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I’m currently enjoying the Oprah-approved ‘Power of Now’.
Although it’s a little fluffy, it has made me think a lot about how some of us goal-oriented folks are always living in the future.
This is why New Year’s Resolutions are often such a bust. They are about living in a moment that doesn’t exist yet.
I’m all for creating goals and writing them down. It is part of my life strategy.
But if you really want to get big things accomplished, I have a special trick that involves taking advantage of TODAY (the present moment) and using the power of daily habits to make goals and dreams actually happen.
I call it my ‘Daily Resolution Strategy’.
Anyone who knows me or reads my stuff, knows I’m very interested in the power of the written word.
One of the key pieces of advice my dad gave me growing up is, write everything you want down. Writing down your goals will get you where you want to go, faster.
I’m not exactly sure how or why this works. There are heaps of studies that confirm this truth. I think it is because putting thoughts into writing communicates your desires and goals to your unconscious mind, so it can get to work on helping you make your dreams come true.
Making a big change in the world, or in your life, also involves a series of accomplishing a series of very small daily tasks.
Most people who know how to make great things happen understand this process:
Pick a big goal, then you break it down into a series of the small steps it takes to get there.
The problem with getting things done is, once a task is complete, it is over. It vanishes, clearing a path for a new task. BEST case scenario. More likely, it will transmute into a new task, which can be frustrating as hell.
For example, ‘Buy Mom birthday gift’ might get checked off, but then morphs into ‘Go to the post office to ship mom her gift’.
This can make the entire nature of checklists or resolutions feel defeating. Sometimes it feels like you’re on a stair machine at the gym, instead of climbing higher to the next level.
To avoid feeling the defeat of of infinite to-do lists, and celebrate my accomplishments, I’ve devised a little motivation trick.
Tomorrow I Will. . .
Every night, before I go to bed, I create a ‘Tomorrow I Will’ list.
The ‘Tomorrow’ list is a series of affirmations and plans of what my day will look like.
It starts off with a lot of lifestyle goals I have for myself, half of which I don’t always do, but am much more likely to do if I make this list.
- Drink green tea instead of coffee
- Practice aerial circus
- Go to sleep at 10pm
- Wake up feeling rested and refreshed
- Practice amish hour
After I create this mini-resolutions, I dig into the meatier part of my task list.
- Create online course outline
- Email 3 influencers with press release
- Schedule email autoresponder
- Write a blog (check it out. I’m doing itttttt!)
Today I Accomplished. . .
And then finally, it is time to reward myself and acknowledge what I have accomplished that day. This is my ‘Today I Accomplished. . .’ list.
The lists don’t always perfectly match. The ‘Today I. . .’ list could be filled with accomplishments I never set out to do, but feel really great about getting done.
It will probably include things like
- Went to Yoga
- Got a hair cut
- Started client work statement
- Grocery shopped
- Wrote 2 book chapters
Aside from my big to-dos, this little daily accomplishments make me realize how many hidden victories and wonderful moments go into a day, that I don’t always remember, appreciate, or acknowledge.
I skipped this part for awhile, only writing down my nightly To-Dos, and crossing them off. Although I started out with a productive bang, I quickly felt pangs of burnout and dejection.
Recording these mini-victories makes my life feel richer, and forces me to take a moment and reflect on my slow-and-steady progress.
Do you have any productivity or ‘to do list’ hacks that are helping you kick-ass and take names?
If so, PLEASE leave them in the comments. I am always looking for new ways to get motivated.