“Good habits, which bring our lower passions and appetites under automatic control, leave our natures free to explore the larger experiences of life” – Ralph W. Stockman
I’m sure a great number of us have started thinking through what we want 2017 to be like.
For some of us, we feel obliged to go through the motions of setting goals just to ease our conscience that we have a direction for the New Year.
For some, we don’t believe this goal thing works.
We have been there, done that without any major progress in the last few years.
And we are wondering – why go through that ritual again?
I intend to address the concerns of those who are frustrated and can’t seem to understand why their life goals don’t works as expected.
From my personal experience, I think we place an inordinate focus on the prize and not the process, what I will like to call the daily grind.
Yes, the secret is the daily grind. John Maxwell aptly nails it, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
Let’s look at a few tips that can help you grind on a daily basis
- Change what you do on a daily basis
Objectively look at your goals, hold a picture of achieving them in your mind and ask yourself this question – what do I need to do today to make this goal a reality.
Once you figure it out, go ahead and do it. Do it again tomorrow and next tomorrow and the tomorrow after next. Just show up daily. It’s 80% of life’s success.
- Make it so small that you cannot but do it
As a follow-up to the first point, avoid taking grand actions. Real and lasting change or achievement is a marathon not a sprint race. Don’t burn out quickly.
Here is what you should do. Make the actions so small that you cannot but do it. Say your goal, is to write a novel, write a paragraph and nothing more. Tomorrow, again show up and write another. Soon, you will be writing more paragraphs per day.
Making it so small is the key to overcome inertia.
- Don’t wait to feel like doing it
Motivation is very unreliable. Once your mind prompts you about your daily grind, care less about how you are feeling that moment and just do it.
It’s why I said make the action small so that in moments where we tend to pursue the course of least resistance, the mind wont whip up excuses to deter you. Make it so small that you will feel like an idiot for not doing it.
- Ensure congruence between the values that support your goals and your actions
Our frustrations can also arise out of conflict between our goals and the values that support their achievement.
For every goal you set, there is a certain kind of person you need to become to achieve that goal.
If your goal is financial freedom but your behaviour is such that you pursue get-rich-quick schemes, you are creating conflicts that will frustrate your efforts.
You must discover the values that support the achievement of your most cherished ambitions and make the effort to align your behaviours with them.
I agree with you that this is tough but it’s the only way to go.
- Focus on the habits required for your results
Determine the habits required to achieve your results. Make small incremental changes on a daily basis.
This secret here is to make the law of compound effect work for you.
Genuine and repeatable results or achievement come from our habits and not necessarily our goals.
- Keep a constant vision of the future before you
Counterintuitively, you need to keep a vision of the future before you so you can stay motivated on a daily basis. Create visual reminders of the big picture. Enlist a support system that share your values and can keep you focused on what matters in the long run.
To be honest change is hard. As you set your goals for 2017, spend more time thinking about the daily grind and not the prize. By the law of compound effect, the result is sure to follow.