What are you waiting for? Time to tip.

Whether it’s starting a new habit or launching your passion project, you keep waiting. And yes — putting it off feels safe. But you’re robbing yourself of the time you need — and killing your confidence.

waiting

You’re waiting for the perfect moment.

Surely tomorrow you’ll start that new habit. Or ask for the help you need. Because you do need to change that bad habit. And you do need the help. But that perfect moment never comes, does it? So you keep putting it off — waiting for that perfect time to begin. But that perfect time is never now. Instead, it’s tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes. Because by the time tomorrow comes, it’s today. And then tomorrow is the day after today.

But waiting makes it worse.

You do know that delaying what you need to do is making your weaker, right? That every time you say to yourself or think to yourself, “I’m going to do that thing I need to do today,” and then you don’t — you let yourself down. And you deplete your can-do-confidence. Why? Because every time you say you’re going to do it — and don’t — you doubt yourself more and more. And what you become confident of — subconsciously — is failure and delay. You get really good at putting off what you know you need to do. Which makes you feel worse and worse — and weaker and weaker.

Time to tip.

But there is a way to overcome this procrastination. It’s called tipping. And all you need to do to tip is to take one small step. Think of the simple act of walking. In order to walk, you need to lean forward a little. When you lean forward, your body automatically puts a foot out to keep you from falling. And if you keep leaning forward, you keep putting one foot in front of the other. This is the essence of tipping.

How to tip.

What can you do to tip today? How can you lean into what you need to do so you’ll take that first step? It can be as simple as making one call, or sending one email in the right direction — forward. So — what are you waiting for? And I do realize that this message seems oversimplified. And what you’re facing feels a lot more complicated than that. So if you need a little help tipping, send me a message to mark@marknewtonpdx.com. I’ll help you break down what seems overwhelming into that first small step.

Too optimistic? How to get real — without losing hope.

One of the reasons you’re anxious is because you’re too optimistic. Because optimists are often disappointed. Whereas realists know that facing your problems head on — without losing hope — wins the day.

optimistic

Life is scary.

Right? I mean, unless you’re totally checked out, you may have noticed that there are lots of demands on you. So if you want to succeed, you’ve got to step up your game. But that’s scary, because it seems like you’re already doing just about everything you can think of to make it. And yes — some of those demands come from outside of you — from your partners in crime to your love partner. But many of those demands also come from inside of you. Because you have big dreams. But you’re not sure how to get from A to B, much less get through the day. So — what can you do?

Being optimistic helps sometimes.

Sometimes in the midst of the stress, you turn to your old friend, Optimism. And here’s what Optimism says. It says, “Hey — it’s OK. You didn’t do so well today, but tomorrow is bound to be better.” And I’ll be the first one to admit that sometimes you need that pep talk from good old Optimism.

But being realistic is better.

Because as good as wishful thinking can be, being realistic is better. Why? Because realism will sustain you longer and take you further than a premature pat on the back. And that’s exactly the point. Optimism gets you by — but realism gets you going.

Let’s get real.

So — please do this. Treat yourself to a short (less than 20 minutes) TED talk about how to get where you’re going. And then make a plan to face your challenges in a new way. And if you’d like help with that, feel free to get in touch with me at mark@marknewtonpdx.com. As a men’s life coach, I work with creative men every day to help you get focused and get moving.

Never waste a good regret. Use it to kick your ass and get moving

Never waste a good regret. Use it to kick your ass and get moving

What a waste. I could have done that so much better. I’ll never get another chance to do this again — and I blew it. These are all examples of those sick feelings of regret. We’ve all had them, and we’ll have them again. The question is — what do you do with your regret?

waste

Don’t waste a good regret.

Is there such a thing as a “good” regret? That depends — on what you do with it. You can either let it just sit there, eating you up. Or, you can use it to help you realize that something needs to change. And then make the change.

Look at it closely.

One of the big mistakes we make with regrets is that we waste them. Because we leave them in the back of our heads. What I mean by that is that we don’t really look closely at what happened. For example, I gave an interview yesterday with a local podcaster. And I was glad to do it, so I said yes. And I don’t regret saying yes. But I woke up this morning with some regret. Because overnight, somehow that daemon in my head came up with a whole new set of things I could have said in that interview. Which, as you have probably already guessed, are not the things I actually said in the interview.

