My Vulnerable Video Friday generated a bit of buzz…
I shared how I’d lost a lot of momentum last week. And specifically how much my systems have helped me get back on track.
Today, I want to continue that conversation, specifically because I was asked about it, and because it’s Mailbox Monday.
Remember: every Monday I answer YOUR questions in my weekly Mailbox Monday issue. To have your question answered in a future issue, send it to [email protected].
Here’s the question I got…
Thank you Roy,
Can you please explain some of the systems that you are using to keep that momentum? To put you back on track asap.
I know the feeling of moving forward and then getting thrown off. Sometimes a day, a week, a month …
Thanks for passing on the value! 🙂
First let me say: none of this is easy or automatic!
I have to admit that. This can be hard to do. When you’re thrown off course and you go from feeling like you have a ton of momentum to suddenly struggling to get any, well…
There’s no magic pill.
There’s no magic wand you can wave and magically get momentum and motivation again.
But, with a number of different factors in place, it’s easier.
First, it’s easier to recognize when you’re falling off.
Second, it becomes easier to get back on track.
That first point is probably under-recognized. It doesn’t get no respect. Because the faster you can recognize that you’re getting off-track, the easier it is to right yourself again.
With that said, I’ll break down five specific parts of what I do that I feel like have been important, plus I’ll add one X-factor that I recognize I need to focus on more.
- Daily tracking
Even just two years ago, if you’d have shown me the daily tracking form that I fill out at the end of every work day… And then told me that I will have created it, and I will use it consistently… I would have told you that you were crazy.
On a daily basis, I track a number of critical numbers, with notes about each.
Specifically, I track…
— Total hours worked
— The quality of my work time (that’s new as of last week)
— What I call my “3 inviolables” tasks — the most important tasks I wanted to get done for the day
— Time and progress on my most important goals for my business
— Time and progress on my most important goals for my client work
— Other time spent in client activities
— Other time spend in activities for my business
— Critical stats about my BTMSinsiders training membership service
— Financial stats about my business (updated daily) and personal (updated monthly)
— Plus any thoughts and reflections regarding the day
This is all inputted into a Google Form. It takes me about 10 minutes at the end of each day to fill this out. I have a bunch of pages bookmarked that I open all at once, that give me most of the data I need.
That is stored in a spreadsheet, and it creates charts that I can look at for long-term trends.
The simple act of doing this and tracking it brings awareness to it.
When I started weighing myself every morning, starting on September 1st, 2016, I really embraced the value of daily tracking of important numbers.
Even if it doesn’t seem like it, just watching all of this stuff helps it go in the right direction.
That said, that’s NOT the only factor…
- Having a coach
I would not be tracking everything if it weren’t for my coach, Joseph Rodrigues. I promise you, I would’ve given up.
But having Joseph there to “catch me if I fall” and bring me back to that daily accountability is a definite way to make sure I’m doing what I need to do.
If you don’t have a coach, consider getting one. If you’re not in a place to get a coach, find a similarly-ambitious friend.
Their role is to help you get on track, stay on track, and recognize when you get off track.
Not only that, sometimes you just need an ear. You need someone who you can think things through with, out loud, who is not a client, customer, or someone else who you have a personal relationship with (spouse, friends, family).
Having a coach or accountability partner, when you need to be vulnerable, can be a godsend.
In addition to daily accountability, we meet on a weekly basis following the Traction Level 10 Meeting™ agenda to catch up on the week that’s passed and to set priorities for the coming week.
- My morning routine
The one thing I absolutely didn’t fall off of last week was my morning routine. It’s rather simple, and takes less than 30 minutes. I normally do it before 6:30, when the kids wake up. (Our house is full of early risers!)
After making a cup of coffee, I go to our bathroom downstairs, where I weigh myself first thing, before drinking or eating anything. This is my lowest weight of the day, but it’s also the truest. Considering I can drink a 16-ounce glass of water in one drink — and that’s a pound — my weight can vary a lot throughout the day so I like to weigh at the one time where I know it will be most consistent.
After I do that, I go into my office and do one Tabata interval of kettlebell exercises. A Tabata interval is 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds rest, repeated 8 times. That’s a total of 4 minutes of exercise, but it’s scientifically-supported to be an incredible workout, especially for your heart. Done with a kettlebell, it’s a “maximum workout in minimum time” morning routine that I’ve come to love… (Well, LOVE may not be the right word for it, but I sure like when I’ve done it!)
After that, I take just a moment to cool down, and do a 15-minute sitting meditation. Sometimes I do a guided meditation. Sometimes I do a timer-based meditation, with bells at 3-minute intervals. My mind wanders like crazy and meditation is the best way to help train your mind to focus, as well as to be mindful and aware of both what’s going on in your life and your reactions to it.
- Project planning
With all of this, I’ve also gotten better and better at planning bigger, more complex projects.
I currently use Trello as my planning and organizational tool, but any list manager would do as well.
First, I keep track of everything on a high level. I know the main projects I’m working on, and what I want from them. But also, the steps. Most of my important projects are broken down into smaller components and even specific steps to complete. The sooner something needs to get done (e.g. it’s the next thing to do in a project, versus something late in the project and months away), the more likely it is that I have a specific next task associated with it.
This is probably one of the hardest things for me to stay on top of, but it’s also been critical to juggling lots more responsibilities as I’ve grown in my career and as my business has grown.
- My vision
Finally, it all comes back to my “Why.”
I have visions for my business, who I want to serve and how, as well as for myself and the things I want in life.
I think that some of the “vision board” crap can be over-rated and leaned on too much as a magic pill. But having a vision — whether it’s things you want to have, experiences you’d like to experience, or value you want to create — can be a great motivator to pull you up when you’re down.
When you remember that the hard work is for a bigger purpose, it becomes much easier to endure. This is especially important when you’ve been slowing up a bit and need to get back into it.
The X-factor I’m NOT using enough…
Here’s one thing I’ll admit that I’m probably doing wrong. I need to slack more. 🙂
This isn’t to say that I work the kind of crazy hours other entrepreneurs do. I’ve prioritized family quite a bit while my kids are young, and so I’m not in my office, at my desk, 80 hours or more every week.
But, I do end up thinking about work, even when I’m not working.
And through intentional slacking/procrastinating time, or through “free days,” I believe I would be served well to honor having intentional rest times (including not learning for business on certain days).
(And thank you Anthony for the book recommendation in this regard.)
Final thought: I’m not perfect, and this may not be for you…
I’m definitely not perfect in this regard.
I’m figuring this all out.
And in 10 years (or even 10 months) I may think some of this is total trash.
I’ve certainly read articles that trash some or all of what I do, and the writers seem happy that they don’t do these things.
But for me, for now, this is what’s working best.
And a lot of it is based on a lot of research into what works best for others as well.
Perhaps there’s one thing in this list that you’re not doing, that you think might be a useful habit to adopt. If that is true, try it, for maybe a month or two. See how it works. Find what works for you.
And perhaps it will help you next time you find your momentum faltering a bit…
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,