MAWMonday Motivators 01/10/2016

How-to-Get-Back-on-Track-With-Financial-ResolutionsI hope your first full week of 2016 was productive. You may have heeded the wisdom to move beyond resolutions to create a lifestyle that will endure. But, no one can deny the motivation of that new year (new car) smell. The freshness and expectation of a year with more promise than disappointments, more hope than panic.

My family is in the midst of clarifying our 2016 plans. We have selected our tag phrase. “My skill is my compass” narrowly beat “Level up” as the phrase that will be our rallying cry this new year. As a group, we were only about 20% effective with our goals last year. We have decided to increase our effectiveness through a number of initiatives. In addition to checking our plans for consistency with our vision, ensuring time and knowledge resources, mapping expected events, and projecting return on investment, we have launched a couple of platforms for sharing our procedures and achievements. Those will no doubt provide some external motivation and a sense of time-sensitivity that will support increased achievement percentages this year.

In the process of our discussions, a number of ideas came up that I observed mirrored in recent coaching sessions. As you would expect, I saw many of those concepts also posted to Twitter. I offer 5 as motivation for your continued productivity in the coming week.

1. Character
Character is a focus for me this year as we launch HomeSchool H.E.A.L.S., a Facebook group and to support parents concerned about the breadth and preparation embodied in the education their children receive and their role in the process. The acronym stands for health, entrepreneurship, art, and life skills. We formulated a clear conception of the process from wisdom that is critical thinking, to character, to production, to genius. I’m also working with others on a conception of the relationship between social and emotional learning and character education. Character is an important construct. Our systems, including schools, need to address both the institutional and the individual level of need. Character AND reputation as the tweet suggests.

2. Today & Tomorrow
These are two of the hardest words to figure out. You will be tempted to dismiss my depth of thought, but you are in the same boat. For all of use, these two words sound like enjoyment versus obligation. It seems that the world is full of contradictions that on the one hand suggest that we enjoy the right now. At the same time, we are never to put off until tomorrow what can be done today. We are told to work hard today like many won’t, so that we can enjoy a tomorrow that others only dream about. I think I have figured it out though. The answer comes from considering what would be required if you had nothing. Nothing to lose. Nothing to gain. Your existence today would either be enjoyment or obligation. Your existence tomorrow would be the same. The answer? Enjoy. What should you do? En-joy. Engage-Joy. I don’t care what it is, find joy in it. How do you choose? Choose based on joy. Even in work? Yes, even in work. Engage joy today. Engage joy even better tomorrow.

3. Goals
I have a very detailed process for goal achievement that I am working into a training coming soon. It occurred to me that there exists a multitude of distractions to the mechanisms of goal achievement. They manifest when you think that the task is to “work toward” any certain thing. Allow me to give you another point of view. Consider just being who you are. As I said before, just enjoy who you are. What are you doing? Continue to do that. Some may call it work, but that label is of no consequence because you, from your point of view, are simply being. Eliminate the chores from your perspective. Find joy in it (everything), or outsource it. Someone likes doing what you don’t care for.

4. Map
Now, approach my goal achievement process. Identify your vision. Create goals. Connect Tasks. Schedule activity. Monitor actions. Remember, if any element of the process lacks joy, outsource it to someone who enjoys doing that. Live in the joy of your existence. You will achieve more when it is not the achieving that distracts your attention. Yes! There you have it. Attempting to achieve, racing in competition, trying to obtain things is the chief distraction. Notice. Don’t just look at what high achievers do, and call it work from your perspective. Look at what they don’t do, and realize that they do as little of “chores” as possible. Notice also that the best of those who do the “chores” for them approach each task with joy.

5. Unstuck
“What if I get stuck? I feel like I’m stuck.” She said these words with the last plea of a worker beat down by the system. I sought to change her perspective. She was worried about the pain and dismay of being forced to stay. I spoke toward the freedom of launching. “Think about if you quit.” A common solution-focused approach also suggested as one of the 7 habits of highly effective people. Begin with the end in mind. “If you quit, what would you be doing? Let’s get you doing more of that right now.”

Face up to the fear of failing, quitting, going without. What would you do in that moment and the moments afterward? Let’s get to doing more of that and less of the stressing about the other. If you can also remember the joy, you will have this life thing just about figured out…and just in time to make 2016 your most enjoyable year yet.