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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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    How to Fight Information Overload

    How to Fight Information Overload

    Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

    This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

    As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

    What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

    1. Set your goals.
    2. Decide whether you really need the information.
    3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
    4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

    But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

    The Nature of the Problem

    The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

    When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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    No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

    That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

    Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

    Why information overload is bad

    It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

    Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

    The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

    You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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    So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

    1. Set your goals

    If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

    Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

    Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

    Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

    2. What to do when facing new information

    Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

    First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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    If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

    And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

    You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

    3. Minimal Effective Dose

    There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

    Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

    4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

    Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

    This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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    Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

    In Closing

    As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

    Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

    (Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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