Tips From The Top

Just Do It!

As I write the title above, I wonder if that’s still Nike’s branded tagline. It sure fits what I have to say.

I subscribe to a ton of blogs, podcasts, newsfeeds, and the like. Sometimes it’s crazy how much “personal development” I seem to do every day. One that I read over at the “Beach Money” blog  really got to me, and I thought that I’d share some thoughts based on what Jordan Adler said.

I lead a full, lucrative, and fulfilling life. In fact, my husband and I recently returned from 6 first class weeks in Cambodia/Vietnam, then I turned around and did the Lavaman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii and stayed to give a training seminar there (nothing like Hawaii as a  business expense!), was  back for a couple weeks, then we were off to 10 days in Sedona. And I get asked all the time, “If there was one piece of advice you could give me, what would it be?” There’s really just one thing that you need to do, to transform your Life.

As Jordan said, “Don’t wing it.” Everyone, for everything they do, has some sort of script. In fact, I told a friend the other day (who has to do “sales calls” in his business) that the fact that he was “winging it” during these calls didn’t mean he didn’t have a script – it just meant he had a BAD script – a “winging it” script.

Jordan pointed out that you have to Calendar the things you want to “make real” in your life. When I started doing this, back in the ‘80s, EVERYTHING changed for me. Sure, you have to be flexible – things will get moved out, cancelled, moved around. But if you make an appointment, it’s a commitment. That’s why appointments make things happen. Before you write something down, it’s just a fantasy. That one step brings it forward into reality. And it doesn’t have to be an appointment with someone else – it can be an appointment with yourself, to do a step towards making your Dream into a Goal and then into a Reality.

My husband and I “planned” to hike the length of the French Alps. But until we actually scheduled it, started looking into how to accomplish it, and then laid down the money for the guides, we never went. Of course, we had to schedule it about a year out – that’s a lot of hiking and training! – but without putting it on the calendar, it was just going to always be “some year.”

When I was a legal secretary and then a paralegal, I would tell the partner that I was working for that “some day” I would like to be an attorney. He sat me down in his office one late, late evening after we got our work done, and said to me, “To be a lawyer, you have to go to law school for three years. To go to law school, you have to take the LSATS, and then apply. You have to sign up for a LSAT study course, and an LSAT test, or ‘some day’ will always remain ‘some day.’” That changed my life. Right after I left his office – this was in the “pre-Internet” 80s – I started researching, and signed up for the seminar and the test. The rest, is history.

Another thing he said to me was: “It’ll take about four years to ‘become’ a lawyer. But the four years is going to pass anyway – why not move in that direction now?”

What are you PLANNING to do? What do you WISH you had time for?

What do you keep telling people you will do SOME DAY?

There are a few things that you have to schedule consistently. Your DREAMS, your PERSONAL LIFE, and your BUSINESS LIFE. Yes, really. If you schedule on an online calendar like Google Calendar where you can “color” each item whether it’s moving you towards your DREAMS, funding your EMOTIONAL or PERSONAL bank account, or making you WEALTH (whether it’s a 9-5 job or working your own business), you’ll also be able to see where your Life is “unbalanced.” How? Figure out what “Roles” you lead in your life (friend, mother, businessman, son, coach, goddess!), and give each a color. If your calendar is missing that color in your scheduled activities, then you need to figure out how to re-balance and get it in.

If you don’t CALENDAR it, it will be impossible to see. So you need to calendar your daily ACTIVITIES, and you need to calendar your DREAMS to make them REALITIES. And color each one, to see where your Life might be out of whack, as it relates to your Roles. Example? One of my clients kept complaining about her husband, until I made her do this exercise and she realized that she had absolutely no time in her week when she was “fulfilling her role as a wife.” I go into this more in my first book, Fempowerment, A Guide To Unleashing Your Inner Bond Girl, but fulfilling your role as a wife or a husband does NOT mean either doing laundry or taking out the trash!

So what would Calendaring look like? Here’s an example of scheduling a DREAM TRIP:

1. When (exact date) are you going to take that dream trip?
2. Schedule the date on your calendar.
3. Schedule when you are going to make your air reservations (back it out from the first date).
4. Schedule when you are going to book the package (back it out).
5. What else do you need to do? Get in shape if it’s a hiking trip? Start scheduling hikes, starting “backwards” where you are perhaps spending all day or a weekend hiking, to the present, where you only can get out 20 minutes the day after tomorrow.

And remember – if you are scheduling hikes with your honey, that time will get that color. If you schedule hikes with your honey and your kids, you get two colors. And if you take some “you time” during that hike to really be present and enjoy the fresh air, it could even get three!

Get how it works? Once you put it on the calendar, miracles begin to happen. You will find the resources for things to happen once you commit to it. You can “Reverse Engineer” from that date to the present, and then just follow those steps forward.

I look for opportunities to book phone calls and meetings with my business partners on a regular basis, and I even look specifically for when I am going to do grocery shopping, have “date night” with my husband, and the like – and I PUT THEM ON MY CALENDAR. (One of the reasons why my calendar is so full!) This is a critical behavior for having everything you desire. What sort of “appointments” could you make, to bring your dreams into reality? Here are some examples:

1. Make appointments with people that can help you get your dreams. Can’t think of anyone? Brainstorm over a cup of tea or glass of wine with a trusted friend or partner.
2. Ask yourself “Who do I need to meet to make this happen?” They won’t come into your life unless you know what to look for. An example of this is that the second you purchase a red Prius, there are 50 other red Priuses on the road when the day before, you thought you were unique. You have to focus on something to see it in your reality.
3. Call these people, and get an appointment on the calendar to meet with them.

Dreams will never come true if you just wish for them. A wish is just a puff of smoke until you schedule it. Put it down in writing on your calendar. Scheduling appointments is the most powerful, destiny fulfilling action you can take to achieve all that you are looking for, because nothing happens until it is scheduled.

Here are some feelings you may have before scheduling things:

Fear that you won’t come up with the money.
Fear that they might not be interested or will turn you away or laugh at you.
Fear that you may not know what to say.
Fear that something may get in the way of the commitment.

REALITY CHECK: You will not get the things you want until you schedule them on your calendar. Remember that Fear gets you out of Action, and Action gets you out of Fear.

I was not at all confident that I could complete an Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a marathon, in less than 17 hours). But I’d made myself a commitment years ago I would do it before a certain birthday – and as I saw that number approaching, I thought I’d better get a move on! So I put the date on the calendar – trained for 11 months – and finished it, smiling, happy, and the last woman over the line at 16:58:51 (way to make ABC-Sports!). Once I had signed up with Team in Training to train me (and raise money for their charity!), it went from a “some day” to a reality, because it was booked. Then I just had to ‘back out’ the training from that date, to the then-present (when I couldn’t even run to the corner store).

So, what’s more important? Are you going to let your DREAMS win or are you going to let your FEARS win? Do you want to live your dreams or wallow in your fears for the rest of your life? You have all the power to make things happen. Set the appointment on your calendar.

THE SOLUTION IS RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE. Put it on your calendar. Schedule the appointment. All your dreams will begin to come true once you start scheduling the basic simple daily activities that move you closer to your dreams. Start using phrases (even if it’s just to yourself!) like:

“Let’s get you on the calendar.”
“I’d like to set up a time for us to talk.”
“When can we set aside 30 minutes to go through this.”
“We need to block out a few minutes to go over some things.”

What I am talking about is a small thing that will yield HUGE results. It’s a minor shift that will change everything for you.

Stop thinking about it and start scheduling it! Put it in writing on your calendar and then follow through on your commitments to yourself.