You’ve probably heard a motivational speech or two on how to be a better you. I have and I’ll admit, some of them were good. But others left me wondering.
The lessons might have been sound, but some of the speakers never showed me what it looked like to build a better website, run a faster triathlon, or form a better habit.
You get the idea. I may have been given the reasons why. And I may have also been given the steps. But without a vivid image of the outcome, I was left to motivate myself. And that doesn’t work for me. The end game was too vague.
I like to eat good food and try new recipes. I’d flip through a new cookbook and catch a glimpse of a scrumptious entrée. The picture’s worth a thousand words (and sometimes a thousand calories).
The cookbooks I like show me the end result. They help me envision the dish so well, I could almost taste it. If you’re a visual learner like I am, you wouldn’t give any recipe a chance without those tantalizing color photos.
It’s the same with any goal or destination. We have to begin with the end in mind. We have to get a glimpse of what the new “me” looks like once I’ve achieved the goal or arrived at the destination.
The First Step
I recently taught a Master Your Calendar workshop, and one topic I emphasized was the importance of a consistent morning routine. When I told people I wake up at 4:30am, they cringed.
Then, I explained that it took years of adjustments for me to get there. I asked them to consider setting their alarm 15 minutes earlier. I noticed a few nods and accepting looks. They actually saw themselves being able to do that simple task – rising a few minutes earlier than what was familiar to them. It wasn’t a stretch. It was different, but not too far out.
Waking up 15 minutes earlier doesn’t by itself make you a better person, but it enables you to make better use of the morning hours. And that’s what they understood.
Before that, I explained that having an intentional strategy about the use of their morning hours would set them apart from most people. And to stand out, you’ve got to do what others won’t.
When you think of all the possibilities available to you when you consider what most people won’t do, it’s mind-boggling.
- Most won’t wake up early.
- Most won’t read (especially non-fiction).
- Most won’t learn.
- Most won’t eat well.
- Most won’t workout.
- Most won’t take time to think.
- Most won’t plan (unless it’s a trip).
Do you see how easy it is to rise above the crowd? When you up your game by doing the positive things others won’t (or don’t do consistently), you’re in a whole new league.
So, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. That’s step number one. Once you do, you now have 15 more minutes to read, to move, to reflect.
Watch for Step #2 to upping your game in my next newsletter. It’s not as hard as you think. But, it’s precisely what most others will not do.