Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.”
— Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (from Gretchen Ruebin’s email)
Do you ever get into ruts?
If you are like me, you have a lot of dreams, ideas, and ventures. They may not have anything to do with each other. And, they may not seem obtainable or makes sense to others. And, you may get into a lot of ruts of indecision or stunned productivity.
Looking back, it is easy for me to find doubt over my changing resume of ventures, interests, and ruts. I’m sure I’m not the only one who goes through this periodically. However, it is also very evident to me that each experience, indecision, hobby, experiment, business venture, lost time, passion, investment, and ability to take chances and seek opportunities, each motivation is so much a part of who I am now, impacts where I am going, and provides skills to help me achieve what I want to do now.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, a creative, or someone searching for purpose, I think it is important to find an application for this advice from Jim Rohn, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” So, here’s my take…
Do you know what motivates you?
I think motivation comes from childhood, from a sense of belonging. There are obviously so many things that go into a childhood memory, so many things that impact them. But, do you remember what you wanted to do when you were a child? Who you looked up to? Who did you try to act like, dress, laugh or smile like? I remember spending hours in the mirror trying to smile like Ari Meyers from “Kate and Allie”. Have you ever wondered why that person or behavior or job intrigued you? Don’t those memories bring something to your motivation now? I think if you let them live, you would find great motivation. I think motivation comes from our interests, the things that we don’t fear, and the things that fear us the most. Vague, but true.
As children, we could dream without walls – motivation within our own minds weren’t limited. Childhood dreams shouldn’t include losing, time investment, experience, failing, or maybe even other’s exceptions into the equation of successful dreaming. Just dream. What motivates us to dream and be, is where we find comfort, invention, curiosity, values, and courage. So, if you’ve lost some of that bravery or need to revisit it, where do you start? I’m sure there are many ways… but, here is where I suggest you start. It’s simple, but it’s a good start.
Where to start?
Hopefully, you already have a binder for self-development or you started this process in January with my Planning for the New Year post. It is helpful to be able to look back to look ahead. Here are some suggestions I have for you. and I encourage you to start them as soon as you can:
- Make a list of words that you desire to define you. If you could pick any characteristics or words to define who you want to be, what words would they be? Think back to when you were a kid… what characteristics did you admire in others? What characteristics do you admire in others today? Are they important enough to become who those words mean? Even if you don’t scream, “I am compassionate”, just writing down that importance brings value to who you are and is a part of changing your thinking.
- Make a list of the top ten things you want to do – and KEEP this list. If you could pick ANY job, career path, or business venture, what would they be? There is no room here for restrictions for any reason – disregard age or experiences, limitations, or expectations. In five or ten years, you may be searching again and it’s important to be able to look back at what you HAVE accomplished or what you may not have on your list anymore.
- Make a list of your strengths. Knowing what you are good at helps bring value to you. Feel free to ask others too. It may surprise you what valued friends or family say are your strengths.
- Make a list of your weaknesses. Knowing your weakness is a source of grace. It doesn’t give you an exemption for tasks or chores or going to a job you don’t like. But, it does allow you to find renewed confidence in what you are good at. It also allows you to ask others to contribute to the areas you could use it.
Do you have good habits?
Now you have what motivates you, what do you do with all of that information? You give breath to what is visible and put it into action.
Have you ever noticed how quickly 24 hours can pass? Without habits in place, to practice, create and repeat, your dreams and motivations can get lost… quickly. And, honestly, habits can become a part of your fear of failure. One more thing you didn’t accomplish or let slide by. My planner is full of failed to-do lists and goals…. because, I don’t believe I knew to create intentional habits to achieve them. ESPECIALLY if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or are a creative, this is probably a struggle for you. But, remember to make goals that are achievable, that doesn’t create stress and know that failure is part of the process. If you’d like some reassurance of that, Hubspot has 35 great inspiration HERE.
Invest in you… the only thing you have to lose is you.
Friend, have the courage today create habits today!! Set a goal to do one thing a day for the next week, whether it be: drink 4 cups of water, go next door and say HI to a neighbor, or work on that project you’ve been putting off for 10 minutes. START SMALL! Don’t set yourself up for failure! These are your dreams, so create habits that bring courage and accomplishment. What’s the expression? The only constant in life is change. (Heraclitus said that… I had to Google it.) Change is part of the process of creating habits… after you have the motivation to make them, dreams should be a good motivator.
For a printable worksheet for this exercise, CLICK HERE.
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©2020 Darla D Hancock, The Social Market, LLC