In 2015 I read the book "Eat that Frog" by Brian Tracy. It was a relatively quick read for me and I also got the audio book version to listen to while working out, doing laundry or just working at my desk in my office. I had never heard Brian Tracy speak until 2015. I had heard his name in a few other books and publications I had read. There were a few mentions of his name by colleagues and I would see his videos pop up as suggestions when I would look on Youtube.com for videos on organization, discipline, success and other topics I wanted to learn more about. I'm a curious cat. I like to learn. I am very aware of how little I actually know. So, I ask a lot of questions. If there is something I want to learn, I try to find resources and then I sit down and give it a go.
Well, as luck would have it, 2015 was a year of very deep soul searching and personal reflection. I struggled in school. I had a very difficult time concentrating on my studies, especially with subjects I had little or no interest in. Many people today would simply put me in the ADD/ADHD category, including my family friends and colleagues. :) I never really understood why I struggled paying attention. I never understood why some classes and subjects "eluded" me. I just shrugged it off as being disinterested and I'm sure my teachers would have called me out for "not applying myself" or failing to "reach my potential". :)
So, after findiing Brian Tracy, his book, "Eat that Frog" and several other books, I began a journey in 2015 to try to become more focused, more organized and better prepared for my responsibilities. I read Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people". I also read Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich". What I found is that a lot successful people think on paper. They write lists, they write down goals. They put things down so that their eyes see their tasks at hand that need to be completed. It wasn't necessarily a new concept to me but how it was presented lit my brain up like a roman candle. I grabbed a notebook and started writing down my goals everyday when I woke up. No Facebook, no coffee until I had them written down.
I will admit there were days I didn't write down my goals. There was actually a period of a few weeks I got off track from my daily discipline of writing down my goals. But, something weird happened too. Even with some personal, professional and financial challenges in 2015, I was able to achieve a very big goal. I wanted to become a published author in 2015. It happened. I had 14 goals that I wrote down for myself in 2015. I achieved 1. Some would probably argue that 1 out of 14 is a horrible percentage. In baseball, that would be a slump. In basketball, the shooter would be considered to have gone cold. But, we are playing sports. This is life. We all get 24 hours a day. We all get to choose how me invest or wasted our time. That's all you can really do with your time. Invest it or waste it. I found that I wasted a lot of time. The truth hurt but it also helped me realize that I had the potential to achieve much more if I wasted less time and invested more time in the goals I had for myself.
I am still trying to stick to a daily habit of writing down my goals as we near 2016. I often make a daily list of goals for myself as well. My daily list could sometimes probably seem silly and micro managed. I write things down like 1. wake up, take dog out 2. write down goals in notebook 3. prepare coffee 3. Social media 4. feed dog, make sure dog as water. That's right. I'll write down just about everything I need to do that day. Guess what? I'm getting more done. I'm accomplishing more things. It works for me. Even with my attention challenges, I'm more focused, more disciplined and better prepared every day.
Those 14 goals I had for 2015 have now been moved to 2016. One down, 13 to go. Some of the goals may seem insourmountable to a lot of folks. I'm sure there are many who will doubt I will ever achieve most or any. I simply don't focus on what other people think of my goals. I focus on what I can do to get one step closer to achieving them. If I had listened to some of the people who said I'd never get my black belt or never win any awards in radio broadcasting or never have a song on the radio or never get my articles published or I'd never publish a book or I'd never make it as a small business owner...well...I would have accomplished a whole lot of nothing. I used to say I've failed at many, many things and I've failed many, many times. That has changed. Now, I tell myself I have not failed, I have just learned how not to do something. 1 out of 14 ain't bad and it sure has heck is better than 0 out of 14.
Dream big, dream often. Then do everything you can to make those dreams come true.