On Inspiration, Deadlines & Exploding Libraries

My living room currently looks like the children’s section of a library exploded in it.  And it got me thinking about what inspires us and what it takes to motivate us to take serious, fast action.

One of the special “events” of our homeschooling year is the Iditaread.  The kids each choose a musher who’s competing in the Iditarod and they try to race to Nome before their musher gets there.  Each mile of the Iditarod equals one page in a reading-level and age-appropriate book (I had to outlaw comic books and Lego Magazines this year).  They have to read about 1,150 pages in books during the race.

The race started March 5, 2011.  The winner crossed the finish line this morning.  My kids were more than halfway through the race, but several hundred “miles” from the finish line.  Suddenly, they’re reading like mad in an attempt to still beat their mushers, who are currently a few hours out.  I find it slightly amusing to watch, consider how many reminders I’ve dropped over the last week, but I’m cheering them on and I think they’ll get there.

But it’s like waiting until the night before the Science fair to start on a Science project.  Or waiting until a couple days before the big report is due before taking your research and starting to write it up into your report.

Deadlines can be a fabulous motivator.  If you’ve got a deadline and someone to enforce it.

But as an entrepreneur, if I’m working alone, I don’t have anyone setting deadlines on when my new blog post *has* to be done.  Or when my teleclass needs scheduled for.  Or when to release my next special report or info product.

That’s why I love blog challenges, group projects, accountability partners, and my coach.  Without them, deadlines wouldn’t help inspire me at all because it’s too easy to move that goal post when life tries to get in the way.

And no matter what goals you’ve got, I guarantee life will try to get in your way and stop you from moving forward.

So find a good way to set deadlines for yourself and be accountable so you can keep moving forward!

Share your thoughts: Do you have a coach, accountability partner, or someone else who helps you stay on track?  What works best for you?  Or do you work well without deadlines to “inspire” you to action?  Or do you need that accountability like I do?

Take action challenge: If more accountability might help motivate you, check out the following resources and see what’s a good fit!

Photo credit: click from morguefile.com

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16 Comments

  1. Right there with you, Michelle! I may work for myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still benefit from external accountability. In fact, it’s a necessary “evil” for me.
    Lisbeth Tanz recently posted… Google Goo Ga GaMy Profile

    1. Good way to define it. :) I am sure my coach feels that way some days — she’s got to kick me back to focus whether I like it or not.

  2. Hmmm. You obviously decided that the concept of “no child left behind” means- keep up or you will be miles away….
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted… We all must choose to be the Chosen People…My Profile

    1. LOL Yes, good thing we’re not actually racing in the snow! We’d have been stalled at several checkpoints along the way…

  3. You know, I have the best mastermind group! They will absolutely kick my butt into action if I slow down. I love deadlines. Even though they are self-imposed, I usually share them with my mastermind group or my mentor and that makes all the difference. It’s like I don’t want to disappoint them!

    1. Exactly! That’s how I feel too, Martha. When I know someone else knows a deadline I’ve set, then I’m less likely to rationalize moving it a little bit.

  4. Love the competition. Children need to learn to read not just be on computers or TV or games.
    And as for the discipline – right with you. Holding yourself accountable is a difficult thing to learn
    Roberta Budvietas recently posted… Generation G’s rarely get stuckMy Profile

    1. While technology is necessary in this day, there can be too much! It’s great to have creative ways to encourage kids to get away from screens. :)

  5. For me, it depends on what I’m doing. I need the accountability for blogging, even though I love it. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy the blog challenges so much too. With other business-related things, I pretty much just get it done without any external accountability. And then there’s stuff like exercising . . . we won’t go there :).
    Leanne Chesser recently posted… Create Your Ideal Client ProfileMy Profile

    1. I tend to be a little bit the opposite. Without the blog challenges I’ll still blog (though it’s sure more fun during the challenges). But I need the accountability to get me to move forward with the bigger business pieces.

      Yes, let’s not go there on exercise… LOL

  6. Wow, I have never heard of that competition before but it sounds interesting!!! I homeschool my 2 kids as well so that is something that is of interest to me!!! I really don’t have anyone to be accountable to for my “business” except for myself and that doesn’t motivate me some days!!! LOL
    Samantha recently posted… Celebrate St Patty’s Day with a Green Smoothie!!My Profile

    1. It’s great! Ours is through the charter school we homeschool through but there’s another version here that’s similar: http://www.idita-read.org/how_it_works They do minutes instead of pages but it’s the same idea.

  7. “Exploding library” that makes me laugh! Our house looks like that so much. Problem is, the kids forget to make it look like a library *should* when they are done.
    Amy recently posted… Free Scentsy Product valued at 150 or moreMy Profile

    1. Yeah, that takes reminders at my house, too. :)

  8. Oh…deadlines always work for me. For example..since joining the TLC club I am posting regularly and am visiting much more blogs than I would! Also accountability plays an important part too!

    1. Hajra, those help me, too. It’s one reason I do so many blog challenges. :)

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