Is there someone in your life (maybe even you) who always talks about that thing they know they should do, yet somehow it never seems to happen?
Maybe it’s making a career change, getting a handle on finances or maintaining a regular exercise routine. Whatever that “should” looks like, the reason is always the same; “I just don’t have time!”
Enter bestselling author and thought leader Byron Katie, who recently addressed a crowd of thousands in San Francisco at Wisdom 2.0. Her process, to which I was first introduced 5 years prior, is as rock solid logical as I remember. Katie is best known for turning dis-empowering reasoning on its head with one powerful sentence; “is that true”?
Plot spoiler; it almost never is. Katie excels at talking her coaching clients through what they perceive as their fixed reality, and opens their eyes to new options. This simple technique is so highly effective I invite you to look at your own “I don’t have time” reality, and make some room to re-prioritize your goals.
Fortunately working on your goals don’t need to be time-consuming. Have you been putting off committing to a regular exercise practice because you don’t have the 90 minutes in your day to devote to a spin class? Or waiting until your to-do list has dwindled to focus on building your online network? Is it because you don’t have time?
If the answer is anything other than yes, consider the words of Byron Katie, is that true?
Here are 3 simple ways to begin making your goals a reality, starting today!
- Think Big, Start Small. Your 5-year vision may place you in a stimulating work environment, a better relationship, a size 5 jean or a regular workout routine, but no matter how big the goal, your first step needs to be a small one.For example, start with:
- Adding 2 relevant new connections a day to your LinkedIn network
- Scheduling a weekly date night
- Swapping sugar-sweetened beverages for stevia-sweetened tea
- Committing to a 30-minute walk 3 times a week with a friend
The idea is to choose one simple, sustainable step toward developing a new habit and then integrate it into your regular routine. This could take weeks or months, it’s different for everyone. Stick with it though because once it’s ingrained as a habit, you’ll begin to just do it automatically – no willpower required.
From there, you can layer another small step as you move closer to your long-term vision. And each step, as in any change of motion, becomes successively easier. You can do this!
- Pre-commit, which means setting yourself up for success by streamlining your environment for a win. One major barrier to getting started is the excuse trap. Your subconscious mind will find any excuse to avoid taking that first step to new habit formation, so remove any obstacles to success or anything that might test your willpower and just get started.
Here are some tips you can use to overcome the excuse trap and set yourself up for success:
- Build time in your schedule by calendaring in your plans
- If payment is involved, pay in advance
- Find a tribe, or start one!
- Remove, avoid or hide any temptations or diversions whenever possible
- Create mindful reminders. Another big barrier to new habit development is keeping your goal top of mind. Unless we use cues in our everyday environment to remind us, chances are we’ll forget about our goal so often that eventually we just give up altogether. One effective strategy is to create cues that work for you.For example, say your regular routine when you come home from work is to drop your keys on the counter and head for the fridge. Place a cue, like a reminder note in the entryway, put your workout duds near the door, and turn that snack break into a 15 minute walk around the block before you have time to talk yourself of it.
Here are some simple reminder suggestions to keep you on track:
- Plan ahead the night before
- Use your cell phone or mobile device as a reminder
- Post notes in places where you can’t miss seeing them
- Keep your gear or accessories highly accessible
Change takes commitment, and yes work too; but if you’re not working toward your goals, you’re working against them, so take the time and make the commitment to prioritize you, starting today!
More in Byron Katie and the work at http://thework.com/en.