Writing about those periods in our life, when we truly commit ourselves to accomplish a goal that may takes months or years to succeed with. There is no more procrastination, no negotiation. You focus on getting your project done, takes what it takes. But easier to say than do!
Three years ago we bought a land with a house to make it our base, our BatCave or “RenZo hacienda” – how we call it. We made some progress during the first two years, like managed to have a new roof, some internal demolishing work we got done. To be honest, we rather preferred traveling and when we had enough, we disappeared for a few months. So we can say, we could have done much more work if we do not procrastinate.
In the summer of of 2021 my wife and I decided to start our project in March 2022 and reach a certain milestone by the end of June 2022. We had to prepare a lot for this goal but life made it all a lot harder while we executed our plan.
Part of the preparation I have chosen a remote contract for 2022, so I can help around the building site. My wife completed an online course about general house refurbishment & home design. I had my own researches about heating and smart home systems. The builder professionals were all reserved to help us make our dream come true. By the end of February, we reached to a point, we were ready to get our hands dirty!
Then the war started in our neighbourhood, in Ukraine, just in the end of February, days before we planned to start the work. We were in shock, as many people in the World. How can such event happen in Europe? We thought WW2 is the past and a war cannot happen in Europe again, especially in the time of EU and NATO. Hasn’t humanity learnt enough from wars yet?! We have a climate crisis and do we have such reserve to waste on fighting with each other? Enormous money spent on war rather than spent on surviving and making the planet a better place or a still liveable place for the next generation. This war does not make a sense at all for me. A mixture of thoughts made us anxious for days. Only 500 km from the borders of Ukraine, is it a good idea to spend all our money on our dream that can be destroyed by the Russian army if they decide to extend the borders? Is this event a valid reason to procrastinate our goal again? Shall we leave Europe behind and move to our second home, Paraguay? Few days later we decided, we are going to start our project. Time will tell whether it was a wise decision but we still hope the best and the war ends very soon. Fingers are on the Red button of the nuclear rockets but we can only hope, the people who stand next to those buttons, are somehow more evolved than their ancestors and they will make a wise decision by not pushing those buttons.
Our project started and we were very excited. Then the next shock came just on day 2 after we started…
My client said, I am not allowed to work from any other country than the UK because of some geographical restrictions (working for a bank). I do not have to work from an office but be on the British island somewhere while working. We had a day to decide, what to do next! I spent an hour in panic and felt destroyed. With my wife’s help, I got back up and we soon decided, we must adopt to this obstacle and this must not be a reason to delay our project. Our tweaked plan was that my wife stays behind and coordinates the building project all alone. I do the weekly commute of 5000km, for 4 months and working from hotels and sometimes from a friend. We live 200 kms from the airport, so we had to consider the weekly 800 km return trips to the airport as well. We knew we can make it but with what mental and physical state do we come out?
During the 4 months, Life was throwing us even more difficulties, those we never have faced with. In our flat the heating system broke and caused a headache for two months. Freezing rain in May made on our car 600(!) small damages. For two months I had regular weekly dental surgeries to install 4 dental implants in one go – this was my choice to have it done now, as started the whole process last September and wanted to finish it. I had to face with regular delays at the airports; with staff and fuel shortages, sometimes 5-6 hours delays. At the building site, we could see materials costing 2-6x more than 2 years ago, including the daily and hourly rate of builder professionals. Meanwhile I started looking ways for a career change, attended on some interviews. In our flat, due to the heavy rain falls our ceiling started to leak water in a room. We experienced more problems in life around us than with our project itself. For two months I spent the weekdays working in the UK, weekends we spent together working around the house – this started to have a knock on effect on our relationship with my wife, we had to do something about it.
I must mention here, my wife coordinated more work threads the same time at the site, she really did an amazing job there. Managing the refurbishment is really a full time job and I appreciate she decided to pause her business until she gets this project done. Thank you, I am very grateful for you Reni.
We have set an end date of the project to the end of June, when we must reach about 80% completion. But will we survive 4 months being separate during the week, both of us under high pressure and in the middle of a bunch of obstacles in our life? How will we stay strong and motivated? As we are right at the end of June, I can now say, WE MADE IT – even in such extreme conditions. But how did we do it?
10 tips to accomplish a long term goal
- Have a goal that you have a meaning for you. For us this goal was to have a new base that is always there with all comfort we need after long journeys. Self-motivation happens naturally when we attach a value and a meaning to something. Ask yourself: “What would this goal give me emotionally if reaching it?” How would your life change if you accomplish this project?
- In the thinking period (when you set your goal), answer to all self-limiting thoughts. “Will this work?” “Is this now the right time?” “What if…?” Answer all these thoughts and start executing your plan. In the implementation phase avoid re-thinking the answers for the questions you already answered – otherwise you make yourself uncertain and will block yourself out from succeeding.
