“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn
I’m drawn to people who consistently get things done. I remember listening to people like Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill, John Maxwell and many more. They all have one thing in common – they were all highly intentional in how they approached life. I found that all the most successful leaders were motivated to achieve their objectives consistently. I knew the key to accomplishing things was having clear objectives and well thought out action plans. The thought of consistently making and reaching objectives as a lifestyle energized me. I wanted to know how to stay motivated for life.
People have tried getting motivated by handling the easiest things first just to hit the ground running. Have you ever spent twenty to thirty minutes looking for something else that’s easy to do? Sooner or later we are going to face the difficult tasks, and our motivation goes out the window. If you’re more like many intentionally growing leaders, you’ll focus on getting the most important things done first why? You’ll get a much bigger return on your time investment. The bigger the return for a task completed the quicker you’ll be closing in on achieving your objectives. It’s self-empowering to have the most difficult tasks behind you and the rest of your day to deal with the easier ones.
“Preparation gives you the advantage of being in the game before it begins” -JSP
I’ve learned from the examples of some highly successful leaders that prioritizing your hit list in the order of importance will energize you before your day begins and build your confidence with each item you check off as your day goes on.
4 PRINCIPLES TO HELP YOU REACH OBJECTIVES AND STAY MOTIVATED
1. Define Your Objectives in Detail Make your objectives as specific as possible. Plan out your action steps in sequence and calculate the time you’ll commit to each. I find that I’m motivated quicker and work better when I see twenty smaller projects mapped out and scheduled than I do when staring at one immense time consuming “must do now” mega-project.
Once you’ve defined your objectives, take them one at a time in the order of their importance and write out when each one needs to be done then schedule when you’re going to begin. Knowing what needs to get done first helps you begin with a clear path ahead of you, enabling you to work with the end always in view.
2. Establish a Clutter-Free Zone There’s an old organizing proverb that says, “a place for everything and everything in its place” because, I didn’t always listen, my workspace was more like “a place for nothing and everything all over the place.” I must have wasted three days’ worth of time annually just looking for stuff. I had to de-clutter before I could rearrange my office so that I could take inventory.
As I write this, I’m in the process of indexing my library, a project that I’m scheduled to complete by year’s end. I numbered each bookcase assigning every shelf a letter. Once completed this system will allow me to locate any one of my more than 2,500 books within 10 seconds, I’m breathing easier already.
3. Commit to the Discipline of Self-Control “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It takes discipline to develop a strong enough work ethic to reach your objectives consistently. The benefits of living a self-controlled life are numerous. You will face challenges to your commitment every step of the way. You can outlast and overcome any obstacle if you’re committed to a disciplined lifestyle of self-control. John C. Maxwell said, “If you want to reach your potential, you need to add a strong work ethic to your talent.”
4. Assess Your Progress at Regularly Scheduled Intervals Having good systems in place to keep you on track and on schedule is priceless. Since honest self-assessments take a fair amount of self-awareness, we also need to enlist the help of a trusted friend to hold us accountable to commitments. Accountability is a good thing when the objectivity is coming from someone we trust.
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***