My 4-Part Formula for Overcoming Your Life's Problems
I want to share something with you. It’s a formula I developed that I use when I get stuck on something I’m trying to solve. It’s also one of the keys to my coaching style.
Here’s what it looks like :
I want to show you how you can use this formula in your own life so I chose a topic near and dear to my heart: Sleep - but you can use it on any problem or situation you are facing. If you need help on any of it I’m here to answer your questions and be your guide.
Part 1: Self Discovery: To begin to tackle any problem, you need to know where you are in this moment.
Do you know with clarity how much sleep you need to be at your best?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many hours of sleep do I need to be healthy and productive?
- The average adult needs between 7-8 hours of sleep. Find your perfect length with this helpful article.
- How many hours of sleep do I get now on average?
- Is this enough for me? Do I feel well rested and on top of my game?
- If you are tired, everything moves more slowly which means you get less done. Less sleep = less efficient day-time production = counterproductive.
- What would it take for me to sleep more?
- What are my ideal sleep conditions?
- What’s the best way to make sure my ideal conditions are met?
You must have clarity on your ideal before you start to plan so make sure your self-discovery produced answers.
Clarity is your "why" which drives your momentum and motivation.
Part 2: Planning: Planning is a very individual effort. Here’s where knowing your best method for getting stuff done is critical. What I hear from the gurus in life and business mastery over and over again is if it isn’t scheduled, it won’t get done. I believe that if it isn’t planned you won’t get it done either.
When it comes to sleep, it’s about making it a daily priority and committing to a number. Let’s say you have self-discovered that you are getting 1.5 hours less sleep a night than your ideal.
The first step is to figure out what you want to do: Do you want an extra 15 minutes of sleep a night or an extra 15 minutes of sleep a week? I recommend baby steps, the smaller the goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.
Your goal will determine the next part of the planning phase which is the "How". Let’s say the goal is 15 more minutes of sleep a day:
- Can you shower at night and save the blow drying in the morning?
- Can you alternate every other day with dry shampoo?
- Can you make lunches the night before?
- What can you streamline or optimize?
- Do you have a coffee maker that works on automatic?
- Can you change the blankets so making your bed is faster?
- Can you listen to a training program while you shower or while you exercise?
- Can you cut out a TV show or watch it recorded vs. live and fast-forward through the commercials?
Planning is where you brainstorm ways to take yourself from clarity to reality.
Part 3: Action: Here’s where the “rubber meets the road” as my Dad would say. You can’t get anything done if you don’t take an action toward getting it…but here’s the other key - you have to WANT to do it.
You likely won’t take action on anything that doesn’t feel right to you or feels forced: Be on the look-out for words like "I should have" or "I need to" or "I have to"…these are words that are typically associated with force and will naturally cause resistance. If you come across resistance, go back to self-discovery. Action is about making stuff happen. Resistance is you getting in your own way - there is always a reason: go back to your "Why".
In our sleep example it’s about implementing the plan and testing what works and what doesn’t. When you find something that works, take note of what it is. Once you find what’s working you can begin to measure progress toward your goal.
Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t come together right away - this is very important: do your best to remain positive and focused. Don’t get caught up in the self-directed insults if you don’t get results right away. Chances are you’ll get some awesome power energy just from taking action which will keep you focused and positive.
Action is the where the real power to change your situation exits but action without clarity and planning gets you nowhere.
Part 4: Magic: Leave room for the unexplained. When you set a goal and you take action toward reaching it, things start to happen in your life that steer you in one direction or another. There is nothing to actively do in the magic part of the equation but to PAY ATTENTION. Every time something happens that helps you reach your goal (your kids sleep in, your spouse volunteers to take care of a morning duty that would normally be yours, your typical 7 AM meeting gets moved to 7:30) be actively grateful for those sources of support. When you set your sight on something, the universe is there supporting you - the more you notice, the more it super-charges your efforts.
It’s always wise to leave room for the magic and to acknowledge its wondrous gifts when they come.
The formula is short and simple to follow. It's designed to give you the clarity you need to plan out your strategy with your ideal end goal in mind and then harness the momentum, motivation and magic to make it real.
Try it out - what's the worst thing that could happen if you do?