Posted on by & filed under being awesome, productivity.

Staying motivated is hard. 

Starting something is easy.  It is even thrilling. 

As you start your new diet, the first few days are hard, but you feel such a sense of accomplishment with your new healthy eating habits.  When I start a new workout regimen, I always stock up on a bunch of new gym clothes and I am excited to put them on and work out.  And when I start a new project at work, I make so much progress right away.

Maintaining that momentum is hard.  So hard.

After a week of dieting you have a hard day and end up eating that cookie.  You sleep through your alarm and miss your workout.  And when I get stuck on a task, I tend to procrastinate and distract myself with anything but the work.

Speed bumps are going to happen.  And to be successful, what matters is what you do when you lose momentum. [ click to tweet! ]  Successful people grind through their obstacles and stick with the plan.

Success or failure doesn’t happen overnight.  Whether you win or lose is determined by the small things you do every single day.  Success comes from consistency. 

And we learn the most when we accomplish something hard.  Ah-ha moments don’t come when things are easy.  Breakthroughs are the product of hard work, effort, and pushing through when its challenging.

 

How many ah-ha moments have you had?

I want you to think about the last year.  How many things did you learn or accomplish?  What were your ah-ha moments?  Really think about it and write them down (you will get more out of this article if you do!). 

For me, my moments were: 

  • Understanding what it means to be a parent, and learning firsthand how much people love their children.
  • The importance of a platformour Kickstarter was successful in a large part because of all the work we did ahead of time to build that platform.
  • Be thoughtful about how you communicate bad news. Transparency can be great, but it can also cause problems.  When things weren’t going well I was super open about it.  Instead of motivating the people around me, it had the opposite effect.  There was a better way to communicate the state of affairs without demoralizing my team.
  • I really like working with a big team.  I am at my best when I am part of a larger group.  I love working on my own and coding is a lot of fun, but my true strengths around strategy and leadership shine when I am part of something larger.
  • You can make every meeting magical. When I got pregnant, I stopped networking.  After I got back into the groove, I started my meetings back up, and some of the people I had on my calendar I wasn’t excited about meeting.  I was dreading them in fact.  However, I reframed my thinking and decided I would make these meetings useful.  With my attitude I did exactly that and ended up learning so much.
  • Strategy requires something special. I read the book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy and it made me think a lot more about what makes a business successful, and helped me rethink the way we were doing things at Popforms.

These were my big lessons from the last year.  And the lessons may be interesting, but what is most interesting is that there are only 6 lessons.  I learned 6 big things in the last year. 

Let’s say you learned a lot more than I did, and you racked up 10 lessons.  And for every year of your career you learned 10 lessons.  And to make the math easy say that you had a 30-year career.  That means in your whole career you would learn 300 lessons. 

Your success is determined by making the most of those lessons.  Are you learning enough each year? How could you learn more and make the most of your career?

 

Doing more, learning more, and getting more

Instead of learning things haphazardly as your complete your assignments and cross to-do’s off your task list, design your year of learning.  Get deliberate about what you want to accomplish and how your spend your time.  That way you can make the most of your next year.  Here’s how…

  1. Think about where you want to go. What do you want your life to be like in 5 years?  10 years? Where do you want to live? What will your days be like? Will you go to work? Where? What will you do when you get home from work and on the weekends? Get a mental picture of yourself in the future.
  2. Now ask yourself, what you need to do to have that life? What are the experiences you need? What are the skills you need to build? This is going to be the start of your list of things to learn for next year.
  3. Start coming up with a list of all the things you want to learn in your life. What are the books you want to read? Where are the places you want to go and things you want to see? These are all good fodder for your list of things to learn.
  4. Plan it out.  Write these things down. Carve out time on your calendar. Buy the books you want to read. Make it easy to learn these things.

