The only way to get your own work done is to put it first. Not after you do all the stuff you have to do for others.
You have a dream, don’t you?
There is always something you want to have time to do, to learn, or to experience. It is often those special things that get lost in the shuffle and end up at the bottom of the list because you have to earn money or take care of someone or do something for someone else. Where does your dream come in?
What is your dream?
There’s always a dream lurking underneath it all, something bigger than you are doing now, something more exciting, more inspiriting. It’s your dream. It calls to you from your passion. What is is? How are you making it happen? The first step in putting yourself first is to figure out your dream. Then break it down into something manageable. For instance, let’s pretend my dream is to publish a book. What results from the idea of publishing a book am I seeking? There is not a lot of money but there is recognition, some prestige – although self-publishing has changed that a lot. If I look at that dream and recognize that what I really want to do is write about what I am interested in and share it in a way that it has meaning to others, that would fulfill my dream. I can do that in other formats, like posts and pocasts and courses. See how that goes? What would the fulfillment of your dream mean to you, what are the rewards and satisfactions to be gained and are those things still important to you.
Schedule time to plan
Put your dreamtime, your plan time, your creative time at the top of your schedule – in the morning, within the first 2-4 hours of awakening. Those are your most productive moments, so put the dreaming work there, the planning work, the figuring out work. But wait, you say, what about my clients, my whatever else it is you do in your day. You will still do that, but choose 2-3 days a week to schedule time to dream the details of your dream, create a plan, write an outline or whatever else you need to do to bring your dream to life. Another aspect of doing morning work is that often times you dream the answer and you can capture it first thing.
Find the qualities you seek
Whatever your “Me Plan” looks like, figure out the feeling you will have when you make your plan happen. See where else in your life you can develop those same feelings. That way, as you plan your big plan, you are already living the feeling of your dream.
Notice what stops you
“I’m not good enough, I don’t have the skills, I need more money, I can’t lose the income, I don’t have the time.” You can solve all of these with that very creativity you are accessing in your early morning “Me Planning.” Select a few short steps that you can achieve. Chose meaningful steps that will bring obvious results. Take one small step every day toward the feelings and experience you want to bring to your life. Don’t be afraid to let go of clients or friends or jobs when they keep you from your dream. When you dream is emerging, you have to make room for it to breathe and expand.
Make room for your dream to unfold
Give your Me Plan time to unfold. Stop doing some of the things you’ve been doing so there is room for the new stuff to come in. Look at your budget. Maybe you can do with less so you can focus on building your dream. Look at your time and clear the clutter and non-productive choices. Watch for the qualities you seek to show up in many disguises – your dream is already unfolding, you just have to notice and embrace it.
Notice your progress
I’m reaching more people than I ever have. I’m exploring new platforms. I love podcasting and now have that as a regular offering. I made my first video and a whole new opportunity opened up. Every conversation, every exchange, every new skill you acquire can serve as a possible seed for something new.
Work on your Me Plan
Make some choices and explore them. Rather than seeing those choices as a commitment, look at them as explorations. Keep some, discard the others, then make some more choices Rather than having a list of three to four possible directions you can go, pick one and go deeper until you feel it is right or you know you need to explore in another direction.
Are you willing to put yourself first? Are you willing to schedule specific times in your life to explore and develop and execute your Me Plan? Isn’t it time you put your own work first?
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
04–How to Redefine Yourself and the 30 year plan (Podcast, 20 minutes)
05-Do You Have the Courage to Stand Alone (Podcast, 20 minutes)
06– Unfolding And The Art Of Wu Wei (Podcast, 20 minutes)
07- How to Find and Express Your Distinctive Voice (Podcast, 20 minutes)
08- How Willing Are You to Change – And Why Not? (Podcast, 20 minutes)