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“I will do it in 3 months when…”

i-will-do-it-in-3-months-when-image-by-matthew-broomhead

You know how we all seem to have plans that in three months time when things are less busy, then we will get around to doing that “important project”? The project we know will make a significant difference to improving our career and relationships. The project that will enable us to have more time in the future and provide more needed resources.

The problem is that at the moment we all seem to have certain things that we think are more pressing. Whether it is work or family related, once those are dealt with we can then refocus our efforts on the really important project.

The reality is that in three months time something else will turn up that will take up our time and possibly be even more demanding on us both mentally and physically.

Unless we decide to start doing something today, however small and insignificant it may seem, we are unfortunately very likely to live an unfulfilled life of continually saying “I’ll start in 3 months when…<fill in the blank i.e. when the children go to school; when the children leave school; when the children go to University; when work is less busy etc. etc.>”.

Six Active Questions

A way to help overcome this universal challenge is accountability and measuring. If we do not measure something, how do we know there has been a change (for better or worse)?

I heard someone ask Marshall Goldsmith (influential in the world of Business Coaching) what his most useful advice would be and he answered by suggesting we ask ourselves the following six active questions every day:

  1. Did I do my best to set my own clear goals today?
  2. Did I do my best to make progress to achieve my goals today?
  3. Did I do my best to find meaning?
  4. Did I do my best to be happy?
  5. Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  6. Did I do my best to be fully engaged?

Not only does he consider the questions every day, he also pays someone to phone him every day and ask him what his answers are.

Is that a little excessive? Perhaps not when you understand how us humans seem to work. Few people have the self-discipline to make themselves accountable to do a task every day, day in, day out. 50% of people trying his questions do not last beyond two weeks. Longer term I would suggest it seriously starts to dwindle without external support.

So could we honestly answer those six questions ourselves? Yes, I think we could.

Could we answer those questions ourselves every day for a week? Yes, most of us probably could if we knew it would benefit us enough.

Could we answer those questions ourselves every day for two weeks and more? Hmmm… our answer is probably going to be – “can I get back to you on that?

You don’t have to have a Professional Coach like myself to do accountability at a top performance level. What if you selected three of your own questions and buddy up with someone you trust and know they will help you be accountable? If you tried it for 30 days, then you would see what progress you start to make.

Two philosophical insights

I wanted to share with you something else that may be hard to swallow for some of us, but will be very useful to take on board especially over the next four years.

I heard Marshall Goldsmith reference Peter Drucker (who many saw as The Expert on Management thinking) and highlight two things he said. Firstly, Peter apparently said

“Our mission in life is to make a positive difference. Not to prove how smart we are and not to prove how right we are”.

The second saying is that

“Every decision in the world is made by the person with the power to make it. (So) make peace with that.”

That person may not be the cleverest, most appropriate, most ethical or most honest. However, those that can make peace with that fact will be healthier, happier and more productive as they will focus on what they can change in their world, and not concern themselves with the multitude of problems that they can’t influence.

So there you have it. Six active questions that high Achievers ask themselves consistently and two philosophical insights.

Enjoy.

Matthew Broomhead
“Raising the level of Business Skills in Britain”
Creator of Broomhead Business Channel

Permanent link to this article: https://www.matthewbroomhead.co.uk/i-will-do-it-in-3-months-when/