Ok. Just kidding. I have way too much ADD to make a list 947 items long, or even 47 for that matter. What I will give you, however, is one way to be freaking amazing. This one big thing that will change the game for you boils down to three simple words – manage your limitations.
Innate to our being are certain strengths and also limitations. Our strengths help us shine. Our limitations, however, when not managed correctly, have the ability to completely deplete us mentally and can eclipse our strengths all together. To be successful at work, and/or at home, it's important that we take the time to learn a little bit about ourselves. We have to know what we do well and what we do not, and we have to be ok with the fact that some things are just not our thing. We also have to put certain fail safes in action that make it nearly impossible to let our programmed behaviors cheat us out of achieving our goals. In short, we have to manage our limitations.
First, it's important to figure out what our programmed behaviors are. Programmed behaviors are those things we just do. For instance, when asked, “How was school today Jimmy?”, Jimmy will reply, “Good.” an when asked, “What did you learn at school today Jimmy?” his answer will undoubtedly be “____________.” (nothing). For you and me, programmed behaviors might include waking up and immediately checking our phones and replying to Facebook messages and emails from bed instead of waking up, throwing on some running shoes and going for a walk.
In a recent seminar I attended, we talked about programming. I learned that it takes upwards of ten months (TEN MONTHS!!) of focused effort to change programmed behaviors. Before any change can take place, there has to be an acute awareness of not only the desired end goal, but knowledge of what default programming is prohibiting you from reaching that goal, and a continual, intentional redirection of energy to the new habit.
At present, I have five goals I am working toward. Each one feeds into a larger long-term goal. One of the five goals pertains getting fit. In order to get fit, I have to eat healthy and exercise. Setting myself up for success in this area means doing the things I do well, well. That's a no brainer right? However it also means making it as difficult as possible to do (or not do) the things that have, for years have been tripping me up. This starts with knowing what these things are and putting systems in place to keep these programmed behaviors from holding me back.
For me personally, managing my limitations involves doing things like not having a television in the house (so I don't watch TV when I could be out doing something and being active), making a grocery list before I go to the store (failure to plan is planning to fail!), and being diligent about not bringing anything into the house that I shouldn't consume (if it doesn't have the capacity to go bad, it's probably not a good thing to eat!). I've also filled my Instagram and Facebook feeds with people who are fighters, overcomers, and are people that are winning in the areas I also want to win in (@competeeveryday, @PSISeminars, @fitherbacouple and a few hundred others). I have also intentionally hidden or unfollowed accounts that are negative or distract me from my goals. I also made the conscious decision to consistently talk to and hang out with people who are heading in the same direction as me. In addition, I have set more alarm clocks and calendar reminders to drink water, do little bits of exercise sporadically, log my food, and a number of other activities, in order to be reminded all throughout the day to take consistent action toward to my goal.
This same method is helping me in each the other four goals I've set as well: family, sales, travel, and real estate. As a wise friend (Danny Rosin) once told me, “Results are always fair— they never lie.” This year of my life is proof positive that focusing on strengths and learning to manage limitations produces incredible results.
Now, all of that was about me. What about YOU? What goals do you have for your life? Take a minute to think about what you want your life to look like in a year, three years, and five years. What is keeping you from attaining these things? Is there something that you always do that derails you? What fail safes can you put into action today that will help you manage your limitations, magnify your strengths, and ultimately reach your goals? And finally, who will you enlist to help support you along the way?