How To Stay Focused When the Journey Is Uncomfortable

“Eric, I scheduled you for an appointment with the eye doctor today.”  This statement from my wife seemed insignificant at the time. Everything changed when the doctor reported that I had a detached retina and that if it was not treated, I risked blindness. 

I had canceled the previously scheduled eye appointments, guilty of the very thing I speak about – procrastination. I don’t look forward to the long wait and uncomfortable eye exam, so it was easy for me to find reasons to put it off. Are there any uncomfortable tasks that you have been putting off that are vital to your success? 

If you procrastinate for too long, it can cost you your vision. Not necessarily your physical eye sight, but your vision as it relates to your goals and dreams. So, how do you stay focused when the journey is uncomfortable?

  1. Accountability – My wife is the ultimate accountability partner. If I have a doctor’s appointment, I know that she will remind me about it before- hand, and ask me how it went afterwards. 

    Finding a like-minded accountability partner that you have to answer to, will keep you on track. Once you have identified this person, pick a goal that is critical to your ultimate purpose. Then, communicate your goal to your partner and establish follow up timelines. 

    Hiring the right business coach can also keep you accountable. One of the biggest challenges with being an entrepreneur is not having a boss to hold your feet to the fire. A good coach can make you aware of patterns of procrastination and provide you with someone to answer to.

  2. Association – Make it a habit to have regular fellowship with groups of people that are on the same path as you. My involvement with the National Speakers Association keeps me accountable and helps me stay focused on my goals as a professional speaker. 

    If your goal is to grow as an entrepreneur, plug into your industry’s association and commit to attending the meetings. I have found that attending the annual conventions will shorten your learning curve by as much as six months in comparison to not attending. 

    Many of these associations form “mastermind groups”. This is a select group of people that meet on a regular basis for the sole purpose of sharing best practices and holding each other accountable. 

    The clients that I have worked with report that finding the right mastermind group is a life changing experience.

Having an accountability system and attending regular association meetings will help you to stay focused when the journey is uncomfortable.

Sincerely,
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

For additional information on seeing your vision through, read my ebook, One Moment in Time. 

How to Avoid the Al Bundy Syndrome

In 1987, The Fox network launched a popular sitcom called Married with Children. This was a show about a dysfunctional family of four living in a Chicago suburb led by patriarch Al Bundy. 

Al had an unfulfilling career as a seller of women’s shoes and was always down on his luck. He was constantly disrespected by his wife and kids, and seemed resigned to his fate of being unhappy. A constant theme on the show was Al’s recollection of his high school glory days. 

He was always remembering this time in his life when he was the big man on campus. His favorite story to tell was the one where he scored four touchdowns in one game to help his football team win the state championship. Al spent more time reflecting on the past than he did planning for the future. I call this habit the “Al Bundy Syndrome”. 

Where's your focus? If you spend most of your time dwelling on a past result or relationship, then you are just like Al. Without a plan for the future, you end up with a present reality that leaves you unhappy. So where should your focus be? 

1. Your Passions
How would you spend your time if money was not an issue? If you woke up tomorrow morning with $50 million dollars in the bank and had the luxury of only doing what you loved, how would that change your schedule? 

For example, I am passionate about public speaking. With this in mind, I started to make future plans that gave me opportunities to practice my passion. I joined Toastmasters and taught classes at my local church. The more time I devoted to public speaking, the more doors opened to allow me to speak at a higher level. Using my passion as a starting point allowed me to move from speaking for free to speaking for a fee. 

2. Your Purpose
A member of my church just celebrated his 90th birthday. His sons threw him a surprise party where hundreds of people got together and said all of these great things about him and his life. He then took a moment to speak to everyone and told the audience about the accomplishments that made him most proud. 

Imagine that you can fast forward to your 90th birthday celebration. Who would be there and what would they say about you? What would you tell the audience about your life? Completing this exercise will help you to gain clarity on your life’s purpose. 

Al Bundy lacked a plan for the future, so past glory is all he had left. Even if you are married with children, knowing your passions and purpose will allow you to avoid the Al Bundy Syndrome. 

Sincerely,
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. If you would like more strategies on pursuing your passion, download my ebook, One Moment in Time. 

The Biggest Time Management Mistake You Can Make

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Most time management problems are really motivation problems in disguise. Procrastination, lack of balance and a failure to delegate are merely symptoms of a bigger issue.  From my experience, the biggest time management mistake that you can make is not being clear on what you value. 

This lack of clarity will cause you to procrastinate, and spend time with the wrong people doing the wrong things.  So, how do you become clear on what you value so that you have more time and experience less stress? 

Your 90th Birthday
Close your eyes and imagine that you have traveled forward in time to a 90th birthday celebration banquet being held in your honor.  Who is in the room and what are they saying about you?  You are asked to speak and you make the following statement:  “I have lived a great life because I achieved my dream to ….” Whatever comes after the word “to” represents what you value. The people that you imagine as being in the room and the words they use to describe your life are also a part of your value system. 

Your Personal Mission Statement
The next step is to create a written personal mission statement. Your personal mission statement is a statement that summarizes the core values and beliefs that you discovered in the 90th birthday visualization exercise. It can be as brief as three words or as long as three paragraphs. 

Taking the time to do this will imprint your purpose and values firmly in your mind and serve as the guide for future decisions. For example, my personal mission statement is as follows: “To serve God, provide for my family, and to inspire current and future generations through my writing and speaking.” My daily actions and priorities are a reflection of this mission statement. 

If you feel that you lack balance in your life, there are two possible root causes:

  1. You have not clearly defined your personal mission.

  2. You have made choices that don’t line up with your personal mission.

Completing the 90th birthday exercise and writing out your personal mission statement will give you a clear picture of what you value and keep you from making the most common time management mistakes.   If you found this to be helpful, please share this message via your social networks! 

Sincerely,
Eric M Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. I have written an ebook that will help you to maximize your time so that you are ready for your defining moment. Get your copy now.