Building on yesterday’s post and going beyond the original context here are my extended suggestions for getting what you truly want from life.
A) Decide what you are really good at and what you want to do in the next year. (Hint, they should probably be very similar!) If you need help setting goals check out this book.
B) Decide what you are going to do specifically. Both the goal book and Simpleology 101 walk you through the process of breaking your goals down into specific tasks. Take the first couple tasks and look at what resources you will need to accomplish them — time, money, energy, people, software, advertising, etc.
C) Postpone (permanently?) anything that does not directly add towards the tasks at hand (unless it bypasses steps and gets you closer to your goal directly). This includes unsubscribing from mail lists, minimizing interactions with people who take you away from your goals/tasks, and ditching your TV until further notice.
D) Quickly (very quickly) skim through the giveaways and offers you get while on this “exercise” plan. If you see something that is on your list of needed resources then act on it immediately. If you find something that looks like it is even better than your plan beware!
Take your plan seriously, commit to following through, and ignore the rest. I’m paraphrasing here: decide and take action quickly, change your mind slowly. By doing the opposite of everyone else, who decides slowly and changes quickly, you will get things done and know what is working and what isn’t working.
E) Pay careful attention to opportunities to barter and bargain rather than blindly buying. Put on your thick skin and ask people for an exchange of services/products. Only make offers based on your strengths and talents (remember step C). Only offering from strength means you are actually offering value and you can be confident about it. This also makes it more likely they will accept your offer if it fits their needs. Keep that thick skin on until you get a “Yes!” because you may have to go through many “no thank you”s before finding the right fit for everyone involved.
F) Periodically review (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly — depending on the type of task) what you’ve done and the results that have occurred. You are not allowed to beat yourself up over external results. You may chide yourself (very briefly) for not taking action or not sticking to the plan but then immediately get back into action.
G) Based on the actions and results tweak your plan as appropriate. If you have been taking the correct actions for long enough to get useful feedback and the results are not sufficient to reach your goal then (and only then) are you allowed to significantly modify a task or replace it with another possible task. Be careful about passing judgement on actions/results that have a cumulative effect — be certain you’ve given enough action and enough time for the results to occur or your feedback will be skewed.
H) On a much longer time scale you will want to periodically review your goals by starting this whole process over again. Think about doing the goal review no sooner than 6-months, probably on the scale of years. Again, Simpleology 101 gives you the tools for setting and reviewing your goals (short, medium, and long term).
While these steps may seem simplistic and matter-of-fact they have the power to transform your life. The symbolism of re/starting with the new year can encourage the work necessary to begin developing momentum. There is about a week until the new year which is enough time (even if you are busy) to use the goal book or Simpleology 101 to chart out your goals and a plan for reaching them.
How simple is it to create your ideal life?