You become great by building an ecosystem that supports that skill.
It can apply to all facets of life.
When I started CrossFit I would’ve had average results if I solely focused on lifting weights.
I had to create a Morning Routine.
I had to create a Bedtime Routine.
I had to have a beginner learner mindset.
I had to prepare for the day ahead better.
I had to change what I ate during the day.
I had to change when I ate during the day.
I had to show up on the days I didn’t feel like it.
These new foundations in my life, that never existed before, were created.
I wouldn’t be close to what I have achieved if they hadn’t been.
This applies to the skill or activity you are learning.
Have you built the ecosystem to support your endeavor?
If not, what habits can you add or eliminate today to support it?
Now is never a bad time to start.
Showing Up Is Half The BattleBrian Ondrako2023-06-23T09:39:03-04:00
Water is just water. Until it gets hot enough and starts to boil. It’s still water but now it’s boiling hot and creating a new, gaseous state that wasn’t there before.
We don’t know exactly when because there are many factors to get it to the exact temperature. It depends on the amount of water, the consistency of the heat applied, and outside factors (like salt).
But, at some point, when the conditions are right, it boils.
The same can be true for the work we want to put out in the world. It never gets noticed, picked up, or becomes helpful to us or others until we actually create it, consistently, over time and put energy or “heat” into the process.
We have to be willing to endure the long arduous process of creating with nothing happening. Sometimes, it can be like watching water boil.
But, like the water, we have to be willing to stay consistent and wait it out. We have to be willing to believe that the generous work we are giving to the world will be noticed and appreciated.
When the conditions are right, our time will come.
We may not know the exact time but we’ll be ready.
I enjoyed writing for many years and would normally write in journals or random blog articles from time to time. The content structure and topics changed over time but similar messaging was at its core.
Positive Mindset. Consistency. Action. Progress.
A little over a year ago, leading into April 2021, I made a decision. I was a few years into my Just Get Started Podcast and loved doing the show and wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. But those are longer-form interviews. I wanted another medium to share my thoughts, my voice, and my perspective. Blogging, and really “micro-blogs”, were something I enjoyed. Something about dispelling a message into as few words as possible and making it relatable and enjoyable (and a little vulnerable) was intriguing to me.
So I made a commitment.
Launch a blog article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. I knew it was going to add some more time to my plate but it was important for me with where I wanted to go and the message I wanted to share with the world.
The message above all else is to Just Get Started.
I’m proud to say that after 12 months and over 140 blog articles later we are back in the month of April, a full year after beginning this project. I am more excited than ever to keep writing and sharing these stories and observations and I hope they have been valuable to you.
We don’t know what will happen or how it might impact us but if we believe in something or find a purpose in pursuing a meaningful project then we have to take the steps to get started and keep moving forward. Consistent action over and over again works.
Too many times I’ve sat on the sidelines and wondered and wished and never just did.
It may not work out as we want it to or we might pivot to something else but we don’t know that at first. All we know is that we want to do it.
So go do it. The only thing holding us back is ourselves.
I’ve been in the position where I sat on the sidelines because I was scared to get in the game. I didn’t believe I could do it. We all feel that from time to time. It’s when we realize that it doesn’t actually matter if we believe we can do it or not and what matters is that we try and we build on it from there. We take a leap of faith. We become brave.
Confidence breeds confidence. You only get that from being in the game and being a part of the action.
So, go do it. Whatever it is that you want to do. Start small if you want. But just start.
Whether you succeed or fail never matters, it’s that you can look back at some distant point from the future and be proud of yourself that when your number was called you suited up and checked into the game.
You weren’t going to miss this opportunity.
A Full Revolution Begins with One MotionBrian Ondrako2022-07-29T17:26:12-04:00
Tony Horton is the wildly popular creator of the most successful fitness program in America, P90X®. Tony is a world-class motivational speaker and the author of top-selling books “Bring It, Crush It!” and “The Big Picture.” He’s appeared on countless television programs as a fitness and lifestyle expert to promote healthy living through exercise and proper nutrition. Tony’s supplement line, Power Life, is part of his new fitness brand, “Power of 4 by Tony Horton” — a four-part approach to wellness including fitness, supplements, nutrition, and mindfulness.
We actually don’t need to make monumental big changes. That’s a common misconception.
It’s the small changes that matter. The ones that are incremental and barely even scratch the surface. The ones that almost no one would notice if they looked at us or our work.
The ironic thing is that’s how big moments happen. From very small, microscopic adjustments over a long period of time.
