So you want to finish writing that paper, loose 10 pounds and learn tango by the end of this year. Great. I love your ambition. And I am sure, you love it too. And looking forward to sticking to the plan and seeing yourself in that awesome dress dancing away after receiving your PHD. It's all going pretty well for the first two weeks, and so it should be, say the productivity gurus.
It takes 30 days to create a new habit and the first couple of weeks are driven by your vision, exsitement and persistence. You are on fire. However, the second part of the commitment doesn't go as easily as you imagined. There's never enough time to finish the second draft and add that crucial part to the last chapter, fridge seems to be there to annoy you, and you don't feel like getting out of the house to the dance hall after your friend ditched you for her new date again. I mean, those are not just excuses, those are ligitimate reasons why you can't do what you promised.
So your PHD will drag on for another semester, tango and getting off those extra pounds are not essential for your wellbeing, not a big deal. I get it.
And there is another way! Make yourself accountable.
Here are 4 tips for you to start keeping your promises and achieve what you set yourself to achieve.
1 Set one goal at the time, be precise in what you want to achieve. For example, how many pages per day/week will you write. When is the completion day for your first draft.
2 Once you set a clear goal, write it down, put a date on it, and start a count down. Measure and document your progress weekly or daily.
3 Celebrate even the smallest achievements. You need to see some results to feel motivated to continue with your tasks.
4 Find an accountability partner.
It can be a similarly ambitous friend, or a group of friends. Tell them what you are trying to achieve and ask them to keep you accountable.
Sometimes the hardest part is to sustain your new habits while living in your old environment, being surrounded by people with different goals than yours, or no particular goals whatsoever. What do you do then?
Well, you reach out. Ask somebody you like on the FB, somebody who is like you trying to move forward. Join a support group or a meetup. Hire a coach.
Another way to do it, is to announce what you want to achieve to all of your friends and your family or post it on Facebook, or wherever you choose to make your decision public.
The bottom line is, let somebody else know. It's just too easy to slip out of a good cause if it's only you who will ever check in.
So, what is your goal for the next 6 months? How can I hold you accountable to do what you said you would do?
Post a comment and share this blog post as well as your intention with your family and friends.