How many times have I started getting up early in the morning, going for a run, loving it and promising myself I’m going to get up every morning and do the same..
Only to find the next day, its a bit cold, its raining, I’ve got up late, so haven’t got much time. Whatever the excuse, I don’t get out, and its another month before I go back out for an early morning run….
If I had a penny for every time!
And its the same in business. How many times have you come up with an idea, a business opportunity or an improvement that you’d like to implement, which you start but never quite get it over the line?
Sometimes I manage to go running for a few weeks. I feel like I’ve sussed it. I am an early morning runner, then something happens to derail me. I trip and twist my ankle, the alarm fails to go off, I have an early morning meeting or go on holiday. And the early morning routine I had got myself in disappears.
I go back to staying under the covers a little longer, or putting on the kettle instead of my running shoes.. and there you go.. another few weeks, before I get out on another run!
Getting over the obstacles
Do you find yourself working enthusiastically on a new project, but an obstacle gets in the way, something urgent comes up, you start procrastinating and the idea becomes forgotten and gathers dust in the bottom drawer of your desk.
Before you know it you’ve got a number of ‘good ideas’ in that bottom drawer, but you’ve not quite managed to grow your business like you had imagined when you started. You start to feel deflated, and you wonder why you bother to start, when you know you’re just going to give up at some point.
For any habit, opportunity or improvement that you really believe will make a difference, you need to set yourself up for success. If theres something you want to get done, you need to prepare for it. You have to create an environment of consistency and you need to plan ahead for the obstacles which could get in your way.
You also need to know what you need to be able to achieve the goal. Are there any resources you need. Will you need to implement any systems. Is there anyone you need to gain agreement from in order to start the project.
For my running I now hang my running gear in the bathroom before I go to bed, I put a glass of water on my bedside table to drink as soon as I’m awake and I’ve got my running watch fully charged.
And to set yourself up for success you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. What is your goal and when do you want to achieve it? What can you commit to that is achievable on a daily basis. If its too difficult you won’t be setting yourself up for success. Plus remember, that most things take longer to do than you think, so be realistic.
So I have a goal of running 30kms per week. I can do it over 6 days, or 5 days, depending on the distance I run. Its not too hard a target and once it becomes fully embedded, I expect I will want to increase the distance. But it gives me something to work towards, for now.
And I’ve articulated this goal to my family and friends. Not that they will necessarily keep me accountable, but knowing they will know if I fail, spurs me on to do what I said I would
This is a way of driving consistency. Your change becomes a must-do rather than a nice-to-do and it becomes embedded. Do you have someone to whom you can discuss progress. Someone who helps you keep yourself accountable and help you continue on the road to success?
Once you know what you want to achieve and when, then you can look at all the activities that you will need to do to reach the target. Really visualise it and brainstorm absolutely everything. With a small project, this might only be 5 things, but with bigger opportunities, a project plan, with logical steps may be required.
Then identify what might stop you from achieving this goal. Ask yourself, what will you put in place to stop them from occurring. Then, what will you do if something unexpected comes up. Do you have a Plan B or are you happy that you can adjust the plan for a limited period, without totally derailing your idea.
If something does come along, you will be prepared, you will have coping strategies to get over the obstacle and you will get right back on it until you see it blossom into the idea you had envisaged.
Once you’ve done all this, its about putting one foot in front of the other again and again, until you reach you goal. Be consistent.
If it starts to get difficult then think about why you are doing it. What was that thing, right in the beginning that made you want to start? How will it make you feel, when you’ve achieved your goal. Keeping these in mind, will make it easier
So for me, my running helps me with a number of things. It allows me to eat a little of what I fancy, every now and then, it gives me quiet time, where my body is so busy working, that my brain has time to reflect and it gives me a boost of energy, so that once I’ve got into my office I can hit the ground with a clear mind.
And if one day you do get derailed, don’t make that the end of it. End that day, by preparing for the next. What do you need in place to get the day off to a good start. Make sure you keep your motivation up, so that you don’t get disheartened and quit.
Your business will never be successful if you quit every time something gets a bit too hard.
If you need help creating that consistent plan and identifying some progress milestones to keep you motivated towards that goal, then feel free to contact me BELOW