- You need a plan to reach that goal, that is adjustable to obstacles. You never know what will happen in the World or around you but you should not be distracted and lose focus from succeeding. A goal needs to have a clear end point, what milestones you want to reach and when? At the building site we had every month a milestone set, what stage we want to reach and by when.
- Have daily habits, which help keeping your high vibration. I have a strong morning routine what I could practice anywhere, even in the tiniest hotel room; 20 minutes Wim Hof breathing technique, 20 minutes yoga, 20 minutes chest expander exercise. With my morning coffee I write into my gratitude journal about the process of my project, my well-being and arriving safely (or whatever is the actual thing I am grateful for). In the afternoon, I usually have a minimum 30 minutes walk. These habits kept me in balance and energetic, even after a 12 hours journey. Helping others raised my vibration, even in very busy periods I did not ignore my friends. Kindness makes a difference. Music can switch on the Happy button, listen to your favourite music.
- Motivate yourself when your willpower is about to run off. You are fortunate if you have family, friends who are keep motivating you but sadly most of us not this fortunate. I continued reading self-development books (I recommend Drew Povey: When the Clouds come, Jordanna Levin: Make It Happen!), about motivation and how to deal with obstacles in life – so reading books helped me to get through this period. During my morning exercise listened to Motiversity videos, which really helped me to start the days strong.
- Stay energetic and monitor your mental and physical state while working on your goal. Working on a project for months can lead to burnout. Take small strategic breaks, even an afternoon off with your friend or spouse. If you feel you are over your limit, have a longer break, like a weekend. Connect with people and socialise. Try mindful practices like meditation and yoga.
- Robert Kiyosaki said: Teach yourself to never say ‘I can’t’. Instead train your brain to ask, ‘How can I?’. Never say ‘I can’t afford it’. Instead say ‘I can afford it!’. Often, after seeing a cheque, I had to remind myself for the rich mindset and think about I can afford it – even when it was not the case. I just trusted abundance is keep flowing to us, money is not an issue! If you get in a worrying-loop, it makes things much harder and can cause anxiety.
- ‘This will pass too.’ ‘This will pass too.’ I reminded myself this time will pass too, when faced with 3 hours long border control after Midnight, or 5 hours delays and when got to the bed in the morning only. A powerful sentence you can repeat yourself mentally in any stressful situation. This helps you to get through in a time when you feel the clock stopped.
- Try to commit your focus to one goal and accomplish it. The success of this project will motivate to start new goals. In an ideal world from planning your project to completing it you will have no obstacles. But often, as you can see our example, this is not the case. Prepare to solve problems while going forward.
- When motivation dies, discipline must take its place over. Often we have to take steps towards our goal, which are crucial for the success but we simply don’t feel the desire to do it. You can apply the finishing line technique: imagine the outcome of your goal, vision the end result and focus on that while actioning the boring or not wanted part. Your favourite music in the background also helps executing the tasks you don’t want to do.
I cannot deny there were some weekends and days when we felt awful. In the last 3 years we spent 24/7 our time together. Suddenly we were no longer there for each other in every minute. This was our decision because without me working in the UK and Reni being on the building site this project could not complete. We both had to deal with loneliness. We love hugging each other and missed these intimate moments. Sometimes one of us started losing track and soon this radiated out to the other half. Having separated from each other was probably the most challenging part in the last 4 months. We feel, we are half powerful without each other. The intimate moments were very rare, weekends were very busy and we had almost every hour planned. The first 2 months were the most intense, then we introduced more quality time to keep the balance. I was ok supporting myself but I was not capable enough to support Reni when she needed the most. We had arguments because of this. Fortunately, we always managed to talk through issues and we always agreed, this is a situation we must deal with and let’s get back on track again. If you have a goal like this together with your partner, try to work on it as a good team. Team work is very important and also to focus on not just the project but on the relationship.
I hope sharing my story and techniques/tips will help you to start your next BIG project and succeed with. Or somehow it will even inspire you. We are very grateful we managed to reach the 80% completion of our project and many lessons learnt.
We are now preparing to have a 2 months break, then in September we will finish the remaining 20% of the refurbishment. This break will be well deserved and we will spend with what we love the most: traveling, walking in nature, visiting historic places, read more books with a nice cuppa coffee.
- 16 weeks return trip between Hungary and the UK
- All together 76.800 km travel in air
- ~145 hours spent with traveling in air and on the road
- ~12.800 km travel on the road by car
- ~£3500 spent on air ticket
- ~£3000 spent on hotels and accommodations
- Countless hours spent on driving to the house and working there
…and the story to be continued…