Building muscle memory makes a difference.
It wasn't a habit when I first began. It wasn't a need or really even a want. At first, it was an outlet, something that seemed like a good idea, maybe.
Now, it's habit, it's a need, a want, an idea that keeps working inside me, propelling me forward.
I made a commitment to myself, and I'm keeping it.
If I can make this commitment and keep it, then there must be others I can do too.
Like, losing weight, saving money, writing another book, learning another language.
Author and business coach, Peter Drucker wrote, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
What's my plan? I started writing this blog with the idea of using it to keep me committed to writing. Now, I've shifted my focus away from my commitment to writing -- I have that. This blog has become my impetus for writing my next book. My eldest daughter who reads it faithfully is encouraging me to compile the writings into book format -- not a bad idea -- but I need a plan.
And that's where I stumble. I have to make the commitment to do it and I'm afraid.
Fear of falling rises high.
Last night at Project Forward (it's a course I run for clients at the homeless shelter where I work) we talked about some of the reasons why we don't achieve our goals, or are hesitant to even set goals in the first place. It was pretty apparent that we all shared certain 'beliefs' as to why we didn't do what we want to do in life, or felt unhappy about the lives we are living. Here's some of the answers we came up with last night.
- Low Self-esteem: If I know my self-esteem is holding me back, keeping me from trying, it's a fact, not an excuse. Using it as the reason why I'm not doing what I say I want to do is just my way of copping out on myself. It's up to me to turn up for me.
- Lack of knowledge: I can follow the fool's path or the wisdom path. It's up to me. If I want to do something and don't know how, the fastest route to getting to where I want to be is to learn from those who have been there before. Take a course, read a book, never give up on learning.
- Disappointment: Yup, that idea didn't work out, that person didn't do what they said they would, that boat didn't sail in -- and the reason that holds me back from trying again? They are all just excuses. The reality is, if I never try, nothing will ever happen. If I accept defeat before I begin, victory will never become a reality. If something didn't work the first time, try again -- but first, learn from what went wrong! I can't keep repeating my same mistakes again and again in the hopes I'll get a different outcome.
- Rebellion: One of my favourites! I have a rebellious nature -- a residual from childhood that does not serve me well in adulthood. Letting my rebellious streak undermine me is an excuse. The fact is, being a rebel keeps me stuck in the past. Letting my fearless nature drive me forward, taking risk, exploring new territory, new ideas -- those are my strengths. It's up to me to use them wisely.
- Lack of faith: This is a close cousin of Disappointment. Lack of faith keeps me from stretching my wings because I anticipate the fall rather than the flight. Lack of faith holds me back from leaping because I fear the unknown. It's up to me. I can choose to hold myself on the edge of the void and never leap, or I can choose to have faith, to believe the universe is filled with abundance, with unlimited possibilities and soar. My choice.
Life is made up of my choices throughout the day. Driving to work I choose which road I take -- sometimes I take my habitual route, somedays I mix it up. Even the choice to drive versus take public transit is a statement I make about myself. I could take transit and walk -- I'm choosing otherwise. And, I have a lot of reasons to rationalize my choice. Need to take a look at them and determine if walking would be more proactive, more helpful in getting me towards my goal of losing 30lbs!
So, here's my commitment. To write an outline for a book based on my writings here. My working title: The Question Is? Everyday writings to inspire your day. My goal is to have the outline completed by October 25th. First draft of the book completed by January 31, 2008 and a query letter off to publishers by December 9, 2007.
There, I've got a plan. It's up to me to make the commitment to act on it. It's up to me to be true to myself.
The question is: What's your plan and are you willing to act on it? What facts do you need to shine light on that are masquerading as your excuses for not keeping your commitments to yourself?