Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Commitment to action – just do it!

the choice is yours


“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ~ C.J. Jung

As motivational author James Clear writes in his eBook on creativity people don’t just get lucky, they earn the chance to be lucky because they keep showing up. “Show up, show up, and soon the muse shows up too” writes best-selling author Isabel Allende. And it’s not just creative people who share this sage wisdom –  mega successful business giant Nike shouts their mantra from the billboards, ‘Just do it!”

“Dreams do not come true just because you dream
them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s
hard work that creates change…
Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.

Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of
being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have
no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t
matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to
keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing
something, seizing the next opportunity, staying
open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit
your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life.
Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just …
~ Shonda Rimes

misty morning at Summer Hill


The photo above is a shot I took on the first morning we woke up in our new home – 10 acres of country paradise just outside of Kerikeri. For years I’ve been dreaming of living in the country, for many more I’ve been taking baby steps to make my dream a reality. Am I lucky – heck, yes 🙂 Did I work hard for it – you bet. Did we have to overcome numerous obstacles to make Summer Hill ours? Sure! And there’s still more to come. The house has been neglected, the land left to go wild – it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. Every day we’re moving forward to make more of our dreams real. What about you?

What do you dream of? How can you keep moving forward? In this post I’ll share just a few of my favourite ways, (and timely reminders!) to keep moving toward your dreams.

The commitments

Review your vows. How committed are you to realising your dreams? I like to think of commitment as a promise – your promise to do what it takes to make your dream a reality. It sounds easy, but this is where actions speak louder than words.

Committed people are not half-hearted, hesitant or apprehensive. They are dedicated and decisive. They passionately and enthusiastically pursue their dreams with tenacity, resilience, and a zest for life and for living.

Committed people focus on the future and begin with the end in mind. Their words, thoughts and actions are congruent with who they are, who they want to be and what they want to achieve with their lives. They take focused action every day to help them get one step closer to their dreams.

Staying committed

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” ~ Mario Andrett

You may have set off with the best of intentions, a sense of clarity about what you want to do with the rest of your life and a passion to achieve it, only to find several weeks or months down the road you’ve stopped dead in your tracks.

Motivation, focus and empowerment come from seeing life from the future rather than from the past. Identifying with the self you are heading towards, rather than your history, holds the key to getting back on track.

Despite knowing in their heart what they want to achieve and armed with all the best intentions many people stall when it comes to following through on their goals. As a career and life coach I play an active role in helping people stay on track when circumstances derail them.

A powerful way is to keep your dreams visible. When we were ‘manifesting’ our new home and lifestyle we created a ‘manifestation fridge’ by pasting images and affirmations that kept our desired vision in sight. How could you make your dreams and goals more visiible?

Find the cure

“Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution.” ~ Stanley Arnold

What’s the Problem? Perhaps you’ve worked out what you wanted to do with the rest of your life, tackled some of your obstacles and set off with a plan to achieve your goals. But something caused you to lose your way?

Don’t worry, getting off track is not the end of the line; Sometimes it can be the pause you need to refuel and get steaming again. Spend some time really clarifying the problem. Did you lose focus? Did fear or doubt erode your confidence or was it something else?

Highlight which of the common derailers apply to you then tap into your intuition and problem solving skills to generate possible solutions:

• Losing sight of goals
• Inspiration depleted
• Chasing shiny new goals
• External interruptions – ‘urgent but not important’
• External interruptions – ‘urgent and important’
• Lack of discipline
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Procrastination
• Fear
• Self-doubt/Lack of confidence
• Giving up
• Lack of motivation
• Difficulty establishing concrete steps needed to make your ideas happen
• Insufficient pressure
• Listening too much to your critics
• A perfectionist streak – not wanting to make a mistake
• Other


Re-igniting commitment

All solutions begin with problems. Here are some key factors in reigniting the flames of motivation and commitment:

  1. Remind yourself of your goals – and more importantly, the positive difference that achieving them will create. Out of sight, out of mind – keep your goals visible at all times. Act as if you have already achieved your future intent and challenge reality to catch up!
  2. Categorise. Making a list of things you need to do to achieve your goals is a great first step to getting back on track. Help make a long list more manageable by breaking it down into categories. For example, if your dream is to have your own business, the categories may include: market research, product/service design, branding, marketing and systems, etc.
  3. Write it down, make it happen. Many people keep their lists in their heads. Getting things on paper and out of your head is half the battle. By writing your goals and sub-tasks down you have taken a major step to achieving them.
  4. Set micro goals. Chip away at sub-tasks bit by bit (things are less overwhelming that way). Include a time for completion.
  5. Prioritise. Get clear about what matters most. Ask yourself the following question before acting, “What difference will doing this now make to the achievement of my preferred future?”
  6. Practice active avoidance. Stay away from things that distract you from your major intent.
  7. Reward yourself. Bribe and reward yourself each time you complete each task that helps you achieve your main goal.
  8. Share your ‘completion challenge’ with others. This can help you feel more accountable and spur you into action. Plus, you may find that people rally to support you. We all love to cheer on someone we care about. While trying to finish this book I posted daily updates on my blog and with a group of supporters online. Feeling accountable to people who paid for the book before it was finished also helped.
  9. Go on an excuse-free diet. Examine any and all excuses that stand between you and your preferred future. Now get creative – change your focus and look for all the ways you can get around the things that stand in your way. Remind yourself of all the people with similar or bigger obstacles in their way who went on to succeed.
  10. Maintain the balance. Being overloaded can really tip the balance out of favour. Whip stress into shape by making room for the things that give you joy.
  11. Listen to your intuition and look for synchronistic support for your dreams. This will help you determine where best to put your time and energy.
  12. Turn adversity into triumph. Hard knocks and big setbacks can really put some wind in your sails. While some people give up at the first sign of a setback, to others trouble is an incentive that motivates them to try harder. William A Ward says it well: “Adversity causes some men to break and others to break records.” Turn adversity into triumph and have the satisfaction of telling people, “I told you I could do it!”
  13. Surround yourself with supportive people. Get a life coach or professional mentor if necessary. Join a group of like-minded people with similar goals and aspirations for motivation, information and support.
  14. Get inspired. One of the most powerful sources of motivation is spiritual motivation. What do you feel you have been called to do? Remind yourself of the aspects of your goal that give you meaning and purpose. What fills you with a sense of inspiration, energy, passion and fulfilment? These are all signs of spiritually aligned motives.

There have been many times when I really doubted what I should be doing with the rest of my life. I remember attending a writers conference in 2007 where New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Cruise summed it up so powerfully: “Seventy-eight per cent of the population wants to write but you are called to write.” Not long after I saw two quotes, “Good books make good citizens,” and one from Mother Theresa, “We are all pens in the hands of a writing god sending love letters to the world.” All these sources reminded me of my goals and the soul purpose that underpins them.

Sweet are the uses of adversity.~ William Shakespeare

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