prepare with intensity…

This time of year I like to reflect on my own objectives and goals and reassess what I need to do by the end of year, both professionally and personally.  One of the principles of 10x leaders in Jim Collins book, Great by Choice, is what he calls “fanatic discipline”.  He provides several excellent examples of people who have exceeded expectations against the odds by preparing with intensity.  I really loved that: preparing with intensity.  I want to strive toward my goals and objectives with such intensity that discipline is not required because I am so committed, so certain of what I need to do to get there.

Having the “fanatic discipline” to make consistent progress towards achieving our objectives means I need to know not only what I want to achieve but exactly what I need to do each day, week, and month to get there.  Here are 3 things I am doing to prepare with intensity toward reaching my own objectives and goals.

1.  I keep my long-term goals in my journal, and reflect on them every few weeks, but have created a worksheet for myself that I review each day that lists only the shorter-term objectives/milestones I have defined.  This keeps me grounded, rather than overwhelmed, because some of my long-term goals are really long-term; if I reflect on the long-term, rather than the short-term every day, I feel overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start.

2.  Over the weekend I review my objectives/milestones and list out what incremental progress I can make on each throughout the week.  I review my plan each morning.  It helps set me up for success each day.  This doesn’t mean I plan out each hour of every day, but it does mean that making incremental progress towards my objectives becomes a priority.  For example, my husband and I have recently started doing yoga to reach a personal goal toward better health.  By reviewing our collective commitments and schedules for the upcoming week, we easily determine if doing yoga in the morning or at night is best on any given day, and we can plan accordingly.  The week doesn’t get away from us without having hit the yoga mat because we are prepared and organized, having made yoga a priority within our busy days.

3.  Intensity means commitment, discipline, and priority.  It means fully understanding why you are doing what you are doing and knowing you are going to have days that you just don’t want to do what you said you would do and you need to stick to it!  But it also means that life happens.  I don’t get too upset if I miss a day or my schedule changes.  I have to be flexible.  I also need to be honest with myself, so if I am just making excuses rather than actually adjusting my day or schedule so that I can still fit my milestones into it, I reflect, I adjust, and I move on.

I am still working on this list!  I am working on preparing with intensity with intensity!  I guess that is something in and of itself.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebehnken/5343485804/

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