Goals Gone Awry Already?
So, it’s day two of your new workout, diet, romance, debt payoff plan, career building plan, be-the-most-fantastic-damned-person-on-the-planet plan…and you’re already feeling the weight of your former sins? It’s okay. Remember that it took you a long time for you to get where you are today. It’s okay that you aren’t model-thin in a weekend. (In fact, it’s always okay that you’re not model-thin!) It’s okay that People Magazine hasn’t called yet asking for a photo shoot. It’s okay that The Food Channel hasn’t bumped Giada in favor of your down home cooking.
It might be that your plans weren’t entirely doable. Maybe you bit off too big of a bite?
So rewrite your plans in tiny steps that you can accomplish easily. This is the only way habits are formed. One tiny little step at a time. Tony Robbins calls this ‘chunking’ and it can make what looms enormous sound much more doable.
How Habits Work
Call it the Cigarette Plan. I used to do research into the biochemistry of addiction. Mostly with alcohol but all additions work generally the same: your brain gets a bit of feel-good hormone when you do something. You like that feeling so you do it again. Do it enough and your brain starts to see this feel-good bump as normal. Now you are addicted. Now you need that bump to feel normal. The insidiousness of cigarettes is that each drag reinforces the feel-good feeling. Over the course of a day, then, a smoker trains their brain to enjoy cigarettes, what, four-hundred times a day sucking twenty times on twenty cigarettes? It’s no wonder that addiction experts consider smoking to be one of the hardest habits to break.
Use this to your advantage. Develop healthy or happy habits in little bits. You don’t have to run a marathon in a month. If you want to, and if you can without injury, that’s great. If you don’t then commit to walking for five minutes a day. Five minutes! Read a classic for five minutes at bedtime. Learn one German word a day on your drive to work. Commit to eating a one piece of fresh fruit every day. This is exactly how habits are formed. One tiny piece at a time. So, for whatever it is, start today, right where you are, and do one thing. Commit to doing it again tomorrow. This is how you change your life.
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Personally, I use Microsoft To Do for my goal tracking and list making. And let me tell you, I like lists!
It might be that your plans were’nt completely