A deadline, focus, and determination.
These three things alone drove me to accomplish a task that I had put off for years. Yes…. years. I’d left the task until the last minute, but thanks to a deadline, focus and determination – and a little encouragement from friends – I not only accomplished the unthinkable task of redesigning my website in one day, but transformed my outlook on what’s possible.
When I told myself, on January 1, as part of my planned goals for the year, that I would redesign my company website in the first quarter of the year, I completely intended on doing it. Almost… the truth is I completely intended to do it in that “as long as I can fit it in” way.
But with the extra motivation of attending Pioneed Nation, a conference for entrepreneurs in Portland, Oregon, at the end of March, I felt the sense of opportunity lost if I didn’t make it happen. Add in the inspiration I got from reading from various attendees about what they were up to, I knew this was my chance to seize the moment. As the conference date quickly approached, I knew I needed to embrace the deadline, take advantage of it to hold myself accountable, lest I may never redesign that website, and quickly fall off the course of being relevant to clients whom I am telling “image is everything.”
So, Monday morning I set out to do the impossible… after a week in Tahoe, I hadn’t even been at my desk on a work day for quite some time (albeit I worked all weekend). And it took me a couple of hours just to decide indeed I was going to do it.
What I did next may have helped seal the deal – and its something that any business coach will tell you is imperitave in succeeding with your goals: I told everyone I was going to do it. The simple act of posting my plan on Facebook to build a website in a day, and then the resounding support and belief from my friends and family, may have helped me stick to what was otherwise an unlikely task. Suddenly I had friends telling me “of course you can do it” and “I know you can!” It spurred me on to make it happen – to prove them, and myself, right.
At 10pm it was looking near complete, but it was also feeling late. I decided, right then and there, I was not going to sleep until it was completely finished and published. Yes, I thought, I was not only going to finish it but would go live with it that night as well! How else to make sure that I completed my plan, that I didn’t stop at 90% complete, only to get distracted and not finish it the next day.
What amazed me most was how, after the site was complete and I’d shared it and gotten great feedback and support, that my feelings about the task had changed.
What started as what seemed like an impossible task, slowly had changed to one I’d “try” to complete, and then emerged into a determination, and now, after the fact, it seemed like it was always going to happen. Of course I was able to do it, I thought to myself (once I’d completed it)… I set my mind to it and made the decisions necessary along the way – cutting out the unnecessary for sake of the bigger goal, accepting photo choices without spending hours and hours contemplating choices, and staying on track without trying to multitask or do other things. Of course I did it
But what about the feeling I had just 24 hours before? When the task seemed almost insurmountable?
The truth is, any difficult task can feel this way, and if we let the obstacles and concerns get in the way of the possibility, we will never complete them.
– Nelson Mandela
What tasks can you turn from impossible to reality this week?