Life is full of hard things.
Every area of life - work, relationships, money, health, faith - requires hard things of you in exchange for a reward.
If you show love in action, you build strong relationships. If you invest over time, it compounds to wealth. If you eat and exercise consistently, you will achieve a healthly life. If you meditate and read the Bible daily, you will grow spiritually.
All of this is hard.
If it was easy, everyone would be a genius, billionaire and spiritual Superman.
My own experience with myself, is that I tend to be motivated for a short while before I give up. Before my wedding I would train consistently and daily in order to fit into my wedding suit. When I start a new job, I am motivated to work and learn as much as I can and seek to do well.
It's only when things start to get hard, its when my motivation wanes and my consistency struggles.
How do I be consistent in doing hard things?
The Really Big Why
It would be easy to launch into talking about the need to set big goals and develop a plan to achieve it.
Don't worry, this comes later.
The first thing, and really the most important thing you will need to do is ask youself the question: Do you really want this?
Everything great you want to achieve starts by you asking yourself 'Whats my Why?'.
Dig deeper into yourself by asking yourself this, time and time again.
Do you really want this?
Do you really?
Not until your why is clear and clarified will you be able to achieve it.
Here's the big idea: Knowledge alone doesn't lead to action. Emotions move you to action.
Emotion or Logic? Why Both Matters
You may think you know What you want.
You may think you know Why you want it.
But until you really connect emotionally with your Why, it doesn't matter.
Emotions are catalyst for change and growth. - Craigh Groeschel
Knowledge alone doesn't lead to actions. Emotions move you to action.
What your brain tells you may seem true and logical, but until your heart believes it, you won't be motivated to take action.
You need to connect what's in your Head with your Heart so that you move from knowing to doing.
- Head - What is it that I want?
- Heart - Do I really want that?
- Hands - What can I do about it?
Once you have dug deep and nailed your big Why, we can build on that to help you do hard things.
What is Big, Hairy and Audacious?
Goals matter, so you need to set goals that matter.
What would a Big, Hairy and Audacious Goal (BHAG) be for you? For me, a crazy and audacious idea I had last week which I recently nailed down is, I want to write a book by the end of 2021.
Goals clarify as long as the goals are clear. You want them to be specific, clear and most of all - crazy.
Here's what a clear goal looks like:
My goal as a writer is to publish a book by the end of 2021. The title of the book is "_____", it is about 200 pages long and the cover is a very bold neon orange.
The big idea here is that you Dream Big, but Start Small.
This goes on to the next part about designing your playbook.
Designing your Playbook
The Playbook is your plan to accomplish your BHAG.
It should contain your strategy of achieving the goals, with specific action plans.
Some principles to keep in mind:
- Do something different. To get different results from what you have been doing, you need to do what you have never done before.
- Get accountable. You will not succeed alone. Rally a group of people around you that will help you get there. The best thing I did was work with a friend who coaches me.
- Celebrate every milestone. Count your small wins. Remember that every small win is a vote for your new identity.
- Learn in public. Whether you decide you want to share your goals, making your progress public is a good way to get quick wins and create instant accountability.
I think a simple playbook matters here. Don't overthink it.
- What is my BHAG?
- What is the One Thing I can do to accomplish my BHAG?
- What can I do daily, to help me achieve the One Thing, to reach my BHAG?
Start simple and then only optimize once you have got momentum.
Which leads to the next important part of this...
Just Do It.
Results only happen when you put in the work.
There is no magic formula.
You just got to do it.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
― Michael Jordan
Pulling it together
I don't know your situation or the hard thing you are trying to do. Maybe you aren't either. It's time to get clarity on that.
Here are some prompting questions to identify your Hard Things:
- What are things that you are avoiding doing?
- What are things that other people don't want to do?
- What are things that you are afraid of?
Then when you're ready, this is how you do hard things:
- Clarify your WHY - Do you really want this?
- Nail down your BHAG (Big, Hair and Audacious Goal)
- Design your PLAYBOOK.
- Just do it.