Getting things done is about more than just setting goals. It’s about following through to meet those goals.
Often, many of us place too much emphasis on setting goals, like wanting to lose 10 pounds or trying to land a better job. However, the emphasis should be placed on establishing a process to meet those goals.
The goal isn’t months away. The goal is right now. It’s the regularity of good behavior that actually works, not striving for something that will happen tomorrow or next week. Since you cannot control what occurs next week anyway, you need to focus on the decisions you make today.
Establishing a routine
After setting a goal, you need to develop a realistic process or routine to achieve that goal. The routine should be based in research and gauged to reach the desired goal. For instance, if you are looking to lose 10 pounds over the next three months, 10 push-ups a day and zero dietary changes probably isn’t going to do it.
Also, don’t try to establish too many routine changes at once. To extend the weight-loss example, don’t try to change all your meal habits at the same time. Perhaps just eliminate fast food from your diet, or commit to a vegetarian lunch during the week.
Create a system of reminders
Once you have a realistic routine in mind, you need to set up reminders to keep yourself on track.
The hard truth is: It’s difficult to change a routine. The best way to avoid straying is to strategically set up reminders at the exact time you need them. For instance – if you’re looking for a new job, schedule reminders in your smartphone for times when you can conduct a job search or write yourself a note and put it in a strategic location.
If you don’t know when the best time for a reminder is, set up a lot of them and then eliminate the ones that aren’t unnecessary.
After you have your system of reminders in place, stick to your routine until it starts to feel natural. Some experts say it takes a month or two for a routine to settle in, but everyone is different and some people adjust to change faster than others.
When you feel you can safely remove your system of reminders, it’s a sign that the new routine has settled in.
Add a new wrinkle
If you’ve made an initial change to your routine, but still haven’t reached your goal, take the next step and add in another change to your daily routine. For instance, if you haven’t hit your weight-loss goal after making healthy changes to your diet, start taking steps to establish a new workout routine.
Simply follow the same steps of figuring out a realistic routine change and setting up a system of reminders. Since you’ve already had success in changing one routine, adding this new wrinkle should be much easier.
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