Yesterday, a subscriber to The365Commitment.com blog asked me a question that I have been asked a few times. The question was something like this, “when I wake up an plan my priorities for the day, what do I put down? Sometimes I cannot think of anything.” My initial reaction to this question is always the same, I emphasize that keeping the habit of focusing yourself on the most important is more important than what you actually accomplish. Form the habit first, then overtime you will become more focused on what you should be doing. Admittedly there are times when I ask myself this question. What should I do today? Sometimes, I have come up with great ideas, sometimes I just put down simple chores, other times I have an inspiration to talk to someone or help someone in a specific way but many times I lack inspiration. Just getting through the day seems like a task worthy of writing down.
I spent some time really thinking about this question yesterday. What occurred to me is the reason that this question is asked in the first place. We tend to get caught up in the past, the way things were, or we become too focused on the way things are or that they always have been. Like can seem pretty mundane when you look though this lens. Your routine does not seem like it has any room for greatness, in the past you have always done things a certain way and have always gotten a particular result. This is probably the most convenient excuse the primal mind comes up with. It is a powerful one, very hard to defeat. Creeps up on me all the time. I hear it constantly. No matter what I try, I can never lose weight. My child hates me, it does not matter what I do for her she will always hate me. My husband will never understand what I am trying to do, I guess I have to just do this by myself. I will never get that promotion, I keep bumping into that ceiling. I will never get a good grade in math, I am just stupid.
We all know these excuses, because we all use them. I believe the answer to the original query, “what should I plan for each day?” is rooted into the reason why we get trapped living in the past. Doomed to continue to repeat our cycle because we have convinced ourselves that this is the way it is because this is the way it always has been. So I come back to the originating thought that broke me from the chains of personal past and that is getting back to the future.
Your days can start to become great when you have a clear future vision. When you know what that future self is going to look like, be like, act like, talk like. What that future self is going to be doing everyday. What great moment is that future self going to have that will signal to you that you have actually overcome the stagnant past and have embraced the dynamic future. Funny to me is how good we are at avoiding this critical step. Seemingly a simple exercise to sit down and actually think through who your future self is going to be and then write it down – but we all will put this exercise into the “someday” category. Believe me, you can spare 1 hour today to really reflect on who you want to become. Compare that future self to the person you have always been and you will notice quite the gap.
It is the gap that starts to build what you should be working on each day. The gap will most likely be overwhelming, that is good! The greater the aspiration, the greater the gap. So know your mind has something to work on while you are dreaming, while you are going through the same old pattern each day. Each morning and night as you reflect on what you are doing or not doing to build that future self you will start to recognize ways to improve, things you could be doing and now planning the day seems like a highly profitable concept. You can start to fill the gap, one small step at a time. Build consistent habits that inch you closer everyday. In less than 365 days, by simply keeping and maintaining positive and productive habits that gap to your future self will close faster than you realize.
So get back to the future if you ever feel lost or discouraged when on your journey to self-improvement.
Guy Reams (401)
112 Days Left to 1st Marathon