Eat that Blog!
There is an old saying, attributed to Mark Twain, that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you can be sure that it is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day.
In Brian Tracy’s book called Eat That Frog!, he took this saying as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day – the one you are mostly likely to put off, but also probably the one that will have the greatest positive impact on your life.
The book is based on 21 ways to stop procrastinating and get more things done faster, and all or most of these rules can be applied to any goal – for example the goal of losing weight!
For those who may have been putting off losing a bit of winter weight before the summer, but succumbed to more chocolate than was wise over Easter, here is how 14 of the rules can be used to achieve that goal.
1. Set the table
Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goal and objectives before you begin.
Example: Write down the exact amount of weight/inches to be lost/fitting into a favourite outfit again – whatever the goal is. Also write down when this is to be achieved by (make sure it is realistic)
2. Plan every day in advance
Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning saves time in execution.
Example: meal planning and shopping just for that food.
3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything
20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results.
Example: Concentrate on those things that will really make a difference, not the ones that are not so important. Decide which of the things you have decided to do to lose weight will have the most effect.
4. Consider the consequences
Focus on those tasks and priorities that will have the most serious consequences on your goal.
Example: Evaluate everything you do or eat in respect of this goal to ensure it is consistent with where you truly want to end up.
5. Practice the ABCDE Method continually
Organise your actions by value and priority
Example: Include those actions specifically relating to your weight loss goal in your to-do list with all the other goal-related tasks
6. Focus on key result areas
Identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to achieve your goal
Example: Be really clear in your mind exactly what success will feel, look like, etc
7. Obey the law of Forced Efficiency
There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always time to do the most important things.
Example: Make sure this goal is treated with respect and takes pride of place on the to-do list – don’t succumb to excuses to relegate it for the sake of something else.
8. Prepare thoroughly before you begin
Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance.
Example: Decide when is going to be the best time for you to start, based on work and social commitments and plan carefully.
9. Do your homework
The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done.
Example: Research what is the best and healthiest way for you to achieve your goal in a realistic timeframe that can become a way of life. Understand how it works.
10. Leverage your special talents
Determine exactly what you are very good at doing, or could be very good at, and throw yourself wholeheartedly into doing those specific things very very well.
Example: This could be a sport you are good at or a new activity you could start taking part in.
11. Identify your key constraints
Determine the internal and external constraints that could hold you back and focus on alleviating them.
Example: If there is a certain time of the day when the urge to eat the wrong thing is stronger, make sure that you find something to do at that time that will remove that temptation.
12. Take it one oil barrel at a time
You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time.
Example: Work towards your goal one step at a time, maybe in weeks – don’t look at the whole challenge.
13. Maximise your personal powers
Identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day and structure your most important and demanding tasks around these times. Get lots of rest.
Example: Make sure you exercise when you know you are at your most energetic and be kind to yourself.
14. Motivate yourself into action
Be your own cheerleader. Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the solution rather than the problem. Always be optimistic and constructive.
Example: Keep a clear vision of the outcome and how that will feel.