10 Essential Tools For Following Through on Your Dreams
- Created: Thursday, 20 August 2015 09:24
By IICT Member Ginny West, Spirit in Business
“Just as we learn to start and not finish, we can learn to complete what we have begun” – Sark
If there’s one thing that drives me totally crazy as a coach it’s when incredibly talented practitioners put together an amazing soulful, heart-centered plan and then….do nothing. Or get distracted, or head off on another tangent, or avoid doing the work. And then feel totally devastated that things are not taking off the way they want.
Everyday people all over the world give up on their dreams without even giving them a chance. They stop one thought in, halfway, or even just before the end. It is no different for wellbeing practitioners. I have always been overly concerned with those who wouldn’t follow through. For a long time they have taken up more of my energy than the clients who have. And that’s not right. Luckily I have some dear friends and incredible teachers who called me on it. Do I want to work with people who are ready, willing and able to move forward, or do I want to hold myself back waiting for others to catch up? The truth is I can’t wait anymore because I have a calling of my own. To step it up; and I’m out of excuses for my own follow through. Do I want to take my work to incredible heights for those who need me? Damn right I do. My purpose is to inspire, motivate and empower millions of wellbeing practitioners. And I’m ready. And you are welcome to come with me. Or stay behind, or choose another way, but I won’t be waiting anymore, or coming back to grab anyone by the hand and pull. This is the crossroads. I see now this isn’t abandonment, but releasing others to their own future. To independence and autonomy…to choice.
So if you are determined and ready here are some absolute crackers for helping you to follow through on your dreams. Enough holding back already; it’s time to fly…
1. What do you really want?
There is no point following through on something you don’t really want. You can waste time and energy chasing after an illusion. So be honest with yourself and make a decision today about where your heart really wants to go. Be absolutely clear. No excuses waffling around about how you don’t know what that is. You know. You know you know – it’s deep in your bones, your DNA, your heart. If you think you can’t decide tin a day I tell you, you can decide in 15 minutes with this simple method. Make some quiet time and space with no distractions. Sit up straight in a comfortable position or lie down. Become aware of your breath as it enters and leaves the body, become aware of muscles and bones, allow yourself to sink into the silence. After a few moments bring your awareness into the heart; breathing deeply into the heart centre at the sternum, on every exhale drop deeper in. Then ask the heart what it is you really want. And wait. The first answer is often the mind, so let there be time and space. Wait for a feeling-sense, an internal wisdom. Check in with the body. How does the body align with your answer? Contraction, discomfort or holding the breath is a no. Expansion, lightness, bubbling joy is a yes. Learn to come to this place with all decision making and you’ll never go wrong. This is your spiritual manager on tap. Right there in your own heart, body and spirit. Who would have known? If you are deciding between two choices start as before, then visualise each choice one at a time and feel the response in the body. Take a moment after the first choice to come back to a totally neutral space, before visualising the second choice. Then once you have made a decision on what you really want I want you to write it on a big piece of paper above your desk, in your diary, in your phone, on your pin board, in your wallet, in your car, on a t-shirt if you like! This is your promise to yourself; it came from your heart and soul, not your mind, not your ego. You have a promise to fulfil. To yourself, to spirit, to the universe. This is your contract. You’re clear now. So let’s go…
2. Be Accountable
You have made a decision now, so you need to make yourself accountable to follow through.
- Make a plan. Break it down. Be specific
- Write a contract to yourself about your commitment to follow through on your intentions
- Say I will do this by then and tick it off as you achieve each goal
- Schedule the time to complete your tasks. Be realistic – neither too little nor too much time to get it done
- Make a deal with a friend to check in on each other to see what you have achieved
- Be consistent in your efforts
- Create a repercussions list. There’s no need to self-flagellate, but part of accountability is understanding what the repercussions of not following through are. For example I don’t get my reward until I’m done, if I don’t do this I will have less people in my classes, I will feel deflated, I won’t have enough money for my trip and so on. Then ask yourself if it’s worth giving yourself that extra push to get there and how you’ll feel when you do.
3. Motivate Yourself
There are without a doubt going to be times where you want to give up, get distracted, dawdle, loose faith and generally fall flat. So you need a motivational plan ready to go. Remind yourself why you are doing this at a soul level. If you know why, then it will be easier to take a deep breath, a long walk, a bit of wild dancing, shake it off and start again. Remind yourself of how many people you have helped already, how you have felt in your best moments, how your truest work makes your heart sing. Put up motivational sayings, speak to motivational people, listen to motivational songs, go to motivational workshops, whatever spurs you on.
