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The art of sticking to your goals

Do you start off excited about your goals, give it a good go and mid way forget about them and don’t follow through. A study by the Journal of Clinical Psychology showed that about 54% of people who make resolutions fail to keep it up past six months. If you are wondering how you can get out of this rut below are a few tips that will help you stick to your goals and habits:

Work on your Instigation habits – The 12 week Year by Brian Moran talks about “lead indicators” which are tasks that will lead you to the goal. For every good habit you have there is a habit before that habit which is referred to as the instigation habit. It is the trigger right before the thing you need to do e.g. rolling out your mat before working out or opening up a word document before writing. There is a higher likelihood of you sticking to your goals if you are consistent with your instigation habits.

A study by the Journal of Clinical Psychology showed that about 54% of people who make resolutions fail to keep it up past six months.

Come up with an implementation intention – This is a declaration of when and where you’ll take the action. Deciding when and where doubles your chances of achieving your goals so take time to schedule the time and place where you’ll take action. e.g. I will write 1 post every week on Saturday’s on the balcony

✦ Do seasonal goal setting – You don’t have to only set your goals during the new year. You can do it monthly, quarterly or seasonally. When doing so, some of the things you can put into consideration include:

      • Reflecting on how you fared during the last month/quarter/season
      • Figuring out what will have the biggest impact during the next month/quarter/season
      • Writing down an action plan which in a nutshell is a list of things that you need to do

The fresh start effect – You are more likely to take action after a landmark that signifies a new beginning. e.g. new years, birthdays, start of a new day, week or month. Start off by being more intentional with other landmarks other than the new year that signify the dawn of a new start.

Cater to the “the Uh-oh effect” – At the start of the goal you are most motivated by how much you have moved forward while as towards the end you are more motivated by how small that gap is between the start and the end of the goal. The Uh-oh effect happens towards the midpoint of a goal. It can either cause a slump where you become overwhelmed by how much you are yet to accomplish or a massive burst of energy that will move you towards achieving your goal. Set a midpoint for your goals so that you can trigger the Uh-oh-effect and channel it’s positive effects.

✦ Have an accountability partner – Have someone who will be in it with you. It comes in handy when you are feeling demotivated or when you need someone to share your wins with.

✦ Have an Inversion plan – Ask yourself what you can do so that in 5 years you are living the worst life imaginable and turn that around to help you decide what you need to do to make it the best life possible.

Set mid wins – Milestones help you build self efficacy because it gives you a sense of accomplishment. A good way to do this is to break down your goals into smaller goals.

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