- James McPartland
Conquer Your Goals with Our Proven 5 Step System
"Setting a goal is not nearly as important as mastering the habits that will bring it to life."
- James McPartland
What is the “mysterious secret” to unlocking our deepest desires and accomplishing our greatest goals in life? Fortunately, it really isn’t that big of a secret or out of reach. It’s mastering the mundane by utilizing the power of habits.
The concept is quite simple, it’s what we do day in and day out that stacks up to get us where we want to go.
Let’s take a fitness goal for example. If one has the desire to shed a few pounds, they will need to put together a diet plan and an exercise routine. If they just ate one healthy meal and went to the gym one time, they likely wouldn’t see results, they would need to make exercise and eating healthier consistent habits they do each day in order to reach their goal.
Now I know what you are thinking, “I know this stuff already!” Yet, even if we know these things, we expect changes to happen dramatically and overnight. When that doesn’t happen, we lose momentum, and the finish line is always just beyond the horizon.
So how do get to that finish line? Conquering the distractions and having the willingness to wait for rewards. Which are made easier by developing the habit of developing habits with our proven 5 step system:
1.) Define the goal you are pursuing:
What will it ultimately look like and feel like when it is achieved?
How will you actually know when you've met the goal?
Why is it important to you and to your life?
What is the realization date? When will it come to life?
Who else needs to be involved, and in what way?
2.) Describe the behaviors, actions, and sub-steps required:
What daily habit will have the biggest impact on reaching the goal?
Who needs to be informed, included, and recruited to help bring this goal to life? What's in it for them?
What might you have to stop doing to make room for the new habits and behaviors required to meet the goal?
Can you “stack” – or “link” – the new habits to any existing behaviors? (i.e. adding new habits of practicing gratitude and setting daily intentions to your current habit of daily journaling as part of a morning ritual)
Identify what could interfere with developing new routines.
3.) Set milestones – Create minor wins on the path to victory:
What activities, performed over time, increase the likelihood of ultimate success? (i.e. 4 workouts a week for 90 days)
Enroll a support team. Let people know what you are going after and tell them how you would like them to help you.
Have a "spring back" plan to “fall back” on if you get off track. Old, ingrained behaviors will often try to sneak back in and grab your attention as they are what feels comfortable and "normal".
Create a reward/ consequence program. Appreciate the wins and hold yourself to account for the setbacks.
Speak about your success in advance. Stay positive.
4.) Reduce options – Avoid distractions – Set the environment up for you to win:
Choose your means of support in advance. (i.e. specific clothes, meals, uplifting books)
Remind yourself (in writing) every morning and night what you are pursuing, why it is important, and how you and others win when you win.
Avoid people who do not support you, or who tempt you to say "yes" to a distraction – because you are clear on why you choose to say "no".
Journal the journey. Capture the small wins.
Have a daily plan. Think of the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat… With a thermostat, we set the parameters. With a thermometer, we react.
5.) Master your identity:
Who will you have to become in order to reach your goal?
Who will you no longer be on the path to reaching this goal?
Remember – while incentive can start a habit, identity sustains it.
Who will you have to re-train to see the "new" you?
How close is this new identity to your authentic self?
If you get 1% better each day for an entire year, you will be 37 times more advanced than you are now by the end of the year. It doesn’t matter the skill or habit – whether it is learning a foreign language, working out, or even saving money.
So, develop your new habits and utilize the power of consistency to get you the results you desire. Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes.