New Year’s Day. Time for rest, relaxation and resolutions.
I’ve always been confounded by this concept. Just because the calendar turns to a new year, why does a goal suddenly become more important?
Isn’t your desire or dream just as relevant on May 12? Or July 21? Or September 17?
Resolutions make for entertaining articles this time of year. But, rather than ask if you’re going to make resolutions this year, a more important question to ask is:
What are you committed to?
I asked myself that question last month. One idea that kept coming back is my failure to complete my new instructional video course on public speaking skills. I’ve been resolving to create the course for a few years, but it wasn’t close to being finished.
Excuses. I had plenty of them, but the bottom-line is that I wasn’t committed to the project. I had the vision. I had the knowledge. But, I kept telling myself that I didn’t have the best equipment, the right graphics, the timing wasn’t good, etc.
I was finding reasons not create the program. I had forgotten the lesson of the chicken and the pig on your breakfast plate.
An Ages-Old Business Fable
If you’re not familiar with that old tale, it’s about commitment to a project or cause. When producing a meal consisting of ham and eggs, the pig provides the ham which requires his sacrifice. The chicken provides the eggs, which are not difficult to produce.
Thus the pig is truly committed to that dish while the chicken is only involved. Yet both are needed to produce the meal.
I had to move past being interested and barely involved, and find my commitment.
Three Steps to Commitment
The first step
I was reminded of the wisdom of my friend and mentor Darren LaCroix. When writing speeches or creating products, one of the biggest challenges people face is perfectionism. They want the finished product to be flawless.
Because of this, most people never finish their projects. In fact, most never start because they convince themselves it’ll never be good enough.
Years ago, Darren taught me that:
“Done is More Profitable Than Perfect.”
Every speech that’s ever been given, every product that’s been released, every innovative idea that’s been shared was flawed in the beginning. The creators understood that the key to success is getting the product out into the world. If it’s 75% effective, that’s far more beneficial than a pr0duct that’s 100% effective, but never released.
The second step of the commitment process
Remember your why.
I’ve acquired an incredible level of knowledge about presentation skills from my mentors, some of the best speakers in the world.
If I don’t produce this course, I’m hoarding that knowledge – keeping it to myself. That is selfish.
I’m committed to lifting others to a higher level of accomplishment. If my knowledge can help others, I owe it to them to create and release this course.
The third step of the process
Set a ‘hard date’ for completion. Recently, I read about the value of 90-day planning. This time frame is effective because it’s not too far in the future for you to procrastinate. It gives you enough time to complete the project, with some level of time pressure.
This type of pressure can be an ally. To quote Thomas Carlyle, “No Pressure, No Diamonds.” Time pressure will keep me focused on producing the best possible product, but not a perfect one.
My target date for release of this course is March 31. Publicly stating your goal is another type of pressure that deepens your commitment to an objective. Now you can hold me accountable!
As you look forward to the new year ahead, are you ‘resolving’ because it’s what everybody does? Or, are you committed to your greatest goals?
I urge you to choose one objective for the first quarter of 2018. Know your ‘why?’ And set a firm time frame.
Do this, and you can realize a higher, more meaningful level of accomplishment.
Happy New Year!
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© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.