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I can’t recall a time in my life where I’ve dedicated more time to creating something from nothing than I have so far in 2014.
My business, which was once just a dream or a vision, is thriving. I have supporters, fans and a small army of happy customers. I’ve touched people’s lives with my this blog (or so I hear), and as of Thursday, I’ll officially be able to call myself a certified fitness trainer.
None of this was true Jan 1….except for the blog.
How did I do it?
By developing small, incremental to do’s that over time, became daily habits that were sustainable (to some degree) long enough to get the job done. For habits are nothing more than things we do so repetitively, that we don’t even realize we’re doing them anymore. So why not start with a to-do list, and go from there?
Make progress one day at a time.
Take any task that seems insurmountable. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and give up before you start. I can certainly admit I felt that more than a few times with my NASM fitness training and I still feel it every day in my business.
But I continue on. I do the work that’s in front of me, plan my work for tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes, I do that. And the cycle just continues. It’s become so much of a habit now, that I can’t help but reach for my textbook to get started on a new chapter or check my orders every morning to see what sales were like the night before.
Chunk down big goals into small action steps
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to make changes that will eventually manifest itself as a goal or a dream for the future, but in reality, everything is digestible and figureoutable. When the goal is big and lofty, I recommend using a technique I learned from Chalene Johnson. Take your enormous task and write down every single thing that has to get done. Break the task down to its essence and then, when you have a three-page list of to-dos, prioritize them into smaller lists based on what needs to get done first.
A great way to break down your large tasks and plan your week in advance is to organize your smaller to-dos based on the days of the week. I use Evernote to create files for each day of the week and on Sunday night, I list out my daily to-dos. These include my work and study plans, but they always also include my workout plan for the day.
What you write down, tends to get done. Click To Tweet
Keep your todo list short and manageable
There’s some argument in the productivity world that to do lists are the worst thing that you could do from a psychological perspective as they never end. I think this can be true if we overestimate what needs to get done in a day. Sometimes I only put three things on my to-do list, then if I’m done that by 10 am, I head over to tomorrow’s list and start crushing that too. When I’m able to get ahead of my work, I feel really good about myself.
Make sure your goals are meaningful to you (this is not a captain obvious throwaway comment)
The key thing to changing your life and your daily habits is to choose things that are important to you. If your health is what you need to focus on, you need to find a way to make meal prep, fitness and sleep the foundation of your life, no matter what. If it’s your career or family, than that’s what needs to go first. The trick is that you can only successfully prioritize a few things at once.
The reality is that very often we don’t achieve our goals because we don’t really want them badly enough. This happens typically when we set goals based on what we think others want for us rather than what we truly want for ourselves. Take time to be honest with yourself if you’re not getting where you want to go. Do you really want this badly enough to do what it takes to achieve your goal?
So what’s on your to-do list? Any big hairy goals? Do you use Evernote? I LOVE it.