That’s the only way true change can happen. It has to become part of us. We have to rewrite our DNA, in a way.
That takes time. It’s okay that it takes time. We just have to be prepared for the long haul. We may not be able to see the impact early on but we have to trust it’ll have a monumental effect on our life.
We have to believe it to be true and keep progressing one small step at a time.
They may be consistently inconsistent but that’s still being consistent.
Mostly, the word consistency gets spoken about in a positive light. “Someone is consistent with doing X.”
However, we can be consistent at being rude, consistent at never returning messages, consistent at showing up late for every meeting, etc.
I created a simple formula to articulate it more and how to determine if we can change it or not.
Consistency = patterns / priority
What patterns have we established that are tried and true and won’t change without a ton of work? Think about what our friends or colleagues are “known” for. What labels can we put on them? Those are their patterns.
What are we known for?
Now, people can change. It’s true. And that is where priority comes in. The patterns never change until the priority level rises.
Once we can reprioritize what is important then we have the opportunity to alter our patterns and build consistency with new habits or routines.
That’s the only way it works.
It starts from the inside. From the belief that we can change and we want to change. Whatever the motivator it generally won’t matter until we make the tough decision to prioritize first.
When it has more priority it gets done. It gets focused on. There is a chance it can change.
But, let’s not forget. Consistency isn’t always good if it’s for the wrong things. If we prioritize things that are unhealthy or detrimental to our life then it can work in the other direction as well.
We have to continually focus on managing our priority list and making the most important things higher. We have to build better routines and habits off of those priorities. We have to be consistently good at sticking to those newly formed habits to create change.
That change can build a new foundation for us. One we can build consistent patterns off of going forward.
By creating this avenue for change, we have a better chance to become the person we want to become and it can help us change the “labels” that society puts on us, especially if we don’t agree with them.
Hi! I’m Kate Kordsmeier. I’m a writer, educator, creative entrepreneur. I live in Atlanta with my husband, Matt, our two kiddos, Jackson and Gemma, and our 3 fur babies, Scout, Boo, and Finch (yes, like the book!).
I left my flourishing freelance writing career (my byline has appeared in over 125 magazines) to start a holistic wellness blog, Root + Revel, which became a multi-six-figure business!
I now teach other heart-centered online entrepreneurs how to monetize their blog or online business with sustainable tactics – no burning out, no selling your soul – through my two courses The Six-Figure Blog Academy and 21 Days to Impact.
I am also the host of the Success with Soul podcast, and the group coaching program, the Success with Soul Incubator.
Anyone that strives for any sort of happiness or a life of fulfillment, whatever that means for you, has to go through the hard struggle that never comes easy and it also never comes fast.
We are trained to set goals for ourselves and visions of the future, which can be good in a way. But, if we are not careful, they can also become a detriment to our daily practice and consistency.
We can get so focused on the big picture and feel like we are so far away from it that it can actually discourage us from making progress. We might feel that a small project we are doing today isn’t as important so we put it off. Hours turn into days, days into weeks, weeks into months. We never actually get around to doing that thing.
Trying to achieve a big dream is like cutting the grass on a football field with a pair of kids’ scissors. You can grind through a day and not make any headway at all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.
Each obstacle we run into, each moment of despair, and each roadblock are all opportunities to get creative and look at the problem in a new way, maybe a different way than we’ve ever considered. This enlightenment could be the very catalyst that creates a new path of learning and propels us forward more quickly than before.
It’s rarely the accomplishments that advance us the most. We need to get comfortable with riding on the struggle bus and relish all of the opportunities of learning that come with that process.
Remember, it’s not the destination but the path that got us there that ends up being the most rewarding.
It’s hard to argue that consistency is one of the key ingredients to accomplishing anything. If we don’t put in the time and energy into something for an extended period of time then there can’t be expectations that “success” will be achieved.
However, we have to keep in mind that as the days, weeks, and months pass we are growing and changing and so too should our investment in our awareness and how we continue to adjust the navigation points toward our future.
We must continue to review our work at various checkpoints throughout the journey to make sure we are still proud of what we have put out into the world and that it is continually leading us toward our North Star.
Just saying we’ve started something and have kept it going for an extended period of time does nothing if it is not providing us the value it once did.
Consistency is only good if we keep adapting and adjusting the finish line to keep up with the ever-changing course of life. If we are doing the same things we were doing a few years ago then it may be a good time to assess the “why” and alter the navigation to point in a newer direction which might lead to much more prosperity and happiness in our lives.
