Throughout all of my experiments and attempts to improve my life there has been many different system's I have used to help me be successful. Some of those systems have assisted with me succeeding and others have hindered my success.
Two of the biggest roadblocks I have run into are lack of motivation and lack of time. When a goal or habit takes me 15 minutes to setup then an hour to complete I end up not being as successful as I would like. I most often, find other things to do that are shorter or are available in front of me, especially if the goal/habit is supposed to happen at the end of the day I typically just give up and decide that I am to tired or I deserve some down time and I can complete my goal later on.
My Biggest Success System
Reviewing the habits/goals that have stuck there is two things that are commonalities between those habits/goals.
- Reasons: This seems obvious but I am more successful when the reason why I have a habit or goal is directly important to me. This doesn't mean that all my goals are self serving but instead each habit/goal was created by me to help improve my life or the life of someone I care about.
- Five Minutes: The other reason that some of my habits/goals have been more successful then others is how long it takes to be successful. I may be immature or prone to instant gratification but being able to focus on what I can do today in 5 minutes to be closer to the person I want to be a year from now, makes me motivated to get up and actually do something.
Two quick examples.
- "Learn a new Language" is daunting and ambiguous in time commitment. However, "Do Two Lessons In Duolingo" would take around 5 minutes and can be done anywhere as long as you have the app.
- "Eat Healthy" is not something actionable you just need to remember it and don't slip up. "Pack tomorrow's lunch" takes only a few minutes (especially if you have left overs), then you automatically have a prepared meal when you are tempted to eat out again.
During the writing of this post I took a look at some of my habits and realized that the two habits I have been the least successful with are also the most ambiguous and time consuming. I then immediately reworked those habits to make them more specific and only take 5 minutes, then I took 10 minutes and checked them off for the day!