4 Tips for Helping You to Stick To Your Goals
about 3 days ago.
Updated 5 months ago.
William James says, “Nothing is as fatiguing as the continued hanging on of an uncompleted task.”
Poor follow through – consciously deciding to do something, but then not doing it for whatever reason – is a fact of life for many of us. Most people find that the gap between their intentions and their actions is too vast, and fall short of doing what is required to achieve their goals.
Think about the promises you’ve made to yourself in the past. Of all the promises and commitments you have made to yourself, how many have you kept?
Poor follow through is a fixture of modern life. Incredibly, most of us continue to believe that we will follow through “next time” rather than taking action to make our current goal a reality.
This phenomenon takes a toll on virtually every aspect of our life. Our lack of ability to commit to taking action prevents us from achieving personal, financial, relationship, and career goals that would otherwise be well within our reach.
Have you ever considered the cost of poor follow through in your life? Think about a goal that you have failed to meet in the past. Was your failure to follow through a by-product of the fact that you were really okay with the way things were to begin with? Or does the poor follow through bother you? Does the knowledge that you didn’t follow through with your goals eat you up inside because you know you aren’t doing what you need to do to get the result you say you want?
As long as we continue to expect our “good” intentions to work the way they should instead of facing reality about the probability of following through, we’ll just keep repeating the same mistakes.
When we rationalize with ourselves to avoid completing necessary tasks we are only holding ourselves back from getting what we desire. This is why the best performers and athletes have coaches. We are human. It’s okay. Get help!
Let me share a story with you….
In November 1997, my husband, Bill, began training for the 1998 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. The one-day event was scheduled for October 1998, leaving him with only 10 months to prepare for a 2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile marathon run. The only possible way to prepare for an event of this caliber in such a short time frame was to create a plan and stick with it, which Bill did.
Well, at least for the most part. Swimming has never been his strong suit. Bill began training for the land events as planned. He began running and biking and even started lifting weights to build his strength and stamina, per the plan created by his friend and coach, the six-time Hawaii Ironman champion, Mark Allen.
By the time February arrived, Bill knew he was behind on his swimming schedule. Someone told him that 70% of swimming is technique, so he bought a book. Then he bought the video. He even enrolled in a swim clinic for the last weekend in March. But he had still managed to keep his training on land. I guess in his mind, there was no sense in getting into the water until he learned the proper technique.
I was starting to get nervous. During the first week of March, Bill began working with Mark Allen. Bill was helping Mark work on his presentation skills for his motivational speaking career when Mark asked about Bill’s training. Bill gave him the run down. He described his running routine, his cycling development, and weight training regimen. Bill rambled on and on, hoping Mark wouldn’t notice he was avoiding his water routine.
Mark wasn’t falling for his scheme though. He asked Bill pointblank how the swimming was going. Bill smiled weakly and said, “Uh, well … I’ve been reading this book and, uh, watching this video about proper technique. And I’m signed up for a swim clinic.”
“Great,” Mark said. “So, how’s it going in the pool?”
Bill knew he was trapped. “I haven’t actually been in the pool yet,” he said.
“You know, Bill,” Mark said slowly, “you really do have to get in the pool.”
Truth has a remarkable power over people. Bill realized he had to get in the pool. Not in March, not next month, but right then.
Bill’s procrastination with swimming could have cost him his dream of completing the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. Luckily for him, a voice of reason stepped in and caused him to see the error of his ways. Someone was willing to tell him the truth… and that is what an accountability coach will do for you.
Maybe procrastination is something that should be no longer acceptable in your life. Is procrastination something that affects you to some degree? If so, why do you think we procrastinate? Studies indicate that there is a variety of reasons, including some of the following false beliefs:
Fear of Success. Can you believe it? Some of us have a fear of success, strange as it may seem. We aren’t sure what that next level holds, so we hold ourselves back from reaching it.
Fear of Failure. Some people may worry about how others will perceive them when they fail, so they don’t bother to even try. They are comfortable right where they are and don’t want to attempt things that can cause them to fail.
Fear of the Unknown. So many times people procrastinate because they aren’t sure of the outcome. They don’t know how someone will respond to something they will say so they don’t say what is on their mind. When you try things that are new and different you don’t know how people will react. So you just have to do it anyway. There is no way that I know of to be even more successful than to try new things and see what happens.
The good news is once you start to try new things you were afraid of, you actually will get better at trying new things you aren’t sure how it will turn out because you will realize that most of them usually turn out to your benefit and you achieve the result you desired.
Perfectionism. Some procrastinators are perfectionist. They may start something but never seem to get it finished because they view it as not perfect; therefore, never completing it. They may think they want to do something, on the other hand, but never start because they don’t know the perfect way to complete the task or project. My husband sometimes says these people are “getting’ ready to get ready.”
The need for that rush of adrenaline. How many times have you heard someone say they work better under pressure, or their best work is done when they are up against deadlines?
Overestimating the time left to complete a task.
Underestimating the time left to complete a task.
Mood versus displacement. Have you ever heard someone say or felt that you weren’t in the right frame of mind to do the task required when it was scheduled? Some people might continually have the feeling that they aren’t in the right mood or frame of mind to get the tasks required done. To paraphrase Mark Allen, six-time Hawaii Ironman Champion: you need to do the work that the goal requires to achieve it.
Lack of self-control. Believe it or not, impulsivity can be a major contributor to procrastination. So many people allow themselves to be easily distracted all day long with a variety of distractions. Do you?
Jim Cathcart says: “The future you see, defines the person you’ll be.”
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