Guest post from Sarah Robinson
Winter is the time of year when we set all kinds of crazy little goals for ourselves and then we swear that we will stick to them this year. Some of us give them a fancy name and call them New Years Resolutions and others just say we’re getting organized. Either way, once the warmth of spring begins to warm our toes, we tend to ditch them all. But, I’m here to encourage you that just because we didn’t stick to it last year, doesn’t mean that we can’t this year, does it? Of course not. The problem is, we are setting ourselves up for failure! We set goals that we are not prepared to reach. We set goals that we forget about and we set goals that we don’t plan for. It’s time to conquer this problem once and for all and figure out how to set goals that we can actually stick to.
“Why We Fail” Excuses
- I got busy and forgot about my goals.
- It’s too time consuming.
- It’s too hard.
- I didn’t want it bad enough.
- I already messed up.
- It’s too overwhelming.
5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Doing
- Write it Down – For me, any time I know I want to succeed at something, I write it down. Especially if it’s something I’m not doing on a regular basis. For some reason I’m more aware of it when it is written down! I get in a hurry to be able to cross it off my list. Do you do that?
- Start with the Hard Things First – Let’s see, would you rather do your taxes or watch TV? Hmm. OK, that’s an extreme example, but you get the idea. If you start with the hard things, you’re more likely to feel accomplished and be OK with doing the easy things.
- Break It Up Into Smaller Pieces – If you can do a little section at a time, you’re not as overwhelmed by your project as you are when you’re looking at doing it all at once. I’ll give an example. My girls think that it’s dreadful to clean their room when it’s really messy. But, if I tell them to go and get all the clothes out of there, they can do that. Then I tell them to go pick up any trash on the floor. That’s easy enough, too. Later, I say to go pick up 10 toys and put them away and they think that’s an easy job, too. If you are only looking at things in small little bites, it’s easier to mentally handle it, than telling yourself that you have to do the whole thing all at once! Crystal Paine (aka Money Saving Mom) shares exactly how to do this in her book, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life.
- Set Up a Reminder System – This could be an email that you send yourself (Google Calendar will do this for you), an alarm on your cell phone or just a note that you write yourself. I like to use the Sticky Notes button on my computer to take notes and/or reminders. My daughter is on medicine three times per day. I consistently miss her mid-day dose. Finally, we decided to set an alarm on my phone and she hasn’t been missing that dose any more! If you’re not thinking of your goal, it’s hard to remember to spend any time getting it done!
- Set Fewer Goals for Yourself – Maybe you’re trying to do too much? Evaluate your goals to see why you’re wanting to get them done. Decide if you can take anything off of your plate and let it go.
What special tricks do you have up your sleeve to motivate you to accomplish your goals?
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