Measuring Success: The Lab Rats Review Their Progress

  • Someday Lesson: Don’t just assume success or failure – measure it against where you started to be certain.

Darcy McCarty on flickr.comOver the past three and a half months we’ve watched Horatio, Lizzie, Wendee, and Alessio go through the Someday My Ship Will Come In ebook, chapter by chapter. We’ve seen their weekly progress and watched as they struggled with their Somedays.

Since we’ve come to the end of the process, I’ve asked each of the Lab Rats to take a look back at the maze I put them through and examine each twist and turn to see exactly how much change has occurred for them and how they feel about participating in the public experiment.

Here’s what each had to say about their progress.

Horatio

Horatio’s big issue was work. He hated it, felt isolated and lonely and watched his fitness and wellbeing slip away because of it. In fact, it was such a big block to his dreams that less than halfway through the process he decided to solve the problem in the most radical way possible – he quit! Without a new job to go to.

Instead of creating fear and more problems, this decision actually freed Horatio to pursue his dreams. He feels intense relief at disengaging from the toxic environment, he’s caught up with social connections and feels less lonely, he gets more regular exercise and is each better and has finally broken free of the belief that he could only get drudgery-like jobs.

Of course it’s not all sunshine and puppies. He is out of work and while there are a few well paid jobs out there, Horatio is human and experiences bad days, dark moments and massive procrastination.

He credits the massive shift in thinking to the early listing of problems and what sucks. He called the experience “a mildly traumatic exercise” but the exercise made him look at what he hated about his life and he saw that as an essential step to everything that followed.

Wendee

When Wendee went back to her original mind-dump of what sucked about her life, she noticed that most of what she had written was very emotional. Going through the list at the end of the process proved to be much less emotional, more rational and more action focused.

In fact, in going through her before and after list, I noticed that what’s changed most for Wendee is just that – she now realizes what choices are available to her and is taking action instead of complaining. By being more aware of the choices she has, she can derail negative thoughts and patterns before they bring her down, and can initiate an action to keep up the positive energy.

Specifically she has this to say about the process:

The best thing was writing down and being able to assess and change some of my thought patterns. I tend to be able to work through issues on paper, but committing to my written word is a little harder for me, still. Although, in working through and saying that I wouldn’t take on any extraneous volunteer positions, I actually held that thought in my mind and did bow out of elections for more volunteer positions – giving myself the permission to protect a much more simplified life.

Lizzie

In Lizzie’s case, she dealt with some of the mundane things that were really bringing her down. Things like getting the puppy train, dredging the pond and widening the driveway, finding work again, and finishing her taxes are now done and off her worry list.

Lizzie’s learned to put the energy into getting things done instead of being wide eyed and panic stricken at 3am. By shifting the focus of energy, she’s gone from worry to action, from internal to external and the payoffs have been huge.

And although she didn’t achieve one of her big goals (weigh loss), she has let herself relax and is now more comfortable in her own skin and in her (slightly messier) house.

When she started the process, Lizzie felt she knew exactly what she needed to do and was hoping a stern taskmaster (which I’m so not!). But in the end she learned to examine her priorities and to let go of perfection (her stepdaughter’s name for her is “Monica Geller Bing”).

I need to quit working on being perfect and start working on being happy.

Alessio

Alessio’s journey was about the most straightforward of the Lab Rats. He took the path with the fewest detours, but created slow and steady progress along the way. He started out not knowing what he wanted or where he was going and ended with creating a compelling future and a direction to work towards. The whole process taught him self-awareness, which has helped not only in this instance but will help him greatly in the future as well.

He also said that the worksheets in the order I presented them allowed him to narrow down what it was that he wanted, clearing the whole picture up, and making his future exciting yet realistic at the same time. Working through the workbook made it seem much easier than he had expected it to be.

Thank you so much for helping me through ‘the maze’, I’ve learned a lot and am very grateful for your help and for giving me the tools that I needed to help me find and realize my dreams.

Why the Public Participation?

All four Lab Rats found doing the ebook publicly meant being more accountable. As Horatio said:

It’s all very easy to pick up a self-improvement book, and read it, maybe doing the exercises in your head and perhaps thinking of the principles vaguely for a week or two. Being obliged to actually carry it out and write things down turns it from a casual exercise into actual work.

Wendee and Lizzie at first worried about what others would say in response but quickly learned that the Someday Syndrome community isn’t interested in judging and that the whole process was totally non-threatening.

Your Someday Journey

Next week I’ll introduce you to the next batch of Lab Rats who will be going through the next ebook in the Someday Syndrome Cure Series: I’ll Get Around To It Someday (launching soon!).

In the meantime, I encourage you to consider making a public commitment of some sort and make yourself accountable for busting your Somedays.

(And if you check back in here tomorrow, you’ll find an offer that will do just that for you!)

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8 thoughts on “Measuring Success: The Lab Rats Review Their Progress

  1. Horatio says:

    Awesome. Thanks Alex.

    I must offer my thanks to the congratulations and support from everyone when I quit my job, especially a well-timed message from Wendee. It was invaluable when I figuratively closed my eyes and took a jump into the unknown, and I thank you all. In an effort to keep things rolling, I’ve signed up to Alex’s accountability clinic forum and would be delighted to see you all there.

  2. Congratulations to all the Lab Rats!

    One of these days, I should sign up to be a Rat myself (perhaps I’m too big of a Chicken!).
    .-= Catherine Cantieri, Sorted´s last blog ..8 business-trip organizing tips =-.

  3. […] think of the awesome changes that could happen if you did! Just take a look at the progress the Lab Rats made going through the […]

  4. Wendee says:

    Thanks, Alex. It’s been quite a journey. Thanks all for the words of support, and best wishes to the other three LabRats!

    @Catherine – No more “one of these days!” πŸ˜‰ Jump on in!

  5. Ralph says:

    Great stories of progress Alex! Congrats Lab Rats!
    .-= Ralph´s last blog ..Free Copy of β€œThe Quick Confidence Guide” for P2S Subscribers! =-.

  6. Alex Fayle says:

    @Horatio
    My pleasure! And I look forward to seeing you on the Accountability Clinic forums. It’s a great group of people offering support and cheering-on.

    @Catherine
    When the next round comes up, I’ll make sure to nag you about it. πŸ˜‰

    @Wendee
    You’re welcome! And glad to see you’ve become a Someday evangelist helping others too now. πŸ˜‰

    @Ralph
    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the series.

  7. Alessio says:

    Hey, gang! πŸ˜‰

    It’s been an awesome journey and I think we should ALL be proud of how far we’ve come! Thanks, Alex for letting me be one of the fortunate few!

    Wonder what the new Lab Rats are going to be facing? Hmmm.. Can’t wait to see!

  8. Alex Fayle says:

    @Alessio
    Thanks! It was a pleasure working with you. You were a great little Lab Rat. πŸ˜‰

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