There are only two things I’ve been able to do consistently up until this year: eat sugar and watch television. Manic Impressives are not consistent creatures by nature. We have bursts of activity fueled by imagination, then periods of downtime. But to achieve our dreams, we must learn how to be consistent, no matter what.
We need to build the skills that plodders, people who work from routine and do a little bit each day toward a goal, come by naturally. We are leapers (not lepers, dummy, LEAPERS) and tend to work in bursts, when we are at the top of our manic cycles.
Why We Need To Be Consistent
It’s easy to work with great enthusiasm and energy when we are in the manic phase. Things are easy when we’re inspired or excited. But we still need to perform when these conditions aren’t at play.
We Manics often get distracted from our main purpose. Shiny things and new ideas throw us off track. But this leads to sporadic efforts, which usually means lots of things started and not many finished.
This year I did things differently. I managed to do a little each week because I set a specific goal with regular deadlines. I know, I know, we hate deadlines. We like unfettered freedom to do things our own special way. But without deadlines we end up puttering.
So this year I made a commitment to post to this blog every week. Every Thursday by midnight. This kept me focused and got me to work even when I didn’t feel like it.
51 weeks in a row I fulfilled this promise to myself. If you’re reading this it means I made it to 52. All because of one little phrase:
No Matter What.
That’s the secret right there. I made an agreement with myself to post every week No Matter What. Those three little words kept me true to my word.
I worked when I didn’t feel like it. When it wasn’t convenient and things came up, I still got my writing done. When I was tired, uninspired, frustrated and distracted, those three little words kept me going. Even when it seemed I wasn’t getting anywhere and the doubt and despair were creeping up on me, I performed.
Because those words left me no choice and no room for excuses. I had to do my work no matter what.
This Saturday when I sit down with my team to set my goals for 2017, I will use these words again. I will set my sights, make a commitment to myself, and tell the world what I am going to do. I will break it down into daily tasks with weekly deadlines, and I will seal the deal by saying what I will do, no matter what.
So as you look to this coming year, I ask you to do the same. Pick the most important thing and commit to doing it no matter what. Don’t give yourself an out, don’t allow yourself extra time or excuses.
Pick a behavior you’re going to perform consistently. Pick a starting point (I like January 1) and don’t worry about your results. Just make the commitment and then say it one time along with me…
No Matter What!