To achieve great things, two things are needed

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: A plan, and not quite enough time.”

Leonard Bernstein, 20th century American conductor, composer, and author

Image from Unsplash by Alvaro Reyes

What significant tasks or projects have you always wanted to tackle?

How often do you use the lack of time as the reason for putting them off?

How often do you see an empty calendar when all the stars align for you to begin?

When such rare days appear, how frequently are you diverted into some other far more pleasant venture?

What would happen if we simply used the small blocks of time we do have to first plan our efforts and then nibble away at our elephants, one bite at a time?

EXERCISE:

Schedule 5 to 15 minutes today to create a plan for a small or modest size project.

Allocate 5 to 15 minutes each day this week to execute the items in your plan. Take note of the momentum created by just being in action.

Using this approach, what will it take to create something great?

“The second time you forget something, stop and create a better plan for remembering.”

“The second time you forget something, stop and create a better plan for remembering.”

Stephen St. Amant, author of the Savenwood Blog

Image from Unsplash by Aaron Burden

Over the course of our lives, we develop numerous habits and engage in daily rituals that are automatic.

These behaviors are so ingrained they don’t require any special tools or support.

For other efforts, we sometimes slip and forget important activities that can undermine our confidence and self-worth.

Many of us use checklists to help us remember the promises we’ve made to ourselves and others.

What happens when we forget to add an item to the list or forget the list altogether?

In the book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything the authors recommend using a personal, social, and structural matrix to help prevent things from slipping through the cracks.

EXERCISE:
What strategies help you remember the important and urgent aspects of life?

Consider check out the book Influencer to broaden your repertoire of techniques for remembering.

Life is like skiing. The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill

“Life is like skiing. The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill. It’s to have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets.”

Seth Godin, American author and former dot com business executive

Image from Unsplash by Banff Sunshine Village

Do you or have you participated in winter activities such as skiing or sledding? Although I tried my hand at skiing in my late teens and made it down a few bunny slopes, sledding was my thing as a kid.

When our wintry prayers were answered for snow days, I was out the door with my friends to visit venues we named Suicide Hill and Dead Man’s Drop.

As fast as we would race down each run, we would immediately dart right back up each incline again and again, holding on tight to our flexible flyers, snowboards, and toboggans.

We couldn’t get enough and only frozen toes, growling stomachs, and looming darkness would have us head home.

EXERCISE:

How many good runs have you had in your life?  What intentions and actions are you planning and taking to make the most of every day you wake up to see the sun?

 

Friday Review: Planning

FRIDAY REVIEW: PLANNING

Are you a planner? How often do you plan out your day or week? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

 

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”

 

 

 

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”

 

 

 

“No plan is worth the paper it is printed on unless it starts you doing something.”

 

 

 

 

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

—Leo Tolstoy, 19th Century Russian writer & Nobel Prize winner

Image from Unsplash by Sergey Shmidt

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

It’s happening all around… more and more people are heading out with a bit more pep in their step into the longer, warmer days.

What plans and projects are still in the formative stage or well under way in your life? Perhaps you are engaged in spring cleaning or have headed outdoors to work on your lawn or begin planting a garden.

The word “spring” itself is all the coaching we need to turn our intentions into action. How will you make your mark on the world through your personal and professional efforts?

EXERCISE:

What are some of your most inspiring and exciting plans and projects?

Get the message out to see who else may wish to join you! Consider asking others about their plans and projects, and offer to support their springs into spring!

“Life is actually an essay, not a series of responses to someone else’s agenda.”

“Life is actually an essay, not a series of responses to someone else’s agenda.”

—Seth Godin, American Author

Image from Unsplash by Thought Catalog

In order to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools and other learning institutions closed for the year.

Once the initial “extended summer vacation” excitement wore off and the reality set in, we were given an extremely important assignment.

Our homework is to write and experience the next chapters of our life stories. Some of us might look to the limitations and constraints. But we can also see new levels of creativity, innovation, and freedom to express ourselves through the amazing examples set by others in our various communities.

EXERCISE:

What will you include in your Hero’s Journey essay? How can you continue to influence your communities, expand your capabilities, and make an even more purposeful difference in the world?

What would happen if more of us put down the remote and picked up our pens to pursue our personal agenda?

“It may be time to play screenwriter and take another pass at the script of your life.”

“It may be time to play screenwriter and take another pass at the script of your life.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Chivalry Creative

Given that we are nearly 60 days into the new year, how would you say things are going compared to 2019?

Where are you on track or ahead of your plans to achieve your goals? Where are you stuck, or even falling behind?

To what extent is it time to get out your favorite pen or sit at your keyboard to rewrite a few scenes? How might you remove or replace supporting or leading characters to minimize drama in your life?

EXERCISE:

In what area of your personal or professional life is it time to edit your life script to add significantly more fun, laughter, adventure and joy?

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”

—Ralph Marston, 20th Century professional football player

Image from Unsplash by Glen Carstens-Peters

The critical word in today’s quote is “can.”

There is, of course, no guarantee that today will improve all, or perhaps more realistically, most of your tomorrows.

With the right attitude, planning, and of course, inspired effort, the likelihood of a more positive and successful future is inevitable.

EXERCISE:

What attitude-enhancing efforts will you bring into your day today?

What planning did you do yesterday, or this morning, to assure you are working on your top personal and professional priorities?

What inspired and committed actions will you take today to guarantee many better tomorrows?

Things do not necessarily happen for the best

“Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but I can choose to make the best of things that happen.”

—Tal Ben-Shahar, Israeli-American Author/Lecturer

Image of a sailboat on rough waters

Image from Unsplash by Alan Meceanu

Take a few minutes to reflect on your day if it is evening, or on yesterday’s events if you are reading this in the morning. To what degree did everything go as planned, and work out exactly as you hoped?

If things did not work out for the best for whatever reason, what consequences did you experience?

How did you react or respond, and what emotions or feelings came up?

EXERCISE:

Consider the metaphor of a sailboat. How might you adjust your sails and rudders of mindfulness and adaptability to the sometime stormy seas of life?

Feel free to reply to this post to share the approaches you take on a daily basis to make the best of things that happen.