I have a secret weapon that I use to help me get things done, especially those things I don’t want to do or feel like doing. And I use this same secret weapon to keep my attention focused on what I need to be focused on rather than some “shiny object” that catches my attention at the moment. It’s basically nothing more than a reward system for good behavior, but it works for me.
By the time I left my other “real” job, I had put on 50-60 lbs from working two full time jobs for so long, eating every meal out, not sleeping properly and generally just not taking care of myself because I didn’t have the time. After I left my other “real” job, I was able to lose 30 lbs pretty rapidly by incorporating healthy habits into my life and doing the Weight Watchers program. One of the hardest changes for me was making myself drink lots of water – boring! I never drank water. And worse than that, I constantly drank caffeine which dehydrates your body even further.
Anyone that knows me, knows my biggest weakness is an ice cold fountain diet soda from QT (a local gas station). I absolutely love them! That weakness didn’t just go away because I wanted to lose weight. Instead, I used that weakness as a reward. I made myself drink lots and lots of water before lunch and as a reward for doing that, I get a QT soda with my lunch. Here’s a before and after picture of my weight loss. It’s tough to share the pictures with you but at the same time, I knew when I took that “before” picture that I’d be using it to compare with an “after” picture. (You know how professional organizers love before and after pics!)
I’m using this same reward technique to keep myself motivated to write my book. I’ve had a book inside of me for years (I blogged about it here) but I never had the time to write it. It’s full of lots of useful information that I think will really help people declutter, get organized and take back control of their lives. But now I’m distracted from that book by my strong desire to get started on the Modern Day Noah book that lives within me. Writing it is all I can think about. So once again, I am using that strong desire to write Modern Day Noah to keep me motivated to finish my first book. I’ve made a deal with myself that I cannot start writing Modern Day Noah until I finish my other book first. This has helped me to stay focused on writing it and keeping it a priority because I know my reward will be that I get to share another very important story.