An Unknown Step to Getting Your Life Back

Some say it’s “who you know,” and others say “it takes luck,” while still others say there’s no substitute for “hard work” as a means to becoming successful and getting your life back. Very few, if any now that I think of it, mention the most important ingredient for the average person to attain success.

In Do Over, it’s referenced as one of the “unknown” steps to producing results, and it could be the biggest reason as to why YOUR “do over” will work now when it didn’t work then.

Some say it’s “who you know,” and others say “it takes luck,” while still others say there’s no substitute for “hard work” as a means to becoming successful and getting your life back. Very few, if any now that I think of it, mention the most important ingredient for the average person to attain success.

In Do Over, it’s referenced as one of the “unknown” steps to producing results, and it could be the biggest reason as to why YOUR “do over” will work now when it didn’t work then.

As I’m processing the initial feedback received from my supporters and critics alike, I am making some modifications to my own plan of creating $200,000 in Do Over sales. I have committed to implementing the Do Over Plan step-by-step in accomplishing this sales goal of Do Over merchandise. What a concept, huh?

I began by creating my desired outcome and declared it in present tense…

“I am so happy and grateful now that I have earned $200,000 from the sale of my book and its related items by December 31, 2010.”

I reverse engineered a path from that end destination to where I stand today by creating Major and Minor Milestones. I know exactly where I’m going, how I’m going to get there and I have a system in place to measure my progress.

Now it’s time to put a system in place that dramatically increases the certainty that I will arrive at my end destination. This relatively unknown step (or system) will not only help me succeed… if followed with integrity, I cannot fail.

Imagine yourself sitting on a park bench, and you notice in the distance a group of teenagers playing at the basketball court. It would be very easy to discern if they were playing a game or just goofing around. The mere action and intensity of their movements would suggest whether or not they were keeping score.

  • Human beings respond well to games.
  • Action persists.
  • Intensity increases.
  • Motivation lasts.

Most of all, games are fun. When fun is present, so is focus – sustained focus. When our focus is clear and sustained, we can do anything. I have found that by creating a game around the pursuit of my most important goals, and keeping score within that game, this method both accelerates my progress and increases the probability, if not the certainty, of achievement.

Previously, we established Major and Minor Milestones, which are one form of measurement. These milestones, when reached, let us know that we’re getting closer to our goal. However, the time spent in between milestones can vary greatly, and when that time exceeds our expectations, emotions like frustration, discouragement, and doubt can attack us. These emotions can be toxic to our success. The Major and Minor Milestones will keep us abreast to how close we’re getting to our goals, but they don’t do much for supporting the probability of their achievement.

To clarify, let’s stick with the basketball analogy for an example. Imagine a high school basketball team’s goal is to win the state championship. In order to get there, the team must first win the city championship, the county championship and then the regional championship. Those would be their Major Milestones. There will be a number of games to be played in between each championship that must be won to progress; those would be the team’s Minorstones. As you can see, the milestones, major and minor, keep the team abreast as to how close they’re getting to their goal of a state championship.

Micro Milestones (Microstones)

What’s missing, however, is a measurement that supports the probability of getting to the championship. In this analogy, that would be the daily routine the team conducts in between games. Activities like practice, conditioning, nutrition, and rest. The activities can be broken down to very specific actions, or daily habits if you will. I refer to these as Microstones. Specifically, they are the few activities that have the most impact on the probability of you reaching your goal. In our basketball example, a Microstone may be free throw completions during practice. There are a certain number of free throws a player must shoot in practice on a daily basis to develop the skill that contributes to the team winning. There are a certain number of laps a player must run in practice on a daily basis to develop the stamina that contributes to the team winning.  There’s a certain diet a player must maintain on a daily basis to maintain his or her health that contributes to the team winning. These are three specific activities that have the most impact on determining the probability of whether a player will contribute to his team winning or not, and they can be measured.

The true secret to success really is mastering the mundane (See Jeff Olson‘s The Slight Edge). The word “mundane” doesn’t sound fun to most, especially to me; and I know if it’s not fun, action dwindles, intensity wanes, motivation ebbs, and most of all focus disperses. Energy dispersed has no power and produces minimal, if any, results.

Enter the game!

