One of the biggest pieces of advice that my mentors gave me when I was a small boy was when they told me that no matter who you want to be in life, you have to set and achieve goals.
I remember even in school as a young kid, I was always very particular about planning and budgeting my time.
This could have been because I was interested in a variety of disciplines, and had competing interests.
Or, more likely, it was because I saw that all of the most successful people I knew were constantly managing their time.
I fondly recall when I would meet with successful men and women in their offices as a small child when I was out working with my father on one of his business trips. I would waltz in like I owned the place–and no one would stop me because I was just a little kid.
However, when I’d walk back with my father, the business man or woman in the corner office, always had some sort of calendar with a giant to-do list scrawled on it.
Because being organized and planning out our time is one of the most important things that we can do as human beings.
Face it, in the age of constant social media posting, Netflix binging, and free Wifi we are pretty much addicted to distraction.
Plus, we can’t get away from it, because our smartphones are glued to our hips inside our pockets.
What We Need to Do
Instead of waiting around for our dreams to come chasing us, we need to go chase them.
However, the problem with most people isn’t their dreams, or even their willpower–it’s their commitment level.
Chasing a dream is a lot like tracking down an affordable apartment in Southern California, you have to wake up early, drive your ass off, and get lucky.
The people who prioritize and commit are the ones who will succeed. Always.
So how do you commit to your dreams?
Commitment Means Planning
You PLAN your dreams into your calendar. You don’t wait for inspiration to strike.
That’s right. I know it’s shocking but if you want to actually accomplish your dreams you need to put them on your schedule. This is where most of us, myself included sometimes, go wrong.
We try to make time for them at the end of the work day, or when we feel inspired or motivated. However, if we don’t make time for our dreams and meticulously plan on them, we won’t get to where we need to be in life.
If you try to catch two rabbits, you catch zero.
Give Yourself Deadlines
As someone who meets with new clients each and every week, I know that deadlines can be a bit obnoxious–but they are the only way to make sure that you stay committed to what you need to get done. If you aren’t using deadlines, you are going to miss out.
Having deadlines isn’t meant to be an arbitrary decision. It’s meant to force us to act.
We have all come down to the wire and performed at our best, because the pressure was pretty high and we had to come through in the clutch. When the deal is on the line, as a real estate agent, I know I have to act accordingly.
If you want to chase your dreams–whether that’s a Hollywood audition, a publishing contract, or a new business venture–you have to commit, and you have to produce.
If you don’t have deadlines, your new project that was supposed to take three weeks can take three months–or three years.
Hold Yourself Accountable
When you set deadlines, don’t just say you are going to get something done by a certain time. Instead, set impossible, improbable deadlines that push you to work really hard.
Then, make it even harder on yourself by telling your friends that you are going to hit a goal by a certain time.
Sometimes, having some friendly competition, and accountability is exactly the kick in the pants we need to get our act together.
Letting Go of Your Excuses
In order to be truly successful your excuses are going to have to be let go. If you try to carry your excuses you will be too bogged down to ever be able to chase your dreams. Once you let go of your excuses, you can start owning your dreams.
Ask yourself why aren’t you living your dream life?
If your answers involved, practice, time, or money, or something else–you are an excuse maker.
Let go of the excuses and get to work!
Remember, day by day, step by step you can get closer to your goals, but you have to be committed, and you have to do the work!
In order to be the best, you have to deserve to be better than the rest!