In honor of the New Year, James and Megan have started a new series called Challenge Accepted. It’s about living an intentional, purposeful life. And today they want you to Accept the Challenge, so they are going to outline exactly what you need to do to join them.
Today’s Kryptonite: Starve the Doubts
Why should you accept the challenge?:
- There’s a part of you that’s excited about this. It’s curious about what you could do that you’ve never done before.
- There’s another part of you that’s fearful or scared. Maybe it finds the idea ridiculous or childish. Maybe you just doubt your resolve to stick to it.
- You get the pick the adventure. It can be as safe or as dangerous as you want to make it.
- It’s time to starve those doubts and see what blossoms when your energy feeds your desires instead of your doubts. Let’s go!
What do you need to do to start?:
- First, define your timeline. When will it start and finish? In 2013, James used his 40th birthday as the finish line. You don’t have to go for an entire year…it could be a month or two or six…or even two years. The finish line is more important than the starting line…because you really start now!
- Second, start documenting your goals. Use a spreadsheet, a whiteboard, a yellow pad or a bunch of Post-It Notes! What do you want to do? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to try? Failure is okay if the attempt is legitimate. Note that this is not a bucket list, though there may be some overlap if you do one. This is more immediate in terms of action, and a whole lot less morbid. Don’t wait 20 years to do the things you want to do before you die.
- Third, break the list into categories. See which appear in your list, and then let the categories inspire more items. James used the categories of Family & Social, Business & Personal Development, and Fitness & Adventure. Pick your own or use his. You can also start the list with categories or do it freeform and seeing what categories emerge.
- Fourth, determine how many things you’re going to do. Consider the time involved, the time available, and the resources required. There is a cost to do this! Many items on your list will take considerable time and/or money. Make sure it fits your life or you’ll end up exhausted and broke, or disheartened and disappointed.
- Finally, assess which are quick hits and which will take a protracted effort. Put what you can on your calendar, set reminders, and be prepared to track your progress.
How do you improve your chances for success?:
- Once your list is completed, make it look nice. Create a checklist you can print out and place in your office, on your fridge, or even the bathroom mirror. You’ll want a visual reminder to live on purpose.
- Share it with your spouse and/or friends. You not only need the support, you need some people to tell you that you’re crazy! That means you’re stretching yourself and living life fully.
- Establish some accountability by making your challenge public. You can also entrust a friend or spouse with this awesome responsibility. Give them permission to bust your butt if you’re not actively engaged in the process!
- You have to track your progress! Make this as formal as possible. It might be a journal, a dedicated calendar (I used my tangible calendar with boxes I could add when accomplished), or a blog. If you fall behind, it will be harder to catch up than it was to get started…so don’t!
- Make your list.
- Share your list.
- Define your accountability system.
- Define your tracking system.