The goal is now the state championship.

  • The Major Milestones are now the city, county, and regional championships.
  • The Minorstones are now the individual games.
  • The Microstones are the daily activities that measure the likelihood of reaching the next milestone, and we will measure them with points and a daily scorecard.

I will focus on the few activities that have the most impact on reaching my milestones and assign them a point value. You’ve certainly heard the cliché, “Focus on one day at a time,” yes?  When it comes to reaching our goals and achieving our dreams, focusing on one day at a time is key, it cannot be underestimated. Rome was not built in a day. Do not focus on the end result. Do not focus on the state championship. Focus on the activities that will produce the end result. Focus on the daily activity of shooting free throws, and count them. Keep score. It’s important, no, it’s vital to know at every moment if you are winning or not. To do so, create a daily scorecard. A daily scorecard maintains activity, intensity and motivation. It drives planning and course correction so that your goals and dreams are not perpetually goals and dreams, so that your goals and dreams are achieved.

Like the teenagers playing basketball in the park, we only get serious when we start keeping score. Keeping score creates a game, a game arouses competition, and competition gets things done. A game gives you a framework in which to accomplish new things, things you never thought possible for you.

What there is to do next is to identify what daily activities, repeated consistently over time, will measure the probability of me reaching each Major Milestone, and ultimately buying a new home for a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Here is the daily scorecard I am keeping… and you’ll see the activities I completed today.

Daily Score Card
I am so happy and grateful now that I have earned $200,000 from the sale of my book and its related items by December 31, 2010.
Tally Points Total
Actions
Read Bible Chapter 1 x 30 = 30
Call Friend/Family Member 1 x 20 = 20
60 Minute Workout 1 x 20 = 20
Review Plan 2 x 2 = 4
FB Page Update 2 x 2 = 4
FB Page/Group Comment x 3 = 0
FB Comment Reply 2 x 5 = 10
Personal Tweet 2 x 1 = 2
Blog Comment x 1 = 0
Blog Post 1 x 10 = 10
Blog Comment Reply x 5 = 0
Write Article x 5 = 0
Submit Article x 10 = 0
Podcast Recorded x 3 = 0
Podcast Posted x 10 = 0
Video Recorded x 3 = 0
Video Posted x 5 = 0
Affiliate Contacted x 5 = 0
Networking Event x 15 = 0
New Agent Meeting x 2 = 0
New Agent Subscribed x 5 = 0
RE Offer Submitted 3 x 10 = 30
Escrow Opened x 25 = 0
Small Meal 5 x 10 = 50
No Alcohol x 25 = 0
“To Do” List for Tomorrow 1 x 25 = 25
Results
New Subscriber 8 x 1 = 8
Do Over $$ Transaction 5 x 2 = 10
Blog Comment Received x 5 = 0
My Blog Mentioned x 10 = 0
Affiliate Registered x 10 = 0
Short Sale Approval x 10 = 0
Escrow Closed x 25 = 0
Blog/Podcast Interview x 25 = 0
Radio Interview x 50 = 0
TV Appearance x 100 = 0
To Dos
Get 3 names of potential “YOUR Do Over” interviewees 1 x 5 = 5
Set up News Alerts for Rebuild the Bayou related stuff 1 x 5 = 5
Complete list of 20 online influential people 1 x 5 = 5
Read new eBook and implement x 5 = 0
Write and personalize affiliate/enrollment email to 20 online influential people. 1 x 5 = 5
Call Author House 1 x 5 = 5
Complete Short Sale Stars Realtor Instructions 1 x 5 = 5
EP Blog Post/Blog Broadcast Set-up x 5 = 0
Post Short Sale Stars Realtor Instructions x 5 = 0
Short Sale Stars Business Cards x 5 = 0
Review JY’s Websites x 5 = 0
Respond to Kelly Jean email 1 x 5 = 5
Total 258

I’m still tweaking it a bit, but I’m starting to see that if I score approximately 300 points per day, I will eventually win the “state championship.” Ideally, every day I should come home feeling like I am “getting there” and making progress, instead of getting stressed out about how much further I have to go. I take great solace, and you will too when creating a scorecard for your daily activities, knowing that I get closer to my goal every day by simply tracking and scoring my Microstones.

