How to get sh*t done!
So the reality of this piece is that the real truth here, the essence of what I’m sharing is ridiculously simple. To quote Nike: Just do it.
Yet why is it that the missing pieces in our lives bother us, those holes where we store our never
ending To-Do list which might include reconnecting with distant friends and family, attending to our health, working on our goals, tidying up our home/digital clutter and so on. I know I’m not alone here. Another piece could focus on the ‘why’s’ of our lofty aspirations but that is not what this one is about.
Why is it that so many of us struggle to do the very things we know deep down we need?
It’s very simple. We allow ourselves to be ruled by our mind.
Our minds are incredible tools yet if left in total control can be devious and destructive. Why is this so? How could our OWN MIND be set to self-destruct? I don’t know the answer to this one, but I do know the many paths and excuses that the mind makes in the face of change and I know how to overcome it.
Perhaps it’s fear, or a deep rooted disbelief in ourselves, but either way, it seems the more we want something or better yet, the more we KNOW something is beneficial to us, the more our minds resist it.
But here’s the key: that resistance is easy to overcome. Just as the mind can trick us, we can just as easily train it. And just like training a dog, it takes patience, dedication and small consistent steps.
One of the ways the mind fools us is we get bogged down with our goals. We set ourselves unrealistic tasks which actually sets us up to fail – before we even begin! Does this sound familiar? For example; a daily home practice, whether that’s yoga, meditation or an exercise routine, is something that many of us want, and yet struggle to achieve. Why? We set a goal: I am going to get up everyday at 6am and practice for an hour before work. It’s a reasonable goal but if you’re not a morning person then three failed attempts at rising at that time and the goal gets chalked up as a fail. The Mind 1, Me 0.
Another way the mind fools us is the Future Clause: when I have moved into that new place then I will… when I’m back from that trip I will start… when I’ve finished that project I can begin… the mind has won before we got out of the staring gate.
So here it is. How do we get shit done?
The answer is Slowly, bit by bit.
Start by looking at what you want in life. What would make you happier right now? Is it that home practice? Is it eating healthier? Keep the goal as what it is: A Goal, a destination, and Final Point, but change the route.
For example. If mornings are not working for you then find another time.
Make it easy. That 60 minute home practice, start with 15 minutes.
Make a chart, copy some cells online or draw in with your hand. Have it available to see and set REALISTIC steps towards your goal. Look at it, then make it even more realistic. Maybe 10 minutes.
Make a rule: never miss twice in a row (unless in extreme circumstances). Mark each day off with a flourish. It won’t take long. Between 30 and 60 days is popularly believed to be the length it takes to form a new habit.
Even making plans about how to achieve our goals is another trick of the mind to delay working towards them so keeping the initial steps simple and realistic is helpful here too.
One thing at a time. Here’s another one to watch out for. We can get carried away and think we can take on the world. But the reality is that the world will keep turning and another year will pass and we won’t have achieved even one of those things.
So just pick one.
Maybe you want to work on handstands. Well focus on this, and this alone. Spend 5 minutes a day doing this, each day, everyday. Mark is off as you go along and before you know it you WILL have achieved your goal. Or writing, or eating better – it doesn’t matter. The process is the same.
It is simple. And yet, this simplicity eludes us, another trick of the mind.
You see the mind really is it’s own worst enemy because it doesn’t know what it’s missing, it doesn’t know what’s good for it, because it’s always things we haven’t yet mastered that it is resisting. So bit by bit, the more we do our ‘thing’ the mind will learn it doesn’t have anything to fear, that it won’t be threatened by change and life in fact, will become sweeter.
The truth is simple. Stop complicating it and start getting it done. Life moves fast and before you know it you will have started to master yourself with one goal successfully achieved. Then another and another and so on. Start today, this exact minute in fact. NO more excuses (:
1) recognize that your mind will find a way to resist what is really important to you. Send love to your mind and do it anyway.
2) Let go of the big ideas and start really small and simple
3) Start RIGHT NOW and don’t allow that mind to make excuses, it’s what it does!!