The hardest thing to do, is to do.
What does that mean?
Many people have aspirations. Some want to be rich, famous, thin, tall, blonde, curly…
What makes the difference between those who wish for something, and those who end up living their dream?
Five Frogs on a Log
Have you heard about the five frogs who were sitting on a log? Four decide to jump off.
How many are left?
<pause to think>
Most people answer “one frog”.
Yet the answer is “five frogs”.
Just deciding to do something is still not DOING it. The hardest think to do, is to do.
How do you do?
How do you convert your thoughts and dreams, into action and doing?
Clearly its not enough to just wish for something to happen. You need to apply yourself, and do something. Yet, that seems to be the hardest thing in the process. To get started, to do something.
So how do you get yourself to do, and not just dream?
Consider changing your time management skills, and use your calendar.
Saying to yourself “I want to lose weight”, is different than saying to yourself “I want to lose 17 pounds, by October 1st, and to get started I will go for a walk every day for 30 minutes…”
That is already better. As you are getting more specific about your desire, and specify a more measurable result.
However, just like the five frogs – you still did not DO anything. You may have decided to do, you may have resolved to get started – yet you may get stuck there.
Try thinking, saying and adding this one step:
“I want to lose 17 pounds, by October 1st, and to get started I will go for a walk every day for 30 minutes… while I am still in the moment, I will open my calendar, and add a meeting with myself, after work, between 7-7:30pm and call it ‘Nightly Walk’.
There. You now added one more step, that can change everything.
You use your calendar for work probably all the time. It tells you where to be, when, with whom, for what purpose – so you can DO something. Change something. Act, move, bend, solve, fix, transform.
Yet, when you want to change something in your own life – when is that going to happen?
Most people say “some day, one day, in the future…”
Well that is the trap. Many fall into it, and do not realize that the difference between wishing for something to change, and starting the process to change it for real – is in their time management.
Yes, you need to be disciplined to keep your promises to yourself. By using your calendar, you are making those promises, and the actions to achieve them as important as ANY other meeting you set.
That’s it. It’s simple, and powerful. When you think about something you want to do, knowing that the hardest thing is to starting doing it – open your calendar, and book an appointment, that has a date, day, time, subject – and make that the time for you to begin.
My life plan
When I chat with people, most can not answer a simple question: If you had a magic wand, and could be anything tomorrow – what would it be?
No one has in their calendar a time blocked for answering this question for themselves. You heard me right. While it may be one of the most important questions a person should ask, and know the answer to – it is NOT a priority to actually DO IT. In all your years in school, in which class were you asked to think about what is it you really want out of life?
The same I learned goes for “other” topics, that many of us never seem to plan, put in our calendar, and DO.
I bet you do not have these entries in your calendar:
- Start a college saving plans for my kids
- Take time to think where I want to be in 5 years
- Ask my family and best friends to give me feedback on what I am doing great, and where can I improve
- Tell my family and friends how they are doing, give them feedback, so they can improve and know that I cherish their relationship
- Donate to my favorite charity
- [Fill in what you wish to do, but did not set time in your calendar for]
Just add a calendar entry
Next time you have an idea, you are in the zone, you want to see change in your life, in your future – open your calendar, and ENTER an appointment for it. Make TIME for it. Be deliberate about DOING something now, and not only dream about it. The first thing you can DO, is to convert your thoughts and desires – to making a calendar entry, now. It will stay there, it will remind you of the desire, and it will help you commit to a day and time to work on it. Strike while the iron is hot, and develop the habit to enter a calendar entry, when you think about what you want to do.
If you promised yourself to go to the gym, you will also forgive yourself for not going. After all you are the judge and jury. If you had an appointment to meet a friend or a personal trainer at the gym… all of the sudden the dynamics change and you will not be able to cancel the meeting. Just by adding another person to your own promise to yourself – you raise the chances you will DO something.
The calendar entry is making time, to meet with yourself, and DO something. Show up to the meeting, as if it was a meeting with your boss. In fact it is MORE important meeting that with your boss.
If you read thus far, you may still worry about your own will power. You may look in your rear view mirror, look back on your life, and see that many times you wanted to change something – but you succumbed to lack of will power.
Here is the biggest myth about will power, which I hope will change your mind. While you are not in control of many things in your life: weather, politics, your boss… you ARE in control on what you decide to think and DO.
Now, once you start doing, you will also start having thoughts about what your are doing. The virtuous circle of doing and thinking about what you are doing – will cause more doing, and more thinking…
You can decide when, you can decide where – you ARE in control, in FULL control in fact.
I will say it again, you are in FULL CONTROL over your free time on your calendar. So book time with yourself, to get started, as there is nothing standing in your way, except for… you.
You can decide to wake up an hour early to make time for your desire. You can decide to go to sleep later and make time for what you want. You can carve an hour during the weekend to spend time on making your life better. You can decide to watch 30 minutes less TV and get started with what is most important to you.
You are in control, once you identify the time on your calendar, YOU get to decide what to do with.
Chapter 37 – Coming soon
References and quotes:
“A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” -Nolan Bushnell
Bias for Action: Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking. – Amazon Principle
“The most mediocre idea acted upon is far more valuable than a flash of genius that resides only in your mind.” -Napoleon Hill
Just do it -Nike slogan