Present Tense? Future Perfect How often do you catch yourself red-handed in the wanton act of self-distraction? Intention without action is wasted potential. Action without intention is potentially wasted. Find balance between the two; avoid saying you will and act like you’ve already started. Procrastination occurs as one’s focus drifts when stepping too far back from the project at hand. Hitting your attention’s snooze button does exactly the opposite of the intended effect, creating more urgency instead of bringing relief. By labeling something as a “to-do”, we create distance between the self and the objective. “I am” bridges that gap. For a litany of mindless tasks, creating a to-do list helps us stay on track and organized as we whittle away on all of the things. The easier the thing, the easier it is to do it. Use your “I ams” to connect with your intention. Follow up with a series of “to-dos” that keep you actively pursuing those goals. As objectives become more dynamic, they require more attention and effort. This can create a huge rift between “doing” and “putting off until absolutely necessary.” In a world rife with instant distraction, which is a more attainable goal: Rewrite Resume or Catch Up on Breaking Bad? Go on. Be honest. Nobody is looking, except you. In the meantime, here are a few tips to build a great “I am” list:
- Rephrase those hard-to-reach “to-dos” by starting off with “I am” (or I have, I do, I etc.). The first step to making your goals a reality is to try it on for size. Make sure it fits by speaking it out loud. It’s pretty easy to make the jump from “look for new job” to say “I want a new job that makes me happy.” However, you can always dig deeper…
- Clearly state what you desire to accomplish as if it has already happened. Rephrase your goals in a positive way that brings you even closer to what you want. Saying “I am happily employed at the job of my dreams” will eventually help you figure out what those dreams actually are.
- Be specific! If you know what you want, don’t beat around the bush. Boldly ask for it. “I am a highly successful video game tester” leaves little question as to what you are trying to accomplish.
- Stay positive. Word your active intentions in a way that invites success. Feel free to be as colorful as you want without focusing on fluff and glitter. Those things will inevitably fall away as the truth carries on.
- Read through your “I ams” every day. Unlike a to-do list where you tick off line items and never think about them again, a daily “I am” check-in makes your goals more present and tangible. Spend a minute or two with each one. Netflix can wait. Life does not.
- Marinate and Meditate on each individual “I am.” There is no need to rush through this list. Close your eyes and reflect about each individual statement. As you try each one on for size, pay attention to what comes up. How does it feel to be a highly successful video game tester? How did you get there? What does your life look like? It’s very possible you’ll come up with an effective to-do list to help you get there once you imagine how good it feels once you’ve arrived.
- Feel free to refine, split, add, or eliminate. These are your dreams, desires, and goals. Once you start looking at them regularly and speaking them out loud, you’ll quickly know what feel right and what doesn’t. Maybe being an astronaut doesn’t seem right after a few days, but there’s something about flight that seems magical. Dream big. Netflix is instant. Change is not. While it would be absolutely lovely to have the power to change reality with the blink of an eye, the honest truth is that change takes time. If you feel like it’s taking too long, refer to the above tip and make a small change to help motivate the process.
- Don’t stop just because it’s happened. Keep going even if you feel like you’ve made it. How can you improve upon the situation? There is nothing wrong with a daily affirmation to keep you focused on the beauty of the moment. You’ll know when to change it up. Drop in and listen to what comes up. For bonus points, read your list out loud to yourself. It’s easy to lie to yourself quietly. If you can’t convince yourself, how will the world ever believe you? Look out for those edges you automatically avoid and ask why you’re afraid to explore them. Try as we might, tomorrow never happens. Every day is today, and every moment is now. If you desire to truly carpe the hell out of every damn diem, work through your present tense to ensure that future perfect. Feel free to post a few examples of the “I ams” that currently inspire you in the comments and share this article with those who need a little help focusing on their goals! A sampling from my current “I am” List: I am in a wonderful relationship with an artistic and inspiring partner. I constantly express my thoughts on health and wellness in a clear and creative way I am continually building a successful business as a traveling movement and yoga instructor. I speak fluent French.