Sticking to Your Plan is the Fifth Secret to Self-Control and Changing Bad Habits
When it comes to reaching success in whatever aspect of life that you want to improve, it’s important to make sure that you have a set goal and a set plan to get there. With each day that passes, it is equally important that you’re remaining consistent with every step you’ve outlined for what is necessary to reach that goal. The best way to do this?
Stick to your plan.
Sounds simple right? Well, not quite.
You see, if it was easy to stay the course, everyone would be doing it and we would all be successful. The fact of the matter is that life happens. Fortunately, there are better ways to approach goal setting and your path to reach those goals that will allow life to happen, without knocking you off track. Read below on how to stick to your plan.
Setting Realistic Goals
This is the first and most important step to take. Ensuring that you set your goals properly is going to give you the best start.
- Your goals need to be clear and realistic.
- Your goals need to reach increments. Think of monthly goals that help you reach your end-of-year goal.
- Make sure you understand what it means to be realistic. Have you reached this goal before? Am I fully capable of achieving this?
- Check in on your progress every seven days.
Know your Barriers
Understanding your barriers before setting those goals will help you get ahead of those issues before they occur. Here is what to recognize:
- External Barriers. These are anything that is other people, specific places, times, and activities. How could they interfere with you reaching your goal?
- Internal Barriers: This is anything that you have going on inside you like your emotions, thoughts, and even certain sensations. Be aware of them.
What if I Slip?
Understand that you are not your slip up and this does not need to define you or your progress. In fact, slips occur naturally and it’s important to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to “fail forward.” One of the best things you can do when you make a mistake is to learn from it. What can you take away from this experience that will allow you to avoid it next time?
The next thing to do for yourself at this moment is to make a plan. Return to steps one through four to see what tools could help you to recommit to your goal.
Remember, your struggle is not who you are, but has been your experience. Early influences in life play a huge role in what your current habits are and it’s important to understand how your habits make have been engineered to hook you.
Recognizing this, along with what your triggers are is one of the most important steps to making sure your habits don’t control you. When you consider these things, ask yourself the following questions:
- Given these factors, does it make sense that I slipped?
- Instead of attacking myself, what can I now do to return to my path to success?
To stay on track with your goals, go SLOW:
S – Slow down and take a breath
L – Look within and notice how you’re thinking and feeling and any other sensations you’re experiencing
O – Open to the world and be willing to have those thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
W – Walk each step toward your goals
Remember you are human and can make mistakes without being defined by them. You have the power to reach your goals, even with slip-ups. I’m rooting for you.