A common theme here on my blog is making sure I do things I say I am going to do. Ultimate games, writing projects, being part of the music team at church, spending time with friends – putting the time in is always worth it. But how do I cultivate the mindset to have the energy, physically, mentally and emotionally, to get out of bed and get to doing all these things?
The first thing I do is remember it’s not always about how well I do the thing. If I make it to the field for our ultimate game, I’ve taken the first step. I can focus on what happens during the game as each moment unfolds. If I book in time to write or edit and sit down at my computer to do it, I’ve taken the first step. My fingers and brain can work their magic from there. If I get up on Sunday morning and carry my guitar up to church, I’ve done the hardest part. Playing and singing is almost automatic as long as I’m there. If I’ve organised to meet up with friends or go to a event, setting foot outside the door can be the hardest part. What comes after that, is putting one foot in front of the other.
Turn up. It’s more important than we think. We don’t have to be the best we can be once we get there, but we do need to get there to give it our best.
Once a fortnight, on a Saturday, I run an ultimate training for a group of players keen on improving their skills and teamwork. This morning, heavy clouds rolled in and it poured with rain – not exactly ultimate playing weather. My enthusiasm for running the training flip-flopped and a few times I even considered cancelling it, staying inside under my blankets, and playing video games for the afternoon. Instead, I checked the council website to see if the sportsgrounds were officially open. They were, and the rain and clouds cleared for the afternoon, so I made my way out to the fields.
It was a small group, probably partly due to the weather and partly due to me giving late notice there would be a training, but the training was awesome. Lots of throwing practice in a bit of wind, a few drills, and then a scrimmage. None of this would have happened if I had stayed at home because of a little bit of rain.
In a slightly different vein I often find myself absent from my keyboard when I have pencilled in time to write. My current housemates and other friends go out a few times a week to have dinner together and to catch up, usually after a game of ultimate. I find it difficult to say no, because these activities require less intentional mental energy than writing or editing. There is no need for me to feel bad for choosing to write sometimes instead of going out. What I have to do is make that choice, and stick to it.
There will always be distractions calling for my time, and I must be smart enough to avoid them and get stuck in.
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What are some factors that prevent you from putting time into things you want to?
How do you figure out when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’?
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Get to know yourself better and you’ll more easily find the things that can trip you up.
Keep on keeping on being awesome.