Shout It Out

Make a public declaration of what you’re committed to getting done. This creates an extra level of accountability. We’re human beings with fragile egos. For some odd reason, we can tolerate disappointing ourselves on a regular basis, but heaven forbid, we do not want to look bad in front of other people. We’re more likely to push ourselves to get something done if we think we’re going to look bad in front of someone else for not keeping our word.

In working on this book, I had to force myself to start telling people that I was writing a book. When they asked me, “What do you do for work?” I was focusing on the other professional endeavors I’m involved in. I wouldn’t mention that I was writing a book. As soon as my partner started telling his family that I was writing a book, it became real. Who wants to be known as the girl who said she was writing a book and then fell off the tracks? A fear of losing face can certainly be used to your own advantage.

Another element of public declaration is using powerful language for your commitments. Cut out words like “try” and “might” and “maybe” and “kind of.” Talk about what you’re getting done in a way that shows your commitment. Don’t say, “if”; say “when.” For example, rather than saying, “If I lose 20 pounds this year…” Say, “When I lose 20 pounds this year…” Many of us talk about things we’re trying to get done. If we’re really committed to getting ‘er done, we’ll take an action. The action will either be effective or ineffective and take us closer to our desired outcome or not. In other words, there is no “trying.” There’s either action or inaction—and an action is either effective or ineffective.


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