One question separates ‘doers’ from ‘excusers’:
How can I make this work?
I’m so grateful to be around a lot of ambitious women. The majority of my clients and Dynamic Women in Action members play double (or triple) duty as career professionals, entrepreneurs, and moms. We talk a lot with each other about our struggles and how to get what we want in business & life. (see photo above for some of the DWA ladies)
We also have daily talks with ourselves. You know the ones! Sometimes we are supportive and sometimes we talk ourselves out of doing what we really want. It might even come in the form of an excuse. Yep I'm guilty too!
Well, here is my 3-point Q&A strategy to steer that conversation with yourself so you end up 'doing' instead of 'excusing'!
It goes like this…
1. If you want to do something or not ask yourself, “Is this a priority?”
2. Then what resistance (excuses) is your brain coming up with?
For example, "It costs too much time/money/energy.” Or “I can’t because (Insert excuse here).”
3. Ask yourself, “How can I make this work?” Come up with some options.
When planning a date night with my husband (as I mentioned in my last blog) I used this exact strategy. This is the conversation I had with myself:
1. “Is this a priority?”
· “Yes, date night is important.”
2. “What’s the resistance?”
· “Baby sitters cost too much.”
· “We could just hang out after our little one goes to bed.”
3. “How can I make this work?” “What are my options?”
· I can offer to swap date nights with other parents.
· I can ask on Facebook to see if anyone wants to watch Bailey.
· I can move to Ontario to be closer to my parents – ya right!
What did I end up doing?
I used Facebook to reach out to a larger pool of my trusted connections and see if someone would be kind enough to watch our daughter for free.
I can’t believe she (Jody) said she’d do it! We met when I was running a Vision Boarding Workshop. You know why? She also believes in date nights and feels lucky to have grandparents around to help her out, so she didn’t mind paying it forward.
And here is the bonus; it started another conversation with a friend of mine about swapping childcare every month so we both get a chance to go out for date night on a regular basis.
Decision-making isn’t always easy. Our brains like to trick us into thinking that everything is complicated. Sometimes our situations are – and sometimes they’re not! It just takes having a deeper conversation with yourself.
So whenever you find yourself having that conversation with excuses - use my 3-point Q&A Strategy.
Hope it works for you!
Last Wednesday night I did something that I only get to do a few times a year. I went on a date with my husband. A little dinner date for us to reconnect. It’s funny but even though we live together we’re often ships passing. A tag team match caring for our daughter. I’m busy growing my business and networking, while he’s picking up extra work on his days off.
I focus time on my coaching business, on our daughter, on my soccer, and yet I don’t have any scheduled time for my relationship with my husband.
And having a relationship in the background of chores, childcare, shopping, cooking, and TV watching is not the same as making it a focused priority.
I let ‘us’ go missing.
Why is it that we don’t schedule time to grow our relationships as much as we do for other areas of our life?
Why did I let my marriage slip to the bottom of my priority list?
One reason is that my relationship wasn’t dying.
Often times it’s only when we are going to lose something that we fight for it. Like when a loved one is sick – we drop everything for them.
The other reason is that our relationship isn’t as obviously connected to money.
Sad, but true.
If we got promotions in our relationship, or bonuses for good results or a happy customer (spouse) Tweet or Share, maybe it would be a bigger part of our focus. Unless…
We just paused everything to appreciate what we really have.
Going to California last week helped me pause and realize that my husband is the best silent partner my business and life could ever have. I could never have gone to the seminar if it wasn’t for my hubby. He supports me. He supports my passion and business of helping other women have the life they dream of. I’m lucky. I’m grateful.
So back to the date night. It wasn’t all hearts and happiness. We were late in going out. It was raining outside. He wore the wrong shoes and I ended up going through a yellow light and having the red light camera flash. (A crappy end, but I’ll let it go.)
But we found ourselves holding hands from across the table. We talked deeply. Shared the appy. Fought over who got more cookie or ice cream in the dessert, and most importantly asked the question, “So, how do you think things are going with us?” It was beautiful to be focused on just us.
Date night is now once a month (minimum) – for sure! Call me out if we don’t. My marriage is important. I want to schedule it in. I want to show I truly believe we are a priority, by making us a priority.
What has gone missing in your life? What needs to come to the top of your priority list?
Ever felt guilty about taking a day off or a longer lunch break?
Entrepreneurs have the luxury of deciding on their own schedule, but so often these breaks end with feelings of regret and a whole lot of “shoulda’s” that cloud the mind. And what is most surprising is that they’ve probably already clocked 80 hours or skipped lunch most days.
The whole point of being your own boss is to be able to work when you want (not work all the time). But there is no reason to feel guilty to take a much deserved break if you are satisfied with the work that got done! So, I’m writing this post for three reasons:
Number 1: I hate to see women feeling guilty & saying “should of.”
Number 2: A lot of women I know struggle with getting things done.
Number 3: I know how to get things done (as a life & business coach it’s one of my favourite topics!)
I didn’t skydive from a plane without a checklist and a tank full of gas, and it’s not how I start my day either! Here are some tips on how to leap into yours too…
1. It has to be said: sleep well, eat well and be hydrated so you have the energy and focus to get into action.
2. Have a comfortable work space: only have office materials you need out and make sure you have enough space, light and room to work. Schedule clean up time outside of work time to make sure your space is how you need it for the next day.
3. Mentally prep: tell yourself some affirmations, listen to some music, or look at your vision board. If those seem outside of your normal habits just try them or ask yourself “what am I doing this for?”
4. Create a “to-do” list: preferably the night before or the morning of AND USE IT! Then you don’t spend time figuring out what you need to do.
5. Warm up: pick a small achievable task as a warm-up. This will start your day off with success.
6. Just leap: get started and the momentum will keep you going.
This should help you to get the right things done faster and fly through your day. I know when I can follow these tips I end my day with a sense of accomplishment. I didn’t waste time getting ready to start and I got a lot done.
Work smarter not longer or harder and then enjoy the break you deserve – guilt free!
P.S. I’d love to hear which of these tips worked for you or if you have your own tip please share.
It’s been great to get on the field lately. My Wheel of Life is a little less wobbly with fun & recreation getting some attention. Little did I know that some dirt on the face would get me thinking about business strategy: a great defence wins a game, but a great offence brings the fans.
Does your business need more fans or are you just defending those few you already have?
As an athlete in basketball, volleyball, and soccer I have almost always been defence. The first back to defend the hoop by stopping the shots, the blockers right at the net to block the spikes and the last line getting in the strikers way to defend the shot on goal.
But when rugby came along, I got a new perspective. I was still in the defensive role (full back) and from where I stood I could see everyone and everything happening. It also meant I was the last person to defend our line from being crossed and scored on. But I was also allowed to penetrate and score. I was allowed to play offence as much as defence.
So how does this relate to business? A balanced plan with great offence, as well as defence, will focus on the action moving forward; the steps needed to make a goal. For example, being proactive about getting clients or learning the negotiation skills needed to close a big deal.