While I've always been someone who likes her lists (and that's putting it mildly), these lists almost always focus on the day-to-day tasks, or, if I'm feeling particularly ambitious, a week's worth. What I've come to realize, mostly thanks to my time with MillionTo1, is that I had no goals or aspirations for the long-term.
Of course I had the iconic goals – the ones about being fit, being wealthy, being happy and healthy, but nothing concrete. They were just vague dreams, and when asked about my goals, I came up blank. And for someone who is always trying to control her world through organization, this realization was worrisome, and to be honest, scary.
MillionTo1 changed that in some very simple ways.
By forcing me to write down my dreams, my goals, my action steps, any problems, and possible solutions, my goal-setting (and goal-smashing!) became much easier. It still takes intentionality and mindfulness to make sure I execute the action steps to reach my small goals and work on my Holy Goal, but it's more manageable, and I feel at peace with the progress I am making.
As I was attending the MillionTo1course, I was also reading Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, and the book is brimming with a variety of useful methods to reduce procrastination and inspiring quotes; the most striking quote for me was, “Don't be a person waiting for a bus on a street where no busses pass. Take charge of your life, put pressure on yourself, or you'll end up waiting forever for someone to come along and motivate you to be the kind of person you wish you could be” (paraphrased).
That idea, of waiting for a bus that literally will never arrive because the street isn't on the route, seemed so poetically futile. How often are we standing on those streets? Maybe we're on the unbeaten path of exercise, or lost on a trail of imbalance between work and home life. Whatever the case, we must get on the right streets! How?
By setting goals that help us walk, run, fly, or scuba dive to our proper bus route.
And there's another significant advantage to taking charge of your life – the anxious voices in your head quiet down. Maybe you're like me, and you catch yourself lying in bed, mentally berating yourself about the things you "should have" done that day. Sorting through my goals and establishing realistic plans to achieve them has managed to diminish, if not stop, the mental haranguing.
It also allowed me to analyze the vision of the person I wish I could be and prioritize ways to become that person.
Finally, MillionTo1 helps you dissect the idea of “must” versus “should” in your life – you can probably think of a few things you should be doing, and feel a bit guilty over not having done them, right? Just as with needs and wants, the idea of what we must do and what we should do often are muddled. I’d encourage you to read this article on deciphering which is which, and on having the courage to pursue your “musts” every day.
And MillionTo1 is a great place to start.
Since the class, I’ve been working on my two small goals and one Holy Goal, along with focusing on the musts in my life. It’s always a balancing act – some weeks I do better at eating my work frogs than the ones hopping around my personal life, and sometimes it’s the other way around.
But, as Brian Tracy notes, “Future intent influences and often determines present actions," so when I am tempted to get bogged down with tadpoles, I focus on the future, and what I must do in order to achieve that future.
MillionTo1 provides what you need to focus – then you make it happen.
Stephanie has a heart for librarianship and currently works at K-State Libraries. When she’s not goal-smashing, she's pursuing her favorite pastime: fuzzy snuggles with her two Yorkies. You can find them holding down the couch, cheering on the Wildcats, or playing board games with her husband. Livin' the dream.