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Consistency and Goal Attainment
“Do it again and again. Consistency makes the rain drops to create holes in the rock. Whatever is difficult can be done easily with regular attendance, attention and action.”
― Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes
If you consistently work on your stated goals and update someone of your progress on a weekly basis, you will be 33% more successful than someone who merely says they want to achieve a goal, according to a study by the Dominican University of California.
Being consistent with any nonmandatory goal is easier said than done. The good intentions and enthusiasm we start out with tend to wane after a while. It’s normal. Expect it as you are working on your goals. But just because you are less than supremely enthusiastic at all times does not mean you should abandon your long term goals when you get a case of the “blahs.” You can still make consistent progress. Here are some tips below.
Decide if this is really the right time for this goal
You work on your goal this week for three hours, not at all the following week, an hour the next week and then you skip a month. Why does this happen? Could it be the common excuse--life just got in the way?
If we only had one goal like Curly in the 1991 movie City Slickers our lives would be much less complicated. But for most of us, that is not our reality. We have multiple goals, major goals and minor goals. And then we create new goals while we’re on the path to achieve our current goals. So when you sit down to work on your novel, your mind may wander to the other goal you have to lose weight and the next thing you know you’re outside talking a walk. And then when it’s time to go walking you feel guilty for not having written anything so you do that instead. Inconsistent behavior leads to inconsistent results. Take charge of both goals by prioritizing.
Julie Cohen in her bookYour Work, Your Life...Your Way says in order to have a fulfilling and balanced life, learning how to prioritize is a necessity. As in our earlier example, when you make a list of all your goals, you may decide that you only have time to work on fitness goals and the novel will have to wait. Brian Tracy, author of Eat that Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time says in order to have priorities, you must have posterities or things that you will do later-- if at all.
Now if you have two equally important goals that keep getting in the way of each other, you may have to lower your expectations for both in order to do both. Instead of exercising for an hour you make it 30 minutes and you decide to be happy with writing a paragraph every day instead of a full page.
Reschedule distractions as they crop up
Francesco Cirillo, author of the free time management e-book called The Pomodoro Technique, says that when working on a project it’s not uncommon to give in to some immediate need to interrupt the activity: “the need to stand up and get something to eat or drink, or to make a call that suddenly seems terribly urgent or to look something up on the internet this minute…or to check email this instant.” Cirillo says these kinds of distractions are ways we procrastinate.
The solution to this sort of self-sabotage is to write things down as they come to mind so you can deal with them later. Unless it is truly an emergency, try not to stop working on your current project until you complete it or come to that “natural stopping point.”
Make it a habit or routine
Years ago I asked one of my mentors—a longtime administrator with a university—his secret to success. He replied saying that it’s probably because he’s “routinized.” He does pretty much the same activities at the same time every day.
Successful people incorporate into their daily routine activities that will directly lead to the achievement of goals. And they do these things over and over again invoking the Law of Accumulation.
Break down goals into small manageable parts then schedule related tasks for specific times each week. When you have completed the allotted time, record what you have accomplished. If you make this a routine habit, your goal will become part of your life. And you will see consistent results.
“You are working on tasks in small increments, not all at once,” writes Mahanthi Bukkapaptnam on studygs.net. “You first develop a habit, then the habit does the job for you.”
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