It’s taken me longer than usual to respond to Monday’s Quest-ion. That’s because my work hours have been longer hours than usual, and it’s taking longer than usual to recover from last week’s inspiring but physically demanding stint working the Artistic booth at AQS QuiltWeek in Albuquerque, during which I worked six days straight, the last four of them between 11.5 and 13 hours each.
But finally, today, I have a clear schedule, so here it is:
How will you respond to challenges differently this year? #facechallenge
No risk, no challenge, no quest. It’s that simple. What one to three challenges and messiness could you inevitably face this quarter while executing your one project? Define those challenges. Write about them. Then ask yourself, How can you respond to them differently than you did last year? Write, draw, doodle, paint, flow chart, or compose your way into imagining how you can respond to challenges differently in order to execute your one project.
The challenges part of this question is easy. They are the same challenges I have struggled with for years:
- Energy: Having the physical, mental, emotional, and psychic stamina to do the work–from finding focus and crafting plans, to the actual making and sharing my creations
- Time: Carving out minutes, hours, days, for the things that matter most instead of squandering them on time sucks, distractions, or other people’s priorities
- Space: Clearing the physical, mental. and temporal clutter from my living area, mind, and calendar to make room to bring my dreams to life
And though I spent the bulk of last year dedicated to creating a Year of Clear to address just these issues, by the time October rolled around and I found myself once again overwhelmed with pre-holiday and holiday preparations, I found myself right back where I started: exhausted, strapped for time, and overwhelmed by clutter and commitments.
The lists of what needs to change that I created back then still apply:
- Get more sleep (computers off by 10pm)
- Eat better and more regularly (create and use meal plans)
- Exercise more
- Create a daily mindfulness practice
- Cull projects and people that suck my energy
- Create routines and build habits to streamline chores/errands/activities
- Prioritize projects and activities (review regularly)
- Schedule and protect time for these priorities
- Say no to anything that doesn’t support or feed my quest (or me)
- Minimize screen time
- Use up materials that have been gathering dust
- Purge what I no longer need, want, or love
- Organize what’s left
- Keep my space clear and clean
- Move to a larger place
So. what makes me think that this year will be different? What will be my catalyst/s for change?
For starters, this Quest. The work I have already done and the work I will continue to do thanks to Jeffrey Davis and Tracking Wonder, and the work before that with Maia Duerr and her Liberated Life Project.
But also, these tools:
- Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise
- Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less by S.J. Scott
- Mind Rooms Guide by Jeffrey Davis
- The 7-Minute Prioritizer by Jeffrey Davis
As well as revisiting these very helpful books:
- The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
- SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Julie Morgenstern
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
Preparations to thwart these challenges start today with clearing some space, so that tomorrow I can get to work on prioritization and plans.
What are your challenges and how do you plan to overcome them this year?
Here’s what some of my fellow Quester have to say:
(Funny how so many of us share the same challenges.)