Don’t Set Goals – Take Action!
It’s the time of year when people ask about your new years resolutions, and the parking lot at the gym is crowded for a few weeks. We laugh at how almost every claimed resolution fails, but what if that didn’t have to be your result? It is possible – rather than making yourself promises and setting goals like everyone else, instead think about habits you can change which would lead to that goal or end result. Want to lose weight? How about starting a habit of walking during your breaks rather than eating a snack? Want to learn a language – listen to podcasts and training in that language while commuting. Want to travel to the Caribbean for a dive vacation, set up an automated saving from your paycheck into another account to pay for it, and book the time off!
You get the idea – we have amazing ability to change ourselves, but it all starts with changing our minds. Rather than setting goals for someday, make decisions which move you towards that goal today. Even tiny steps will get you there if you just keep taking them. The only time we are given is the present moment. Use it wisely!
Why This Works
This works because of a number of factors, including that it overcomes our natural procrastination tendencies by making the action more approachable and less overwhelming. It also starts becomes unconscious in about 2 months; before you know it, you won’t even think about this, and will be on auto-pilot as you cruise toward your goals.
I’ve used this in personal and professional life to great effect, and suggest you give it a try as well. If you want one method of helping you change a habit you don’t like, Charles Duhigg has a method which has worked for many. In particular, I like that he has a process for you to follow. Again – his system is mostly to change a bad habit – if you want to accomplish something new, I recommend breaking it into small enough chunks that you can do something to progress towards it every day, and track your progress someplace you see it often. This will provide the positive reinforcement we all need.
Good luck! Let me know what habit you formed in the comments below!