if you want… I’d love to see it!
And if you want more help with planning for 2023, you might want to join the Better Than Great club: Plans are pants – planning is awesome.
Ciao for now!