The power of resources

So, now that you’ve taken the time to figure out what it is that you really want, it’s on to making to-do lists with all kinds of actions for you to take. Just kidding. While that may be your gut reaction, let’s hold off on THAT kind of list for the moment. Instead, I’d like you to focus on a different kind of list – a RESOURCE list. Before we go any further, let’s take a quick second to define what I mean when I’m talking about resources. In this context, resources are people, places, things, even attitudes and philosophies — anything that you have at your disposal to help get you closer to reaching your goals. I’m a firm believer that you already have most of the resources that you need to get what you want, it’s simply a matter of how you choose to organize and utilize them. That’s a pretty empowering idea, isn’t it?

Meryl knows that she doesn't need to buy more chickens for her dinner party. Why? Resource list!

Meryl knows that she doesn't need to buy more chickens for her dinner party. Why? Resource list!

Why is it so important that you take stock of your resources before you put together your action lists? Well, imagine that you’re going to throw a huge dinner party and the first thing on your list of actions is to go shopping for everything you need. If you didn’t stop to look at your resources beforehand, that shopping trip would likely be somewhat of a disaster. You would buy ingredients that you already have and you’d miss those that you didn’t. You might find out too late that you don’t have the right cooking utensils and that you’re short on serving ware, or you might overlook supplies that you could repurpose and waste money buying things you don’t need. In other words, before you can even begin to DO anything, you need to know what you’re working with. I’ve said it before and I will undoubtedly say it again and again: it all comes down to awareness before action.

The best way to compile your list of resources is to start with your goal at the top of the page; that way, you can always reference it for inspiration. Then it’s time to brainstorm. The key here is to not hold back and judge your list — give yourself the freedom to conjure up all that you can. This isn’t about perfection and only writing down things that you know you’ll use; this is about casting your net as wide as you can and seeing what you catch in it. You can always throw back the things that you don’t need.

Let’s say that your goal is to redesign your website so that it represents you as best as possible. A quick brainstorm might include these resources: your computer, your camera (to take photos), your reel or writing samples, examples of websites you admire, Facebook (for recommendations, etc.), a friend of yours who writes and edits copy, people whose opinions you trust for feedback, a positive attitude (things won’t always go the way you want them to!), etc.. You want to get as many resources down onto your list as possible – you can never have too many. If your dad pops into your mind for whatever reason, write him down on your list – if you realize later that he can’t really contribute to your goal, it was no loss to simply include him. That’s not to say that you should include everything in the world on your list, but if something comes to mind while brainstorming, don’t throw it back.

If it helps, set a time limit on your brainstorming sessions just to give yourself a structure and to make sure that you don’t keep yourself from actually coming up with your action list in order to infinitely build your resource list. Once you’re done and ready to move onto your to-do list of actions, you’ll get a huge boost in the form of all of your resources. You’d be surprised by how many actions you come up with that you wouldn’t have even considered before, simply because you have a list of everything available to you staring you in the face. Funny enough, your resource list becomes a major resource in and of itself. And when all is said and done, by taking a little time to get organized before you start putting your plan together, you’ll be in a much more powerful place to work towards your goals!