Remember a couple of weeks ago I asked you to get clear on your one goal for the next ninety days? Well here’s an interesting exercise – play along with me…
Step One: I want you to ask you about your financial goal for the next 12 months.
Your big, amazing, wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could do this, financial goal.
Don’t have one? Let’s get this straight, if you’re in business, knowing how much you want to make is the first step to getting clear on what you’re actually doing this all for.
Write it down. Yes, actually do it – I’ll wait while you get a pen and paper.
Step Two: Now, underneath I want you to write the question ‘why’?
Why is that number the one that you picked? It might be the first number that sprang to mind, but there’s a reason why that number was lurking in your subconscious.
What specifically will that amount of money in your bank account bring you. List it out, line by line. You might find yourself writing ‘a new car’, ‘pay off my debts’, ‘take a training course’ etc.
Step Three: Now underneath that answer I want you to write the question ‘why’? again.
Why do you want the new car? To pay off your debts? Here, write the thing you wanted in Step Three and next to each one the reason why.
What will it bring you? Status? Respect? Security? Love? Freedom? What do you have it mean about you when you have that thing?
Step Four: Now underneath those answers I want you to write the question ‘why’ again. You might find it gets harder. That’s OK. Sit with it a moment and see what comes up.
List out the answers to the last ‘why’ and next to each write what these things will bring you.
Now traditional thinking takes you down the route: “Well that’s great – now how can I most quickly and easily make the money at step one, so that I can get step two, so that I can get/have step three, so that I can get/have step 4?”
For years I spent so much time and energy focusing on the answer to that question.
My diary was filled with to-do’s, I implemented, I achieved step one, it fleetingly got me step two, which kind of got me a bit of step three, and hang on, where was step four?
I reached the financial goal and would you believe after all that time, energy, effort and missed hours with my kids – it didn’t cause step four. I was shocked and to be honest a little devastated. Maybe it was the wrong goal. Maybe it wasn’t a big enough goal.
I must have been doing it wrong.
So then I thought: perhaps a far more efficient use of my time was to shortcut.
What if I actually didn’t need all that money, and I could achieve step two without step one? In fact what if I could get step three without having to do step one or two?
Surely that’s true productivity?
And then then the huge understandfor me was realizing that I already HAD step 4. The only reason I hadn’t realized I had step 4 was all my thinking about steps 1, 2 and 3 had been clouding the very fact that step 4 had been sitting there all along.
I already had it.
When I started the Simplicity Project, it’s name was inspired by Gretchen Rubin, the creator of The Happiness Project. In that book Gretchen shares her journey as she takes on a new project every month in attempt to bring more happiness into her life.
It’s a great model – trying on a new habit or way of thinking consistently for 30 days. Just one. Not trying to change everything at once. But just one. A simple practice in itself.
I don’t have all the answers on the topic of Simplicity. But this is where I share my journey to discover what it could have to offer to a mum and business owner. Each month I’ll share a new resource that has inspired this month’s practice so that you can follow along too if you get inspired to do so.
So for this month, every day I’m going to remind myself of the fact that I already have most of the ‘step four’ things I’ve been searching for all this time. It’s just that their clouded by all the thinking and activity I do trying to ‘get’ them, or just by the habitual thinking that fills most of our days. There’s nothing to actually ‘do’ here each day for me, simply taking some time each day to remind myself.
I’m going to live with this each and every day and share with you each week in October what happens as a result.
I mean, how simple could life be if that were true?
Are you in? If so, let me know below and we’ll start the discussion!!
Recommended resource for October: Michael Neill: The Inside-Out Revolution.
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