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I have suffered from SKS and chances are you have as well.

SKS stands for “Shiny Keys Syndrome.” It’s a non-life threatening condition that a friend and I often joke about that has a way of keeping us from making progress toward achieving a long or short term goal. The thing about SKS is that it’s different for everybody. For some people shiny keys are boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, wives, children, pets, jobs, shopping, exercising, eating, Facebook, Twitter, cooking, sleeping – you name it – whatever person, place or thing that distracts you from doing what you NEED to be doing might as well be considered your own personal set of shiny keys. Once these things are in your sight you become distracted from whatever foolish plans you already had set in place for yourself. The next thing you know, the shiny keys are getting all your attention.

The activity my friend and I are the most easily distracted from is the writing of our future New York Times best-selling novels. The ideas are there, but the work that it takes to actually finish the manuscript is lacking big time. When it comes to completing the first draft of my book, suddenly things like washing the dishes and watering the plants seem to be way more important (Note to reader: Shiny keys aren’t always fun things. Housework tends to take high priority for many SKS sufferers.).

Recently I decided that something has got to change. So, to break my chain of unproductiveness I have decide to take a writing workshop to force myself to meet chapter deadlines and ultimately, dare I say, complete my first draft before year’s end. Last week was the first group session, and it was great! I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to be surrounded by like-minded people that are on the same path as I am. Now all I want to do is write, but of course the shiny keys are still everywhere trying to distract me. This time I refuse to look. Gonna put my blinders on a keep staring straight ahead.

Remember when I said that SKS was a non-life threatening condition? Well, that’s not exactly true. If you let SKS get the best of you eventually the condition of your life will suffer because you have let other things take priority. Worst-case scenario you blame everything and everybody else for preventing you from making your dreams come true.

With that said, I challenge all the readers of this post to look away from the shiny keys in your world long enough to find some time to focus on accomplishing that goal that is important to you, but keeps getting put off time and time again. It may seem difficult initially, but it can be done as long as you first, make the conscious decision to start the task, and second, be steadfast at taking the necessary steps toward completion.

You can do it! Have faith in yourself and just look away from the shiny keys.

Until next time…


Before you go “leave a comment” that explains who or what the shiny keys are in your world. What moves will you make toward accomplishing your goals?