June too soon! Not just for the hurricane season, but for the year’s running away and my not accomplishing all the things I had planned to.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to do a mid-year review or stocktaking, as I call it, to see what I have (or have not) accomplished for the year so far. This year I definitely haven’t done all the things I had planned to do by now.
Granted, I have done some exciting things, like starting the WINC Acceleration Programme, having a book launch for my two books Tessa Takes The Challenge and Free In The City, and completing the pilot video for the series based on Tessa Takes A Challenge. So I’m not going to let the things that fell by the wayside deter me.
I realize that making things happen is not easy, especially for us in Barbados. We are very articulate, so we tend to talk a lot; and we can publish vast numbers of White Papers, but we seem to have a problem with implementing ideas.
I am determined to swim against the tide, but it takes a significant amount of discipline. I have to admit that I don’t always succeed. For example, every year I promise myself to file my corporation tax at least a month in advance, and every year I’m scrambling on the 13th or 14th to file. Perhaps, if there was a reward for filing early I might be motivated to do so, but the only thing that propels me is the thought of having to pay the $500 fine if I file late.
In the same way, most of us will not act on our goals unless there is some pain involved and even then if it is not too severe, it may not be an incentive to make us act. Whenever I teach a session on What Do You Have In Your House? I tell participants that if they are not suffering enough, they will not do anything, because it takes effort to make something happen.
So I think the carrot works a lot better than the stick as an incentive. Last year, I set myself a goal to finish two books, giving myself an amazing feeling of accomplishment, as well as providing additional sources of revenue I can be earning while I sleep – the carrot. This year, though, in spite of the carrots I have dangled in my mind, I find I have not been as diligent in accomplishing all that I wanted to by this time of the year. How about you?
So a few days ago, I set myself a target date to complete the research for my current novel Vaucluse, and to have it published by Independence. Hopefully, the microfilm readers at the Barbados National Archives and the National Library are now working, which would help me tremendously, since many of the documents I need are on microfilm.
I realized this week (although I have had the information for more than a month!) that my main character Henry Peter Simmons bought Vaucluse in 1816, which is 200 years ago, the same year as the Bussa Rebellion, so I feel that I have to complete the novel this year.
So I will share a few tips to make things happen, that have worked for me in the past. The first is to decide that nothing will stop you from accomplishing your goal, God willing. For me, my goal is to write and publish Vaucluse by November 30. Now I’ve gone public with the date; so there’s no backing out.
Picture yourself achieving your goal; because if you can see something, you can achieve it. I have already started to picture the cover of the book. That is sending signals to my mind there is a finished product that will need a cover. Mind you, I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write as yet!
Then I have set some target dates which I need to meet to make my final deadline. Set target dates for yourself. My first is June 30, by which time I want to have the bulk of my research finished.
I have discovered that researching is like digging for treasure. You have to go through a lot of dirt to find the nuggets; but when you do, there is nothing like it. That is the way I felt when I finally deciphered the handwritten will of Henry Peter Simmons.
There was a lot of legal fluff, but I was able to discover whom he left his worldly goods to. The “why” would be a bonus find.
I think it is good to have someone to be accountable to if you’re not disciplined enough to get through on your own. Ask that person to check in on you regularly.
Be careful with your words, because there is power in the spoken word. It may seem foolish, but don’t ever say things like “I’m never going to finish this!” and other negative outbursts.
I have to stop here, but I would be happy to share with you my free e-book Make It Happen that contains other principles you can apply to successfully finish whatever you put your mind to. Drop me an email if you would like me to send you a copy.
So join me to make it happen by October at the latest, so we can say victoriously: “October all over!”
(Donna Every is an author, international speaker and trainer. She is also the Barbados Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and the Barbados facilitator for the InfoDev WINC Acceleration Programme. Email [email protected] Visit www.donnaevery.com and www.facebook.com/DonnaEvery1)