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How to Do What You’ve Always Wanted

How to Do What You’ve Always Wanted

    I’m willing to bet that there’s something you’ve always wanted to do.

    It could be that you’ve always wanted to write a novel.  Maybe you want to visit Africa or want to see the Northern Lights.  Perhaps you’d love to open a little coffee shop or brasserie in your neighbourhood or maybe you’ve had brainwave for a neat little product that just might change the world.

    You’re not alone.  We all have things we dream about and things we’d love to do, and it’s rare that these things ever see the light of day.

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    Fear steps in – sometimes in the guise of practicality and sometimes wearing the hat of playing it safe – and provides all kinds of reasons why you can’t have what you want.

    So you persuade yourself that it’s a pipe dream and that it could never actually happen because you wouldn’t know where to start, couldn’t afford it and it probably wouldn’t work anyway.  You lose faith in your ability to make your dream reality, and lose a little faith in yourself in the process.

    The tragedy is that the more you apply a filter to what you wish for and train yourself to think small, the less confident you become in your ability to do anything that matters very much.  Worse than that, you set yourself tiny dreams that aren’t hard to reach, and you reach them.

    But hang on a second. What if those big things were possible?  What if you really could make some or all of it happen?  What if it turned out that you did have what it takes to see something special come to life?  Wouldn’t that be something you’d leap at?

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    Here are my 3 steps to doing what you’ve always wanted to do.

    1. Open it up

    First of all you need to do some leg work.  Investigate what might be needed to get going, look for resources that can inform and help, seek out other people who might have done something similar and talk to those who’ve been there, done that.

    There’s no risk here – it’s simply learning about what’s involved, picking up the key strategies that have been used successfully before and gathering together the ideas and resources that you believe will help you to get things moving.

    Write down all the questions you have about what you want to do and then go answer them.  It’s possible that as you open things up you find that the reality isn’t what you expected and that it isn’t really your thing after all.  That’s fine – now you know.  But the opportunity to answer the questions you have and fill in those blanks is invaluable, and you might just find yourself getting pretty darn excited about what you’re discovering.

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    2. Make your choice

    You’ve opened it up and answered a heap of questions you had – now you need to make your choice.  There are 2 ways to help with this decision making.

    1. Look at what really matters to you, not what doesn’t matter. If engaging with this project is something that really resonates with you then listen to that.  If you’ll grow and get enjoyment out of doing this, no matter how it turns out, then listen to that.  Don’t let any fears you have squash and stamp on what matters.
    2. Consider where your priorities are and what might need to change. You have other things going on (your family, finances, career, hobbies, relationship, etc) and you need to be clear about what’s at the top of your list.  You need to figure out what compromises you’re willing to make in terms of the time and energy you have available, and you need to figure out the boundaries and deal breakers of your priorities.  You might find that your priorities are such that now isn’t the right time to get going with this, but that doesn’t have to be the end of it.  Just figure out what criteria needs to be satisfied for you to start.

    Once you’ve figured those 2 things out, make your choice and commit to it. That commitment is what will carry you through, and it’s an attitude and a way of behaving that shapes your experience and behaviour as you go forwards.

    3. Do one thing

    When you’ve made your choice to start, do one thing today.  Just one thing.  Then do one more thing tomorrow.

    That’s all.

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    Do one thing, then another, then another (no matter how big or small) and you’ll make progress.  By doing just one thing a day you’ll be 365 steps forward a year from now.  Don’t get overwhelmed with the apparent size or complexity of what you’re tackling.  No task is bigger than your capability and you just need to chunk it down into bite-sized pieces and tackle each one in turn.

    And if something doesn’t turn out the way you expected or hoped, don’t sweat it.  You have the next day to try things a different way or tackle things from another direction.  You’ll never be able to control how everything turns out so don’t beat yourself up – just keep checking where you are, making your choice and taking another step.

    These 3 steps can be applied universally to do the things you’ve always wanted.  So tell me, what do you want?

    Image: source

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    Last Updated on December 30, 2018

    How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

    How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

    This article is the 2nd in the 6-part series, Lifehack Challenge: Become An Early Riser In 5 Days.

    If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

    So how to become an early riser?

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    Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

    1. Choose to get up before you go to sleep

    You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

    No more! If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before. Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

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    Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

    2. Have a plan for your extra time

    Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day? If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

    What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed. You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

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    3. Make rising early a social activity

    While there’s obvious value in joining a Lifehack Challenge in order to get you started as an early riser, your internet buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

    Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am? The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

    4. Don’t use an alarm that makes you angry

    If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning? I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

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    When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

    5. Get your blood flowing right after waking

    If you don’t have a neighbor you can pick fights with at 5am you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head. Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

    If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

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    Featured photo credit: Frank Vex via unsplash.com

    Reference

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