“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. ”
I do not feel like “somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood.” I find myself at this fork in the road … consistently, over and over again, currently. In the wake of unplanned tragedies and loss opportunities, I wanted to pick a path and move forward by focusing on things that are in my control. However, I could not figure out why I have been trying to “gain control” over things in my life for so long. Then it hit me. I may venture down the road less traveled but I get lost due to veering off course and end up defeated; therefore, I always turn back to the same fork in the road I started from. I lack a plan and consistency.
I venture to guess most of us feel as if we work harder at some aspect of our daily lives then we should. I venture to guess most of us get started on goals only to be detoured by a doughnut. I venture to guess most of us repeat this cycle over and over again leaving us so burnt out that we just stop trying. My fire was reignited this week when I was truly blessed by attending a 3 day training on real estate investing by Fortune Builders. Cole Hatter was the speaker; he recharged my battery which had been running on fumes. Although real estate is my fiancé’s passion (maybe mine too now), I took several things away from the course that I can apply to my life as a whole. The three biggies for me were having a system to follow, consistently following your system, and being reminded of your “why.”
Of course this seems simple enough, right? Make a plan, follow it, and use your purpose as your driving force, piece of cake. Not! About the only things I do consistently is not follow my plan. I began to think about speed bumps that stop my progress. The initial problem is I have not sat down to really think about a system. Sure I have over analyzed my life to death, calculating for this and that, but I have not taken the time to freely create a system that I will naturally follow. I need a basic routine using the information I’ve gained from personal insight and barriers to success, based on the success of others, and simple enough to be followed CONSISTENTLY. To find this system, I opted to review previous posts to find direction.
In my prior post on “Body Language and Life’s Unknowns” I discussed the idea of listening to your internal voice; each day while conducting therapy I encourage people to trust their instincts. Often our bodies and our minds can act as a compass and help us get back on our path/plan. Even if your body is silent, someone else has undoubtedly created a system before you; find out and use it as a starting point. The biggest thing to creating a plan you will naturally follow is to build in safeguards that encourage you to listen to yourself or others for support. Without this, a plan is useless. For example, I pay for a personal trainer not because I don’t know what to do but to be held accountable to a proven system. I have to listen to someone and sometimes get a kick in the behind to stay on course. External accountability can help you develop healthy boundaries to increase your success.
Lastly, remembering our “why” can help us overcome whatever excuses we can come up with in the moment. I also referenced this idea in my first post “Get IT Together Fleming.” Not only was Cole’s “why” inspiring, it pushed me think beyond simply wanting to better myself but how I wanted to make an impact on a wider audience. This why must be so important to you that it is bigger than your distractions; mine is becoming just that. It has become apparent to me that I have most of the skills I’ve needed (a plan, some accountability, and a “why”) to move forward and it took a complete stranger to put it all into place. Thank you Cole Hatter for helping me consider using these ideas as a part of system to move forward with ease.
The key is to follow your system consistently, dodging self-excuses, to see the results of cumulative efforts. This is how you avoid being stuck. Accountability and consistency are what I have been missing for many personal and lifestyle goals. This was the piece of the map that was torn off at the very spot I continue to get distracted by immediate fun, loosing track of the destination. The lack of accountability was my easy way to “just this once” not follow my plan, have loose boundaries, and ultimately get lost. After brief moments of bliss, I always end up walking back to the starting line with my tail between my legs.
I have learned that by integrating knowledge of clear, natural systems for me WITH BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE I can take the road less traveled by daily, and that will make all the difference.
To combat this cycle, I am giving myself one task this week to build an efficient self-system: go to bed at a decent time so I can use my mornings like I want. I know from self-examination and other people’s suggestions that getting things done in the morning that are important to me, like exercise or meditation, can lead to a more peaceful day. My fiancé will help hold me accountable to this plan even when my TV show comes on at 10 PM. My “why” for wanting to develop a daily system is to show others that through simple changes, you can be your authentic self, thus, avoiding unnecessary stress. I’ve seen way to many people be taken captive by this and I’d like to take the road less traveled. At the end of the week, I will evaluate my system for necessary changes.
This journey is gaining momentum. I am thankful for the messages sent to me throughout this process and am looking forward to consistently leisurely mornings, just the way I like them.
Stay Focused on your goals and take risks; with a clear path, maps, and support you can only be detoured if you choose to! What’s your system, how do you plan to hold yourself accountable, and why is it important to you?
* Note about the image above: This was done as an exploratory exercise last year. I am beginning to understand the way to grow up from the little girl trapped in the house, is to take a step forward one day at a time. The consistent effort will lead me beyond my wildest dreams. Hoover over the image for a link to a better view. Thanks for your support.