Are you just trying to get through your day or are you trying to get something from the day? That is the question. I know many people who are intentional about their life, but intentional meaning they are intentionally getting through all of the tasks they must do each day, instead of pursuing the things they want out of life.
When it comes to goals they require a new discipline a new habit. Which unless you are just amazing these are very hard to do. Discipline and habits are formed over time. They just don’t happen over night. A lot of research says that a new habit takes 21 days to form. In Charles Duhiggs book “The Power of Habit”, he says this: How long does it take to change a habit pattern? From Maxwell Maltz and his book “Psycho-Cybernetics” (1960), habit change could take from 21 to 28 days of repeating behaviors that could change an attitude or deeply held belief. Lally’s more recent research, however, would suggest as low as 18 and as high as 254 days, with a median of 66 days are required to crystallize a new habit in our body, hearts and minds. Still others suggest that through hypnosis, application of willpower, or cultivation of a strong heart’s desire, the habit change can happen much more quickly.
So what do we do to form a habit to hit our goals?
Define your purpose or why: Sure we all talk about this purpose thing and the why you want to hit your goal, but it is deeper than surface level stuff. I don’t want to be overweight, or I don’t want to be broke are pretty surface level things. You have to go deeper than that. Why don’t you want to be overweight? What would it mean if you were the right weight. If I have more money what would I do with it. Why is more money important and what will I do with it when I have it? These are the questions you need to answer.
Discipline: Lets be honest with ourselves here, I will as well. I live a pretty disciplined life in almost every area of my life. However, there are times and situations where my discipline is lacking. I am not sure what causes this, other than it just happens. The last three weeks of my life I have lacked in a few disciplines that I have established over the last five years, but even though the discipline wasn’t there, it was still in my mind. The disciplines and positive habits that I had formed were hard for me to break. When your positive habits become hard to break, you have disciplined yourself in to a good spot.
Accountability: We all need it, but most of us don’t want it. Why don’t we want it? Because we know that accountability is just holding ourselves to account to what we said we were going to do. And when we don’t do what we said we were going to do, we are embarrassed and we don’t want to be reminded that we didn’t do what we said we were going to do. We all need accountability from ourselves as well as from others. It is the only way we can achieve the goals we want to achieve.
Consistency: When we do something over and over, and over, and over, it means we are forming the a habit and creating a discipline because we are being consistent in our pursuits. How long does it take to be considered consistent? That’s a good question. I looked up the word and did some research to see if there is a particular amount of time we must devote to a pursuit to be considered consistent in that pursuit? I couldn’t find anything. However, I guess one way to determine that is whether or not you made your goal? And the other answer would be:
Results: If you have applied the above four areas to your goals, the chances of you achieving your goals is greatly increased. And at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the results. Did you lose the weight. Did you save the amount of money. Did you pay off your debts. Did you find a career you are more passionate about. Some people say it isn’t all about results. Yes it is. The results are what matter.
Are you applying the five areas to your goals? If not, start with the first area and define the why. My mentor said this: When the Why gets stronger the How gets easier. Once this is defined the four other areas are the how, and they will get easier.
To your success and your future.