For months I thought about making a t-shirt design I really wanted. But I didn’t do it. For many years I loved the idea of writing my own blog. But I didn’t write one. For nearly 2 decades I thought about starting my own advertising agency. But I continued to work for someone else. You probably have similar stories. Because as Maya Angelou said, ‘We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.’
It is easy to consider me a dreamer, not a doer.
However, today I am wearing the t-shirt design that I wanted to print for so long. I am writing my 596th blog post. And for over 5 years I have worked at The Weaponry, the advertising and ideas agency that I always dreamed of starting. And when I pinch myself it actually hurts.
So what changed? What happened that turned these want-to-dos into dids and doings? The answer is simple. Like an OBGYN, I gave myself a due date.
‘Goals are dreams with deadlines.’Someone Smart (But we don’t seem to know who.)
Dreams and fantasies float in infinite time. Reality, progress and completion are time-bound. To convert a dream into a reality you have to set a due date. And deadlines are like horse jockeys. (You should choose the shortest one that can do the job effectively.)
We often have a hard time getting started on big projects and life changes. So remember this: A Due Date gives you a Do Date. When you have a deadline, even a false deadline, you alchemize fantasy into reality. You prioritize. You do what needs to be done. You can then put all the steps of the process onto a timeline. And timelines are like trains that deliver final results. Choo Choo!
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** This blog gets published 3 times per week, because I set those 3 deadlines.