You Don’t Need Another Goal, You Need A Strategy
“Strategy is the art of identifying and choosing realistic courses of action for achieving goals and doing so under adverse conditions, such as war.” — Gerard Egan
So many times I have heard people say, “I want to start doing XYZ, but I can’t make myself.”
The thing is we’re all obsessed with random desires. We see an item of clothing that we like, “oh, I want that.” Losing weight, however, is probably the most common example.
“I bought a gym membership, but I just never go,” you probably heard a lot of people say.
Well, the good news is that there is one simple difference between people who achieve results and those who don’t: a strategy.
“Strategies are actions that help you accomplish your goals,” wrote psychologist Gerard Egan.
Yes, if you come up with a goal but then don’t do anything else, your goal will just remain a goal. Millions of people have unfulfilled goals that they carry from year to year. The reason is only that they leave it there. They don’t put discipline into achieving that goal. They don’t hold themselves accountable.
“Without action, a program for constructive change is nothing more than a wish list,” Egan wrote.
To achieve a goal, you need to know where it stands in your life, and you need to understand where it stands in your life.
If you’re working on any project, you need to determine how many hours you need for it every week and on which days exactly you will be working on it.
For example, you can decide that you work on it every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday between 7 and 9 a.m. That’s it, simple. Then, do all your biggest effort to prioritise those hours in your life.
Someone wants to schedule something in those hours? Tell them you can’t do it — like you would do with any other important commitment.
Only when you have set hours on certain days dedicated to something will you take that time seriously and ensure it’s always available.
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems,” wrote James Clear.
I couldn’t make running a consistent part of my lifestyle until I decided that I would be running every Wednesday morning and once more every weekend. This is the rule I set for myself, after which whether I run or don’t run on a regular Wednesday morning has not been a question.
Wednesday is my running day, and that’s my golden rule.
In his book “Tiny Habits,” BJ Fogg talks about incorporating any goal into your daily routine. For some people, that may be doing 10 squats while waiting for the kettle to boil before breakfast.
For Fogg, it was doing two push-ups each time after he flushed his toilet. A bit weird, you might think? But it has been working for him and serving him for more than seven years.
Knowing is not half the battle, doing is. Until you start doing it, it won’t get done.
So, get out and do it.
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