Do you struggle to follow-through on commitments, despite your best intentions?
It could be the promises you make in your business:
~ I’m going to start writing articles for LinkedIn every month.
Or maybe promises you to make to yourself:
~ I’m going to work out 5x a week.
Or maybe even to your family:
~I promise to spend more time with my family with no screens.
Making resolutions and setting goals can be exciting, but let’s be honest – to see it through to the end can be TOUGH.
It takes laser focus, iron-clad willpower, tedious habit change, and the motivation to take action even when you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re scared to do it, or you just plain don’t feel like doing it.
Consistent follow-through is not for the faint of heart. As my swim coach always said, “If it were easy, everybody would do it!” This is good news. It means the challenge can be to your advantage – a way to rise above the competition.
As with anything hard, proven strategies can flatten the learning curve and make things easier.
The Five Steps to Win
- Don’t commit unless you really mean it.
This might sound like I’m saying, “Just don’t commit,” but the truth is, most of us are overly committed. It’s no wonder you struggle.Ask yourself, “Am I really willing to do what it takes to see this thing through to its completion?”Is it important enough to take your time and energy away from other priorities? If it’s a heck-yeah, go for it! If not, don’t set yourself and others up to be let down.
Have the clarity and confidence in your priorities to say, “No, not right now.”
- Remember to do it.
Once you whole-heartedly make the commitment, the next step is to remember to do it. Don’t rely on your brain to remember. It has plenty of other work to do.Use your systems (task list, calendar, project management software, reminder tools) to do the heavy lifting here.
- Set aside the time to do it.
You’ve now deemed the commitment worthy of your time. Plug it into your calendar and designate the time necessary to usher it to completion.This ensures you don’t overschedule yourself and run out of time.
- Resist the resistance.
It’s human to not want to do hard or tedious work. You may get the case of the “But, I don’t wanna….” (when you read this, please say it/think it in your most whiney, toddler voice.) Feel ridiculous? Yup. That’s cuz it is.It’s your immediate gratification toddler throwing a tantrum. Put the toddler in timeout while you (the adult that understands the value of delayed gratification) complete the task.
- Marinate in the satisfaction of completion.
Personally, I think this is one of the most important, yet often overlooked strategies. We are too quick to move onto the next thing. Really enjoying the feeling of completion sets you up to fall in love follow-through. The more you reward yourself by feeling great when you follow-through, the more likely you are to want to do it again and again.Celebrate every little step. Give yourself a gold star. Do a victory dance.
I’ll leave you with one final thought on consistent follow-through.
It’s a muscle that gets stronger with practice.
Keep at it and you’ll get stronger.
You got this.