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The Push-Pull of Making Changes (And Why Most Never Do)

When you’re trying to make massive changes in your life, whether that be starting to exercise, eating better, doing first things first, or any other kind of change you want to make, there’s something that happens. You get into making the changes, you’re consistent for a few days, and then suddenly… life chaos. Or your car breaks down. Or you get sick. Or you get a hate email.

Or something else bad happens and you think to yourself—I guess I shouldn’t be making these changes. I guess the Universe just doesn’t want me to have the money, the body, the success, the [insert whatever change you’re trying to make].

And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Its unfortunate, but when you’re making big changes, the Universe tests you. To see how bad you really want it. To see how far you’re willing to go. To see how committed you really are to your life being different.

Because most people aren’t. Most people will let tiny little obstacles get in the way and stop them.

Ever since I implemented a major diet change recently, my life has been hell, on and off. Some days are great—everything flows and feels totally aligned. And other days, it’s like I’m trudging through mud, with no end in sight.

And there’s a lot of back-and-forth that goes on. For a while.

Good stuff… not so good stuff… good stuff… not so good stuff… really good stuff… really not so good stuff… really good stuff… Over and over again it goes on like this.

And at every twist and turn you have a choice: to keep going, or to give into the chaos.

When my health took a hit after I implemented my diet change I could have quit. The pain I was going through was almost unbearable. I could have thrown in the towel and decided that I’d just have to eat like shit the rest of my life, because making a change is just too hard and too painful.

When I started (again) on my journey to being consistent, doing what matters and putting first things first, and everything around me started falling apart, I could have quit. I still could quit.

But I won’t.

No matter how hard it gets.

No matter how rough the chaos.

No matter how bad it all feels.

Because I know what’s on the other side when you keep going. I’ve been through up-levels in my life enough times now to know that this is just a phase. And when you make a major life change, chaos always ensues.

Why? Because your reality is shifting, and things that you’re asking for are trying to come to you… but getting those things requires other parts of your life and reality to shift as well.

Example… in August 2015 I started doing a daily mindset practice. It’s the first time in my life I committed to working on my mindset every single day (and I’ve been doing it ever since, minus a handful of days where I fell off). And the week after I’d been totally consistent with everything and was feeling like I’m making progress… I was flat broke and my car got re-poed.

Most people would take that as a sign to quit. As a sign that it’s just not gonna work out and that you’re not meant to have the things you really want.

But I pushed on.

Because even though it looked like my world was falling apart on the outside, I had this feeling deep inside me that everything was gonna be OK. I didn’t how and I didn’t know when, I just knew it was going to happen.

So I kept going. Kept doing my mindset practice.

Not even 24 hours later, I had another car. And within the next 30 days, I made $15,000+ dollars CASH. 

Now imagine if I hadn’t kept going. Imagine if I’d said, this isn’t working and gave up. Imagine if I’d let the chaos and the nonsense I was seeing in my reality stop me.

Where would I be if I’d done that?

Definitely not where I am right now, running a thriving business that grows every month and makes an incredible impact in the world.

So this week, when all the typical signs of a massive up-level have been showing up in my life again… hate emails, feeling like shit, arguing with people close to me, things I’m looking forward to getting canceled or rescheduled… I have to throw logic to the wind and continue on.

And let me just say… it’s NOT FUCKING EASY to do this!! 

This week, for example, I had an appointment to get a massage. Something I’ve been treating myself to once a month as part of taking better care of myself and my health. But on Sunday, I got an email… they had to cancel my appointment for Monday because my massage therapist was sick.

Fine. I call and reschedule for Wednesday morning. Show up to the place on Wednesday morning… they don’t have an appointment for me in the system. HUH???

So I reschedule AGAIN and the customer service manager gives me 30 minutes free on my rescheduled appointment as an apology for messing up so badly this week. And then I get back out to my car, and the car parked next to me has the numbers 777 in the license plate. (77 and 777 are my angel numbers that show up for me ALL the time to tell me that I’m in the right place, I’m doing the right things and I just need to keep going.)

It’s like a wink from the Universe. It’s like the Universe is saying, I know things don’t make a lot of sense right now, but keep trusting and keep taking action. 

So even though I’m extremely pissed off at this point and I’m fucking DONE with this week and just want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and not come back out ’till next Monday, I keep going anyhow. I get home from trying to go to my appointment, and I write this post.

