“The entire world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.” Unknown
Whenever you take steps to move forward towards a new way of operating or leading, you may be hit by a force that could set you back…if you let it. Instead, as you implement change, plan for moments of doubt or indecision. Doing so will ensure you — and your team — stay focused and on target.
Professional athletes make a game plan and they stick to it with laser precision and focus. Actors and actresses are no different. When prepping for a big role, some stay in character for months in advance to ensure they perform and don’t mess up when the curtain rises for the main event.
Preparation and planning stops doubt in its tracks. Winning requires us to repeat. Again. Again. Again…and again.
Here are three ways to build a foundation that sets you up for improved productivity, and ultimately more success in all areas of work and life.
1. Set a goal for the week. Make it precise, measurable and something that helps keep you performing at your best, and focused on finishing what you start. Here are some ideas:
- Drink 32-64 oz more water per day.
- Exercise 10 minutes more a day.
- Stand up and stretch or move around 2-5 minutes out of the hour.
- Take 10 deep breaths every hour.
Try adding these in one by one, and then working all of them as part of your daily routine.
2. Curb your negative thinking and criticisms. Excuses, complaints and negative thoughts can become the norm if we don’t retrain our behaviors. If you are a leader or part of a team, its especially important you minimize your negativity. And yes, its just as destructive directed at your self as it is at others.
Next time you find yourself in the rut of an unproductive thought, try closing your eyes and snapping your fingers. Josh Pais, creator of Committed Impulse teaches high performers to say — or think — “I’m back” whenever this happens. Try it, and you’ll see it works.
3. Decide not to take things personally. Is there anything keeping you planted or stuck from really driving the change forward. Is there a person, task or thing that continuously trips you up? If so, pause to consider what might be causing you to have a negative reaction. You may want to be liked or accepted. You may have some fears or insecurities around breaking free of the status quo. Maybe you shared the idea with an advisor or loved one, only to be laughed at or mocked.
Only you know what is best for you, or for your organization. Trust your judgement. Treat yourself and your position with respect. All that matters is that you live without regret and finish each day knowing you did your best.
Change is not always easy, but it is usually / always worthwhile. Spend your time surrounded by people who support trying new things, starting new habits and taking responsibility.
Decide to make small changes each day to improve your performance and achieve the goals you have set for your life. You’ll see when you do, the benefits will extend to friends, family, colleagues, staff, customers and even strangers.