Someone says, “I know my purpose,“ and then follows it with the question, “What steps can I take to ensure I live out that purpose?” Good question! People often question how they will keep going when the road is long. Passion is a key ingredient, but it may not be enough to get to the finish. What else can help? Certain tools and disciplines can set one up for success which include:
- Flexing the “no” muscle. Many people are either excited to be involved in everything or feel guilty in saying no when asked to help. Great leaders are comfortable saying no, because saying yes would dilute their valuable resources of time and money. They honor themselves by saying no to anything that distracts them from achieving their purpose. Take inventory and decide whether there are any “yes” items that need to move to the “no” list.
- Creating the space for re-energizing activities. When thinking about a schedule, one should plan for recreational activities. Leaders need time to relax to recharge their batteries. Some need a big dose of quiet time with a good read, others need time to socialize with friends, and still others need gym time.
- Planning and practicing time management. Once the “yes” list is honed and prioritized, one should create a calendar with sufficient time mapped for those activities that re-energize and achieve purpose. If a schedule cannot accommodate all “yes” activities, the forced rank list should help one decide which items need to move to the “no” list. This iterative calendar exercise provides objective clarity so one does not over-schedule and dilute focus.
- Surrounding oneself with positive influences. Attitudes and words are powerful in how they can either uplift or drain energy. Driving on purpose requires high levels of sustained energy; therefore, leaders invite positive and encouraging people into their circle of influence.
- Choosing a coaching partner. Professional coaches help clients stay accountable to their goals. When life continues to put pressure to say “yes,” when calendars get too full, when recreational activities are squeezed, and when one needs encouragement, a coach is there for support.
Anything worth doing has never been easy. Easy comes through self-discipline and leaning on external resources that align with purpose. Self-discipline is a muscle to be flexed, and it strengthens through continued exercise.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help organizations engage all its employees. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com.