What To Do When The Boat Starts To Sink

Picture the scene: It’s a beautiful spring day so you decide to take a little rowboat out on the lake. You make it out to the middle of the lake, and just as you put your feet up to start enjoying the tranquillity, you notice water starting to pool at your feet.

To your horror, you become aware that the boat has sprung a leak, and you’re slowly sinking.

You realise that in this new reality you find yourself in, there are a couple of options:

  1. Find a way to plug the hole in the boat
  2. Start rowing quickly back to shore before the boat sinks.

Now, I’d say in an ideal situation you’d find something to plug the hole, get rid of the excess in the bottom of the boat and get back to the business of relaxing and enjoying your day right?

In life, we’re presented with many similar, seeming obvious decisions. But often, we end up making the wrong choice – the wrong call at the wrong time.

If you have somewhere you want to end up in your life – an ideal goal you’re striving for – be it a change of career, or building up your savings – whatever it is, there will be steps you need to take today that put you on the right path.

Think of those steps as being the equivalent to plugging the hole in the boat. It’s the making of a budget and allocating savings on your path to financial freedom, or the signing up for training or studying on the path to a new career.

Without taking those steps then the journey is going to be a lot harder. If you try frantically rowing back to shore without dealing with the hole then the chances are you’re going to sink before you get there – stressed, tired and wet. And you’ll have missed out on a lovely day.

A lot of the time we get so focused on the end result, that we forget (or are unwilling) to think about whatever needs to be done to get there. We rush through trying to get to the end, but forget that life is lived in the now.

So whatever it is that you’re aiming for, make sure you first think about the steps you need to get there.

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Think about something you want to achieve – a personal goal perhaps. What would success look like to you? What are the steps you need to take to make it happen?

It really doesn’t matter how anyone else would see success for you, only what you think. The key to defining success is to set objectives that are within your control to achieve and not dictated by outside factors.

For me, I plan to be a successful writer this year. On the face of it, that might seem like quite a fanciful statement, but when you break it down to the separate parts it becomes a lot more manageable. I write for me, not for anyone else. I want to improve as a writer and use my writing as a way to express myself. I have defined what success looks like for me using these 3 objectives:

1) To write every day, for at least 20 minutes. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing for my blog, writing fiction or journalling, all that matters is that for 20 minutes every day I sit down and write.

2) To post at least once to my blog every week. At the moment, that’s about as much as I can manage, but I would like to up this to twice a week.

3) To see improvement in my writing over time. I will measure this in terms of both the quality of output, as well as how much editing I have to do from the first draft. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll be able to look back on these early posts and see how far I’ve come along.

So that’s it. I’ve not overcomplicated things and kept it as streamlined as possible. There might be some goals where you want to really push yourself by setting really ambitious goals. I want to solidify the habit first, so if I can stick to this in 2019, then I can pick up the pace for the year after.
Whatever you want to achieve, this simple framework can help you to make it a reality.