How do you feel about what must be destroyed in your life?
This is a question posted by Danielle LaPorte for Desire Map followers. We are starting a book club. Lucky for me – blog post prompts weekly and plenty of people to discuss them with. This question has irked me because I feel inspired and excited about the destruction of several things or parts of my life, but I run into a problem. How do you fully embrace destruction and start acting? Meaning, how to I get down with destruction and start lighting shit on fire?
Sitting in my bed writing this, I look up and it’s glaringly obvious that clutter must be destroyed. There is a lot of crap in this room that needs to be eliminated. It’s like a slap in the face because I realize that I already have an answer to my question. So how do I really feel about what needs to be destroyed in my life? Annoyed. Cleaning house – it isn’t exactly number one on my list of inspiring activities.
So how can I use my excitement about destroying unnecessary crap in my life into action instead of stewing in annoyance? This is the dry part where you have to channel David Allen in order to Get Things Done. Time to enroll in Getting Shit Done (GSD) University (Fist Pound – Shot of Espresso). Put your big girl pants on (or take them off if that makes you more comfortable) and make a concrete list of action specific items only. Here is an example of a bad list:
- Clean Room
- Bike Box Stuff
- Clear Desk
Here is an example of a GSD List:
- Fold clean laundry
- Put shoes in closet
- Vacuum rug
- Sort bike box: throw out crap, organize box and put under bed
- Sort through misc papers: recycle or file
Since these are all actionable items that are relevant to cleaning my room, I may make a GSD Clean Room Project List. It’s useful to make lists based on location, which includes an On the Go or Out and About list that you can reference while you are running errands. Once you begin breaking tasks down into smaller actionable items, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it might be to do them. When I go through this process it becomes glaringly obvious to me where my hang ups are. OH, that’s why I haven’t budged on cleaning my floor: I can’t vacuum until I buy new vacuum bags and I’m really dragging my feet on going to that particular store. No more excuses! Why am I resistant to that? Usually the best answer I can come up with is I don’t feel like it (lazy). Time to kick myself in the ass and get going.
Writing a GSD list helps us become clearer on what needs to be destroyed in our lives. Maybe laziness needs to be dealt with. Or procrastination. Or maybe it’s an opportunity to look at what your priorities are and honor them. Screw the vacuum bags! Sweep the rug. Your time is precious and you would rather spend time reading.
Based on my analysis of destroying clutter, I can see that I need to set aside some time to get started. I like the start small approach and remind myself often that giving a project 5 – 20 minutes a day will get me farther than thinking I have to do it all in one go. I have decided that I want to touch every item in my bedroom and ask if it still needs to be in here. If it doesn’t, I throw it out or give it away. This is just the beginning. Choose one thing and get started. It’s time to turn up the music and get your hands dirty.
What is one thing that needs to be destroyed in your life? How will you get started? Lara@LaraBuelow.com
I am in my first week of being 27 and several people have approached me asking about what goals I am setting for this new year. While I have plenty of things I would like to accomplish, I don’t think that 28X28 is the best structure for my next year of life. I am remembering a conversation with a good friend from a long time ago. I told him that I don’t really care much what happens in my life as long as I am happy. Whatever life throws my way, I hope I can come out the other side, find the important lessons and live a happy life. Even in the face of destruction and cruelty. If I experience the apocalypse, I still want to be capable of happiness.
So, dude that he is, my friend said that’s nice and all, but what do I have to DO in order to feel happy. I believe I fidgeted at the time and shifted around uncomfortably. Yes, this is a good approach, but dammit that means I have lots of unanswered questions. Little did I know at the time, this theory is in the same vein as Danielle LaPorte’s work. I want to FEEL X, so what do I have to DO in order to accomplish X? When I do Y, I feel X. This is exactly what Danielle LaPorte is getting at.
I am 4 days into 27 and I would like to outline a new framework for this year of life.
In order to set meaningful goals for myself, I want to make sure that I am pursuing activities that feed what I want to feel. It is much easier to feel fulfilled when you are clear on the intention behind a goal or activity. Rather than creating an arbitrary list of 28 things I would like to do before my next birthday, I would like to explore how to achieve my core desired feelings through activities each week or month. Since I am not quite sure how this process will unfold, I will have to tailor it as I go along.
For example: I have identified my 5 core desired feelings as: clear, connected, creative, relaxed, and powerful. I can choose to focus on one or two of those feelings in a particular week and do things that feed that feeling. Say I want to feel relaxed. It’s important to reflect on when I have felt relaxed in the past and recognize what makes me feel relaxed now. Then I make a list of things that induce relaxation for me: I feel relaxed when I get important items done early in the day, when I eat meals with friends, when I exercise and when I sleep enough. I feel relaxed when I am clear on my priorities so that I can give each task the time that it needs.
