I was taking a nap in the afternoon. During the middle of the nap, one of my friends called me. The interesting thing is he was asking for a link to an online web development course which I took almost an year ago. That was quite surprising for me because he wasn’t the one who usually go for such things like taking an online course to really learn something intentionally!
I send him the link and wished him success with his surprisingly new endeavour.
I really liked his intention to do something new. I don’t know whether it was his new year resolution or not. But what I knew was he is one among the many including myself who make decisions about changing the current habits, making new ones or even taking an online course to learn something new! Whatever be that I believe reading this article will certainly help you make better goals and stick with that(which is the most important).
#Rule 1:Never Have Goals!
One of the serious mistakes people make is not setting goals but the thought about having goals. Goals become the checkpoint of achievement. Results become the sign of success. Everyone begins to think about achieving their goals or completing their new work project even if they have just started working for them.
This is a serious mistake!
The reason is, thinking about completing the project and achieving the goal is an attempt to reduce the hardness of working on the process and have a feeling for a motivation to do that hard task.
Goals won’t help long term progress
You know this better than me! People consider having goals as source of their motivation. But motivation doesn’t stick with you all the time. Sometimes you feel so much of motivation but there are times where you won’t feel any! So why do you trust motivation? So does the goals?
Why do you trust someone who is going to deceive you in the long run?
Progress hits the bar when you achieve the goal.
Many people go to the gym to lose their weight. As soon as they have lost sufficient amount of weight they feel like they have achieved the goal and won’t hit the gym anymore. Their goal was to lose weight but not to stay in shape. As soon as they achieved their goal they have nothing to motivate them and they stop training.
In the long run they would gain weight once again and have to repeat that meaningless cycle.
#Rule 2.Commit to the Process Not to the Goals
The mindset of achieving the goal as a measure of success is totally nonsense.
The reason is- you are always teaching your mind to be happy when you reach the next milestone of your project. You’re always setting aside a great sense happiness you should enjoy from working on the process. You always look into the next moment. You don’t feel the present moment. You don’t see the rightful amount of happiness and enjoyment you should own from the process itself.
Start loving the process of practicing regularly. The people we know as masters don’t devote themselves to their particular skill just to get better at it. The truth is, they love to practice and commit to the process- and because of this they do get better and achieve the goals.
#Rule 3.Have Visions Instead of Goals
Instead of setting goals think about having vision for whatever you want to achieve.
As I have mentioned above, set your goals like a vision you have, for continuous unending progress of life. Your goals should not be to lose weight but instead to have the vision of staying in shape. If you can convert your goals into visions you would feel less burden on your shoulders to achieve them.
The resistance you feel before committing to the process would drastically reduce – because now you possess a reason why you are doing that. A vision is more reason oriented whereas a goal is more achievement oriented.
Know your why.
When you know your why you don’t have to go for a motivational video anymore. You already know why you want to commit to that process. Your why and your vision together help you to stay on the path of progress and enjoy the satisfaction from committing to that process.
For a vision oriented process- 80% is why you want to do it and only 20% is how you want to do it.
Arnold Schwarzenneger, the greatest bodybuilder of all time once said
All I know is that the first step is to create the vision, because when you see the vision there- the beautiful vision- creates the ‘want power’. For example, my wanting to be the Mr.Universe came about because I saw myself so clearly, being up there on the stage and winning.
#Rule 4. The Goldilocks Rule
The Goldilocks rule is a term used by James Clear in his New York Times bestseller- Atomic Habits. What the Goldilocks rule says is that human experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.
If you are beginning to learn something new or making serious habit changes, never go for the hardest things first. If you want to do pushups everyday begin with your current level. It can be just 5 pushups. But if that is in your current level you’re doing right. Rushing towards serious changes is something human brain hates to do.
Human brain loves challenges only if it’s in the optimal difficulty level. This is how every successful habit changes are ever made. All the greatest athletes, bodybuilders or any successful knowledge worker would have followed the Goldilocks rule knowingly or unknowingly.
#Rule 5. You Said You Would
A new habit change or working on a new project is a promise you make to yourself.
Many people are good at making promises to others. Nobody wants to break promises to others- because it is a socially visible image of you. When you break a promise to someone you will not be considered as a trustworthy person. Nobody wants to have such an image about themselves among other people. Therefore such failures in keeping those kinds of promises are not that much often.
But how often you break promises to yourself?
Every resolutions you ever made was a promise you made to yourself. So whenever you failed to stick with your resolutions- you broke the promises to yourself.
One main reason we break the promises to ourselves is that we won’t see any cost in that. To be honest, when you do so you’re breaking the promises to the outside world as well.
When you trust yourself less, you are treating the future-you as a less reliable, less committed person. Your self image would diminish inherently. The future-you will become more worse than the current-you. This cycle develops and continues and shrinks to nothing. You would start to fail at things not because they were impossible, but you told yourself that somebody like you wouldn’t be able to finish them.
Here is the checklist which you should follow if you are planning to do something new or if you want to change something you have followed before.
- Find your why for whatever you want to accomplish.
- Set visions for your long term progress and not goals.
- Commit to the practice of working on a project.
- Never measure your progress from the results you produce.
- Break down a large process into smaller optimal difficult tasks.
- Release the need for immediate results.
- Build feedback loops for measuring progress from the process itself
- Fall in love with the process of working and not on the results you achieve.
By making sure that you follow the above checklist I assure you this time things will work different for you and your resolutions won’t fail right after the second week of January.
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year!!
Let’s lead a meaningful and intentional year.