Spring Back on Track Towards Your Goals

Monday, April 02, 2018

Almost a year ago, I ran into "If You Want to Become a Master at Problem Solving, Master These 7 Steps" over at Inc. Getting sick recently, and needing to replenish my queue of emergency posts*, I followed a bookmark and smiled at my good fortune, when I read the following, from Suzanne Lucas's introduction:

Image via Pixabay.
It's April, so there's probably a pretty good chance you've given up on your new year's resolutions. But, there's no law that says January 1 is the only day to set life changing goals. Personally, I think spring is a great time to make new goals -- it's starting to get warm, and stay light later, and it makes for a more pleasant environment. (At least, it does for me.) So, I was thrilled when this week's Freakonomics podcast, Big Returns from Thinking Small, focused on a seven-step plan for making and achieving goals. [links omitted, bold added]
Or re-commit and finally make headway on the old goals, I immediately thought. This has been awful winter for me. Snow. Snow. Snow. Illness. Snow. Getting my car totaled by an idiot who was probably texting while driving. (Good on me for having under-insured motorist coverage.) Snow. Illness. And, after the equinox: Snow. This winter made that three-foot blizzard from when we first moved here look like a time-saver. I haven't had a full week to work with since some time in December, and I have lost tons of momentum. One thing the column doesn't cover is the power of a regular routine to help establish and internalize new habits, and boy did this winter hammer me in that regard.

So, on top of the following seven pieces of advice, if you live in an area affected by crummy weather, spring offers the promise of being better able to count on having time to do things.
  1. Set a goal.
  2. Make a plan with a bright line.
  3. Make a commitment with a commitment referee.
  4. Create a reward.
  5. Share your goal with others.
  6. Feedback.
  7. Stick.
Regarding Item 5, it was refreshing to see that, although leveraging the power of shame was part of it, it wasn't the whole. Lucas notes, "People will help you out if they know about it." In that regard, see also Barbara Sher on isolation as "the dream killer" -- and hopefully also Andres Cantor.

-- CAV

* This turned out to be timely enough to use immediately.

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