Do you ever get distracted by “bright shiny objects”?
I know I do. My tendency to jump between three different activities within a ten-minute period has become a real speed bump to getting things done. I can blame all sorts of things, including the “bright shiny objects” that catch my attention: technology, books, cats, more technology… they sit in my line of sight, whispering “come play with me!”
I’ve come to realize in the past week that this Path of Distraction that I allow myself to go down is my personal “No Cookie Zone.”
And that Path of Distraction might become the Path of Destruction if I keep it up.
The phrase “No Cookie Zone” comes from Debbie Ford’s book, “The Best Year of Your Life.” She defines these zones as places where “habitual patterns and behaviors… offer us no rewards – [these are] thoughts, habits, excuses and behaviors that keep us from living our best life.” p
When we get in a No Cookie Zone (NCZ), we’re making choices that bring us no closer to our goals and visions than we are right now. For me, allowing behaviors that interrupt my focus and flow – such as over-scheduling, procrastination, not defining my priorities – puts me in an NCZ. Not only am I not moving forward, I’m probably losing ground!
To have the best year of my life, I decided I needed to find a way to get out of the NCZ. Once I identified that time management and the bright shiny object syndrome as my NCZ, I pinpointed at least one thing that kept me stuck: not creating a clear intention for my day. So, I developed a plan!
This plan requires three things: intention, consistency and accountability.
1) Intention: To facilitate focus, I am creating a daily intention. Then, I identify two to three choices or actions that will support the intention. The intention and actions must move me forward in some way.
2) Consistency: It is important for me to do this everyday, even when the well feels dry. I also plan to remind myself of the intention at different points throughout the day.
3) Accountability: Sharing this plan with a trusted friend is key to keeping me focused and consistent. My accountability partner and I either talk or e-mail every morning, sharing our intention and choices for the day. We support each other in creating the best day we possibly can, one day at a time.
What are your No Cookie Zones? What habits or thoughts reward you with cow pies, rather than yummy chocolate chip cookies? And what are you willing to do to set yourself on the right path? What choices do you have? What will support you?
When I set these intentions, I know that peace and prosperity, joy and light, ease and grace are there for me. What will be available to you in the future if you avoid your NCZs and make more conscious choices?
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