If your goal is to be the #1 salesperson in your company, you may want to create a daily scorecard for, and assign points to, the number of new prospects you speak with, the number of appointments you set, the number of presentations you give, and the number of products you sell. If your goal is to win your company’s golf tournament, you may want to create a daily scorecard for, and assign points to, the number of golf balls you hit at the driving range, the number of putts you take on the practice green, and the number of times you meet with your golf instructor. If your goal is to lose weight, you may want to create a daily scorecard for, and assign points to the number of…wait…I believe Weight Watchers already has something like this? Yes! Do you know anyone who has lost weight using the Weight Watcher’s food scoring system? If you do, did they gain their weight back? If they did, ask them if they stopped using their daily scorecard.  Creating a game and keeping score can be a great motivator and be very effective, and it was one of the missing ingredients my first time around. Perhaps it will make the same difference in the pursuit of your goals as well.

One note about creating a game around your goal: it’s your game. You know your situation better than anyone else, and you will know how to create a game that motivates you into daily action. It’s your game. You get to create the rules. Stay focused on your game. Paying undue attention to other people’s games will slow you down. Don’t compare yourself, it’s very limiting. Every moment spent worrying about whether or not someone else is winning their game is a moment wasted on moving forward. I have found that time spent studying others, their games and their scores isn’t intelligence gathering as much as it is a search for excuses.

Play YOUR game!

 

Daily Score Card
I am so happy and grateful now that I have earned $200,000 from the sale of my book and its related items by December 31, 2010.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Tally Points Total
Actions
Read Bible Chapter 1 1 x 30 = 30
Call Friend/Family Member 1 1 x 20 = 20
60 Minute Workout 1 1 x 20 = 20
Review Plan 1 1 2 x 2 = 4
FB Page Update 1 1 2 x 2 = 4
FB Page/Group Comment 0 x 3 = 0
FB Comment Reply 1 1 2 x 5 = 10
Personal Tweet 1 1 1 3 x 1 = 3
Blog Comment 0 x 1 = 0
Blog Post 1 1 2 x 10 = 20
Blog Comment Reply 0 x 5 = 0
Write Article 0 x 5 = 0
Submit Article 0 x 10 = 0
Podcast Recorded 0 x 3 = 0
Podcast Posted 0 x 10 = 0
Video Recorded 0 x 3 = 0
Video Posted 0 x 5 = 0
Affiliate Contacted 0 x 5 = 0
Networking Event 0 x 15 = 0
New Agent Meeting 0 x 2 = 0
New Agent Subscribed 0 x 5 = 0
RE Offer Submitted 1 1 1 1 4 x 10 = 40
Escrow Opened 0 x 25 = 0
Small Meal 1 1 1 3 x 10 = 30
No Alcohol 0 x 25 = 0
“To Do” List for Tomorrow 1 1 x 25 = 25
Results
New Subscriber 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 x 1 = 7
Do Over $$ Transaction 1 1 1 1 1 5 x 2 = 10
Blog Comment Received 0 x 5 = 0
My Blog Mentioned 0 x 10 = 0
Affiliate Registered 1 1 2 x 10 = 20
Short Sale Approval 0 x 10 = 0
Escrow Closed 0 x 25 = 0
Blog/Podcast Interview 0 x 25 = 0
Radio Interview 0 x 50 = 0
TV Appearance 0 x 100 = 0
To Dos
Get 3 names of potential “YOUR Do Over” interviewees 1 x 5 = 5
Set up News Alerts for Rebuild the Bayou related stuff 1 x 5 = 5
Complete list of 20 online influential people x 5 = 0
Read new eBook and implement x 5 = 0
Write and personalize affiliate/enrollment email to 20 online influential people. x 5 = 0
Call Author House 1 x 5 = 5
Complete Short Sale Stars Realtor Instructions 1 x 5 = 5
EP Blog Post/Blog Broadcast Set-up x 5 = 0
Post Short Sale Stars Realtor Instructions x 5 = 0
Short Sale Stars Business Cards x 5 = 0
Review JY’s Websites x 5 = 0
Respond to Kelly Jean email 1 x 5 = 5
Total 268

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