Last week, I wrote about the nefarious ‘Resistance,’ that terribly cunning, subconscious embodiment of every type of fear, that manages to keep each of us from doing the most important things in our lives.
I confess, I did little more than (hopefully) make you aware of this obstacle and implore you to keep an eye out and commit to pushing back.
Today, we’re dig in a little deeper though, past the topsoil of awareness and really sink our roots into the richness of proactive work that we can do to fight back. It’s not enough to simply be aware of The Resistance and wait to ward off its attacks. It’s time to go on the offensive. We’re gonna come at The Resistance like a gang of ambitious ninjas. Here’s how we can go on the offensive.
Fixate On Your Vision
We’ve talked in the past about the importance of having a clear vision. In fact, I just finished up reading through the vision-oriented portion of Lewis Howes’ book, School of Greatness. There are two key ingredients to this.
First, take the time to get clear on your vision. Understand it at a deep, meaningful, emotional level.
So instead of, “I want to lose weight,” try: “I am going to lose 40 pounds. I’ll feel healthier, lighter and have far more energy. I’ll be way more active and involved with my children and I’ll live to see my great grandkids, and most of all, I’ll be the kind of parent I felt I missed out on.”
Now that is a vision! You think that won’t be valuable ammunition when the going gets tough?
In addition to clarity on your vision, the second ingredient is to make sure that it stays in front of you. None of this New Year’s Resolution futility, where you forget about it a week later and nothing changes. Write your vision on your mirror, put it on your desktop background, in your wallet, tattoo it on your forearm–whatever it takes!
The point is, review your goals and vision regularly. Don’t let that fire die!
Utilize the Power of Habits
Habits are truly powerful things. We do the stupidest things when our habits take over, don’t we? We don’t even realize it but we’re on autopilot constantly, leaning on memorized practices. We smoke cigarettes, we bite our nails, we twitch, we eat Cheetos, we stay up late and we lay in bed at night buying things on our iphone.
Or, we get up early, we run, we eat healthy, we brush our teeth, we review goals, we write 1000 words and we give and save money every month.
Great people have recognized—and very purposefully harnessed—the power of habit. Habit can effectively keep our teeth clean and cavity free. It can also help us gain 30 pounds without much thought. Habit will carry us in one direction or the other. The great news is: we get to choose which direction.
Create Purposeful Systems
The reality is, we can’t habitualize everything. And even with regard to the things that we can eventually turn into habits, that process takes time. So we create systems. Systems provide built-in accountability.
I definitely should be regularly reviewing our team’s goals and progress with my business partner, but that isn’t a habit yet, and at times it’s a daunting task.
An easy target for The Resistance. Thankfully, in the absence of habit, we’ve put a system in place. It’s on my calendar every other week. Non-negotiable. The Resistance has no room to operate, because the meeting is set in stone.
I have other systems too. I have a time block each day for my single most important task. On top of that, I’ve identified the three most important items, so much so that if I do only those three things each day, I know that my bills will be paid and my family will be provided for.
An effective system can look many different ways, but the purpose is to remove the capacity-cramping task of deciphering anew each day what deserves your attention.
For me, there’s no deciphering. If I do those three items 5 days a week, I’m good.
Beware The Resistance—it’s not a matter of if you’ll face it, but a matter of when—and make these pre-emptive strikes. Knowing that the The Resistance is coming, put in the work ahead of time. Set yourself up for the easy victory, and continue down the path toward your worthy vision!
Go-to Resource: I’ve already said a lot about Lewis Howes’ best seller. I want to encourage you one more time to check it out. His very practical exercises regarding fleshing out your vision and goals are incredibly powerful.