4. Reward Yourself
It is essential to have a reward system in place so you feel appreciated and celebrated. It ensures you take precious moments along the way to recognise what you are achieving, how far you have come and to motivate you to keep going. The rule is small rewards for small sized tasks, medium rewards for acting through fears and great wins, and big rewards for big milestones. Write a list of rewards that will thrill you, that are soulful, nourishing and sweet. A small reward may mean a bunch of flowers at the end of the week if you have completed all your tasks, a few new crystals if you make twenty scary phone calls, or a massage if you get that speaking gig you applied for. Large rewards may come once a year if you have completed all your goals; like going on a special retreat, weekend workshop or soulful holiday. The trick is to align the size of the task with the size of the reward (and please be honest about it). If you are constantly giving yourself with treats without reaching goals you are actually rewarding your inaction. What a cruisy deal; you don’t need to do anything to get your rewards! And guess what will happen? Nada. An integrated rewards system creates incentive. So let’s enter the beautiful world of commitment, follow through and self-recognition. Write a list of 30 treats for each small milestone, medium milestone and large milestone, and when you have completed your tasks you can get your list out and choose what you want. How exciting!
5. Give up the Excuses and Self sabotage
Here’s the thing. You will always have stuff to work through. The most pertinent issues you have healed in this lifetime will probably come up for another round (hopefully in smaller and smaller versions of themselves). You truly release them when you are willing to do the work, but carry on with your plans. The ego loves to stall, distract, and immerse you in pain. Absolutely go and see another practitioner, take a soul day, nurture, release and be gentle with yourself. But keep moving on. Stay on purpose, keep on track. Have a deep understanding and self-awareness of ways you self-sabotage, and talk to yourself gently but firmly when you notice them arising. Then ignore them and move on (having a sense of humour about it will help).
6. Don’t make money your excuse
How many times have you heard people say I’d love to do this but I don’t have the money? Does money help? Sure it does, but I can tell you I didn’t have a brass penny when I started my business. We are so lucky at this time to have access to incredible social media tools that can help your business take off. And it’s all FREE. Well the basics anyway. You can start an email campaign on mailchimp for free. A Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter account – to name just a few. A YouTube channel, a blog and event profile at Eventbrite. It costs nothing to go to a lot of network events, give talks, and talk to people. You can get your business started on nothing and build to something and then expand. No excuses. There’s no shame in having a part time job as you build your dreams. Understand that it takes time and you will have the money to take your business to a higher level as you go. It’s all about perception from your customer’s point of view. Look, sound and act professional and you have a top level business on your hands. I know a guy who ran one of the biggest corporate events Melbourne has ever had for a Chinese company, and he did it from his laptop in his bedroom.
Don’t go around in circles doing little bits of everything and never completing anything. You need to list down everything that needs doing and sort it into categories. What needs doing in the next week, the next month, the next three months, the next six months, the next year, the next five years and so on. Then as you cross things off the list you can bring a new task forward. I know it seems in small business that you never get everything done, but remember this is your career. If you were working full time for someone else you wouldn’t expect to get to work and have nothing to do. There are always new projects to work on, new goals to achieve.
8. Break it Down
Look only at the big picture and you could end up stuck in overwhelm, unsure on how to move forward. Know the difference between short term and long term goals. Take it one step at a time. You need to break the big plan into smaller portions, and the smaller portions into bite size pieces. Deadlines on short goals will keep you on track for the larger ones. Make your goals SMART. Specific – the what, why and how of the goal. Measurable – a clear indicator of how you will know that goal is complete. Relevant – this to me is the most important time saver. There is no point wasting time on things that are not going to add value to your business. Time bound – having a deadline makes you more efficient and creates a sense of energy and forward movement. Then each step needs to be scheduled in your diary and ticked off the progress list. If it’s not in the diary, it’s not going to happen. At the end of each week you need to know exactly what needs doing for the next. So when you start on Monday you are ready to swing into action. If you keep your short terms goals aligned with your long term goals, you’ll get there. You can’t not.
9. Energy in equals energy out
Understand the amount of energy you put into your marketing will equal the amount of energy in the results. You need a broad marketing mix from a digital strategy, to networking, to great partnerships, a clear brand and a deep love that’s visible throughout your work. Follow through on your marketing plan and you will create a thriving, outstanding business and an impeccable reputation.
10. Get some support
Surround yourself with other practitioners who support and celebrate you. These are the only practitioners I want to be around. Let your friends know what you have planned, you can even do this through some great apps like Evernote, and see each other tick off your tasks one by one in a communal online space. As well as nudge, encourage and if it comes down to it, push each other to keep going. Not everyone will understand what you’re trying to achieve, nor do they have to, so don’t waste your time trying to explain or justify it, just go with your biggest fans. Or get a great coach to help you.
If you need a hand following through on your dreams, make an appointment today. Let’s do this thing…
About the Author:
Ginny West provides business consultations, workshops and retreats around Australia on creating heartfelt success for Wellbeing practitioners. To find out more about Spirit in Business or to contact Ginny West call 0413 596 784 or follow these links:
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