We're already a few months into 2018! Hooray!
This also means it's time for people to start quitting on the goals and resolutions they set for themselves. Aww.
That's not really too big of a surprise, though. This is usually the point when things start to get hard.
Many of us sometimes wonder if we really "should" be working this hard for something that doesn't have any guarantees.
After all, it feels like it all comes so easily to some people.
Why shouldn't we just sit back and watch anime about the handsomest boys being handsome together?
I've absolutely felt that struggle. The entirety of my second TEDx talk was about this exact feeling.
Thankfully, mercifully, that feeling of struggle and challenge is 100% part of the process.
Setting goals is great. It's definitely a good idea to take some time and write your goals down. Getting clear about what you want in your life makes it a lot easier to say yes and no to the right things.
In fact, I'm SUCH a big fan of tracking and measuring goals that the amount of journals I have has gotten a little out of control.
While your goals matter, you need to make sure you have a plan to follow through with them.
Being able to follow through on something consistently puts you in a different league. It's a level of discipline that can be considered a super power in our distracted world.
So while your goal will give you some direction, how you schedule out your work matters a hell of a lot more.
How are you scheduling your tasks? Especially the big, life-changing daunting things you know you need to do.
Do your workouts actually show up on your calendar? How about your composition practice blocks?
Do you have a back up plan for when you can't go all-out on your tasks? Maybe you get sick, or are traveling… do you know how you can keep progress going then?
Your Average Speed
Author, blogger, photographer, and generally super cool-dude James Clear calls this process "increasing your average speed."
He posits that the maximum speed that you do something doesn't matter so much. Anyone can get inspired, work their ass off for a short period of time, and then regress to bad habits shortly after.
But if you do something consistently over a long period of time, your results will be incredible.
I use this mentality in every aspect of my life, whether it be personal or career-based goals.
To give you an example, here is a screenshot of my fitness calendar to show you how I schedule in my workouts. Each blue block is a separate workout.
I put these blocks in before any tasks/meetings. Taking care of myself comes first.
Now, can I hit all of these workouts with a 100% success rate?
No, of course not. Sometimes I might be sick, be traveling, or have something else come up.
But, I have contingencies.
If I'm sick, I'll go for a walk instead. Or if I'm completely dead, I'll just rest.
I do lots of meal prep so my food is always healthy and ready to go.
If I'm traveling, I'll get a temporary gym membership in whatever city I'm in. Even when I was halfway around the world in Malta, I signed up at a gym and got my workouts in.
That being said, sometimes you just run out of time, have tons of meetings to get to, or are just at a conference that is exhausting.
There's a contingency for those scenarios, too. I got some weighted jumpropes that give me an incredibly intense workout no matter where in the world I am.
No matter what you're pursuing, you need to have backup plans. Your process is not going to be smooth all the time.
Make sure you can do SOMETHING, regardless of what comes up.
As a sidenote, the times I have set up aren't completely rigid.
Each of these workouts may shift from time to time depending on what's going on that day. That's totally normal. So long as I get that workout in that day, then we're good.
Whatever you're consistent with will shape your future self.
If you're consistently putting yourself out there, practicing, and looking for projects, your odds of finding great work are multiplied greatly.
If you're consistently feeding bad habits and mindsets, they'll eat you alive.
What are you going to do to make sure you can execute as often as possible? How are you going to increase your average speed?
What are you going to schedule in to your week?