Most of us are looking to improve some aspect of our lives. Whether it’s the state of our health or the balance in our bank account, usually there is an area where we’d like to see some improvement.
And, we often make big sweeping resolutions over the New Year and vow to make the changes necessary to achieve our goals.
And now here we are, a week away from March…how’s it going with those well intentioned goals?
We’ve all experienced the “gung ho!” feeling of starting something new. And, most of us also have felt the “fizzle” about a month later. Then we blame ourselves for “self sabotaging, being lazy, lacking in willpower” etc.
The good news is, that’s not the case at all. Your “fizzle” has nothing to do with a character flaw. What caused you to stall was your reliance on your big decision to be enough to keep you motivated.
The truth is, a clear intention and a big decision have little to do with staying motivated to achieve your goals. Finding motivation to take the steps necessary requires a different approach.
For example, maybe you decided to improve your fitness this year and joined a gym. Both improving your health and joining a gym are excellent intentions but, we all know that the decision of ‘joining a gym’ in and of itself will not make you fit.
It will be your consistent use of the gym that will lead to your fitness level improving.
The truth is, people’s lives are ultimately shaped by little decisions and small distinctions followed by small consistent actions.
One little decision at a time is all it takes to change your behavior and stoke your motivation. The big decision to join a gym is great. But the daily decision to GO to the gym is when you’ll start to see and feel a change in your health.
This works both ways… you can also create negative behaviors based on the little decisions you make. For example, your decision to stay up every night and binge watch Netflix will affect how you sleep and how well you do the next day. Keep that up and you’ll be totally wiped out by the end of the week. Yet, deciding to turn off the TV and getting to bed on time might have you ending your week full of extra energy.
Making those tiny consistent decisions is how you shape your life.
So the key is to figure out when that ‘tiny decision’ needs to be made, and how to remind yourself of it in the moment of need.
Personally, I like big reminders. And my favorite reminder is utilizing my phone. Using the above example, I could set an alarm on my phone for 9:30 pm. Instead of the alarm sound, I could set an inspiring song to play in that moment. I could also name the alarm “Go to bed” or “how do I want to feel tomorrow?”. Then, when the alarm goes off, I am instantly reminded of the goal I set for myself (get to bed on time) and this is the moment to choose to follow through.
By setting your prompts up ahead of time, you’re more likely to make the right decision in that moment. You have created both a reminder of your goal, and the choice you would like to make in that moment. And the more consistent you are with making that choice, the easier it gets. ( And soon, getting to bed on time will be a no brainer!)
So forget about beating yourself up about not following through or lacking willpower. You simply need to discern exactly WHEN you need to make a ‘little decision’. And make that decision consistently.
You may need support with this. If that’s the case, please get in touch and we’ll figure it out together.
Or better yet! Sign up for my upcoming workshop! There are still a few spots available. I will be coaching all participants on strategies to implement this very principle as well as ending self sabotage, how to create momentum, and more effective ways to achieve our goals. You will go home with a doable action plan as well as skills to get out of your own way, stop self sabotage, and start living the life you want…now.