Over the last year or so I realize I’m not getting any younger. As of this post I’m on day 20,752! I’m totally comfortable with where I am but yet there are things I want to improve. And to do that I have to disrupt the normal way of doing things.
What does that mean? “Disrupt the normal”.
You’ve heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Many times we catch ourselves doing the same thing day in and day out. Get up and have breakfast; go to work; stop for lunch; more work; leave work; have dinner; nightly routine; rinse and repeat. Slight variation on the weekend.
So how do you disrupt the normal and break out of that mundane routine? Pump the breaks!
First you need to come to the realization you’re stuck in a holding pattern. Maybe some life event triggers this for you. Something like your kids' graduation. Your 40th, 50th birthday! Something sparks an idea that you’ve been doing the same thing over and over.
Maybe you just wake up one morning and realize that getting out of bed just isn’t as fun as it used to be. Or maybe as you’re climbing into bed you realize you’re ready to get more rest. There has to be something you want to change. Maybe you’re tired of hearing the doctor say you’re obese or that you really need to work on your what ever condition.
For me it was several things. I saw numbers on the scales I didn’t want to see. I wasn’t reaching goals I wanted for my business. And, well I just got tired of making excuses.
It’s nobody else's fault you are where you are. You can think that if you want, but only you can make that change by taking ownership of whatever it is that you’re sick and tired of being or doing.
I have many goals I have made happen and many more that I intend to make happen over the coming year(s). So far these have happened by disrupting the normal.
The first was my weight. A few things triggered the reason why. Things like getting winded way too easy. Or, stepping on the wii fit game and Wii assistant gasping “OH!” when you step on the Wii fit board to play the fitness games. This triggered even more when I saw myself on video and didn’t like the spare tire around the middle.
While I’ve made some changes and have dropped thirty pounds as of this post there are a few more changes I want to make to hit the ultimate goal. What did I disrupt to achieve this level? Well, I had to realize what I was doing that was unhealthy. The biggest was working until 2 or 3am nodding off in my chair and several times before I gave up and went to bed. The realization was that I was going to the kitchen several times for pick me ups to give me just a bit more energy to get more done. A couple of cookies, a snack cake, pretzels, crackers, etc. Obviously the sugar would give me a kick but I wasn’t burning the calories being added.
First I decided I needed to burn more calories, so I set a time to walk a few miles each day. Either when I first got up or over lunch break. The pounds started dropping but I was still pushing myself. To work the same hours. So I changed some more things and started pushing myself to go to bed earlier. I’m still working to get to bed by midnight. I don’t always go right to sleep then but I’m not at my desk. You are just not as productive when you are pushing yourself in that way. You're not as sharp either and will make more mistakes.
I’m working from 5 or 6 hours sleep to 7 or 8 hours. 6-7 hours is more my sweet spot with maybe a 30 minute speed nap mid afternoon if needed. Getting up earlier helps with another goal. Which is to study my beliefs early in the morning before my day starts. I find it refreshing to learn a bit more and get in a good frame of mind to start the day. Even in doing this I find I’ve had breakfast and to my desk earlier than when I was staying up so late.
In getting to my desk earlier I was able to attack the day with a fresh mindset and renewed energy to get more done.
Due to the events of the past year, I’m back to being a solo entrepreneur. I no longer have an assistant to help handle things I didn’t really want to do. While that might change in the near future, I am making myself have to earn that luxury again. While I could afford to outsource some of the things I really don’t like I feel I need to get a handle on what was being done and look at ways to either improve systems realign business strategies and partnerships, or just eliminate services and things not holding their own.
For example, looking at finances I removed subscriptions I really didn’t need or forgot I was paying for. I looked for lower costs in different areas that would save money or increase profits. I’ve eliminated probably 100 domains that I’ve had with more being cut soon. I’m looking at each item that comes across the bank statements and analyzing what it was or is for. Is it a want or a need? When looking over the domains I think, will this generate leads, income, or traffic. If the answer is no, can I profit from selling or just let it go.
Next, I had to reevaluate (and still am) what it is that I want to be. We only have so many hours in the day. I’ve decided that I’m using a few more for rest and relaxation which means I have to make more with the hours that I do have to spend for the work activity.
I had gotten back to the point where I was trading hours for dollars, and am doing that more than I would like. So to disrupt the norm of just taking any project that would come my way I have to think differently and realize I’m worth more than I’ve allowed myself to be.
I do have special skills that many don’t have only because I’ve worked hard to achieve them. Trained myself in ways that are valuable to a set group of people. And I had to get rid of the idea that I have to discount my services just to let someone hire me. Are you guilty of this too? If so Stop it right now. You will feel better about yourself. If the person doesn’t want to pay your rate, you are targeting the wrong people. It’s up to you to change who you are attracting. If you take a prized possession to a flea market, you’re only going to get flea market prices.
I still have a lot to achieve, and I realize I’m not as young in age as I once was but I’m fired up and ready to reach my next goals. Something that has opened my eyes on some goals is that as I’m getting older so is my mother. I’m her key caretaker. While she does live at assisted living I handle her affairs. One thing she has said is, “I wish I could’ve” or “ “I wanted to see that but didn’t have the time” or even “I wish I could have afforded too…”.
Many of these things come down to choice. Where do we spend our time? Our Money? How much are we wasting due to luxury items that really aren’t? A $7 latte, a $30 lunch here, $50 dinner there. Shoes you “had to have” for an event that you never wore again.
As I said early to disrupt the normal you have to figure out what you really want. Make it your new normal. Set reachable goals. Maybe set an ultimate goal and set mini goals to make it achievable.
Our days are numbered and I know moving forward I want more “I’m glad I did” than “I wish I did”. What will you do today or even tomorrow to disrupt your normal and make something new happen?