3 THINGS TO EVALUATE SMALL CHANGES AND GET BIG RESULTS
Last week I wrote about how breaking a big goal into smaller, step goals is the way to beat procrastination and achieve your dreams. This week I'd like to give some quick tips on how to identify little changes that need to be made to make a big change (or achieve a big goal) in your life.
- Monitor your thoughts around the action.
- Evaluate small things taking away from the goal.
- Set boundaries.
Let's use an example of wanting to wake up earlier.
1. Monitor your thoughts around the action.
What do you tell yourself about waking up? Is it something you look forward to or dread? Are you telling yourself that you need to wake up earlier or that you want to wake up earlier? Why do you need/want to wake up earlier? It's important to ask yourself these questions and frame waking up earlier in a positive light if you really want to accomplish this goal.
2. Evaluate small things taking away from the goal.
Take a look at what leads to sleeping in. Do you have a bedtime routine? Does this routine help you fall asleep quickly or does it keep you up late? Do you stay up on your phone or have a deadline of when you stop using it for the night? Do you make waking up easier the night before by laying out your clothes for the next day? Do you write down the next day's action items the night before so you don't wake up to unknowns for the day? Each of these small needs or steps can have an impact on achieving your big goal.
3. Set boundaries.
You've shifted your thoughts around waking up earlier and you've seen the small little things that add up to detract from your goal. Now it's time to set boundaries. Set an alarm on your phone to put it away no later than, say 8:30 (or an ideal time that doesn't keep you up past the time you need to go to sleep). Create a bedtime routine that allows you to fall asleep easily and stick to it. Go to bed at the same time each night (within 30 minutes). Don't set dinner dates or movie outings past a certain time. Keep the same routine, even on weekends. You get the gist. By setting boundaries to prevent the little eat-away actions, you can achieve your big goal much easier.
To show that this works for all goals, I heard an example of wanting to be home from work in time for dinner.
- This would mean evaluating your thoughts around this goal: Are you fearful that if you leave work exactly at 5, you'll be thought of poorly by co-workers and peers? Do you feel family or work is the priority?
- Looking for small dig habits: Do you always set/accept 4:30 meetings that run over? Do you put off larger tasks until the end of the day, meaning you could be running late to get home?
- Setting boundaries: Only accept meetings if they are before 4 pm. Tackle your biggest tasks first.
By shifting your mindset and understanding why you want to achieve a big goal, by evaluating what seemingly little things could be hindering your progress, and by setting boundaries to help keep you on track, you can achieve your step and large goals.