Or, what comes after affirmations…
We love to talk, right? we love to talk about ourselves and our ideas, our childhoods and all the horrors (imagined or real) of that, we love to talk about all the things we want to do in our lifetime. We. Love. To. Talk.
Talk, talk, talk…
But, I’m here to tell you, talkin’ gets you nowhere. Okay, let me back up, talking is great for creating and keeping relationships, great for brainstorming, great for coming to agreements. What it’s not great for is achieving those things in your life you dream of achieving, getting, growing.
You actually have to do sh*t.
When I was a supervisor, I had a direct report who was incredible at looking busy, and not just busy, but, BUSY with a purpose, he would stride forcefully around, look as if a great thought had suddenly come to him and then stride purposefully somewhere else. Then he would go make tea for 27 minutes.
I said to him, “let’s go in the office for a sec.” Probs not what anyone wants to hear, but he follows me in none the less, and then I say, “What have you been working on today?” He’s not sure what to say, a lot of “well…”s etc. And I said:
Here’s my problem, I haven’t actually seen you do anything.
That got his ruff up. As it would for many. So he said he could write me out a detailed list of all the things he’d done, I told him that wasn’t necessary, what I wanted was visible proof that he wasn’t just “doing” things, but that he was accomplishing the things that needed to be done. That others could look at him as part of the team.
Okay, so where am I going with this? I think you know…stop being coy.
We all are masters at doing stuff at being so incredibly busy, we don’t know where the day goes.
But where do we stand at the things that NEED to be done, the things that MEAN something. And, how do we stay accountable (whether to ourselves or our team)? Let’s loop back to affirmations. If my affirmation (dream) is to be an excellent and productive writer and I don’t do the actual writing, uuhhhh…I am all talk and no action! And, every morning as I’m saying my writing affirmation, out loud five times, my brain is going to be nagging me with whispers of “liar.”
So, a plan. An Action Plan, which is to say a plan that requires action. Action that you ACTUALLY do. That’s the kicker in the asser.
Start small please–and chunk it out. I tend to create plans like this:
- Finish 3 young adult novels (without breaking it down into any chunks)
- Go back to school, get my degree
- Run 3 days a week, Yoga 2 days a week, lift weights 3 days a week
- Create online shop for the jewelry I started making but stopped…wait, what?
- Read two classics a week
And then I get so completely exhausted by the list that I sit in front of the TV and watch Tiny Home something and do NOTHING. I know I’ve written about my incredible (read: horrifying!) lists before, but I just want you to learn from my mistakes, of which there are quite a few!
Anywho. My Action Plan now entails tiny chunks of action done in a very doable way. Plus an accountability partner. A serious one…my mother!
At first I was worried it might not s t r e t c h me enough, you know, that whole “get past yer comfort zone” thing. But, what I’ve found is, I’m ACTUALLY doing the things and not looking at my list and feeling all guilty and shame-y. I HATE that feeling!
Once you start the “action” portion of the plan, the daily affirmations start to have a different flavor on the tongue, there is a feeling to the words that wasn’t there before. I truly believe they work hand-in-hand-in-hand.
I just thought of this–it comes down to the three As:
What small thing could you do to move yourself closer to your dreams?