Early in my business life a noble friend sat with me in disgust as I pontificated on and on about what I wanted and what I was going to achieve.  In those days, I was a poser– a guy who talked about what he was going to do versus actually doing it.

Took me a while to learn just how stupid and hollow that was.

After listening to me for a while this person took an 81/2 x 11 piece of paper and turned it sideways so the long side was on top.  At the very top she told me to write down the objective I’d been discussing.  Then she instructed me to divide the paper in half, and then half again.  Now I had a brochure sized piece of paper, a front cover, 2 inside pages and a back cover.  On the front cover she had me write down the word today.  On the inside first page, she had me project the date 3 months out.   On the inside second page, another 3 months out, and then on the back cover I wrote the date one year out from today.

Next, we started with the year from now.  She had me define explicitly what my life would look like on that date if I achieved the objective.   Then we moved to the second farthest out date and she said “ok, what activities will you be doing on this day in order to achieve the objective by year end?”  Then we moved on to the next date 3 months prior and she asked a similar question “what activities will you be doing on this date to achieve the next milestone?” .   Finally we got to the Today column.  “People almost always lie.  They say they want this or that, want to achieve things but they don’t clearly make a plan to overcome the obsticles.. the biggest obstacle being a lack of awareness of what it will really take! So, what activities do you need to be doing TODAY in order to be at the first 3 month mark?”

Her simple process grounded me in an awareness I’d never experienced before.  A sober look at reality.

I’ve been doing it this way ever since.  It teaches me how to say no more and to really mean it when I do say yes.


Step 6: Make a Plan to Overcome Obstacles

As daunting as it looks when you consider how much inner resistance you might have, paring it down into workable pieces is the key. Sit down and rationally plan what you need to do and what is actually feasible. I am a strong believer in gathering allies to help with any major life change. Going it alone sounds brave, but it actually isolates you and makes you vulnerable. Find someone you can trust, whether it’s a confidant, spouse, mentor, or therapist. Pick someone who takes your life change as seriously as you do. Meet frequently, and share what’s happening emotionally, because your emotional landscape is bound to change as you undergo any major shift. ~ The Chopra Center