I’m currently addicted to House of Cards, and this quote comes up often. It got me thinking: How often do we really commit 100% to the changes we want to make in our lives?
We may get inspired by something we see or hear, maybe from a speaker or a documentary, and then we promise ourselves that we will improve some aspect of our life. This time we really will change, right?
And so we do well for a few weeks-hitting the gym, staying organized, working on a new business venture- whatever it is. But then we’ll have one or two “off” days where we slip up, and were just like, ehhh fuck it let me lay on the couch for the next seven days and binge watch House of Cards. Pretty soon we’re back to our old, comfortable patterns and the changes haven’t stuck.
If we want to see results and real change in our lives, we can’t half ass it or make up bullshit excuses as to not keep going. The people who succeed in life have off days too-they just keep going, they don’t give up.
So when you want to make lasting change in your life, ask yourself these questions:
1. Why is This Important to Me?
Knowing the “why” behind what you do is so important and can serve as great motivation when you don’t feel like doing anything. Be specific, not just “I want to get organized because I’m a mess.” No, “I want to organize my office because I’ll be much more productive if I am. I’ll be able to help clients more efficiently, feel less stressed and spend more time focusing on my tasks and less time looking for old documents/emails.” Any time you want to succeed at something, especially in business, its important to be clear on why you’re doing it. (A great book related to this topic is Simon Sinek’s, Start with Why).
2. Who’s Holding Me Accountable?
You’re much more likely to follow through on your goals if other people know what you’re trying to achieve. Look for people who will encourage you and help you along the way, but also call you out on your excuses. Maybe they have a goal of their own, and you can keep each other honest about your progress. This is why people have a “workout buddy.” If you know someone is waiting to run with you at 6 AM and you still hit snooze you are literally the worst person ever.
3. How Can I Make My Goals More Attainable?
A big change in your life can seem overwhelming. Don’t just say, “Okay I really want to own my own business and leave my current job by 2017.” That can feel like such a wild dream that you won’t even know where to start. Break it down into doable action steps and focus on one thing at a time. Work backwards-What do you want accomplished exactly by 2017? What can you accomplish in the next 9 months? Where do you want to be 3 months from now? 1 month from now? What will you work on this week? What are my daily actions going to be? Take the time and write it all down. Go from “owning my own business” to the specific month you want to begin reaching out to clients, the specific week you will launch your website, etc.
4. When Will I Work on This?
Don’t just tell yourself you’ll spend X amount of hours a week doing something. No, you won’t. You need to designate specific times when you will work on it. Take out your calendar and see when you can work on it this week. “Okay, I have time Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays from 6-8 PM,” so set a reminder in your phone now. During those six hours turn off your phone and work on your goals and nothing else. No emails, facebook, or tv. Focus bitches.
5. Will I Listen to My Bullshit Excuses?
If you set your alarm an hour early to work on your goals, then wake the fuck up. If you spend two weeks working hard on your business and then 3 days doing nothing, WHATEVER on the 4th day keep going. Don’t just spiral out of control. This is when you need to revert back to your “why”. Why is this important to you? There may be a voice in your head telling you you can’t achieve it, and if you listen to it, it’s right. You need to constantly remind yourself that you can do it. Look at people who have achieved what you’re aiming for and feel inspired again. Hang their face on your bedroom door, do whatever it takes. Of course you’re not always going to feel like it. But this is when following through matters most. Just do it. You can keep making excuses for yourself, taking one step forward and two steps back, or you can actually use the potential you know you have to grow, change and accomplish something real.
Being inspired to change is great, taking action is better, but following through is what counts.
What other techniques do you guys use to commit to your goals?