I’ve seen it thousands of times in my career.
Someone appears highly motivated to start something that will change their life. The motivation fails in a few weeks (or days) and they are left at exactly the same spot as before in their development.
I’ve often been asked in my coaching how to approach this.
So here are some tips:
- Understand that you can change things you don’t like in your life but that the change often takes a lot longer than we anticipate. Ask yourself before you start the project-how much do I want it and how much time can I allocate.
- Next, and this is a big one: what known factors stand in the way. This can include money, almost certainly includes time, and finally what level of self-discipline can I muster.
- The level of self discipline basically translates into this: When it starts to suck how long am I willing to tolerate that feeling without giving up. Often its just a matter of a little more time and some bit of creative thinking.
- Do your research first!
I’m going to illustrate this with a personal story. 3 years ago, I built a rather gigantic Yoga deck (63×16) based on an existing 10x 12 deck that was already there. I did minimal research and relied on my common sense and basic building skills. It came out great and was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. This year it was time to coat that pre treated wood with a water proofing and UV blocking agent (stain). Here is where the challenge came in. Pressure washing the deck took far longer than I expected because the wood had to be “roughed” up and cleaned thoroughly. Next the power sprayer I bought was missing one piece of critical instruction which led to me spraying thin globs of stain all over the place. I had to get down on my hands and knees and paint it the old-fashioned way. A bit later I discovered the missing link and the sprayer worked great. But it required a ton of set up and break down time. I won’t say it did not eventually save me time and add convenience but the learning curve was pretty steep at first.
All in all, it took 2 weeks of several hours a day to finish the job. That is half as long as it took me to build the darn thing! The result is gorgeous but I learned a huge lesson in planning and in assumptions. I assumed the prep and painting work would be easy compared to the building. It was not!
- Keep in mind viz a viz the above story that Staying Power is both mental and physical. If something becomes all-consuming of either mental or physical resources your life around other things will come to a screeching halt. For most of us that is an impossible situation.
So, in summary: accurately assess both the likely requirements in time energy and money (especially energy!) assess what you may have to learn in terms of new skills to complete or even begin your project. Assess your set up and break down times (note, this can include things like software, work stations, gym equipment etc.). Executing the above steps should take no more than 10 minutes but write them down as a kind of outline that you can modify or change as things unravel.
And then finally figure out how to fit it into your life, because even if what you are doing is life changing you will still be living your “old life” at least for a while!
I have used both in higher than usual doses this summer and I’ve managed to get everything and I mean everything done that I let sit last summer and even top it off with some new stuff.
Energy is the key resource you must manage to tackle and master new skills and life changing projects!