Ready to achieve your dreams? You have prepared your lab, studio and workstation to optimize your creativity and productivity. Tools are waiting for you: pencils, pens, cards, post-it of all colors and of course the indispensable valuable electronic ones. You are motivated to take up challenges. This year will be THE YEAR OF YOUR LIFE!
Let's go... you can see in parks and sports centers, one feels the motivation: running, fast walking, sports program, yoga... tutti quanti It is decided! We will realize what we have always dreamed of: write a book, paint a canvas, starting a business, a humanitarian project, create a game or a garden, writing a thesis for PhD... And for some of us, the day will take over, new priorities will appear, we will focus on other things... the year will end, and we will have the impression of having done many things without accomplishing what really matters to us.
What objectives set? First observation of the consultant Zig Ziglar, the champion of the goals, according to the latest studies in the United States, only 3% of the population would set specific goals. But those who do, without exception, are more successful. It is therefore very surprising that even after many years studying in universities and business schools, the percentage is still so low. The expert recommends a simple and effective method:
- Write 25 dreams;
- For each name the reasons why these dreams are important to you (life or death). The dreams that you really want are the only ones you can turn into goals;
- Choose those that really support your priority (short, medium, long term);
- Think at least one goal in six specific areas of your life: physical (health and welfare), family, professional, intellectual and spiritual. For each of your six goals, follow these seven steps:
- Clearly state the objective.
- What benefits will I gain by realizing it?
- What obstacles will I face doing so?
- What skills or talents do I need to achieve it?
- Who individuals, groups, communities can help me to succeed?
- Develop an action plan to achieve this goal.
- Write your deadline.
This is the method of Zig Ziglar. I would add an element of Vic Johnson method that defines what is a SMART goal: S (specific), M(measurable), A(attainable), R(realistic) and T(time of realization—deadline).
If you have done this exercise, bravo. You are on the right track.
Do not break the chain!
Are you good to discipline yourself? Are you a pro? Do you have the will to work to accomplish your dream? It is the same starting effort than to quit smoking, just start... we are creatures of habit, when we repeat the action enough times, we forget that one day it was hard to get started.
According to Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire, Tides of War, The Warrior Ethos and Turning Pro, we are programmed to procrastinate! In The War of Art, he explains that this little voice that distances us from our primary purpose is a strength that we all face, the fight is the first step to succeed in creating something worthwhile. This voltage is positive. All authors and designers know it, the most difficult part is not to start writing or drawing, but to give our project the number of hours each day. The famous American comedian Jerry Seinfeld that generates revenue of 30 million $ per year, imposes constraints (never as easy jokes about sex, for example) to maintain high pressure and stimulate creativity.1
As soon as he finished up the last scene of a movie, Woody Allen began writing the next one. He never takes a break between two projects. Apparently Hemingway, wrote Austin Kleon in Show your work, that at the end of the day, he stopped writing in the middle of a sentence to know where to continue the days after.2
Getting started and keep the habit are the hardest part. Then, simply follow the advice of Jerry Seinfeld, do not break the chain.
Make an appointment with yourself!
Each person has at least one talent. If we do not create what we really want, a strength will take us down (law of gravity), if we do not do the first step to start, if we spend too much time watching TV... days, months, years will fly.... and we will lost enormous potential. Once lost, this life energy does not return. Life is a perpetual struggle between 'to do' and 'to do not'. Don't spent all your time to do what others ask you to do, organize your live to also do what you feel deeply within you as important. What things do you really want to accomplish before you die?
One of the first danger with procrastination, it's the time spent mulling in our head what will our work or project will look like. I will do this and that... It turns out that as long as we do not do it, our ideas are worth nothing, we will never know. Say we'll write a book has no value as long as we have not finished writing it. That's when inspiration confronts reality, when things take shape as we see what can really emerge from us. "Genius," wrote Steven Pressfield, "is a Latin word; Romans used to describe the inviolable inner spirit, the spirit that watches over us, guides us to our vocation. A writer writes with his inner genius; an artist paints with his; all creative works come from this sacred center. It is the ship of our being(...) our star."
According to our beliefs, we can call this inner strength in a thousand ways, but what is common to all are these moments of inspiration when we feel we are guided. Recently the famous British writer Ian McEwan wrote in The Guardian that when he moved to Norwich, in 1970, in a small apartment the time he pursue his MA in literature. He had always wanted to write. One day he said, late in the day, he was then 22 years old, he sat at the foot of his bed, set up a folding table and decided he would not rise as long as he does not have finished writing a short story. "In one hour, a strange voice spoke to me from the page. I let her talk. I worked all night, filled with a romantic sense of myself, letting the writer heroically lead a compelling idea, working until dawn while the city is asleep. I ended up around 6 am."
For his first short story, Conversation with a Cupboard Man, McEwan was very surprised by the characters 'monstrous' that have emerged, he did not expect that at all. Many writers and designers can tell you this kind of story. This is the point that connects us all... this inner center mentioned by Steven Pressfield, from which emerges movements, words, colors... There is, in each of us, a creation awaiting to emerge. We are the only one who can realize it. Do not waste this energy that will make you happier! No matter what you think, what your contribution to the world will be.
Let be a Pro of creative work: Decision, discipline, perseverance and you will see the reward soon. On this path, there is different surprises that await each of us. Come on, now is the perfect time to make an appointment with yourself and start the creative process to achieve your dream.
1. Adam and Morgan BARDEN Mark , A beautiful constraint , New Jersey, 2015
2. TODD Henry , Die Empty , Penguin , New York, 2013
3. Austin Kleon , Show your work , New York, 2014
4. Steven Pressfield , The War of Art, New York 2002
5. Ian McEwan , When I was a Monster, The Guardian, August 28, 2015 Zig Ziglar is Setting Goals Smart Goals with Vic Johnson
Zig Ziglar on Goals Setting
Smart Goals with Vic Johnson