Make a choice.

So this morning, I had a choice. I could have wallowed in self-loathing over what a dumb shit I am. I mean, seriously — how could I have used that example? And why did I tell that story instead of this much better one? Yada yada yada. Or — I could sit down for 15 focused minutes and actually look at what happened. Which, on this particular day, is what I did.

Make a change.

So don’t waste a regret. Your regrets are telling you that you need to make a change. What change, you don’t know at first. But regrets are very helpful tools to help you realize that you need to make a change. And what I realized this morning is that although I am a public person, I have not given many interviews. Which is primarily because I am a shy public person. I don’t like the sound of my own voice after it’s been recorded. And I remembered what I tell my clients all the time. Which is that confidence comes with repetition. So if I want to get better at doing interviews, I need to do more of them. Or stop doing them. Or prepare better. Or get more clear about who I am and what I have to say. Because I don’t want to waste a good regret.

Your turn. What do you regret today? Go through these steps.

  • Look at it closely.
  • Make a choice
  • Make a change.
You know what you need to do. What are you waiting for?

You know what you need to do. What are you waiting for?

Why do you keep putting off doing what you know you need to do?

know

Because you know this is stupid.

And it’s driving you crazy.

Because you’ve been here so many times before.

But and over, the pattern repeats:

  • Feel the urgency to do something.
  • Not sure where to start.
  • Think about it.
  • Don’t act.
  • Hate yourself.
  • Repeat.

So why do you do it?

Because you obviously get something from this unhealthy cycle of shameful inaction.

But what do you get?

Well, you get safety.

But you also get misery.

So what would tip the scale —

And move you from procrastination to action?

Because you know the answer, don’t you?

Is it more information?

You might need more information to tip the scale.

And if that’s true, get more information.

Now.

And this is sometimes the case.

Or is it more gumption?

Do you even know what gumption is?

Synonyms include:

  • initiative
  • resourcefulness
  • enterprise
  • ingenuity
  • imagination

So maybe — but probably not.

Because you’re a clever guy.

Or is it simply courage?

Is this it?

Yes.

This is it.

And you know it is.

Are you a coward?

Yes.

You’re a coward.

Just go ahead and admit it.

You could even say it:

“I’m a coward.”

Because this is what men never want to admit.

But you know it’s true.

In fact, every time you find yourself not doing what you need to do, just say it:

“I’m a coward.”

And you might actually get something done.

Because once you say it, you can get on with it —

And do what you know you need to do.

But where do you get the courage you need?

Do you get it at a Tony Robbins seminar?

Maybe.

Or do you get it from listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast?

Maybe.

But do you know the best place to get the courage you need?

Here’s where you get it.

You get courage by listening to yourself —

And then taking action based on what you know to be true.

That’s right.

Courage comes from the French word coeur, which means heart.

And living courageously simply means living wholeheartedly.

In other words, living from your heart — from a strong personal center.

Because the real problem is that you don’t really know yourself.

In fact, you’re something of a mystery to yourself.

So spend time with yourself.

And this may sound silly.

But try it.

Set aside some time each day — somehow — to be alone with yourself.

Without distractions.

And ask yourself these 6 simple questions:

  1. What do I want?
  2. Where is this thing that I want?
  3. Why don’t I have it?
  4. How do I get it?
  5. When will I get there?
  6. Who am I, anyway?

And then get moving.

Take your answers to those 6 questions —

And hold them up against the day you’re actually living.

And then make at least one adjustment.

Because no —

It’s not easy facing the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

But it’s a lot better than the frustration of another day of the same old.

And if you’d like to explore this in more depth, feel free to contact me at mark@marknewtonpdx.com.


 life coach; men's life coach; Portland

Mark Newton has had 5 professional careers. He began as an architect in San Francisco and taught at the Academy of Art College while there. While still in the Bay Area, he followed his passion to build, working as a carpenter and becoming a building contractor. For over 20 years, he led vibrant communities of faith. Now, he is a full time men’s life coach living and working in Portland, Oregon — helping men get focused and get moving.

Analysis Paralysis? How to overcome resistance — now.

Analysis Paralysis? How to overcome resistance — now.