As mentioned in previous posts, I am going to read The Desire Map, and use the book to guide this process. I do have a growing list of goals and am always curious about what other people want to accomplish before they die. As I add things to my list, I ask myself why I want to do that particular thing and what feelings I believe I will get from achieving that task. Here are a few items I’ve come up with:
- Get ride of stuff: clarity, freedom, mobility, focus
- Learn Hootsuite: transferable skills, powerful, contribute, connection
- Surf vacation: relaxed, connection, powerful, mobile, focused
- Write/Blog: connection, contribute, powerful, relaxed, understanding, reflection, commitment
- Make another postcard: creative, connection, powerful, contribute
Using your core desired feelings as a way of setting goals is a great bullshit meter. Are you doing this for yourself or are you doing this because society tells you it’s cool? Are you creating your own path or are you drinking the Kool-Aid? Let’s get real. Happiness might be right around the corner if you check in with your motives.
Can you identify one of your core desired feelings? Is there a major life goal that you have? Shoot me an email and let me know what they are. Lara@LaraBuelow.com
Allow me to put my cards on the table. I never signed up for the Get It Done in 30 challenge. I thought I did, so it wasn’t a complete lie, but it didn’t happen. I was under the impression that I had signed up for their trial run and that I would be part of an experimental group. Well, that was not the case. I realized that I had signed up for notifications and that trials had already happened. I decided that I did not want to pay the $97 or however many dollars it was to participate for August. “Go it alone!” I said. Again. I can tell you right now, I am failing miserably. I doubt I have lost a single pound (probably gained a few after the drinking this weekend), but the lack of a scale and benchmarks are clear signs that I’m not managing or measuring anything! I’ve had several intense conversations about weight and the psychology behind our bodies, but we all know that talk doesn’t make shit happen. I told myself that I would be strict Paleo this month. Can you hear me laughing? If you’ve been reading my blog, you know how much I love to quote Stevo: “We are all Paleo, BUT…” I’m a big butt. I have had my Paleo days this month, but it’s been a pretty weak attempt. The Get It Done in 30 is a great idea because it sets you up with one focus and a support buddy. Trying to accomplish a goal motivated largely by guilt and shame, and accomplish it alone, seems foolish. Fail. Epic fail.
So far, I’ve been unsuccessful because I lied, I didn’t do what I said I would, I didn’t ask for support, and I didn’t measure anything.
This weekend, I watched a video on Marie Farleo’s blog. It is an interview with Steven Pressfield of Turning Pro. The take away is fairly simple, if you are passionate about something, treat it as though you are a professional. If you are serious about something and are committed to improving yourself in that arena then treat it with the same amount of respect and dedication you would your career. The example the author uses is a friend who was determined to become a better golf player. Apparently, she was truly awful. Instead of giving up, she bought herself a nice golf outfit, fancy shoes, some golf clubs and scheduled regular lessons. Dedicated to the cause, she announced that she was going to treat golf as though she were a professional. With consistent practice she worked her way to becoming a skilled golfer.
I would like to start applying this mindset more thoroughly to areas in my own life. It’s a process and I like the idea of growing into this attitude. Specifically, I feel that this has been happening naturally in regards to my writing. Since last September, I have become more dedicated to writing posts at specific times and have treated it as homework and a scheduled activity rather than something that will happen whenever. I even invested in a new computer earlier this year. I have spent many mornings getting up at 5:30am to make sure that I have at least 20 minutes of writing time before going to work. I’ve experimented with posting to this blog once or twice a week. I’ve researched different blog planning tools and have organized writing files on Google Drive. I am learning about social media and blog management tools. On top of that, I am receiving regular emails from some of my favorite blogs and podcasts to keep me in the loop of what is happening in the blogging world. I am hoping that by writing regularly and creating a consistent posting schedule, I will step more into the professional mindset of being a writer.
I tend to see the glass half full, however, I am using this post to illustrate how to recognize failure or where you are falling short and not give up entirely. I have been unsuccessful in behaving like a pro in regards to my blog by not posting yesterday (Monday). For August I told myself I would post twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays. Yesterday came and went. My excuse? I am exhausted. I spent Sunday in Ukiah with some friends after their wedding. This involved going to bed at 1am followed by a 5am wake up time and a 3 hour drive. After work I could barely think straight, so I crawled into bed and passed out at 8. Then I woke up at 2am to pee and haven’t been able to fall back asleep since. FAIL. So here I am, trying to catch up on writing and post some shit before another day passes and I feel even worse. Perhaps the early wake up is a blessing in disguise? Nothing like the wee hours of the morning to get things done.
If I had of acted like a pro, I would have gotten myself to a cafe with free wifi yesterday evening and posted to the blog, come hell or high water. In my mind, professionals don’t dwell on “I don’t feel like it” for very long. I am honestly OK with all the choices I made this weekend, despite exhaustion and crabbiness. I want to be real with myself and recognize where and when I succeed versus when I don’t. There are several goals now that I am certain will not be accomplished by my birthday. I would like to think that opens up the opportunity to focus on one thing and hopefully that one thing makes me feel awesome. Today, that one thing is writing this and publishing it right here.