Tags: ah ha, growth, Learning, lessons, productivity, reflection, Strategy,

41 Responses to “How many ah-ha moments can you have? A guide to doing more, learning more, and getting more”

  1. Sylvain

    Reading this post was a ray of sunshine. I am one of those people that is eager to try new thing and start new project but it is true that keeping the momentum, keeping the trigger that will help you put you shoes on and run 5k, keeping the trigger that will remind you to write your journal. And it is sometimes frustrating because when you realise that you didn’t want to but you slipped anyway.
    The idea of writing – and longhand because the commitement is stronger that on a screen – you ha-ha moment is good because

    it feel great
    it reminds you that you are progressing
    it is rewarding.

    I will absolutly write them and maybe stick them to the wall.

    Thank you very much and I wish a lot of success to Popforms and it’s awesome team.

  2. Abby

    I think this looks an awesome notebook.
    I entered on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. I would love to put this to good use!

  3. Michelle Chaplin

    * Liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Liked Popforms on Facebook
    * Shared The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline
    * Followed Popforms on Instagram (@michellecruns)
    * Followed Popforms on Twitter (@michellecruns)

  4. Alicia

    Love this way of doing things! We all need to be more organized! Showing you love on twitter and IG! xo

  5. Scott

    Entered by liking on Spark Notebook on Facebook and Popforms on Twitter! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Helene Kwong

    Love seeing that the 2nd edition is out!

    I have entered the contest these ways:

    * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Like Popforms on Facebook
    * Share The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline: it’s a public post! :)
    * Follow Popforms on Instagram (my username: hkwong31)
    * Follow Popforms on Twitter (my username: hkwong)

    :D Hope I can win!

  7. Jonathon Howey

    Entered!

    1 Facebook Like
    1 Twitter Follow

    == 2 Entries :)

  8. Alexis

    Great article! Really makes me want this notebook as I get closer to my first year post-grad and in the workforce. I have liked and shared Popforms and The Spark Notebook on Facebook and Twitter.

  9. rob reeves

    * Liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Like Popforms on Facebook

    Looking forward to seeing how this can/will help

  10. Paul Owen

    The leadership newsletter is a welcome new addition to my Inbox – thanks for the helpful info! I entered the contest these ways:

    – Liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    – Liked Popforms on Facebook

    – Shared The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline

    – Followed Popforms on Twitter

    Keep up the good work!

  11. Mark Krull

    * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    * Like Popforms on Facebook

    * Share The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline

    * Link to The Spark Notebook on any social media outlet

    * Follow Popforms on Instagram

    * Follow Popforms on Twitter

  12. Allison

    * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    * Like Popforms on Facebook

    * Follow Popforms on Instagram

    * Follow Popforms on Twitter

  13. Jess Kogel

    Great article!
    Entered via the following methods.
    * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Like Popforms on Facebook
    * Follow Popforms on Instagram (legomyeggowave)
    * Follow Popforms on Twitter (legomyeggowave)

  14. Aimee

    * Liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Liked Popforms on Facebook
    * Followed Popforms on Instagram
    * Followed Popforms on Twitter

    can’t wait to get the other one I ordered

  15. Yuliya

    * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    * Like Popforms on Facebook

    * Follow Popforms on Twitter

  16. leo

    * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    * Like Popforms on Facebook

    * Follow Popforms on Instagram

    * Follow Popforms on Twitter

  17. Jess

    Check, check, check, check, check. Now if only I had a spark notebook to record my entries:

    Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    Like Popforms on Facebook

    Share The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline

    Follow Popforms on Instagram

    Follow Popforms on Twitter

  18. Basia

    Hey, good article. Love the idea! I live in Canada though…

  19. Jessica

    I entered the awesome spark notebook contest by liking Popforms and spark notebook on fb, liking on Instagram, and sharing to my timeline. I would love to win one!!!

  20. Jen Castleberry

    Loving my notebook! Thanks for inspiring me to be great!!

    * Liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Liked Popforms on Facebook
    * Shared The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline
    * Followed Popforms on Instagram (@castlejcberry)

  21. kathy

    Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    * Like Popforms on Facebook

    * Follow Popforms on Instagram

    * Follow Popforms on Twitter

    Also 2 posts on Twitter tonight

  22. Jennifer

    Entered by liking both FB pages! Here’s to a lucky day!

  23. Idalia Soto

    I love the Spark Notebook and everything that Popforms has to offer. Thank you for all the great content and support in my career goals.

    • Idalia Soto

      * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

      * Like Popforms on Facebook

      * Share The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline

      * Follow Popforms on Instagram

      * Follow Popforms on Twitter

  24. Teresa Lew

    I entered in these ways:

    * Liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Liked Popforms on Facebook
    * Followed Popforms on Instagram (@teresalew)
    * Followed Popforms on Twitter (@teresalewlew)
    * Shared on Twitter

  25. Valerie Cross

    I liked both on Facebook (valeriecross)
    Shared on Facebook (valeriecross)
    Followed on Instagram (valeriecross)
    Followed on Twitter (valeriec24)
    Tweeted

    Thank you for the chance!

  26. Kara

    This post came at a great time for me – I have really been working on planning my future lately, as I have a lot of ideas and really need to focus on what I want to do the most.

    I would be thrilled to win a Spark Notebook! I entered the contest in the following ways:

    * I liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    * I liked Popforms on Facebook

    * I shared The Spark Notebook on my Facebook timeline (and I shared this blog post on FB)

    * I pinned The Spark Notebook home page on my Bullet Journaling & Planner Pinterest board (and I pinned this blog post)

    * I shared this blog post on Google+

    * I tweeted this blog post

    * I shared this blog post on Linked In

    * I followed Popforms on Instagram

    * I followed Popforms on Twitter

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to win!

  27. Darrell

    Shared Spark notebook page on Facebook and followed on Twitter.
    Awesome notebook, by the way.

  28. Michael Redd

    Going to place my order for the next edition of the Spark Notebook regardless :)

    I liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook.
    Liked Popforms on Facebook.
    Shared it on my Facebook timeline.
    Linked to on both Facebook and Twitter.
    Followed Popforms on Instagram. (restoreguy)
    Followed Popforms on Twitter. (@restorerguy)

    Thx,

    Mike

  29. bronwen

    just liked the spark notebook and popforms on FB. Looks like a great notebook and would be awesome to have!

  30. Amanda P.

    * Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook

    * Like Popforms on Facebook

    * Follow Popforms on Instagram

    * Follow Popforms on Twitter

  31. Melanie Antoine

    * Liked The Spark Notebook on Facebook
    * Liked Popforms on Facebook
    * Shared The Spark Notebook on your Facebook timeline
    * Followed Popforms on Instagram (ultm8lymelly)
    * Followed Popforms on Twitter (@mcomant)

  32. Carolee

    I have a wee little crush on the Spark Notebook. (Love is spreading too!)

    I liked both FB pages (Popforms, Spark Notebook).
    I follow Popforms on Twitter.
    Tweeted about this giveaway (RT a tweet by Kate).

  33. Jamie

    I entered by liking the spark notebook and popforms on facebook!

  34. Maureen Wilmot

    Liked Spark Notebook on Facebook
    Liked Popforms on Facebook
    Shared Spark Notebook on my Facebook Timeline
    Followed Pop Forms on Twitter @vmaureenww
    Retweeted this post.

    Great idea to build the network.

    Maureen

  35. Briana

    So exciting to see this moving forward! Best of luck and can’t wait to have one in my hands :)

    Hoping one of my 5 entries wins! (Like The Spark Notebook on Facebook, Like Popforms on Facebook, Link to The Spark Notebook on twitter, Follow Popforms on Instagram, Follow Popforms on Twitter)

  36. Chrissy

    Hi, I love the look of the SPARK notebook!
    I have shared & followed using all of your suggestions – but not going to win as in UK! Oh well!