If Only, Because
2015 was gonna be the year. I was gonna be sober. I was gonna be thin. I was gonna be a better husband, father, human: and I was finally gonna write the book(s) I’ve been banging on about for, like, a decade.
And then, as always, stupid life, the universe and everything got in the way and ruined it all.
Know the feeling?
You start the year with great expectations and fantastic goals, and then all the stuff you gotta do just blows it. The day-to-day distractions suck away your attention and energy until you go from being a Greyhound in the slips to a fatass Basset Hound on the sofa.
But I’ve learned a technique to change all that, and I want to share it with you:
I learned this from Peter Thomson, the marketing, sales and product development genius who’s helping me get off my ass and build my empire, and he’s given me permission to share it with you.
It works like this:
Take whatever goal, ambition or resolution you’ve set for yourself, and then jump ahead in time.
Imagine that it’s January 2017 – and you’ve failed.
Maybe you’ve missed your sales target, or lost the promotion. You’ve not started your own business or won that killer client. Not lost the weight, kicked the habit or gotten out of that dead-end relationship.
Go ahead and relish that feeling of failure. Take a few minutes and let yourself stew in the anger, shame and regret that you know you’ll feel if you don’t achieve your goal.
When you’re feeling nice and low, don’t reach for the razor. Grab a pen and paper instead and write the phrase
If only I had . . .
at the top of the page. Then fill the page with all the things that would have made the difference, if only you’d done them.
Go ahead – do it now.
Got your list? Good. Now ditch the shame. Change your posture. Slap on a smile. Go all Book of Mormon, and Turn it Off!
Then go back to the future.
Imagine it’s 2017 again – but this time, you HAVE achieved the goal.
You hit the numbers, delivered the project, quit the horse, written the inspirational bestseller – and you feel great about it. Let yourself revel in the fantastic gush of success and pride and accomplishment you’ll feel when you achieve your goal.
Now start writing again.
This time, put the word Because . . . at the top of the paper list all the things you did to help you get the result you want.
Look at your two lists. That’s the foundation of your action plan to achieve your goals. You KNOW what to do.
Put your lists somewhere as a continuous reminder of what to do – and of the pain you’ll experience if you don’t do it, and the power and strength you’ll feel when you do.
Don’t start next year saying “If only I’d done that exercise!”