You’re too smart for your own good — which leads to analysis paralysis. And the good news is — you’re creative. And the bad news is — you’re creative. But how can being creative be a bad thing? Because you can think of way too many options. So the challenge is to focus and choose. Here’s how.

analysis paralysis

Analysis Paralysis: What to do?

There are some men who live their lives without asking many questions.

They just go about their business.

But that’s not you.

How to choose?

Because for some reason, you are blessed — and cursed — with a very active imagination.

Which means that you can think of good reasons to choose options A, B, and C.

Not to mention D, E, and F.

So how are you supposed to choose?

Start here.

The first step in choosing is easy and fun — if you’re willing to play.

And here it is —

Write out as many options as you can think of.

And you might object.

You might say that takes too much time and effort.

Is this you?

And if that’s you —

You can stop reading now, and go back to your indecision.

Which might seem harsh.

But hey —

There’s a lot of comfort in indecision.

In fact, when you’re stuck in indecision, you’re safe.

Not very happy —

But safe.

Or is this you?

But if you actually want to get focused and get moving —

Write out as many options as you can think of — with some space between the options.

And then grab ten of anything. Ten smooth stones, ten pennies, ten allergy pills —

And distribute those ten markers on your options.

Still with me? Start with 10.

Because if you’re still with me —

Then what you now have is perhaps 20 options with ten markers placed on them.

Look again at your sheet.

Pretty sure those ten markers are on the most important options?

If not — give yourself 5 minutes to move the markers around.

O.K.

Now —

Let’s say you started with 20 options and put your 10 markers (one each) on 10 of those options.

Now — reduce it to 3.

Now —

Cross off all but those 10 options.

But keep the markers.

And then, with those same 10 markers, apply them to these 10 options.

Because you can see what you’ve done, right?

You’re reduced 20 options to 10 options.

But now, you can only emerge with 3 of the 10.

Which means that you could put all 10 markers on one of the options —

Or 7 of the markers on one of the options and two on the second option and one on the third —

Or any combination where 10 of your markers end up on only 3 of the options.

You get the picture.

And what has it cost you?

10 – 15 minutes.

30 minutes max.

And what have you gained?

Freedom from analysis paralysis.

Because you actively engaged in choosing.

And now you have a clear picture of which options are the most compelling —

Saving you hours, maybe days of indecision.

Time to choose.

Because you see where we’re going with this, right?

You are now down to 3 options with 10 markers.

Because if you haven’t chosen by now —

One more round, and you’ll have one clear winner.

Go with that one and get moving.

Looking for a life coach?

This is what I do every day with creative men like you.

I help you claim your own unique genius, get focused, and get moving.

So if you have questions about this brief article, or want to go deeper one to one —

Feel free to write to me at mark@marknewtonpdx.com.

Why do you keep missing out on the best 15 minutes of your day?

Why do you keep missing out on the best 15 minutes of your day?

Are you satisfied with less than your best? You don’t have to settle.

best

So why are you making this so hard?

Because the day begins.

And it’s out of control.

Again.

But why are you making it so hard?

Why not make it easy?

Because look — we all know you’re creative.

Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this article.

But just because you’re creative doesn’t mean you have to live in chaos.

And your Muse is not amused.

So what can you do?

Three things.

Just three — that’s the key.

At the beginning — or at the end — of each day, write down three things.

1, 2, and 3.

First, second and third.

What’s my top priority today (or tomorrow)?

And the second.

And the third.

Best to keep it simple.

And then, after you’ve done that, write down how —

How am I going to achieve my top priority today (or tomorrow?)

Do the same for the second.

And the third.

You get the picture.

Here’s how.

So here’s a tool you can use.

And it’s free

And easy.

A simple online tool you can use as many times as you like.

And all you have to do is fill in the spaces below.

Because when you do — your day will suddenly be much clearer — headed for your best.

And no — it’s not an opt-in form.

Filling in this form does not commit you to receiving unwanted emails for the rest of your life.

It’s just a simple tool that you can fill out —

A clarifying tool that takes 15 minutes (max.) at the beginning — or end — of each day —

— that lets you write out your top three priorities for the day — and how you plan to achieve them.

And then — you receive a PDF that you can carry with you into your day.

So — give it a try.

Fill in the spaces —

— and then come right back to this page where you’ll see a place to “Download PDF.”

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Questions?

Send them my way, at mark@marknewtonpdx.com.