"If you don't do something for yourself this Spring and Summer, I'm going to be very pissed at you."
That's what my mother said as we were having a good time together sometime this week. Of course, my response was something like:
"I'll do whatever I want, thank you. In fact, I won't spend a penny on myself because of what you said. Why? Because I can. Hahahahaha!"
Conversations like this are a dime a dozen in my home. In one scene, my mom is trying to get me to invest in an anti-aging serum or cream that would shave 10 years off my life as I prepare to unknowingly attract a mysterious, rich, and intelligent young man. And my response is, "Thank you, I'll try it later."
In another scene, my mom takes a long meaningful look at my winter jacket and goes, "I saw a cute jacket at ___ the other day. Would you like me to get it for you?" I'd smile at my mother's new approach, tug at my 5-year old jacket I'm convinced is in mint condition, and respond: "How much is it? $50? Hmm...this one is still nice. I'll manage."
Of course. Talk about being stubborn.
Yes. And this is beginning of the problem.
When it comes to making decisions, human beings will always think of themselves first. This is no accident. It is the way we are wired. Humans would rather choose to buy an extra bowl of noodles than give a dollar away for free. It's not because they're mean, rather, it's because these things have to be consciously thought about. Often.
Meaning when you're on a plane ready for takeoff and the instructions are being read, you will be required to save your own life first before attempting to save others.
So imagine the horror on my face when my mom suggested treating myself to good things and I responded I wouldn't.
I'm too busy.
Actually, I promise to do that later...but not today.
My refusal to invest in activities that would put a little shine on my physical appearance might be indicative of my somewhat stubborn personality. But it's also a symptom of a larger disorder that so many creatives have, a disorder I have named Halfass-itis.
Aka the condition of always half-assing anything you do; not fully investing yourself in your decisions; not staying committed to your goals; and not willing to up the ante when time's up.
A condition of choosing to live the writer's life, always wishing to be an author yet unwilling to put in the time to do the writing.
A condition of always watching your peers succeed at doing what they love and getting paid for it...yet content with living a lie and choosing to ignore the call to be more.
A condition of always starting something yet quitting once the embers of excitement and novelty have cooled...
So, as a creative, are you choosing to do the things that would move you forward?
- Electing to binge on Netflix...when you should be writing or finishing your next book?
- Ordering more fitness gears off Amazon in hopes that they would "help" you lose weight....instead of dusting your pretty expensive shoes and taking yourself to walk?
- Investing in more coaching and online courses to help you make money...instead of implementing the strategies you've learned from the courses you've collected thus far?
How many of us, creatives, are choosing to make yearly resolutions only to slack off EVERY time the said goals call for a change in behavior?
Then it is time to choose yourself and stay committed to the decisions you've made.
Choose you. Then go HARD.
Because half-assing everything you do is not going to make you profitable.
Because not finishing what you start is going to leave you depressed and broke.
Because whether you're a consultant, coach, writer, painter, any kind of artist who chooses to be known as a creative, the main thing is to stay connected to your work.
And I get it. Sometimes, it's hard to unplug from your creative work and be totally unavailable to distractions in form of life and family. Sometimes it's all about the need to have a plan B so that you won't be seen as a failure. Often times, it's because we crave connection and we know that going hard in our creative journey might alienate us.
Yet, choose YOU. Then go HARD.
You don't have to do it all at once. You could pick a project you see yourself completing in 21 days and set a daily time to accomplish it.
You could choose to get out of debt by paying off your credit card balance(s) in six months. You could choose to launch an online program that brings you additional side income...so that you have the financial security to focus on the things that matter most to you.
All the same...you've got to choose YOU. Then go HARD.
Here's how to choose a goal and stay committed to it (aka Choose you. Then go HARD)
1) Focus on changing only 10 percent.
Yes, that's right. 10 percent of the real change you want is where you want to start from. When we began 2018, my goal was to live a life of creative freedom, meaning I could do whatever I wanted or sell whatever I wanted. But I had to write and pitch every week. This has led to opportunities like getting on Thought Catalog and TEDxLincolnSquare.
This isn't where I want to stop. But I know that the weekly practice of sending pitches is vital to getting into my dream publications. I know that I need to write to members on my email list frequently if I want to sell anything or "make 6 figures." So I started with the very first step: writing and hitting 'send.'
2) Get help.
It's not a lie; you can't do it or get there alone. If there's anything I did differently this year, it's choosing to get mentors in areas I need the most: writing, marketing, and my mindset.
My writing mentor has been helpful in making sure I show up every day in some way or form. My thought transformation coach has boldly proclaimed that 2018 is for the takers...and I don't want to left behind. I'm learning to love my art, my work, my presence in this lovely online space. And I'm also learning to sell in a very authentic and effective way.
3) Get in a community. Then commit to being visible.
It's sorta hard to not make any dent on your goals if you're visible in spaces where your voice is needed most. It's very hard not to write a book if you've boldly told your community that you will launch a new book this year.
Get in a community and commit to being visible. Immerse yourself in the project of your choosing. If you want, get help finishing this product. I have a course on courage called 21 days to creative freedom that helps creative entrepreneurs finish what they start and launch with courage. Yep, shameless plug. But it's okay, the value is priceless.
In conclusion, here's what it means for you and your creative business.
- Make a goal. Then stay committed to it.
- The best way to finish something is to start it.
- Immersing yourself in your project is the only way to finish what you start.
Over to you. What creative projects would you like to immerse yourself in in the next 21 days?