Saying vs. Doing

I struggle with this, maybe you do to. I say I’m going to do X and then sometimes it gets done and other times it doesn’t. Doesn’t happens far too often though.

What separates the Sayers vs. the Doers. For me I think a lot of the time is a lack of motivation or a lack of willpower. Think about it.

Its so easy to say I am going to do something. But saying isn’t enough. To get something done takes more than just words.

I can say I want to post 3 times a week, draw 2 times a week and write for other commitments 2-3 times a week. But if a system isn’t in place to make it happen, there is no reason for it to happen.

Merely wanting isn’t enough. We all want change. We all want to branch out of our comfort zones and take a step outside of our normal expectations. But inherently we lack the willpower to do so.

I think those that are most successful are those that force themselves to also be organized. We have to make ourselves goal orientated in order to achieve. Not only to just have goals but to also develop a concrete system in which we will achieve them.

For example I’ve decided that I will finally stop saying I should exercise and finally do exercise. But making it happen took more than me saying enough is enough. I also had to plan for a motivator. I decided that whenever Isabella would go down for her first nap I would take 30 minutes to do the exercise routine that I choose. Not only that but I scheduled a reminder time to go off in my Calendar. But I didn’t stop there. In order to make it the most effective I put in the WHY. The why is the reason things get done. my motivation

My why is this: I need to exercise so I can be in better shape. Why? Because Isabella needs me in better shape so that I can be healthy for her. This puts things into a whole different perspective. My reminder timer just says this :

"Exercise – for Isabella, your baby needs you healthy and whole get up and do it take 30 mins!"

Simple but effective. And it works.I can say I’ve followed it everyday so far (although I admit I missed Sunday although I plan to go twice tomorrow to make it for it.)

By simply putting in a motivator in the most precise terms it changes something from an abstract should do to a concrete must do.

I’m still working on this. I think that for a lot of us it is something that we need to work at. But by changing how we view the task it is certainly more manageable. When I view something in the perspective as I have to do it for X (e.g.: Isabella) than for me at least it is more likely to get done. There are some excellent pieces around the web that talk about this:

Ace Tough Job Interviews – by Ramit Sethi , this is a great read, big motivator. Ignore the title, this article applies to more than just job hunting, this is more like the interview skills for life itself. Skip to the end if you want but the whole thing is worth reading In my opinion. Has some great information on the psychology of wanting to do versus actionable steps to done.

What’s Your 2011? – by Tsh at SimpleMom.net I love Tsh’s writing style and everything about SimpleMom.net. This article explores the concept of saying no – that we don’t have to do everything to feel complete, but that doesn’t mean we stop achieving our end goals.

The Only 2 Things You Need to Do to Improve – from Success, Your Way (Life Your Way). This Article says everything I wanted to say above only so much better.

Do you struggle with being accountable to your want-to-do’s? What are your steps for being able to place that check mark on your to-do list? Share your tips and struggles in the comments.

Failure is Important

It's just Hair.

Photo by Striatic

On December 31st I woke up early, went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. For weeks I had been saying I needed to get my hair cut. The front was too long, the ends were split and I just didn’t like it. Sitting in the vanity was a pair of cuticle scissors and a hair tie.

So I did it.

I tied up my hair except the bottom and cut about an inch. Took down another layer, cut that and then started to cut smaller sections shorter, layering my hair as I went. I kept going with a third section and then the front. By the time I was done I had lost a bit of hair but still kept my over all length.

Which is exactly what I wanted. Every time I go to a hair salon I have to spend time explaining exactly what I want and then normally hear “Well we cant cut this like that or it will look weird.” or “Don’t cut your own hair – you will mess it up!”

But you know what I was thinking as I was cutting. Its Just Hair. Guess what, it grows back. In the end I cut the front pieces a little shorter than I would like and its probably a little thinner than I intended, but in a few weeks the front pieces will be longer, my hair will get a little fuller and over all I am perfectly happy with it.

But what if I had messed up?

Its just hair. I would have just had to cut some more and let it grow out again. Cutting my hair didn’t make a drastic change in my appearance. But it made a drastic change in how I appeared to me. And it feels great.

I know everything in life cannot equate to a simple haircut, but sometimes failure can be an option. How many times have you thought about doing something and then stopped? I do this all the time. From something small like not leaving a comment, to not actualizing an idea. What’s holding me back?

Fear.

Fear of failure is strong. Sometimes its as small as a fear of looking silly (failing to leave a comment). Or it can be big as actually failing say a business venture, getting into a top school, making new friends. But if we allow fear to keep us from trying then failure becomes the only option.

Failure is Optional.

Whenever we try something new there are always more than one outcome.

  • Success – getting the achievement you hoped for.

  • Something in between – not quite the goal you had in mind. Sometimes this is really positive and your end results are something better than you expected. But this can also be less than positive, not quite a failure but still needs work.

  • Failure – It can happen. Nothing is certain, but you can choose to let a failure shape you or you can choose to shape the failure.

By choosing to allow ourselves to fail, to even be prepared for it, we admit that we cant control everything, we are not perfect and even the best laid plans can result in catastrophe. But failure does not always have to be negative.

Failure is a learning experience.

By failing we learn. Even the best trained athlete miss, fail or don’t meet their expectations. That’s why they train. Failure is one way of training. Examine what went wrong, learn from it and try again.

Each time you try something new, instead of betting on a sure win, instead expect to succeed and fail. If you succeed, fantastic. If you fail, learn from it. Examine what went wrong? What can be changed? Most importantly try again.

Is this easy? Not by a long shot. But is it worth it? Every time. Whenever I allow myself to take a chance regardless of the the result Ive gained something. Going to law school – for me that was a failure, but I learned more about myself in those months. Travelling half-way across the country to meet someone I met only online – huge potential failure! But instead it was a huge success.

The point is to just try.

What have been some of your biggest successes? What have been some of your biggest failure? Did you allow yourself to learn from them? How did you move on? Share your tactics in the comments.