Getting Organized: Finding Functional Patterns and Flow
Part of what I do in my life as Mental Health Therapist and Intercultural Communication Consultant is help others identify patterns in their lives that influence their functioning. Basically, negative patterns of thought, emotions and behavior impede fluid functioning and hinder well-being, neutral patterns cause us to maintain our status quo (for better or worse), and positive patterns don't just allow for, but actually facilitate growth and forward movement in the area(s) specifically touched by the patterns themselves. (I won't go into specific examples here, but if you feel that this is something that needs more explanation or concrete examples, please feel free to request away!)
I'm in the process of analyzing my own patterns as they apply to my new life as a real estate investor. Seriously, trying to put yourself under the microscope like this is about as easy as it sounds: It's a little like trying to get a solid view of the back of your own head.
Here's what I know to be true at this point:
Truth 1: When I have the time and space to get organized, to set goals and make to-do lists, I am highly functional.
Reality 1: I am really freaking scattered about 80% of the time right now; I don't have a current sense of "mission" and specific goals; I make to do lists about 1-3x/week (better than nothing, but not the consistent, daily pattern that will help me along my path at a steady rate).
Goal 1a: Establish a better morning ritual; wake up 1.5-2.5 hours before the rest of the household wakes up, and make a daily task list, study, meditate, blog.
Goal 1b: MAKE time to understand and put in writing my life and professional mission statement(s). (ALL THIS HEMMING AND HAWING ABOUT MY PURPOSE PREVENTS POTENT ACTION STEPS AND IDENTIFIABLE SUCCESS!)
Goal 1c: Stop feeling guilty and start asking my partner for time on my own to work on establishing the positive patterns that I hunger for. *ASK FOR HELP FROM MY PRIMARY SUPPORT SYSTEM. If I grow stronger and more functional, my family reaps the benefits. AND, I have much greater potential for professional success.
Truth 2:I am good at gathering information
Reality 2: I'm not so good at organizing information as I gather it.
Goal 2: Create an organizational system for information that resonates as pertinant, relevant, etc.
Truth 3: I'm good at talking to people, and I am generally not awkward in phone conversations (oh, the irony (see Reality 3!). I can break the ice and build relationships over the phone (although I prefer to connect in person). I have had success in negotiating to get my way over the phone, and I have had success helping people feel better over the phone.
Reality 3: I have a pathological block about making calls and talking to people on the phone. I resist, resist, resist to the point that sometimes relationships and general life functioning suffer as a consequence.
Goal 3a: Get over the whole phone-hatred thing. Get hypnotherapy or shock treatment if necessary. JUST GET OVER IT.
Goal 3b: Make a running list of calls that need to be made, give each call a priority of 1, 2, or 3, and an ultimate deadline. (ULTIMATE DEADLINES ARE SOOO GREAT FOR WE ATTENTION DEFICIT PROCRASTINATORS!)
Goal 3c: Set time aside EVERY DAY for to make priority 1 phone calls. If time remains after priority 1 calls are made, start on priority 2. At the end of each phone session, run through the list of remaining calls and change priority levels on individual calls as necessary.
Truth: 4: I know that my husband and I want to have at least 5 buy and hold investment properties in place in the next 12 months. I am reasonably sure that we are going to have to start this process by either flipping a house or wholesaling some properties.
Reality 4: We do not have, but we absolutely need a concrete plan with realistic action steps to make this happen.
NOTE: Knowing our personalities, we will have a greater chance of success if we implement a system involving small, identifiable and easily attainable "Success Identifiers" (SIs) along the way (in addition to the big, obvious, glaring SI's, of course) and a way to RECORD AND REWARD THE SUCCESSES. (In psychology, they call that "Grandma's Rule": "Once the bathroom is spotless, you can have that video game you've been eyeing for months!" But, it's more than that...KEEP A RUNNING LIST OF SUCCESSES, BIG AND SMALL.
Goal 4a: Work with my partner to make a written plan, based on written goals, with attainable action steps.
Goal 4b: Create a RECORD AND REWARD system.
Goal 4c: Start making calls, networking with people in person, asking tough questions, taking critique and advice without sullying it with emotion. Take advice, but be confident in our own instincts.
Well, that's a start. This is a tedious process, but I hope the way I've organized it illustrates just one of many ways routes to self-analysis with the intent of growth and ultimate development of positive (dynamic) patterns of thought and behavior. After I was done with my Truth, Reality, Goal identification process, I WENT BACK AND UNDERLINED THE POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES I ALREADY BRING TO THE TABLE. I believe in the importance of setting goals based on proven strengths as it gives the greatest chances of success (and it makes it easier to record those successes).
Tell me, what are those strengths-based TRUTHES you bring to the table (regardless of your stage in the game)?
What are some of the hard REALITIES that have brought you past successes, that have you stuck in status quo, or are preventing your success?
Have you set your goals based on your established strengths-based TRUTHES or your current REALITIES? I'm willing to wager that YOUR ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR ACHIEVEMENT OUTCOMES. Give it some thought and let me know what you think.
My gut tells me that I am not alone in this purgatory where enough information has been gathered to make action feasible, but those next pivotal steps toward success have not yet been taken. I'll let you know if the system I've just set up actually works. If you decide to use this approach please check in and let me know how it goes. I'd love to hear your thoughts and responses.
Here's to our individual successes that ultimately make us a more successful community!