Month 5 of my Dozen Months of Discovery is finishing up today and my challenge for this month was to write one blog article a day for the entire month of May, 31 days to be exact. As I write this post, this will be my final one of the month and I thought to share a few things I’ve learned throughout the month.
There are many people who write blog posts daily and have for years, for them this achievement is fairly pedestrian. I was originally going to learn the keyboard for this month but after a conversation in April with a friend and talking about sharing more of my message online, it became clear that a challenge like this would be good for me. I haven’t been consistent sharing my voice online besides my Podcast, which is mostly geared toward guest interviews. The written word is still very important on the internet and since I hadn’t blogged consistently in the past couple of years (5-10 posts a year), I wanted to challenge myself to get into a headspace where I can articulate my ideas into text and have to think through things more slowly versus just spitting off thoughts in my head while recording an audio Podcast.
With that, here are a few things I took away from the month:
Consistency is still the most important
This word has continued to pop up every month of the Dozen Months of Discovery and is a constant message shared with guests on the Just Get Started Podcast. Doing something once or twice is nice but putting the time and energy in to continually accomplish something takes more than just momentum; it takes discipline, prioritization, and grit. Whether it is a week, month, or longer or a different interval of time (launching a Podcast episode weekly), being focused on never missing this helps build the foundation to future success. One of the most glaring differences between anyone who achieved anything is putting in the work over an extended period of time. That has to be part of the equation.
You get better by practicing
Different than consistency, simply putting time into practicing something you are not great at improves that overall skill but it might help build others as well. For instance, I am not a great writer by any stretch but making a point to write every day helped improve my sentence structure, grammar, messaging, and most importantly my creativity. My writing has improved, even if just incrementally, but my creativity and observations flying around in my head were able to be articulated in a different way by making myself have to go through this daily practice. So keep practicing areas you are weak at. You don’t need to practice all of your weaknesses but weaknesses that might be essential to your overall growth, like writing, was something important for me to focus on.
Prioritize & Strategize
I’ve discussed the importance of prioritization before and when you have a challenge like this or anything that is important at the given time you have to make sure you understand where it falls on the priority list. It doesn’t have to be #1 but if this goal, however long, is important then you need to make sure it’s a priority or it’ll fall off early on when other “cool” things pop up and you’ll lose steam. Secondly, once you’ve recognized your priorities and have them listed, you need to strategize how you are going to fit them in during the day. Some days, I wrote my blog articles first thing in the morning while others I wrote right before bed at night. There are always a lot of balls to juggle each day and if you can think through what you’d like to get accomplished and the time it might take then you can make a simple to-do list to get these things done and block out the right time to do them.
Just Finish It
Everything prior is all leading up to the big takeaway, sometimes you just have to muster up the intestinal fortitude to get through “it” and finish. Some days get away from you and you might be tired but keeping your mind focused that you must keep the streak going can be enough to push you to the finish line. Remember, we all have bad days and we all have days that feel subpar but one of the most rewarding things you can do is finish whatever you had planned even when your tank is on “E”. That energy can propel you for multiple days going forward and be just the thing to pull out of your memory bank the next time you come across a tough timeline or situation and remind yourself that you’ve been here before and you’ve finished the race.
I look back at the past 31 days and it’s cool to see the great content I’ve put together, especially an 8-part series on a sales topic I had thought about writing for a year. Using this month as a motivator, I was able to complete those articles and will now be putting those together along with other content for a new Sales eBook in the coming months. These 31 blog posts may do nothing besides additional content sitting on my website but I take away the fact that I completed another challenge (5 out of 5!) in my Dozen Months of Discovery and can use those experiences for future personal and professional goals I have going forward. Sometimes putting a timeline and line in the sand can be helpful and if you struggle to achieve certain goals you’ve had in the past then maybe this is the time to put that time constraint around it.
Every opportunity is a chance to learn and grow and I hope you’ve continued to do that for yourself this year and will set a new bar for yourself next time with the aspirations of exceeding your expectations once again.
Consistency – conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness.
I’ve put consistency as the last ingredient on the list because it tends to be the final piece that makes all of the rest work together very well. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has had sustained success in anything they do including sales without being consistent in their approach and work ethic.
