Thursday, February 03, 2022

Goal Setting Fridays - The Secret Code of Procrastination

Welcome to Goal Setting Fridays!

Why Fridays?
So you can ruminate over the weekend & get a fresh start on Monday!

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Don’t forget to check out last week’s post:

What Exactly is a “Single Moment Goal”? 

If you love to make To Do Lists, you’ve probably noticed an annoying phenomenon:

As much as you get done,
there are still those items that you find impossible to cross off! 

No matter what you do, you just can’t bring yourself to do them.
Sometimes, these pesky items can hang out on your To Do List for weeks, months, or even years!

I’m not a procrastinator by nature. I love checking things off my To Do List!
But this nasty phenomenon can strike even the best of us.

Years ago, I decided to register our original Infinitely More worship songs with CCLI - Christian Copyright Licensing International. 

Sidebar for Licensing 101: Have you ever attended a church service where the song lyrics are on a screen or printed on a song sheet? Then, you’ve probably encountered the work of CCLI. Traditionally, when hymnals were printed, part of your purchase price went towards paying the songwriters for use of their creations. But once songs started going on screens and song sheets, songwriters weren’t getting paid. CCLI stepped up as an international licensing service, providing lots of resources for churches and creators, including payment to songwriters for the Sunday morning use of their music and lyrics.

I knew registering our songs would be a great way to help get our music out to churches, as well as providing a potential means of ministry support. I went online, did my research, and requested the registration documents.

Well, that set of documents sat on my desktop for weeks. Then, months. A year later, I threw them out and requested new ones. That started the cycle over again. Weeks, months, throw them out, request new copies.

This went on for three years!

You see, the documents were full of tax forms and legalese that felt beyond my skillset. I also needed to visit a notary, and I had no idea what that even meant! And how could I even start to understand “international tariffs”? It was all too much.

I might not be a procrastinator by nature, but boy,
I was a Super Procrastinator with CCLI!

Remember last week, when we talked about Risk?

Simply put:
Single Moment Goals, by their very nature, always have Risk involved.
To Do List items never do.

Look at those To Do items that have been hanging out on your list for weeks or months. They can be so deceptively simple - make a phone call, submit the application, donate that bag of old clothes - but for some reason, they hold a lot of power. 

May I suggest that they’re not as simple as they might seem?

Perhaps, your Procrastination is a Secret Code for Risk.

Make that phone call? “What if the person doesn’t want to talk to me?”

Submit the application? “What if I get rejected?”

Donate that bag of old clothes? “What if I gain back the weight and need them?”

Once you recognize the Code, you must also recognize that this isn’t a simple To Do item.

This is a Single Moment Goal

It carries Risk. That’s why you’ve been struggling to get it done.

Registering with CCLI definitely had Risk.

It meant I was putting our songs in the same system as the songs of Chris Tomlin, Bethel Music, and Hillsong.
It meant one more administrative task for me to have to manage.
And, filling out those forms meant I needed to ask for help - lots of help!

But after naming the Risk, I took some time to think about the potential rewards.

I imagined what it would be like to see our songs on that licensing site, alongside the songs of Chris Tomlin, Bethel Music, and Hillsong.
I imagined how awesome it would be to tell churches, “Yes, you can license our song.”
And oddly enough, I imagined how my skills could grow by filling out those complicated forms.

So, requested the forms - again! - and this time, I added one more step:

I called CCLI and asked for help.

“Hi, I’m Allison Lynn. My husband and I are songwriters.
I’d like to register our songs with you and I have no idea what I’m doing.”

In the end, I was able to complete and submit the forms within an afternoon. It also turned out there was a notary about five minutes from our house, right across the street from our regular grocery store.

I found the Secret Code of my Procrastination, and I was able to accomplish my Single Moment Goal.

As of today, we have almost 50 original worship songs registered with CCLI, and all the potential rewards I imagined that day have come true.

I can’t say I haven’t procrastinated since then, but I did learn a valuable lesson:

When an item is sticking around on my To Do List for too long, I need to take a closer look.

I need to look for the Secret Code.

Find the Risk.
Name it.
Reimagine the item as a Single Moment Goal.
Imagine the potential rewards.
And then, bravely take the steps needed to complete my Goal! 

What item has been hanging out on your To Do List for too long?
What Secret Code might be hidden in your Procrastination? 

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