After I finish writing this, I will go to the gym, and burn off some of the anger. Because I know that even if my reality looks like a shit-show right now, something amazing is on the horizon.

And to get there, I just have to keep going. 

That is the push-pull of making changes in your life. Of taking things to a whole new level. Of bringing your dream life to reality.

And most people can’t handle it. Most people will hit one obstacle or challenge and they’ll quit and they’ll tell themselves it’s not worth it and they can’t do it. Believe me, I’ve thought about it. Many, many times.

Thought about what my life would be like if I hadn’t kept going… if I don’t keep going now. If I decide to call it quits and zone out with Netflix and junk food for the rest of my life.

The phrase, “just fucking quit” has been running through my mind for weeks now.

And yet I’m still moving forward. Still working on my food and fitness changes, still committed to doing what matters every day and doing it first things first.

At this point, nothing will stop me. No matter how bad it gets. Because I know it’s all temporary, and a brand new shiny, sparkly reality is on its way to me. 

But when you ask the Universe for something new, for something bigger than you’ve allowed yourself to ask for previously, your physical reality has to shake up. It has to. There’s no way around it.

Because the old can’t exist with the new. And the Universe is always rearranging itself based on your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and the things that you’re asking for. 

And if you can just stay focused on that fact, and keep moving forward, even though everything is falling apart around you and even though you think you should quit and even though you’re fighting with every ounce of your being to not quit… you will succeed.

There’s no way around it. It’s inevitable.

Because the ONLY WAY you won’t get what you want or where you want to go, is if you stop. 

You have a choice in every single moment, to just keep going. To let the life chaos be there and do the work anyhow. To let hell rain down upon you and to continue on.

That is the choice I’m making. It’s the choice I make every single day. And it’s always the choice I will make. Even when it’s hard. Even when it’s easy. Even when it feels fucking impossible. 

It’s the only way.

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

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How do you keep pushing forward when life chaos happens? Share in the comments. 

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So often when people sign up for workshops they immediately find that life chaos gets in the way of them doing the work and finishing. I’ve been teaching workshops for 5+ years now and I see it every single time, without fail. Some people just stop doing the work and you never hear from them again. Others try to weasel their way out with excuses and BS.

But the ones who show up fully and do the work ALWAYS achieve the results they set out to. 

Which is why I’ve designed my upcoming workshop, Write and Publish Your Nonfiction eBook in 10 Days, as a step-by-step process, so that you don’t get overwhelmed and even if life chaos does happen (‘cause let’s face it—it’s going to), you can still make the time to complete each day’s activities.

This is a fast-paced, no-excuses, take-fucking-action workshop that will help you go from idea in your head to published eBook on Amazon. 

If you’re ready for the ride of your writing life… then let’s do this!!

>> Details and sign up here

Are You Suffering From “Carry-Over Tasks” Syndrome?

I noticed something last Sunday, when I was writing out my list of calls and must-do tasks for the week to come: I had a lot of “carry-over” tasks. Things I wrote down as needing to be done last week, but then here I was going into the next week and those tasks were still there.

And this happens with some of my goals as well. As I look back I see I had years of my life where the same goals were carrying over from December to January, over and over again. (Things like, writing and publishing a novel, for example.)

Maybe you can relate?

After months and/or weeks of carrying tasks and goals over, it kinda makes you stop and think… why am I doing this? If I’m so convinced these tasks or goals are important enough for me to keep carrying them over from the previous year or week, why haven’t I managed to complete any of them?

If you’re having the same experience, it’s time to get real with it. There are two things potentially causing this problem.

The Root Cause of Carry-Over Tasks

There are two main reasons you have carry-over goals (or tasks):

  1. Resistance–you know this is a super important task that could move you forward in a big way, so you avoid it by filling your day with meaningless tasks that keep you spinning on a hamster wheel
  2. You’re “Shoulding” Yourself–the tasks or goals are on your list because you think you should be doing them, not because you actually want to do them.

So, which is it for you? 

Resistance

For me, it’s always Resistance. I’ve come to a place in my life where I no longer “should” myself into goals or tasks I don’t want to do. I am clear, focused and have a vision for my life and writing business.

But I do have a ton of Resistance, especially to the tasks and goals I know will help me make major progress. And in case you’re not familiar with the term, Resistance was coined by Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art. He defines it as: the internal avoidance of your creative work. Because you’re trying to avoid a calling that you feel inside, you create chaos in your life or make excuses.

