How to get back on track

Did you make a list of New Year’s Resolutions, or any goals that you want to achieve?

We’re already 7 weeks into the new year. Yes, time flies! How is your plan going? Don’t worry if you already forgot about it. Or, did you keep procrastinating and pushing it back until the last possible minute? We all do, although we often don’t think of this as procrastination — but that’s what it is when we do something later than we should, even if we think we have a good reason for it.

Most people give themselves promises and set a goal for success. If you have a goal, first let’s start there: having a goal is great, but if you don’t really have control of your body and thoughts, which almost all people don’t, then having a goals normally ends up in failure.

A goal is defined as a form of self-regulation adopted by humans to achieve specific aims. By focusing people’s attention, goals facilitate responses that are compatible with people’s objectives.

So if goals ultimately lead us to failure most of the time, what is a better option?

First, we need to be clear about exactly what we want to achieve. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This sounds great, but actually you probably already know this. So what if, instead of having a goal, you have a system and are committed to the process? This can make huge difference and give you power.

Think of it this way: instead of setting a goal to lose 20 pounds, instead create a system of eating healthier and starting to work on the best meal plan. Or if you want to run a marathon, just start running every day. When you start to apply the system, you will feel good about it, and this will promote more energy in the right direction.

“Losers have a goal, winners have system!” — Scott Adams

You can become your own coach, which means you’re guiding yourself and discovering your potential, so that you can live with more autonomy and responsibility.

Here’s a practical application:

Track how often do you do exercise! And if your goal is going to gym 3 times a week, then your system would be: next week I will do at least 30 minutes exercise on [specific day] at [time of the day] at [the specific place].

The second tip is to use an empty wall calendar with boxes for each day, and simply write a big X on each day when you’ve done whatever your plan was. Once you have a few days with X in them, all you need to do is make sure you don’t break to chain — you have to keep putting an X in each box! This will help you to see that you are going in the right direction.

And the third tip is pre-commitment, such as setting a deadline, or a series of sub-deadlines. This will definitely help you keep on track.

We often think that we don’t have motivation to do something, but actually all that we need is clarity. Most people are looking to make a transformation, but they don’t realize that every little change we make leads us towards the transformation we want.

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