Making it Stick
I looked in the mirror this morning at all the “flaws” that I wanted to work on. My little pop belly that should’ve been toned by now, my off-white teeth that I was going to lighten naturally with lemon and baking soda. My very desperate need-of-care hair. On and on…my thoughts began to take me to other tasks or “goals” that I wanted to achieve before my birthday…27 days away. One, of which, includes starting this blog.
I have NO excuse not to follow through on what I want to accomplish. I am young, single, self-employed (meaning I control my time) and ambitious (so I am told). But WHY do I have trouble doing what I say I will do? This has always been a challenge for me since I am a recovering busy body, always looking for the next best thing. But now that I am older, and getting even older, I want to change this habit and start seeing the fruits of my intentions.
SO, I started reading and researching tools on some of the best ways to commit and follow through on my goals. I compiled the most applicable advice for my lifestyle, feel free to adopt them as your own too:
- Clarity is Key
Being very honest with yourself about WHAT you want and even more honest about WHY you want it. Allow these revelations to motivate you and be the source of inspiration.
I am not always clear, which gives tasks less meaning. So finding the PURPOSE for these pursuits will make them that much more important.
You can remind yourself of the purpose by creating a vision board or write a list of reasons the goal has meaning. What would happen if you didn’t obtain this goal? How will life be different without it? Keep the discoveries in plain sight so you can refresh your emotions on WHY you are working on it.
2. Understand what is Needed
There is always a sacrifice, a support and a system needed to accomplish something out of your reach. If it was easy to do, we would all be walking around with our dream bodies, dream business and dream life. There is WORK involved.
This work includes knowing that you may have to sacrifice time, activities and people in order to make space for this new goal. Will you have to spend less time talking on the phone with friends in order to spend more time studying that spanish lesson? Will you have to pass up on that sample sell in order to add an extra $100 to your savings account? Know UPFRONT what you may need to lose in order to gain.
Also, do you need to establish a support team around your goals. Do you have someone to check in on you about your progress or be your cheerleader when you aren’t as motivated?
In addition to knowing the sacrifice and having support, establishing a system to assist you in staying focused on your goals. Are you more energized in the morning to exercise, or does nights work best? Do you need to silence your phone while writing? Can you set reminders on your calendar to help you stay on top of things? Allow the resources and knowledge of your habits, triggers and needs PREPARE you and allow you to eliminate distractions.
3. Keep it Simple
I have trouble doing ANYTHING simply. If I want to get in shape, my goal can’t be to workout twice a week, it has to be to workout EVERYDAY at 6am!! And then I wonder why I am not accomplishing it. Right.
This is to say, to start small and work your way up to the ultimate goal. Give yourself leverage to change the goal based on what you are realistically able to accomplish. This way you are more likely to stay motivated when you start seeing the results.
4. Embrace the Process
You won’t always be motivated ALL the time. There will be low points on the journey of achievement, but you have to KEEP GOING.
As James Clear phrased it, “successful people feel the same boredom and the same lack of motivation that everyone else feels. They don’t have some magic pill that makes them feel ready and inspired every day. But the difference is that the people who stick with their goals don’t let their emotions determine their actions. Top performers still find a way to show up, to work through the boredom, and to embrace the daily practice that is required to achieve their goals.”
This is all a part of the process, being bigger than your emotions, boredom, old habits and COMMITTING to the work. Being able to let go of just rushing to the end result and ENJOYING the process. CONSISTENCY. Day by Day.
5. Set Achievable Deadlines
Having a set date to work towards gives more momentum and sense of urgency to what you are doing. It is also a way to track progress. Back to keeping it simple, you can plan how much you are on track based on the deadlines you give yourself.
If the ultimate goal is to lose 5lbs, you can start by eating one healthy meal a day and exercising twice a week for one month. If in that month, you feel accomplished, you can add more healthy meals and gym sessions until you reached your utlimate goal.
The deadlines serve as a guide to keep you on track and moving forward.
I am addicted to celebrating. I love a good treat for doing good work, so incentivize your process by adding a small (or large) bonus on the back of your goal. This is another motivating force to keep you on top of it.
I am hoping that this helps you like it is already helping me to achieve my goals and MAKE IT STICK.