How to get back on track: The Dosage Method
Three steps to recovering your goal.
Big goals are really a collection of small goals, right?
I mean, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. Or build a house one nail at a time. Or train for an Ironman one day at a time. Or write a book one word at a time.
Seriously. No matter how big your goal is, it breaks down to how much you can do every time you go at it. And then doing it, day after day.
When you have a really big goal, chances are that there will come a time when you miss a day. Or lots of days. And then your choice is to just let it go or to figure out how to get your train back on its rails.
Here’s my three-step method for re-railing your goals.
Step One: Acknowledge.
This step is deceptively simple.
I mean, obviously you know if you’ve fallen off the wagon. If you’ve broken your chain of daily goal getting. You don’t need me or anyone else to tell you.
But you need to look it in the face and acknowledge it.
Just say: I missed a day (or a week, or a month, or whatever.) This is where I am. This is my new starting point.
Step Two: Analyze.
Now you need to know what it means to be where you are.
Ask yourself some questions:
- How long has it been?
- How far behind are you?
- Can you just jump back in or do you need to back up to the place where you went off the rails and start building up again?
Also, spend a minute trying to figure out what made you skip your goal anyway. Was it time? Was it desire? Do you need to rethink your goal, or your schedule? Do you need a system?
Step Three: Employ the Dosage Method.
I call this the Dosage Method. You know: skip an antibiotic dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time to take the next dose. Then just skip it and start over.
Let’s say that your goal is to write a novel and your commitment was to write for ten minutes a day.
If you skipped writing his morning, go ahead and write tonight. Then pick up again tomorrow morning.
If you skipped writing last week, just start again in the morning. Tonight, read the last chapter you wrote, to get yourself fresh in the story again. Maybe make a note about what to write in the morning, so that you won’t have blank page syndrome in the morning.
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Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She lives in Reno with her husband, three superstar kids, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes, is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation, and the original Ninja Writer.