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Do You Wonder If You Could Accomplish More?

Accomplish a 5kHow much do you accomplish each day? Do you ever wonder if you’re doing enough? I know those are strange questions. How much is enough? Enough of what? To be honest, I’m not really sure. It’s just that I’ve been waking up lately and wondering if I’m really making a meaningful difference in the world. Sounds a little pompous but I’ll bet you’ve thought about this occasionally as well, right? (Be honest!)

I wrote an article recently about building influence. While writing that article, the question of “Building influence for what?” kept rattling around in the back of my mind. I’m still working through what that means for me. And whatever is important to me may not be important to you. It will be different for every person.

WHY DO TODAY WHAT YOU CAN PUT OFF TIL TOMORROW?

According to the World Health Organization, the average lifespan in the U.S. is around 80 years. Ladies get a few more and guys a few less. This seemed like a huge number when I was a kid. Now, not so much. I know a guy who is 52 and recently declared that he’s now “middle-aged”. I asked him how many people in his circle of friends were 104. He’s a friend and we laughed about it but there is something to think about here.

Somehow we think there will always be time to accomplish that “thing” that’s next on our to-do list, wish list, bucket list or whatever you want to call it. But so often we get caught up in the Tyranny Of The Urgent (affiliate link) and we put off the things that really matter to deal with the things right in our face. And the things right in our face are mostly there because we didn’t prioritize properly in the first place. We didn’t do the hard work that gives us the freedom from the Urgent.

LAY A GOOD FOUNDATION

Let’s face it, the hard things we want to accomplish aren’t really the hardest things. The hardest things are usually the planning, preparation and details that are required to do the hard things. Running a 5k isn’t all that hard if you have taken the time to get up off the couch, tie your running shoes and get out the door regularly before the race. Having a great garden is a lot more about cultivating, fertilizing and watering than harvesting fruits and vegetables. Traveling to China will never happen if you don’t start putting away a few dollars here and there and get your passport in order. Teaching your kids how to reach their potential in school starts long before test day. The list goes on and on.

WHAT WILL YOU ACCOMPLISH?

But these are a few things from my list, not yours. These things probably don’t matter to you. But I know for certain that there are things that do matter to you. What are they? What are the big (and even small) things you often think about doing but don’t take the steps needed to make them happen? Pick one and break it down. What resources do you need to make it happen? Are those resources available? Do you need to find new ones?

List 3 specific and achievable tasks that you need to complete to accomplish your goal. Then quit making excuses and go do them. Notice I said “achievable.” That’s important because we build on successes, not failures. More on that at a later date. And if you’re scared of something, Stop It! (watch the video below)

After you accomplish those 3 things, list 3 more and go do them. Make it a daily habit to do the little things to lead you toward the bigger things. But don’t kid yourself that because this sounds simple, it will be easy because it won’t. When you’re tired, had a long day and just feel like sitting in the recliner what will you do? Will you go out and cultivate? Will you put on the running shoes? Will you help your kid develop some study skills? It’s up to you.

What are some things you wish you could accomplish that you could get started on today?

Scott Wilson is the Director of Communications and Technology for The Urban Child Institute (tuci.org), a not-for-profit dedicated to improving the development and well-being of children. He is also a marketing and business strategy consultant for small businesses and writes regularly about Leadership, Communication and Marketing on his blog, scottkwilson.com.

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