Yep, my family is a bit football crazy. Growing up in Colorado where our lives revolved around sports and the outdoors gave me an early love for athletics, not to mention competition. I have fond memories of watching football with my parents. I loved how my dad thought they could hear him as he shouted to the tv and how my parents danced together after touchdowns!
There is a football player in our city who draws big crowds at games. He is phenomenal! He led his team to the State Championship last year largely due to his skills. My son and I frequently talk about his style, technique and form. This player knows how to hold the ball, run the plays, move his hips, but the key...the secret...is his ability to keep the momentum.
When his opponents are trying to tackle him, he never stops moving his feet. He is constantly moving....momentum! You'll see him enter a mass of opponents trying to tackle him, and out he comes, and there he goes. Score!
Sometimes we need to first slow down in order to excel. Clarity is key. This means gathering our intentions, making a plan, and a system of how to execute that plan without having to stop.
Let's head into the fall of 2010 by gathering our desires and intentions so we too can gain some momentum for our most important season for sales and promotion as artists.
7 Ways to Gain Momentum
1) Meditate and Get Clear
Just spending 20-30 minutes sitting quietly and allowing yourself to focus on you, without thinking about kids, laundry, bills, groceries etc. Take time to put pen to paper asking yourself what is my intention this fall. What do I really want for myself and my business? Write down any desires and ideas you might have for things you'd like to accomplish in the next 4 months. Write down anything that comes to mind. There is no limit. You can always edit later. Do a complete mind dump.
Decide which items on your list are things you really want to accomplish this Fall. Remember it's only 4 months, and 2 of them have major holidays that will take time away from anything on your goal list. Pick your top 3-5 goals and make them as specific as possible. Keep it doable!
3) Mind map out your goals
Mind mapping is a great technique and if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. Simply start with one of the desires or goals you wrote down. Write this in the center of a large piece of paper and put a circle around it. Then write the major categories of tasks that will be required to accomplish the goals around that stated goal. Then branch off spokes of those action steps to further bubbles of action steps. Keep breaking it down to bite size action steps.
Studies show that the connection to the subconscious is through the right side of the brain which thinks in pictures. So as you sketch out your map, include as many pictures and drawings as possible. Cut them out from magazines if needed.
4) Do a Time Audit
Spend a week writing down how you spend your time. At the beginning of every hour write down how you spent the previous hour. Be honest and include all internet surfing, phone calls, unnecessary errands, etc. At the end of the week, take a good look at how you spent your time. It'll be an eye-opener. I bet you'll find the Pareto Principal in effect. This means you spend about 20% of your time producing 80% of your success.
5) Identify bad habits
Now that you've done a self-assessment, what would you be able to accomplish if you took more of that wasted time and spent it on activities that truly served your goals?
90% of our behavior is habit. So if we identify our bad habits, and we decide what's unacceptable, we can make a concerted effort to change those bad habits. We can choose to change or alter our bad habits.
For example, if I want to work out everyday, then I need to go to bed one hour earlier to compensate for getting up earlier. That means I need to give up that silly hour of needless drama on Bravo tv, from 10-11pm. If I really want to watch it, that's what the DVR is for and weekends or free time.
I also used to worry about missing a customer's email. So I'd check it every 10-15 minutes. This was a disruptive habit. I would stop and handle it right away as if it was a crisis. I was always in reaction mode. I realized, after reflection, that it took me longer to get back to the flow of my "genius" work and often I couldn't be creative.
So I set up systems or scheduled times that I am able to check my email. I then do batch all my replies during that time. This leaves me with some extra time during the day and less mistakes to fix.
6) Set a schedule and make systems
The key to success is scheduling your time. We creative types dislike schedules. We tend to want to go with the flow of things, but this can lead you off your action steps and onto other things that waste your time.
If you want to create everyday, do this first thing in the am or after working out. Once you start working on email, paperwork, bills, etc, your left brain is engaged. It's really hard for it to let go and let your right brain have it's creative time.
Also try working in 40-50 minute segments starting at the beginning of the hour. This is uninterrupted time, dedicated to whatever action step you are working on. Set a timer and when it goes off you can then return calls, emails, check facebook, get a drink, and stretch your legs. You'll be amazed how much clarity you'll have and how much you get done when you are working with systems!
7) Keeping your eye on the prize
Celebrate each success! I have an employee that walks through our warehouse exuberantly exclaiming yippee after actions are completed. At first it was surprising, but we all quickly learned to love it. For one it raises everyone's spirits. It makes you smile. We often associate negative emotions with mistakes, but we don't celebrate enough the small or even medium size achievements. Associate emotions with completed actions no matter how big or small.
Surround yourself with anything that reminds you of your success. This could be awards, a chart showing your sales each month, hits to your site, increased bank account, new customers or galleries, etc.
Make an inspiration board. This is also called a vision board or treasure map. Cut out pictures of things you want to accomplish, inspiring words, places you want to go, etc. Put this in a prominent place so you can see it everyday. We are visual and it's a great reminder....keeping our eye on the prize!
Tonya Davidson is an artist, entrepreneur, coach and mentor. She helps other artists better their techniques and business skills by empowering them to live creatively from the inside out. Her ezine goes out to over 11,000 subscribers. If you want to learn to create a life you love, sign up for a FREE subscription at http://wholelottawhimsy.com. Be sure to check out her blog at www.tonyadavidson.com for more articles like this one.