When I checked my email this morning I was greeted with an email from a person who has a motivational blog, telling me that things would be better in 2013 because I would believe that they were better. Oh, she went on to tell me that I needed to believe in myself and to do whatever it took to make that happen. Oh, and that even the smallest of things was an 'accomplishment' and worthy of accolades and rejoicing. I could make this New Year better by believing that it was. Well, I certainly want to know what she puts in her morning coffee! Am I cynical? You betcha! Will reading her blog and subscribing to her methods through reading her books and attending her seminars help ME? Well, only if I get off my butt and do something. Yup, that's the secret to success. Get off your butt and do something.
I'm not saying that you don't need to set goals and give yourself some much-needed praise for accomplishing those goals. It is always better to start with a plan and at least know what your first, second, and third steps are before you eventually reach any goal. But my goal to run a marathon or get an advanced degree in basket weaving won't happen by me sitting on my butt reading her blog. Unless it really, really, really does inspire me to make a change, to put on my running shoes and start running, or to enroll in my first-ever basket weaving class. Only then will my goals be accomplished.
So, how do we accomplish anything? Especially the important things in life like making a living, or helping others through volunteer work, or baking the perfect loaf of bread? It starts with an idea of what we'd like to be and do in our lives, then pursuing those ideas. I have broken it down into three very simple steps:
1. Think it.
2. Plan it.
3. Do it.
See, it really simple, isn't it? It's just that there are hundreds if not thousands of mini-steps between 1 and 3. And don't forget that LIFE is happening whether we follow the three steps or not. We can live our whole life without any planning at all, and while I think that would be a very boring and haphazard way of life, many people do that without even thinking about it. They just put it in drive and go. For me, I prefer at least a little bit of planning and design for my life, so I will follow my three-step program, even if it's just to decide what's for dinner. And for the big picture of what I want do be/do/accomplish in my life? Well, that's only three steps away!