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A year from now what will you wish you had started today? Personal Leadership in action

27th February 2018
personal leadership

What would your future self wish for you today?

We all lead busy lives and have a to do list either in our head, on the fridge door, in a book you carry around with you or scattered on pieces of paper around the house.

My guess is you spend your time reacting to ‘stuff’ that’s coming at you. These are either the urgent things you just have to deal with or, someone else’s urgent things they want you to deal with. You’ll deal with the easy things on your to do list but the items you perceive as harder you’ll put off.

The things we put off are usually things that require us to think, either because we haven’t done them before, they’re complex, or they are some time off so not perceived as dangerous right now.

This is normal!

Our brains are wired to deal with things coming at us. It’s hard wired from the days when we used to look out for danger from wild animals. It’s a safety mechanism. Our environment has changed so quickly out brain hasn’t adapted to recognise that things on a list aren’t dangerous…

Take a moment

While you are taking the time to read this article take a moment to look at your list.

What is the one thing on that list that you will wish you had started today?

What is the one thing that you know you are consciously putting off because you don’t know where to start, what to do, or for some other reason, yet deep down you know it’s what you would really love to achieve.

Now, before you start running all the reasons why you haven’t started in your head. Let me share with you the reasons most people cite:

I’m too busy/ I don’t have time

I don’t know where to start

The timing isn’t right

I can’t afford to….

I’m not sure x or y will agree to it

These reasons (or excuses) usually come from much deeper beliefs we have about ourselves or driven by the shoulds and oughts we’ve grown up with. The amazing thing is we’re often unconscious about them and masterful at rationalising them! I know I’ve done this myself.

Which of them resonate with you and which additional ‘reasons’ came up?

Personal Leadership

The only way to move forward is to take action. One of the problems with taking action is we are creature’s of habit so taking new action with a new mindset takes practice. Doing our ‘old’ action is always easier.

Here are some simple steps to help you on your way:

Step One: Make a decision! Sounds easy, and sadly none of these steps are easy…what I’d invite you to do is make the decision from where you want to be. Put yourself out to the future 12months/2 years from now. Where do you want to be then? Now looking back at today what decision do you need to make to take action?

Step Two: Set a goal. Get a clear picture of what your end point looks like as best you can and be as specific as possible. Step into the picture in your minds eye so you get a real sense of what it feels like to be there and then step out again.

Step Three: Focus on what you want. Have a clear intention on where you are heading and pay attention to the things that will support you along the way. Let go of anything that no longer helps you. This can often be the hardest step. Hang on to that picture of what you want daily, weekly, monthly. It’s often the things around us each day that can get in the way and drain our energy such as the environment and relationships that are draining and unsupportive.

Step Four: Take action. Have some clear milestones so you can celebrate your progress and success. A common mistake is to set the end result as the target. That’s great, however when things get tough the target can feel like a long way off. Be kind to your self and set smaller targets so that you build momentum and recognise progress.

Step five: Build a support network. This may be existing friends and family, work colleagues and your coach/mentor. You want people around you who are routing for you and will encourage you when things aren’t quite going according to plan.

A year from now…

‘The time is always right to do what is right’ (Martin Luther King), so make a commitment to yourself to take action today and make your future self proud!

If you feel you need some support on this journey email me and set you a discovery call to explore how we can work together.

“Sometimes that smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step.”

Naeem Callaway


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