When I find myself watching too much Netflix, having too many days (or–gulp–weeks) where my tasks are carrying over, or am overindulging in sugary, processed foods….I know that I’m Resisting my creative work. It’s tough to look at, because then you have to admit how much the creative work really matters to you and how afraid you feel inside, and that’s why you’re avoiding it.

Or at least that’s how it goes for me.

The good thing with being in the creative game this long now is I can recognize my Resistance in-action and usually stop it and start moving in the opposite direction pretty quick. But there are those occasions where I’ll get totally caught up in it. Usually when I’m overthinking something instead of just taking action on it.

Shoulding Yourself

The other option, is that you’re not Resisting anything, you’re just shoulding yourself into tasks and goals that don’t really matter to you. So that’s why you’re avoiding them.

If you’ve been telling yourself that you “have” to do something and yet that something never seems to get done, it’s time to call that task (or goal) into question. You need to ask yourself:

  • Do I really care about completing this task or goal?
  • Why do I feel this task or goal needs to be on my to-do list?
  • What is the purpose of this task or goal (as in, how will it move you forward)?

You’ll know from your responses whether or not you’re shoulding yourself. If you are, it’s time to stop that shit, pronto.

How To Overcome Carry-Over Tasks Syndrome

Alright, now that you’ve identified which category your carry-over tasks fall into, it’s time to remedy it. Luckily, the remedy is the same for both, so even if you could’t identify with one or the other, it will still work for you:

  1. Prioritize–it’s time to accept that you can’t do it all and by having so many carry-over tasks, more important stuff could be falling by the wayside. It’s time for you to prioritize your top 5 and top 10 (which is the top 5 plus 5 more) tasks that need to be done to move you forward, in your writing life and your life in general.The top 5 are the most important priorities, the things you must do every single day, no matter what. And then the additional 5 (rounding out the top 10), are things that it would be awesome to get done. You’re not allowed to work on the top 10 until the top 5 are done for the day. (I made a video explaining this way of prioritizing here.)

    By knowing what your top priorities are and focusing on them, you’ll find yourself making progress each day, week, month, year, and not having carry-over tasks that do nothing to add value to your life or your writing.

  2. Go Pro In Your Mind–Steven Pressfield says the cure for Resistance is “turning pro,” which means showing up and acting like a pro would. I like to think about this as more of a mindset shift. You have to start thinking the way a pro would and when you do that, the actions will automatically follow.For example, a pro shows up every day and writes, even if she’s not inspired. A pro finishes and publishes, then repeats the process again. A pro accepts that life will always get in the way, and she finds a way to get her writing done anyhow.

    An amateur lets the little things distract  or get in the way. An amateur makes excuses for why the writing didn’t happen.

    If you want to do this for real, you’ve gotta go pro in your mind. You’ve gotta have a Pro Writer Mindset that thinks–and then acts–from a place of already being the writer and author you want to be.

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Which of the two categories–Resistance or Shoulding yourself–is responsible for your carry-over tasks? 

If you’re ready to go pro and step up into a Pro Writer Mindset and way of being, be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability and kick-ass motivation support group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs who want to make writing their life. 

Image courtesy of Banalities

 

Are You A Creator Or A Consumer? (The Answer May Surprise You)

As a writer, you probably read that headline and thought, “I’m a creator.”

But are you really?

And the way to tell is to ask yourself two questions: do I create more than I consume? Or, do I consume more than I create?

My guess is, you’re consuming a whole lot more than you’re creating.

Consuming means you’re taking things in–reading books, watching TV shows or movies, going to live events or spending every night stuffing your face with food before you go to bed.

Consuming. Taking things in, but not putting anything back out.

Creating is a whole other thing.

Creators create. They are constantly putting new stuff out there–ideas, projects, books, art, music, whatever.

As a writer–and especially as a writer who wants to be a pro author–you have to be creating more than you’re consuming. 

We’re all born with innate creativity. But if you don’t use your creativity and creative gifts on a regular, consistent basis, they lose their effectiveness. And eventually you’ll find yourself in your mid-50s feeling like you don’t have a creative bone in your body.

And that’s not true. You do have a creative bone. Lots of them.

But you gotta use them. You’ve gotta use your creativity as much and as often as possible.

You must commit to being a creator, and to creating more than you consume.

This was a tough one for me. Back in 2008 when I officially started my novel-writing journey, I was definitely consuming WAY more than I was creating.

