At the beginning of each year, we think of our goals for the coming year. You can find an article on goals, with a template you can use, right here.
Beyond the actual list of goals, which might be another important activity, what I’m interested is the plan you need to reach your goals. I mean daily/weekly action that you need to follow.
If everything seems excellent on paper, procrastination become the norm in most of the cases. Let’s say that one of your goals is to meditate 10 minutes per day. How would you procrastinate? It’s easy: the meditation session will not be on your priorities list, something else will come up, and you will reach the conclusion that: “It’s ok. I will do it tomorrow”. And, probably the next day you will say the same.
Here you can find 3 simple tricks to beat procrastination:
1. Ask yourself “WHY?”
When you have a goal in front of you, you should ask yourself “why I want to accomplish that?” If you tried several times, without any results, maybe it’s because it’s something that your family, colleagues or friends think it’s good for you. Goal setting at a yearly basis should be correlated at the personal, family, career and community level (as well presented in the book “Total Leadership” by Prof. Stew Friedman).
Fuschia Sirois, psychologist and professor at the Bishop’s University in Canada says in her research that people “should analyze in depth and find a personal significance for each task that they have to do”.
2. Start with small steps
When you want to accomplish a goal, it would be more suitable to start small and set up a to-do list. An unaccomplished list of things to do will always come back in our memory, an effect called by psychologists– the Zeigarnik effect. A to-do list, calms the Zerigarnik effect. You can use apps for that, as I written an article on this topic here.
3. Split your projects in daily tasks
When you have a larger project, everything seems difficult to accomplish. You will certainly postpone a project that is mentioned in your to-do as “work on project A” instead of some specific action, easy to do like “write first 2 pages of the report”. Finally, simple daily steps could lead to big accomplishments by the end of the year. This doesn’t mean that you cannot accomplish a goal in less time, but your effort and stress will be correlated.