Goals Goals Goals! Where do you go after the first few months of the year?
Every year we set goals expecting we will work on them. Like everyone, I did set my goals religiously every year. For most of my life, I forgot about my goals just after a few months of the year. Naturally, I was filled with the feeling of guilt and resentment for the rest of the year.
2017 was different. I realised if I did the same things and expect different results; I was only making a fool of myself. So I consciously made an effort to all those things that I would usually not do.
I started by choosing a driving force that will keep me going. I did not want to be mediocre. I decided to do more things I loved and most importantly do them every day.
Out of the many things I did at the start of 2017, here are top 3 of them that helped me significantly.
1. Read Books and started reading articles on Medium
I did not like reading books. I forced myself to read not just any book but those that will help me execute my goals.
If books are still not your thing, read Medium. It’s the best self-help platform I have come across. I still read one article per day. Interestingly it has answers to the questions I ponder over.
I quickly put all the knowledge I gained to action.
I decided to read, write, and learn to play the keyboard. To keep myself up to date on the career front, I decided to learn technical skills from Lynda and Coursera. I decided to get up early, exercise and meditate to improve my productivity. I made self-journals, made notes, made to-do lists to keep my mind organised. Taking cold showers was for learning to face my fears daily. Make videos on my YouTube channel. Spend quality time with family. Inspire people. Do those adventurous activities I always wanted to do.
It did to me at first. Its 11 months now and I have successfully installed these habits into my daily routine. Also, I learned to Scuba dive, and the experience has been satisfying. Check out my experience in this video.
2. Start with just one goal and break it down into small tasks
I did not build each habit from day one. I started by taking the 52-week challenge on Goodreads. I recorded the time it takes to finish one book. A 250 page for me took around 6 hours. So, I needed to read 50 pages in an hour for six days in a week. One day for a buffer. With this strategy in mind, it was easy for me to sustain the habit.
I always have a strong Why for any activity I take up. It helps me stay motivated.
Why 52 books?
If Bill Gates like personalities, despite their busy schedules find time to read daily, I could do it too. Moreover, since I had read a few books, I knew how they could significantly impact my thinking. And I wanted to do it because I started enjoying it. I now have a mini library and a gifted myself a Kindle after I read ten books.
As of today, I have read over 27 books this year falling short by 50%. A phenomenal achievement for a person who has not read even 25 books in his whole lifetime. In 2018, I will give another shot at reading 52 books.
When you learn to master one habit, you now know how to develop more habits and sustain them. You brain ticks automatically to make more space for your activities.
3. Tracking the progress of all your activities
Cricket or any other sport is exciting because there is a scoreboard that is visible always. By looking at the scorecard, you can instantly tell if your team is winning or losing.
Similarly, if take each goal and track your progress daily, it keeps you going. The day you see you have done 21 days without missing a day you will know you have built a momentum. Now don’t break this chain. If your goal is to read every day, then read minimum one line to keep going. One quote that made a difference was from one of the most famous comedian Seinfeld. It was on writing new jokes every day.
“Take a big calendar and mark the days you wrote. For chains and don’t break them. If you are not writing every day, you are getting good at not doing it.” — Seinfeld
It’s been nine months since I started using the app called HabitHub to track my habits. Simple to use and keeps me motivated by quotes daily. While writing this blog, I got the following quote:
“Winning starts with beginning.”
Good luck setting and achieving your Goals for 2018!