There are tens of thousands of examples of short term wins by sales reps or maybe even hitting or exceeding their quota in a given year but it is the consistent professional who time after time continues to chop away and stay in the ring long enough to get to the next round. A Rocky metaphor is apropos here. There are always going to be bad months or quarters but when you continue to hone your skills, build up your book of business, and bring the right attitude to your work then you will only continue to succeed.
It is the sales professional who thinks they have figured it out, has a few big whales padding their pipeline, or is arrogant about their current place on the team that ends up getting complacent and ultimately frustrated when others pass them. These are the folks that tend to churn out of organizations at around the 9-15 month mark when their “ramp” is over and they’ve been found out by the rest of the team.
Consistency allows you to do a few things:
Build Repeatable Systems
Having systems that you can go back to over and over again can only be useful when you are consistent in the way you work both internally and with potential clients. If you continually do a lot of the same things and build repeatable processes behind those then that can ultimately help you carve out some of that wasted time mentioned above. Repeatable systems might be crafting similar email templates that you can customize on the fly, document client information the exact same way (I used OneNote and the Description section in my specific Opportunity), or can ask similar/specific questions in client interactions. This helps make sure you are working toward the partnership in the right way versus missing key information from one call to the next. Building these types of consistent systems in place can do wonders for your productivity and partnership discussions
Create Sound Habits
When you are organized in your efforts and understand how your week generally flows it helps you put up barriers to corner your time and not let the “time robbers” get in the way of it. When you focus like this great habits start to take form like proper time for “pipeline hygiene”, prospecting time, administrative work, and ultimately more time to spend in front of potential clients working through great partnerships. Habits take time to build but if you put the right systems in place and then focus on how to tackle those and what new habits can help achieve better results like task lists, blocking time, batching emails, etc it all starts to come together nicely.
Keep Ahead of the Game
As I said earlier, you are going to have bad months and quarters (sometimes just bad weeks if you are lucky) but they are inevitable. If you don’t get complacent in your efforts and strive to out-pace projections then this can help set you up for success down the road and not get behind. If you have a few good months and try to coast through the rest of the year you are hurting yourself because since nobody can see the future you can’t predict if some of the partnerships you thought were coming in will actually come to fruition. Get ahead and stay ahead and this can be beneficial in more ways than one.
Consistency tends to get thrown around a lot like a thing that everyone wants to get better at. I believe that building systems to narrow your focus on all the different things you come across in a given week needs to be prioritized in order to be consistent. When this takes form, you begin to week out a lot of the wasted time and can spend it on the right things.
Then it’s rinse and repeat. It’s not sexy but it’s effective. It generally is the people that are the least flashy and stay head down on their goal that tend to win in the long run. They know that staying consistent will generally beat out almost every other person in the long run when others get tired, complacent, unmotivated, or in a rut.
Consistency is a skill that can be learned and it just means to suck it up sometimes despite many barriers. Ultimately, once those minor barriers get worked out you have achieved a lot more than you thought you could and are that farther ahead.
You can read a lot of articles and listen to many videos touting that motivation only lasts for a period of time and you have to develop the right habits to sustain consistency long term through an obsession to continue to put in the hard work. I don’t disagree at all. However, sometimes and maybe most of the time you need to be motivated to begin, and by doing that it leads to the next step. Don’t discount motivation because that burst of energy to get started down a path is extremely important to not only those beginning days but as you keep the consistency up long term.
As I sat back and thought about this more it occurred to me that some of the times when I’ve been the most motivated I was being “forced” into it. Either a challenge, deadline or similar made me have to just get started even when I might not be fully motivated to do so.
One time, in particular, came to mind and it was Senior year of High School. In one of the most favorite classes for all seniors who took it, Public Speaking was a course about getting outside your comfort zone and being able to speak up and at an audience of your peers. It was fun but very daunting especially for a lot of us introverts. Larry Hynes was our teacher and he was widely regarded as one of the best teachers in the school and knew how to keep the kids engaged throughout the semester. He knew about using a motivation to make the kids learn.
You all have probably heard the poem or parts of it at some point in your life.
Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Well, Mr. Hynes used this poem as both an exercise in memorization and recalling that information when you were caught off guard and at your most vulnerable. The kids didn’t take the task lightly either as this was a good chunk of your final grade to pass the class.
After handing out the assignment during the semester, Mr. Hynes would then catch the students in the weeks to follow and make them, right there, on the spot, recite the poem. He caught kids in football practice, on the bus, in the cafeteria.
