Temperatures dip consistently below zero. Black Friday sales ads dominate the airwaves. The sun rises later and sets earlier. And soon, if you haven’t heard them already, Christmas songs will bombard us everywhere we go. Sure signs that we’re in the homestretch as 2019 winds down.
At the beginning of 2019, I started off pumped. This would be a year of transformation and personal growth. I took it seriously, too. Devoured books on productivity, leadership and high performance (High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard; Company of One by Paul Jarvis; Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt; The Latte Factor by David Bach … to name a few). Set goals — actually wrote them down and reviewed them daily. Enrolled in online training and attended webinars. Published a book. Trained for, and completed, a marathon.
It’s mid-November, and I’m still pumped. I’ve pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. I’m not the same man I was when the year began. I have been transformed. And that has me asking several questions. One in particular…
Am I Headed in the Right Direction?
As the year draws to a close, something about my accomplishments feels hollow. Don’t get me wrong… Running a marathon and publishing a book are huge accomplishments. Instead of just talking about doing something, I showed up daily to do the work — even when I didn’t feel like it. Looking back on this journey, I realized that I was, in part, chasing someone else’s dream. I was no longer certain that I was headed in the right direction.
After reading so many books and completing various training courses, processing so much information on how to become more efficient and productive overwhelmed. I devoted too much, perhaps, time to figuring out the processes and hacks that would potentially make me more productive — elevate me to that realm of high achiever — than actually doing the work I love. Even more time spent watching and helping others realize their dreams than building my own. As they entered the homestretch, I still hovered around first base. I knew something had to change.
In these final weeks of 2019, I’ve turned my focus back to the things I love to do: writing, running, cooking/baking, reading, visiting museums, et. al. I’m showing up to be present in all that I do instead of being overly concerned about how to do these things more efficiently. Really, who was I kidding? Trying to become more productive is like binge watching Amazon Prime. Watching every episode of Jack Ryan (John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce excel in this series if you haven’t checked it) is just another way to put off doing the work.
We each have our own rhythms and processes that energize us in the homestretch. What works for one person may not work for you or me. And I’m okay with crossing the finish line at my own pace and in my own time. Because it’s all about the journey.
And now I know I’m headed in the right direction.
Do you spend too much time planning than working on your goals? Are you happy with what you’ve achieved so far this year? What can you do differently in the next six weeks to ensure your continued success? Click Reply to let me know. I love hearing from you!