I'm not one of those "mantra" people that looks into the mirror every morning and says "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it people like me." (That man is now my Senator) but every once in a while I come up with a short statement that helps me remind myself of the big picture and helps to keep me on track. My new statement is:
I have the time, energy, and clarity of purpose to make big things happen.
I'l break down why this is so helpful for me.
Time: A common excuse of mine is that there is too little time in the day to accomplish whatever needs to be done. Then I'll read some newspaper article about a woman with 6 kids who is running for U.S. Senate, teaches astronomy at MIT, is writing a book about her around the world sailing trip and has an organic raspberry farm. Her and I both have 24 hours a day, so I don't have any real excuses about why I can't accomplish my goals, besides the fact that there is an awesome "Man Shops Globe" marathon on the Sundance channel that is taking my attention away from whatever I'd really like to accomplish. Aw, I love that show.
Energy: Another excuse is that I am too tired to work toward whatever my next big goal is. Life has inertia and if I sit around thinking about how tired I am, I just feel more tired (and watch more of the "Man Shops Globe" marathon). If I start moving and working on a new blog post, cleaning out my closets, researching that cutting edge fundraising strategy or training for that 5K I suddenly find that I do have energy, I just wasn't harnessing it.
Clarity of Purpose: This is a tough one. It's really easy to move through life going through the motions. You deal with whatever comes at you and feel this innate sense that there is probably something better out there for you. Something that has worked well for me is to be a "practical dreamer". That means thinking about the best possible outcome for your afternoon, career, family, finances, whatever. Think about what you would actually like things to look like. The more detail the better because then you can recognize the opportunity to achieve that goal when it is looking you right in the face. You hate your job? Fine, what would your dream job look like? If you don't take the time to think about your ideal, you miss the opportunity when the job announcement comes to your in-box.
Big Things: Most people come up with goals this time of year and they are usually pretty mediocre. "Lose 10 pounds, try to pay off some debt." This year come up with some seemingly unreachable goals. "Make $1million dollars this year, give away $1 million this year, end homelessness, become a New York Times writer." Those are the types of goals that will get your adrenaline pumping and will become a burning desire in your life. You start to use a different part of your brain because they seem impossible, you have to start thinking differently to get there. Others want to help you do it because it seems so amazing. Suddenly an unreachable goal is much more attainable than a mediocre one because you are willing to do what it takes to get there.
What are your unreachable goals for 2010?