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7 Surefire Ways to Re-Commit to Your Long-Term Goals

7 Surefire Ways to Re-Commit to Your Long-Term Goals

A long-term goal is like a romantic relationship.

    At first, it’s sunshine and rainbows all the way. You’re 100% committed, ready to take on the world and do whatever is necessary to see this goal through. Nothing will stop you!

    Then…time happens.

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    Your workouts get boring, you don’t feel like sitting for 15 minutes of meditation and that Milky Way at the checkout is calling your name.

    Just like you have relationships with people, you have them with your long-term goals. And just like any relationship, you’re gonna have your high roads and your low roads, your smooth roads and your bumpy roads (as my dear mom always says).

    Where are you with your long-term goals? Are you on a smooth road or a bumpy road?

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    After 3 months of consistently working out — a big deal for me — I was on a bumpy road. Here’s how I got re-committed (Note: This is for a fitness goal, but would work for any other long-term goal):

    1. Forget the idea of “blowing it.”

    You know what I mean – when you’re on a “diet” (yuck), eat a brownie and decide you blew it, so you might as well eat 3 more. Yeah, that. Don’t do that to yourself! With a long-term goal, there is nothing to blow. Eating one treat or skipping one workout does NOT mean you have failed forever. It just means you ate a treat or skipped a workout – that’s it. Don’t dramatize it. It is what it is.

    2. Remember why you’re doing it.

    If your long-term goal is to exercise every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, like me, your reasons could be many: increased energy, better muscle tone, good health. Write down all of the reasons you committed to that goal in the first place. It also helps to write down what benefits you’ve already seen; this motivates you to keep going so you can see more.

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    3. Get right back on schedule.

    If your goal is to meditate daily for 15 minutes daily, but you’ve missed 2 weeks (guilty…), as soon as you realize it, get back at it.  Don’t let the fact that it’s been 2 weeks keep you from starting again – remember, there’s nothing to blow. In the grand scheme of things, 2 weeks is nothing compared to what it could be if you let that stop you.

    4. Plan.

    If your goal is to work out, know what your workout will be the night before. This is a tough one for me, but when I do plan, there’s less of a chance that I’ll duck out. So lay out your workout gear, set your alarm in another room, put your meditation cushion where you’ll see it.

    5. Stop thinking.

    When your morning alarm goes off, you might start thinking, “Well, I could just sleep a little later and then workout”. Nope. Don’t even think about it. Tell your brain to hush, because it’s only formulating excuses. Maybe you will sleep a little later and still workout… But maybe you won’t. If you start thinking about what you need to do, you’ll find a million reasons not to. So stop thinking and start doing.

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    6. Add some variety.

    Often we stray from our goals because they get boring. For me, it helped to watch a health documentary, to remind me of the importance of exercising and staying healthy. What would re-ignite your excitement? A meditation cushion? New running shoes? A different workout?

    7. Tell someone.

    Accountability is a huge motivator. If you’re the only one you have to answer to, it’s way easier to hit the snooze instead of lacing up your running shoes. But if you have to report to a supportive friend about your fitness goals, you’ll be way more likely to stick to the plan. You could even do one better and partner with someone – greater accountability equals greater commitment.

    What’s a long-term goal of yours that you’ve kinda let fall to the wayside? How would it benefit you to recommit?

    Whether you’ve been slacking for 2 weeks or 2 years, it’s not too late to pick up where you left off. It never is! I dare you: begin again today.

    (Photo credit: Destination via Freedigitalphotos.net)

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

    How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

    What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

    When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

    In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

    While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

    As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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      Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

      The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

      But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

      However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

      This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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      Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

      We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

      Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

      Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

      The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

      When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

      When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

      How to Make Decision Effectively

      Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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      1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

      You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

      Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

      Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

      2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

      You don’t have to choose all the time.

      Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

      Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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      3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

      You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

      The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

      Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

      Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

      So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

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      Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

      Reference

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