He caught me in a Social Studies class. I remember being one of the last handful on his list he hadn’t gotten and the days prior I was nervous as all get out. But it made me motivated to practice as I did not want to mess up in front of whatever group I happened to be caught with. I remember getting up and standing on my desk like a scene from Dead Poet’s Society and belting out Invictus confidently and articulately. At least that is what I told myself afterward as the embarrassment of the moment started to wear off. Nonetheless, I memorized it and passed his test that day.
But here’s something really funny, the lesson lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. Years after I’d randomly be thinking about that poem or the moment and was able to recite it without hesitation. 20 years later and it’s still ingrained in my soul.
Go ahead, ask me next time you see me. I’m confident I’ll ace the test again.
So that’s my point through this whole trip down memory lane. We all want to think that motivation has to come from within, and in a way, I guess it does when we are put to the test. However, that motivation sometimes comes from others around us and that’s okay too. You may not be remembering a poem years later but using the motivation to your advantage and seizing the opportunity can give you more confidence in your abilities short term and spark the path to new abilities, lessons, and experiences that help you continue your track of personal growth.
At the end of the day, remember, “You are the Master of Your Fate and The Captain of Your Soul”.
This One Mic Session is a Reboot of an idea I tried 2 years ago…but just like life, sometimes excuses clutter your vision and momentum to accomplish things. So, it’s back to stay! The Dozen Months of Discovery.
Part of the premise of the Just Get Started Podcast is to get out of your comfort zone and try to accomplish things far greater than you ever imagined. Whether it is changing your eating habits, a better fitness routine, starting a business, etc. At the micro level, everything you do has to be “started” at some point but are we truly pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones as much as possible and learning new skills or knowledge that can become valuable. Or, maybe it doesn’t become something valuable but you can say you tried it because it was interesting at the time. That’s okay, too.
That, my friends, is the whole premise of the Dozen Months of Discovery.
12 months to have 12 new adventures. This could be anything from committing to a workout plan one month to learning how to play the piano another, learning a language, or detoxing from Social Media. Whatever it is you have to invest time into it and you have to practice but more than that is your mindset and focus on accomplishing the challenge must be present everyday. We (and I certainly mean me) say over and over “I wish I could do….” Or “I wish I tried….”. As the old saying goes, “You can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which gets filled up first”.
Stop wishing. Why not go out and do it? I know your answer. I don’t have time. It may actually take less than you think. Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote that you need about 10,000 hours to master a skill. But I’m not asking you to master a skill, I’m asking you to try and learn a new skill and become good at it. So, how long would that take?
Well, someone already did that research for me and his name is Josh Kaufman. Now, Josh did a phenomenal Ted talk about this topic and, in short, concluded that to learn and be good at a new skill it would take about 20 hours. I highly recommend you watch the entire Ted Talk here – How to Learn Anything in 20 Hours – as it provides a lot more context.
Also, Podcast Guest (Episode 76) Scott Young and his book “Ultralearning” is a fantastic guidebook of some useful techniques and stories to speed up your learning and actually make it sticky.
So, the question I posed to myself a little while back and will pose to you right now is…How far did you advance yourself this past year? How much more could you have done that would have led to increased skill development, more fulfillment or joy in your life, new doors being open…all of it….How far did you push that needle?
Get out of your comfort zone and try to make the next year your best year even. You certainly won’t get there by doing the same thing you are doing now. You must broaden your horizons and I think this is one way to do it.
So here’s the challenge.
Pick 12 new skills/challenges/topics you think would be cool or interesting or maybe something you always wanted to learn. If you can’t think of that many then ask your friends and family or post online and ask your larger community to throw out ideas.
Next, write them down and share with the world those 12 you are going to learn.
Finally, each month you need to pick a goal that will be the accomplishment you are trying to achieve by the end of that month. If you don’t pick a goal you can’t conclude if you truly learned anything. Don’t make it too easy but push yourself.
Now, start with the first one on the first day of the next month and do it. Learn by taking classes locally, watching videos online, syncing up with a friend skilled in that craft, whatever. Invest around 20 hours that month and see what you can accomplish.
I’m starting this endeavor on January 1st, 2020. My first monthly challenge is to not launch one social media app (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter) for the entire month. I’ll document each journey prior to starting and the week after I finish each month. Some other ideas I have are Stretching for 1-hour each day for a month and learning a new language over the course of a month. The list is still getting worked out and look forward to any suggestions!
If you are down to join, let me know and we can hold each other accountable. If not, we’ll catch you for the next one and I’d love to hear what you are trying to do to challenge yourself and push beyond your comfort zone.
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