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Achieve Your Goals: The Simple Trick That Doubles Your Odds of Success

The "If-then" strategy

It gives you a clear plan for overcoming unexpected events. You plan for unexpected situations by using the phrase, “If ____, then ____.” 

For example: If my meeting runs over and I don't have time to exercise this afternoon, then I'll wake up early tomorrow and run.

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Achieve Your Goals: The Simple Trick That Doubles Your Odds of Success

Achieve Your Goals: The Simple Trick That Doubles Your Odds of Success

https://jamesclear.com/implementation-intentions

jamesclear.com

4

Key Ideas

Motivation vs. Intention

We all have the motivation, willpower, or desire to achieve our goals to some degree.

What makes the difference, what turns your goals into reality is not really your level of motivation, but rather your plan for implementation.

Implementation Intentions

They refer to the plan you make about when and where to act before the action occurs.

The format for creating an implementation intention is: “When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.”

Implementation intentions are an effective way of sticking to your goals.

Follow Through With Your Goals

If you make a specific plan for when and where you will perform a new habit, you have bigger chances to follow through.

You don't need motivation, you need clarity. Simply follow your predetermined plan: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

The "If-then" strategy

It gives you a clear plan for overcoming unexpected events. You plan for unexpected situations by using the phrase, “If ____, then ____.” 

For example: If my meeting runs over and I don't have time to exercise this afternoon, then I'll wake up early tomorrow and run.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

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Internal vs. external motivation
Internal motivation, the drive to achieve that comes from inside a person is the kind of motivation that can lead to life-changing improvements and well-being.

External ...

Self-Efficacy

It means believing in your ability to perform a task and achieve goals. There are 3 ways to build self-efficacy:

  • Ensure early success. When first starting out, choose activities you're certain you can do successfully.
  • Watch others succeed in the activity you want to try.  This is particularly effective if the person you're observing is similar to you (friends, neighbors, co-workers).
  • Find a supportive voice. Personal trainers and coaches are skilled in giving appropriate encouragement, as are good friends (usually).
Fundamentally Independent Thinking (FIT)

A fundamentally independent thinker understands that nothing makes a person upset, angry, or depressed; rather, what a person thinks about the world determines how they feel

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Goal setting
Goal setting

Is the act of selecting a target or objective you wish to achieve.

Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay t...

The Rudders and Oars Metaphor
It helps clarify the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS:
  • Your goals are like the rudder on a small rowboat. They set the direction and determine where you go. 
  • If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. 
  • If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.
  • If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

How to Set Goals You'll Actually Follow
  1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Your Goals. Consistently prune and trim down your goals. If you can muster the courage to prune away a few of your goals, then you create the space you need for the remaining goals to fully blossom.
  2. Stack Your Goals. Make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform this."Networking: After I return from my lunch break, I will send one email to someone I want to meet."
  3. Set an Upper Bound. Don't focus on the minimum threshold. Instead of saying,  “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today.” rather say, “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.”

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The Dynamics of a Resolution

We all have goals to achieve and behavioral changes we want to implement. Making the resolution is the easy part. The implementation and the work that is to be put in daily is the real challenge.

Why Resolutions Fail
  • Getting motivated by negative emotions like fear or regret.
  • A sudden influx of motivation followed by giving up in the first instance of a setback ("All or Nothing" approach).
  • Having a big and unattainable resolution.
  • Not being in terms with the concept of failure.
  • Not committing fully to the process.
Social Pressure

New research suggests we are less prone to keep working on our goals after we publicize them. This is because we may end up talking about our goals and celebrating our success prematurely rather than implementing them.

Social Pressure makes us fearful, as we can feel afraid of appearing inept. This negative mindset does not work well where we need daily work.

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