At the moment I’m reading ‘The 12 week year‘ from Bryan P. Moran and in preparation for the planning the first 12 weeks it discusses a very interesting principle: Being interested versus being committed. Immediately when I read the headline of the chapter I was hit by it’s meaning. It’s about going in with both feet. Not tiptoeing or watching at the sidelines.
I know I can be very strong when I’m committed. I’ve experienced this already several times. For example when I wanted to run a half marathon for the second time. The first one I ran in 2007. This was within one year after I started running. But it took me more than 7 years to run the next one.
Seven years of struggling with various injuries and I think that actually no one around me still believed that I would run one again. But I knew I would.
Failing again and again
Each time that I prepared for my next one (which was about twice a year) I came very close, but just because of bad luck or wrong choices I failed again and again. But because I knew that these mistakes could be prevented, I kept on trying.
I tried everything: running in a group, running by myself, different schedules, stretching a schedule over more weeks to build up slower, doing extra exercises to get stronger calve muscles, or stronger muscles at the back of my legs, or a stronger body-core, wearing long pressure socks that kept pressure on the blood vanes of my lower legs, wearing flatter shoes, laying with my legs high against the wall before a run to get more fluids out of my legs, getting advice from a physical therapists, getting advice from a podotherapists. You name it, I tried it.
In October 2014 I finally succeeded. Not as fast as the first time, but also not as slow as I expected. Why did I succeed in the end? It was the experience and reflections that came out of all these actions and failures. It was the sum of it all. Knowing what my body needs, likes, doesn’t like, can handle, can’t handle, taking enough rest, doing a hard training when possible, but changing it to something easier when necessary or even skipping a training some times. Getting the right shoes, doing the right exercises, keep trying new things, being patient and pushing through. It was the commitment that made me keep trying again and again, learning enough in the process to finally succeed.
The same story with productivity
I experience the same level of commitment to implementing the productivity method ‘Getting things done’. From the first moment that I read about it, I was sure that this was by far the best and most complete method to get better organized, and to make better choices about my priorities. But, as with running, a method can be implemented in many ways and it needs to be adapted to the person and the circumstances. Besides, there are so many interesting but distracting subjects related to productivity, that can keep you very busy without being productive at all. Trying all the new tools, new ways of organizing, and different note taking techniques. But because of the strong commitment that I feel, I know that I will succeed in the end.
And now for my business
For my business I experience the same level of commitment. Again, people are (at the least) sceptical about whether I will succeed, but somewhere deep down inside, I feel that it’s possible. I’m not a born entrepreneur, but I wasn’t a born runner either and certainly not a born productive worker. I learn, I try, I fail, I reflect, I learn, I change and I try again. And slowly but surely I will get there.
Based on this commitment I will start my first 12 weeks, by using the framework from the book ‘The 12 week year’. I know I need deadlines. It’s like a training schedule for my next half marathon. I will do the work. I know I will.