Happy Friday, Happy St. Davidâ€™s Day (a Welsh Saint!), and Happy March 1st.
A new month, a new beginning. And the first day of the last month of the first quarter of the year! A perfect day to check in with how we are doing in terms of what we want to create for ourselves this year. How are those resolutions coming? Sticking to those plans and goals? Do you even remember what they are?!? Itâ€™s tough, I know. Life gets in the way. I get it. We slip off the bandwagon and itâ€™s hard to jump back on. But weâ€™re not going to achieve what we want to achieve if weâ€™re not prepared to really do something about it.
There is a quote that says â€œif you always do what youâ€™ve always done, youâ€™ll always get what youâ€™ve always gotâ€.
I was reminded of this philosophy recently when reading Getting Passion Out of Your Profession, Canadian bestseller written by friend and mentor Nina Spencer. And itâ€™s so true. Either something new has to come out of us, or something new has to come into us. We canâ€™t just keep trucking away at things the same way we always have, expecting a different outcome. It just ainâ€™t gonna work. Something has got to change.
Over the last little while, and on more than one occasion, I have caught myself feeling a tad frustrated with respect to my productivity (or lack thereof). Now I know â€˜being productiveâ€™ is in itself subjective, and life really shouldnâ€™t be comprised of nothing more than checking off those to-do-lists, but some days I feel I lack working towards a clear mission.
Without trying to draw blame here, when one doesnâ€™t have that imposed 9-5 schedule, itâ€™s hard to follow a routine. And it really is amazing just how quickly the days go by. So despite the fact I may appear to be keeping myself â€˜busyâ€™ â€“ teaching, writing, working on my business or otherwise â€“ by the end of the day I notice even some of the simplest of tasks havenâ€™t yet been completed. And in these moments I feel I have no control over my time management.
In a similar fashion, I am still all too often in a rush, dashing from one place to another. Again, even though I donâ€™t have a ‘regular’ full-time job. Earlier this week, I was to attend a networking event â€˜Bring your Brain to Breakfastâ€™ (sounds pretty neat, no?) beginning at 8am, but an hours drive away. Having stayed up into the wee hours of morning the night before, itâ€™s no wonder I slept right through my alarm. I arose in sheer panic at 7:08, (8 minutes after I was scheduled to leave!), threw on some â€˜business attireâ€™, did my hair as best I could, threw some make-up in my bag to do in the car, and was off. I figured I could make some time up en route, plus, registration would take a little while, no?
Damn. Needed gas.Â While at the pump, I tried to type in the post code to my trusty navi, only to realize I had forgotten my day planner with the address at home amidst all the havoc. I got out my mobile (while still pumping as I couldnâ€™t afford to waste any more time!) in a desperate plea to get the information I needed. All of a sudden the pump stopped working. I was at firstconfused, then annoyed. And then I hear some voice over the loud speaker shout: â€˜Would the lady at pump #2 please get off her mobile immediately!â€™. I see. So thatâ€™s why it stopped. They were afraid the place would explode. Although I have read that before â€“ and for all I know it may be true â€“ in that moment I was so embarrassed, so angry, so late, so underslept â€“ when I hung up the phone and the gas didnâ€™t start to flow right away again, I threw my arms up and just may have yelled just a little. SOO not me! How utterly awful and embarrassing! Surely I will never be able to show my face there againâ€¦
Indeed, something about my time management and organization needed to change.
As much as I wanted to blame the gas station folk for that mortifying episode, it was all my creation. I should have gone to bed on time the night before. I should have been prepared for the event â€“ business cards and such all ready to go â€“ so that I could have gone to bed on time. I should have filled up with gas earlier as I knew it was a bit of a distance away. It all should have started with a plan.
I never made it to the breakfast event. Traffic was so bad I turned around twenty minutes in when the trusty sat nav told me I would be arriving almost an hour late. No, that wouldn’t work! And so, I decided I needed to do something different.
The next day, instead of waking up and chipping away at a half-inspiring to-do list – half on paper and half in my head – and too easily giving into distractions like e-mail and phone, I stuck to a plan. I had actually scheduled each block of my time, hour by hour, on a piece of paper the night before. And you know what? Not only did I get so much more done than I had the previous few days, but I felt great. Maybe I can create a routine for myself when I appear to lack one.
Other changes Iâ€™m making?
Iâ€™ve realized I need to actually commit to making things happen. If I want to grow my yoga classes to 20 students, I canâ€™t just magically expect it to happen. I have to get out and actually promote. So I have since rented a bigger space in larger, nearby Chester, am going to be on a radio show in the next few weeks talking about the classes I offer, creating a referral program, and am sending out press releases to local newspapers over the next few days.
Iâ€™m also aiming to be in bed by midnight, so as to have as much energy as possible, and therefore be as productive as possible, the following day. Does this mean it’s going to happen every night? Highly unlikely, no. We are all going to falter every once in a while. It’s human nature. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t just jump back on the horse and try again.
What changes might you be ready to make in order to achieve different results in your life? Even the smallest of actions â€“ if you are truly committed â€“ have the potential to make all of the difference.
Please share your thoughts with me; I would love to hear from you. And if you think someone else may enjoy this post, please pass it along!
Have a FAB week!