I smiled when Erik Conover posted this comment in response to the blogs on “ Decisions and Choices”. I know exactly what he is saying. We are fed these sayings “Follow Your Dreams “and “Just Do It” yet we are left wondering “How do I do that?” While I usually know what I want to do, sticking to the plan has never been easy.
Life happens and does not stop happening because we make a decision. When I decided to write a book it seemed that life got busier. Sometimes, it seemed that because I declared that I wanted to write a book all sorts of magical, wonderful opportunities showed up jostling for my attention.
Setting the goal is the easy part, if we are honest and brave enough, we all know what we really want to do. ( I will reblog some posts that I did on setting Vision.) The trouble begins after we set the Vision. There are three things that I do to stick the plan.
I talk about it constantly to good people. When I decided to write – Change Or Die – The Business Process Improvement Manual, my poor sister was beleaguered, because I talked to her about it all the time. I carefully selected my sister, as my ear, since despite her protests she gives unconditional support while holding me accountable.
I focus singularly on what I want to do. I can’t multitask, I do one thing at a time, until I get it done. I have a day job and when the workday is done I return home and spend time on the book. It takes discipline, especially when the words are not coming and there are social events, computer games, Facebook, movies, television that all provide much better options. I had to say,“No” and stay focussed on the writing – dogmatically, stubbornly and relentlessly. One word at a time until it is done.
The most important thing that I do is listen to no one. Everyone has great opinions which I respect, but no-one knows what is best for me. Writing, for me, is not a whimsical thing, I put a lot of thought into what I am writing and why. Yet, people who knew nothing about business process improvement or never wrote a thing were throwing suggestions at me. I thanked them all and stuck to my script.
These three things – sharing with good people, focussing and listening to no one – worked for me even though they were several drawbacks. There were people who were unhappy with my decisions and my inflexibility around the decision and others who thought that I was myopic. It was not easy and it will never be easy. But as with anything else, when I get to my goal I know that it was worth it.
What do you do when it gets tough? How do you stay on target?