Few weeks ago I wrote about how to make lasting goals and today I want to help you stick to it.
There are a few tricks to making goals that last long enough to become a habit. One of the better tricks is to make clearly outlined goals. Having clearly outlined steps helps reduce overwhelm and keep you on track. Instead of only having a vague goal of getting your life in order that can feel overwhelming you can make a detailed plan that answers the necessary question of how to get there, when to do it, why it is important to you and whose help you may need.
Think single-minded focus
You may have a whole lot of things you’d like to improve in your life and you would like to work on all of them right now. This will only make you give up too early because you are spreading yourself too thin. The common result is that you won’t complete any of the goals.
You may have a degree to finish, work that takes up a good chunk of your time, and a family to take care of. With all these priorities taking up your time you don’t have the ability to work on everything at the same time, and something has got to give. If you work on one thing at a time, once you achieve that goal then you can move on to the next one.
Action steps: Of all the goals you would like to achieve, which one will have the most impact on your life? What is going to give you biggest positive change? That should be your goal right now - start there first.
Think of goals like this: Your goal is the end destination, the place you would like to be. If you only have the destination in mind but don’t know the way to get there or have the appropriate transport you probably are never going to arrive.
Let’s say your goal is it to be more organised. Where do you start? How can you tell you are on track? Instead, make a very clear and tangible goal like ‘I will spend 1 hour every saturday afternoon going through my room and decluttering’. Break the goal into specific actions that will lead to your goal. Break each into smaller tasks to create a checklist of tasks to get done and check of each item as it is accomplished.
Action steps: When will you work on this goal? Mark the days and times in your calendar. Consider when you do your best work. Are you more productive in the mornings, the afternoons, or evenings?
Have support systems
Often we fail because we don’t have accountability and support. Doing something new is often difficult so think about enlisting others. Ask your family and friends if they can support you in making better decisions. You can also find like minded people at meetups, clubs, sporting teams. Getting expert help from a personal trainer, professional organiser, or a coach can be appropriate if you want to take it even further.
Action steps: What types of support do you need to accomplish this goal? Accountability partner, a group, a friend? All three? Write the names of your support people and how you’d like them to hold you accountable.
Have rewards that you can look forward to
We may be adults now but rewards are still a powerful tool for keeping motivation after the initial high of making a brand new goal. Motivation is a resource that runs out of steam pretty quickly. There will be days where you simply just don’t want to work on your goal - even if it was fun the first few times. Until the desired action becomes a habit you’ll have to find a way to make yourself do it. Rewarding your effort can help you bridge the gap until that happens.
Action steps: What will keep you going as you work toward your goal? A massage? A dance class at the end of the work week?. Going to the museum or seeing a gallery? Or keeping a bet with friends? Schedule events that you enjoy to reward yourself and to have something to look forward to.
Change your environment
“In most cases, the majority of people choose the default option to which they were assigned.”
If you have lots of junk food in your kitchen you’ll probably eat it. Naturally, people gravitate to what is easy. And often what is easy is your old habits, even when they are not good for us. A way around this is to make the bad habit a little bit more difficult to do. For example, if you watch a lot of TV make it just a bit tedious for yourself by unplugging it and turning the other way.
Do what you can to make to make your environment more conducive to positive to habits than negative ones. It’ll make sticking to your goals easier and reduce the amount time you have to rely on self-discipline (just like motivation, self-discipline is a finite resource)
Actions steps: What environment do you work best in? Does it need to be organised and free of clutter? Do you need inspirations words and pictures around you? Do you need stock your kitchen with more tasty and healthy foods instead of the usual fast food. Enhance your space. Create an environment that will fuel your best self and propel you toward your goal.
GET EVEN BETTER AT HABITS
Do you intend to declutter, get in control of your finances, make time for yourself and your dreams? Make a plan to succeed by getting the support you need. I specialise in helping people make their own positive changes for a more meaningful and fun life. Ready to get started? Schedule a clarity session with me today - or pass this offer on to someone you care about.
With love and simplicity,