Do the Important Things – Part 2

In my last post, Do the Important Things – Part 1 , I wrote about some things we can do to make it easier for us to step toward our goals.  This post is a continuation of that topic.

We are creatures of habit.  Some habits move us toward our goals and are in line with our values, while some do not.  When you are ready to establish a new habit, it will take effort and determination to successfully make the change.  There are ways that we can make habit creation an easier process.  See Part 1 for the first 5 ideas.

6. Define what a model day looks like for you.

What would you include in an optimal day?  First, you could define what things MUST to happen each day – the essentials.  For me, that would be things like feeding my family, doing some house chores, laundry, feeding the animals, collecting eggs, and homeschooling my son.  Then add the things that you WANT to do – these would be the tasks that move you toward your longer-term goals – these might be related to health, intellectual growth, relationships, work or projects.  Then create a model day that includes these things at specific times.

Keep it out where you can see it and check it off for a few days.  See if it is a reasonable model and, if not, make adjustments.  We don’t ever actually have an “ideal day” per our standards.  Life happens.  Appointments happen.  Our families need us.  A friend calls and needs to talk.   These are usually GOOD distractions that are in line with our values.  But if we set out to include our goal actions in our day, they will start happening more often and crowd out the less important items.  We’re not shooting for perfection, just progress.

7. Remember why.

In the moment when I am headed to the kitchen cabinet for a handful of chocolate chips – armed with my Pinterest app – I need to remember WHY I want to break my snack habit.  If I don’t remember why right then and there, I will cave every time.  So I tell myself that I am trying to break this habit because it doesn’t help me to achieve my health goals AND it wastes time.  I have a penchant for procrastination by snacking!

Yes, I say all the time that I love running.  But I have a confession to make.  I very rarely ever WANT to go for a run.  When I am cozy with my coffee in the early morning, the last thing I want to do is lace up my shoes and head out that door.  But afterward, I feel amazing.  That’s my why for running – it makes me feel great.  In fact, I made up an acronym that describes how it makes me feel so that I can remind myself why I should run.

Running makes me feel:

  • Clear-headed
  • Healthy
  • Energetic
  • (that I have a) Positive attitude
  • Young

I know, I know, chepy (rhymes with peppy) is not a word and it is certainly not poetic.  It’s not even spelled phonetically correctly.  But it works for me.  I always want to feel chepy, so I put those shoes on and take the first step.

Remember why you chose your goals in the first place.  Imagine what it will be like to achieve them.  Then write down your why.  Put it someplace that you will see it or make up an acronym that you will remember.  The next time you are tempted to not follow through, remember the why.

8. Get accountability.

Sharing your goals with other people, especially those that believe in you and will encourage you, will increase the likelihood of achieving your goal significantly.

The flip side of this is that you may want to intentionally NOT tell other people who you suspect might be critical of your goal.

If there is someone in your life that has been discouraging, then you may want to not share it with them.  Let the results speak for themselves.  Who knows, they may see something different in you and be inspired to ask you about it.

I’ve wanted to run the Richmond Half Marathon for years now, but have yet to do it.  My excuses are endless.  But this is the year.  I registered, then intentionally DIDN’T pay the $7 insurance fee, and told two friends.   So far I have stuck to the training schedule despite some setbacks.  In fact, I recently purchased bear spray because my neighbor was actually CHASED by a bear last week in her yard!  I know, it’s crazy, and so rarely happens here.  If I hadn’t already committed to my friends to run the race, I probably would have given up the training.  I mean, it’s downright dangerous to run in the Wildlife Management area near my house, right?  And my husband is really not comfortable with it either.  If that’s not an excuse, I don’t know what is.  But I will keep on…running on the treadmill or driving to a nearby town to run where there are people around.  Because I feel accountable.

So, let some positive people know what you’re trying to do!  Tell a friend or your husband.  Post it on the fridge or on your desk.  Or share it on social media if that’s your thing.  And be sure to leave a comment below to let us cheer you on!

Then check out my next series, Simple GTD for Moms, where I talk about an uncomplicated system that helps me continue to do the important things each day.