Do you have a bucket list? Perhaps you are thinking of some New Year’s resolutions.
While both are noble aspirations I’d like to suggest a new list for you. Call it a more strategic list.
If you want a truly unique and fulfilling life, make a discomfort list. I promise you will experience instant, amazing, transformative, and long-lasting results!
Here is how to write a discomfort list in five steps:
1) Recognize the things you have not done because of a discomfort barrier.
Grab a cup of coffee and a pad of paper. Sit down and brainstorm all the things you have always wanted to do but have yet to accomplish. Write it all down—large and small things, big discomforts and little baby ones—everything from programming the TV remote to learning a foreign language to repairing a broken relationship with a family member. Write down everything that you have not done because it is uncomfortable. No filters. Just write.
2) Select one or two items that require a modest effort but are significant.
Do not choose “build my dream home” as the first thing to tackle! Planning an office event, repainting a room, or sending a letter to an old friend are all appropriate choices for this second step. The idea here is to choose doable things that will boost your confidence and get you some traction.
3) Write a “state of success” statement for what you have selected.
Do not skip this step! If you want to accomplish anything in life, you need to hone an important skill: goal clarity. The clearer your vision of success is, the more easily the steps will roll out in front of you. If you are vague and fuzzy about the final outcome, the steps to get there will also be unclear. A sample “state of success” statement is something like this: “My desk is clean. I know where everything is. My mind is much freer. I am more productive. This feels great!”
4) Now that you have a clear vision, plan your path by identifying the obstacles.
That might sound like a strange place to start, but think about it: If you brainstorm all the things that are in the way and then you plan for actions to eliminate those barriers, what will the end result be? No barriers, right? Sounds to me like your goal is almost already accomplished. It works!
5) Get the first items you have picked from your list accomplished.
Don’t think about anything else. The idea here is to build momentum and just get going. You will gain confidence as you knock things off the list. More importantly, you will quickly realize that much of the discomfort you feared was ungrounded. Many times it is simply the fear of the unknown that is so uncomfortable. As you take steps to move forward, you will feel discomfort fade away.
Once you accomplish the first few items from your list, you will feel motivated to tackle other discomforts. There is no growth in life except along the path of discomfort, so reframe “discomforts” as opportunities. And remember, if it does not challenge you, it does not change you. The obstacle is the path.
Begin embracing your discomforts…and then embrace more.
Eventually, you will change your world!