Back then I spent most of my days and nights watching endless shows on HGTV and Food Network. Telling myself I wanted to write and even that I would write… but first I had to watch Rachel Ray or House Hunters or whatever stupid show was on.

And then the writing never happened. (Or happened very little in comparison.)

Now don’t get me wrong–there’s nothing wrong with consuming. After all, as writers, we need consumers, otherwise who will read what we put out there?

But there has to be a balance between consuming and creating, and more of the weight needs to fall on the creating side.

Today, I definitely create more than I consume (but I could still use to consume less and create even more, as I’m pretty addicted to Netflix).

That’s the whole point of being a writer. Of being an author. Of being someone who’s great with words.

The sad thing is, way too many writers are out there calling themselves writers or telling people they want to write book (or that they are writing a book), but then most of their free time is spent consuming. Reading books or streaming Hulu, while dreaming about the stories living inside them that they want to write, but haven’t yet.

And a good majority of those writers never will.

They’ll never step up and do what it takes to be the creators they dream of being. Because they’re too busy hiding their heads in the sands of media, news, Facebook, Netflix and whatever other mindless dribble is coming out of their electronics.

They’re too busy Resisting the writing dreams that live inside them and procrastinating on taking action. They’re too busy telling themselves that they’ll start tomorrow or next week or next month, once their circumstances change a bit or when their lives are less chaotic. (Which will never happen, by the way.)

Look, we all go through this at some point. No one is above it. Resistance and procrastinating are a part of the creative process at times.

But the real trouble happens when you don’t do anything about it. When you just keep Resisting and keep procrastinating, never actually creating anything you want to create. (Trust me, I know. There was a time in my writing life when I actually avoided doing the work by getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing the bathroom floor with a sponge–and I HATE cleaning!)

That’s over for me now. I’m all in. I’m game on. I’m on fire with a passion for writing and for creating and getting my ideas out into the world on a regular basis.

Now that’s not to say that I don’t have moments of Resistance and procrastination still (I totally do and probably always will. I am the original Procrastinating Writer).

But I’ve transitioned to the next level in my writing life. I’m a published author (6 books and counting–my new one comes out next week!).

I’m on a mission. A mission to use up everything that’s inside me, so when I leave this world I can feel 100 percent like I accomplished everything I came here to, and then some.

I refuse to live with regrets. Ever.

And, well, when you don’t get your writing out there; when you make Netflix and reading other people’s books more important than creating and putting your own ideas and stories out into the world, that’s when you’re setting yourself up for regrets.

Major regrets.

Because while you can have it all, you won’t be able to when your ass is planted on the couch in front of the TV. Or when you’ve got a stack of books a mile high to read, meanwhile your own book is collecting cobwebs on your laptop or–even worse–inside your head.

Having it all means taking action. It means showing up and doing the work. It means making your writing, your stories and what you want to create MORE IMPORTANT than all the books, TV shows, movies, music and what not that you want to consume.

There has to be a balance. And in my opinion, that balance needs to fall heavier on the creation side than the consume side.

That’s why I created the Bestselling Author Mastermind group–because I want you to stop making the bullshit stuff that you consume on a daily basis more important than doing your writing and getting your ideas and stories out into the world.

This mastermind is accountability and productivity at a whole new level. We’re doing daily check ins–so you can see progress a whole lot faster (or see where you’re totally not doing the work and need to step up).

And I’m in the trenches with you, doing my writing and getting it out into the world.

I’m a big fan of leaders who lead from the trenches. Who get down and dirty with the people they’re leading. Who are totally transparent and show you the truth of what it really takes to be successful–no BS, no rose-colored glasses.

Who step up and prove the things they preach. Who put into daily practice the things they teach. And who are willing to get vulnerable and share it all–the good and the bad.

That’s what makes a revolutionary leader in my mind. And that’s what I want to be.

A revolutionary leader who helps emerging novelists step up, claim their writing dreams and then take action to make it happen. I want to be the reason more stories get out into the world.

Stories that never would’ve seen the light of day without me.

That’s what the Bestselling Author Mastermind group is all about. Action. Progress. Giving up the BS that holds you back. Committing to your writing dream. Being willing to do whatever it takes.

And creating more than you consume.

If you’re ready for that level of accountability, productivity and creation, I’d love for you to join us. Learn more about the Bestselling Author Mastermind here.