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8 Things That Are Secretly Destroying Your Plan

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8 Things That Are Secretly Destroying Your Plan

First, let’s agree on something. Without a plan, you lack direction and focus and have no way to measure progress. You can only measure what happened, not the progress you are making. Basically, without a plan you are planning to fail. But having a plan doesn’t mean you will succeed. Often times, even with a plan, you will fail. Here are eight things that most likely are destroying your plan.

1. You set unrealistic time frames to achieve your goals.

You can’t become a successful person overnight and you can’t lose 100 pounds in one week. (I am sorry to tell you that these things advertised in infomercials don’t actually work.) You need to set realistic goals, or you will be disappointed when you don’t achieve your “big” goal, and that might lead to you giving up. That’s something we don’t want, right?

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2. You are not asking for support.

You can’t always make it on your own, and requesting support from your friends, colleagues, family and coach can give you the extra oomph you need to succeed. It’s OK to ask for help.

3. You are not learning from your mistakes.

Along the way, you are going to make mistakes. In order to learn and fix things, you need to step back and observe what went wrong. Don’t ignore it and hope it won’t happen again. Not learning from your mistakes can also lead you to beating yourself up. Avoid this path by accepting the mistake, learning and moving forward.

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4. You don’t believe.

As Yoda said to Luke Skywalker, “You don’t believe it, that’s why you fail.” You have to have faith that things are going to work out, that everything you do will work out in the end. You need to believe in yourself and your abilities, because YOU CAN DO IT. A favorite quote of mine says: “By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it.” You see, the first step before anyone believes in you is believing in yourself.

5. You have Plan B which is distracting you from Plan A.

As Will Smith said:

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Will Smith QUote, destroy plan, Quote by will smith, No reason to have plan b, plan a,

    The mentality behind having a “Plan B” is solely based on the idea of you failing; therefore it is fundamentally flawed. By having a back up plan, you already accept the idea that there is a possibility that “Plan A” (which is totally awesome) will fail. So guess what? You will fail because you already told yourself that when you do fail that, “Oh hey, no worries, I have a back up plan.”

    6. You are not improving.

    Don’t stop improving. Try to learn new things and acquire new skills as much as you can. Don’t be disappointed if your business plan fails because you stopped improving.

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    7. You are not willing to change.

    You and your plan must be nimble and able to adapt as conditions change. When setting up plans, you should pay attention to the changes around you. You should try to adapt as quickly as possible when something unexpected happens. Sometimes you will have to move on; other times, you will have to overcome difficulties. You shouldn’t be afraid to make changes.

    8. You are not fully committed.

    You can’t be lazy when it comes to your plans. You can’t procrastinate. If you are procrastinator, read how to stop procrastinating in 5 easy steps.You must be fully devoted to your plans and goals or you won’t reach the end zone. If you lack commitment, you won’t give the act of goal attainment, full effort. And as with anything in life, if you don’t give it your all, you receive mediocre results. Commitment is crucial for attaining any goal.

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    What would you add to the list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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    Last Updated on October 21, 2021

    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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