Avoiding the 2nd Mistake
Have you ever heard someone say “New Year’s resolutions don’t work.” This will usually be followed by “evidence.” A quick look on-line will give you all the reasons why they don’t work:
- It’s too easy to get off track.
- Your goals are too lofty.
- Your goals are all about what you think you should do.
- Goals make you feel less than.
- No motivation or real commitment.
- The timing is all wrong.
Besides, studies show that 1/3 of all resolutions are abandoned by January 31st and over 3/4 soon after that. What’s the use?
Yet, without goals and resolutions, how can you make 2015 your best year SO FAR?[Please don’t make 2015 your best year ever. You hopefully have many, many more years left and if 2015 is the best EVER, it means 2016 and beyond will be less than the best. 🙂 ]
Making 2015 Your Best Year So FAR
Part 1: Develop Your Mindset
- Know that there is nothing WRONG with you. You are good just the way you are now. As an intrinsic, infinitely valuable human soul, you are perfect. You are unique, priceless and irreplaceable.
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (The Help, 2011)
You need this belief as your foundation to start. Embrace and celebrate your own goodness.
- Understand that the past is history and there “ain’t nothin'” you can do about it.
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door! (Frozen, 2013)
- Additionally, the future isn’t here yet. While you can envision the future and what life will be like when…, the present is all that you have. Don’t fret and worry about things that might happen. Most of the time they never do. Live in the now.
Part 2: Build a Plan for 2015
Don’t hope that good things will happen. Plan for CREATING your good things. Otherwise you may end up on a path that might takes you where you want to go.
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
MAKE good things happen!!
- Envision where you want to be
- Outline a plan to get there
- Break it down into weekly & daily steps
- Focus on the steps and not the destination
- When you slip up, avoid the 2nd mistake
Part 3: Avoid the Second Mistake
This last step is key! Axiology tells us that goals, ideas, expectations and plans are in the systemic dimension of value. This is the lowest dimension of value. This means that these concepts that we make up in our heads are important but far less important and valuable than actually DOING something and creating something tangible.
When we over-focus on the systemic, the goal or expectation, and we compare today to our envisioned future, reality is viewed as less-than. Our mind’s pictures compared to the picture of reality are a mismatch. Your brain sees this as an error and it is reality that is deemed to be wrong.
- We expect to workout 6 days/week and only managed 4 times this week.
Conclusion: I’m not meant to be stronger/healthier/skinnier. or I’m a failure.
- We expected to meditate for 15 minutes/day and can’t quiet our minds for more than 15 seconds.
Conclusion: Meditation is not for me. This plan is ruined. It’s over.
- We want to read a book/month and we only read 10 pages.
Conclusion: Our lack of motivation is evidence that we don’t have the willpower and self-discipline to make this change.
- We planned to reach a project milestone by this time.
Conclusion: We’ll never get this done. This always happens to me.
These conclusions are all lies. Rational lies that we tell ourselves to keep us where we are… comfortable, sometimes comfortably miserable.
TRUTH: One mistake is an anomaly.
KEY TO SUCCESS: Avoid the 2nd mistake
- Recognize that even top performers make mistakes all the time. Executives forget to meditate. Athletes skip workouts. Project Managers miss deadlines. Doctors eat unhealthy meals. Writers don’t write. These folks are human and so are you!
- You don’t have to “feel” motivated to take action. If elite performers miss a workout or deadline, they don’t feel good about it. But, they choose not to shoot for perfection, they aim for consistency.
- You don’t have to “make up” for the mistake. Rather than focusing on results (or lack thereof), direct your attention and energy toward starting the activity today.
- Eliminate the things that derail you. If you missed a workout because you forgot your workout clothes, put them in your car the night before. If you ate fast food or chips because you didn’t have time to eat, prepare your meals and snacks on the weekend or in the evenings. If you miss a task or deadline, set clear boundaries by not answering your email for the first hours of the day. Spend that time on your tasks.
The goal of a resolution isn’t perfection! The goal of a goal is PROGRESS. Growth isn’t about perfection, it’s about developing consistency!
Focus on progress and growth this year. Avoid making the 2nd mistake of rationalizing (rational lies-ing) your imperfection. It’s not about being perfect. Keep moving forward and taking action as consistently as you can, despite the setbacks, and your results will take care of themselves.
I believe in you!! Live boldly in 2015!
If you’d like 7 more strategies for getting back on track after stumbling, visit http://jamesclear.com/get-back-on-track.
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