DRIVEN © Goals
Stage Five: Exciting
Have you ever wondered why some goals seem easy to achieve and others not? Often this bears no relation whatsoever to the actual level of difficulty. Easy goals can seem tedious. Difficult goals can seem impossible. It all depends on your attitude and approach.
Forget easy or difficult, make your goal exciting instead!
We all love winning. It is part of the human condition. Whether you like to compete with others, or to improve your own performance, the result is the same. Every success brings a rush of highly addictive, happy hormones. The more success we experience, the more we crave.
How exciting does your goal feel to you?
If you have worked through the exercises in the previous 4 newsletters, you will already have a goal which excites you. But perhaps your goal is so exciting that it makes you feel daunted? If so, you will procrastinate! Or, perhaps it is not exciting enough? Yes, you’ve guessed it –procrastination again!!
Yes, willpower is important but relying on willpower alone is extremely tiring. It involves the thinking, logical part of the brain (the pre-frontal cortex). This part of the brain is extremely energy dependant so gets tired easily. To avoid your total dependence on willpower, you should make the individual tasks fun and exciting. The brain loves a game and loves success!
The Goldilocks Rule
To avoid procrastination, your goal needs to be broken down into lots of smaller goals and actions that are achievable – but just a little bit of a challenge. We call this the Goldilocks rule, not too hard and not too easy. Just in the middle!
Plan and prioritise the tasks you need to complete over the next couple of weeks. Make sure that they are broken down to small steps – not too easy and not too hard!.
Ring-fence the time and space to take the actions, using a diary or other form of reminder. Give this time the same respect that you would for any other appointment.
Get those happy hormones working for you!
- Brainstorm or mind-map all of the ways you could make the tasks or actions exciting and fun.
- Celebrate every ‘win’ along the way by giving yourself a reward each and every time you have completed a task from your list. Just something small to signify your accomplishment. (Good habits are formed by using this technique)
- Change your working environment on a regular basis. Try working in a coffee shop every now and again.
- Play music at a low level as you work (if appropriate!) Choose something suitable for the mood you want to create.
- Reframe the task in your mind – what could be exciting, fun or satisfying about completing it?
- Create a ‘scorecard’ to showcase your progress. Keep it in an obvious place where you can see each and every achievement, no matter how large or small.
- Remember, perfection is over-rated. Complete the task to the best of your ability and move on.
- Delegate if you need to!
- Jump up and down to re-energise if you are feeling flat or losing concentration.
- Have an ‘accountability partner’ who will congratulate you when you have achieved each milestone.