Last week I dove into the simple techniques you can use to improve your results or your life in general, without actually adding more “stuff” to your to-do list.
This starts with getting really clear on your goal. Don’t make it fluffy or you won’t follow through. You then have to ask yourself some deeper questions- why do I really want this?
You might need to ask that question of yourself about 3-5 times to actually get the real answer and make sure you’re not bullshitting yourself.
Now let’s talk about what happens after we set those goals. Why do we constantly and consistently FAIL to get results?
There are basically four stages that everyone goes through during this cycle of change.
The first phase is when you set those goals and you are crazy excited. THIS will be the time I’ll change. Basically this is that “Monday I’ll start again” phase. Everything seems exciting, new, motivating and you are ready to rock.
Phase II is when things get a little more interesting- this is called informed pessimism. This when you start to realize how much work is involved and a few doubts begin to creep in. The rainbow and unicorns in Phase I (uninformed optimism) are starting to become a distant memory.
Phase III is when it gets even more bleak, because this is called the Valley of Despair (named appropriately by my friend and mentor Paul Mort). This is when you realize you were absolutely not prepared for the amount of work this goal required and you decide that it’s not even worth it.
You start to tell yourself stories, rationalize that it’s “not that bad.”
“I don’t have that much weight to lose”
“I can do it on my own”
“I don’t have time”
“At least I’m not as bad off as _____” (fill in the blank with comparisons of your own here)
Then you convince yourself that you can’t do it OR you don’t need it.
Until the next Monday, when you turn around and find a new shiny thing to follow, and the phases start all over again. You’re in the happy, excited phase I of unicorns and rainbows.
Guess what happens?
You repeat this cycle.
Why do I know about this? I did it for years. I still do it but I can catch myself and figure out WHY. It’s because my goal wasn’t strong enough and I didn’t have any accountability.
So your task for this week is to make sure you’ve dug deep into what you want and make that your goal. Then look back and start to examine those times when you fell into phases II and III. What happened?
Did you have accountability or someone to report your wins and losses to?
That’s the missing link- accountability.
Next week I’ll be back to share Phase IV and how you can apply this to any area of your life to see success in your goals.