How to Finish What You Started
Have you ever had a project swirling around in the back of your head that seems way too far out of reach? Or you don't think you are qualified for the gig?
Well, that was the case when I wrote my book a couple of years back. I knew I had the facts and knowledge to share and could offer ways to help others achieve optimal health, but how the heck are you supposed to sit down and write a book? And then there was that little voice of self-doubt - aren't there way too many diet and exercise books on the market already??
I did some soul searching and tried to figure out what would appeal to me in a wellness book if I was reading it? What I came up with is, I'm a regular girl who would want to hear from a regular girl.
The celebrities market themselves but much of what is pitched requires modification to make it viable for our community. Or worse yet, outsourced! I appreciate someone who shoots me straight about what I'm supposed to be doing, but not be a psycho about it. Or make me feel like I can't do their routines unless I have the cute clothes in the spa setting. I need specific, practical things to do to achieve results because let's face it I'm a little type A so a checklist gives me the warm fuzzies. And lastly, I would want some humor along the way because doing a corkscrew in your living room is just you know - kind of a situation when you roll over and see the dust bunnies under your couch!
Once my mind was settled, I couldn't stop running my mouth page after page. I knew I could help others out there because I had a lot of trial and error over the years.
So how does this apply to you?
Whether it's starting an entirely new hobby that seems daunting, taking up running, or figuring out how to start your own business, I can tell you what worked for me to get over the fear and finish what I started.
1. Enlist Help. What do Serena Williams, Hugh Jackman, and Richard Branson all have in common? They get help. Success always leaves clues. The trick is to find a mentor who has already done what you’re trying to do in an outstanding way. If you think it’s someone too far out of reach, think about what value you can provide them so it’s not all one-sided. Are you a fabulous hair stylist, and want to learn how to do your own Quickbooks? Offer to swap services with a local CPA.
2. Break it Down. The book I wrote ended up being 253 pages. I don’t know about you, but whenever a teacher would require a 10-page term paper my anxiety would go through the roof. So how the heck did I get to 200+ pages?? You start chunking. I knew I wanted to talk about diet, fitness, and how the mind is wrapped up in all of that, so those were my first three chunks. Then I broke down three additional chapters in each of those categories. My deadlines were one chapter a week, but a lot of times I found myself so wrapped up in writing that I always surpassed my goal.
3. Schedule. With that said about writing more than I planned to, it was because I was already sitting down and doing it. The weeks that I thought I had all the time in the world to get content drafted were the ones very little actually got accomplished. Whether you use an old-school day planner or Google calendar, you’ve got to write it down. In pen, not pencil. When you’re starting to learn something new, I suggest doing things in two to three-hour blocks. Anything less than two will get you frazzled not having enough time to truly dive into the subject and anything more than three your brain will be fried. If you are doing something physical like taking up tennis, you can do shorter time durations more frequently. Pilates is like learning a foreign language so the more repetition you can have in the beginning the quicker the learning curve. Understanding learning curves, helped me pace my writing.
4. Put Yourself in a Good Place. I did a ton of traveling this Fall and I found my best writing got done on an airplane because it was quiet and I didn’t have any other distractions. Obviously, it would not be cost-effective to take a flight every time I wanted to write, but I got the same results in a quiet (keyword) cafe with headphones in, listening to classical or instrumental music. Each person is different. Some people operate best with blaring hip-hop music in the background - so whatever is conducive to helping you focus in on the project or topic at hand, find your spot and create your space.
5. Celebrate the victories along the way. There was something that peaked your interest in learning this new skill that will be hard to remember when you’re in the trenches. I am a journaler so I keep track of my wins there. Some people mark them in their planners. We all go through different learning curves at our own time but it's important to know where you started and have a clear line of sight on your development so that your goals don't become stagnant or thrown by the wayside. Enjoy and take pride in the small victorious along the way to keep you going.
If this topic has you totally zoning out and you're just looking for some good fitness & food advice, don't worry I've got that for you too :) Check out my latest offering for our #2018RockinBOD challenge.