Why We Fail to Follow Through and How to Fix It
Most people have a good idea of how to turn their life around. The solutions are usually obvious. Everyone knows how to lose weight, make more money, or keep their house tidier. The challenge is following through.
Knowing what to do isn’t enough, not even close. Knowing gets you nothing. Execution and persistence are everything.
Why don’t you follow through on your decisions? Choose the reasons that resonate with you and see how to resolve them:
1. You’re not making a true decision.
Making a true decision means cutting yourself off from any other option. Most of us fail to commit sufficiently to our decisions.
We’re too half-hearted and give up far too quickly.
◦ Understand that a real decision is a contract you’ve made with yourself. Show yourself the respect you deserve.
2. Are you unclear on your values?
Understand your values and you’ll follow through more often.
◦ Knowing your values increases the quality of your decisions. It will also keep you going when you hit an obstacle.
You’ll be less likely to give up if you’re living according to your values.
3. You incorrectly evaluate how challenging it will be.
Things are often more challenging than you thought they would be. This is a common reason for not following through.
◦ Expect to face challenges along the way. If you expect things to be difficult, you won’t be surprised when they are.
You might also be able to prepare a few solutions ahead of time for probable challenges.
4. Your emotions get the best of you.
Successful people are either less swayed by their emotions, or they have more control over their emotions. Take your pick.
It’s hard to be successful without one or the other.
◦ Meditation is one way of getting control over your emotions and yourself.
◦ Focus on making positive decisions in spite of how you’re feeling in the moment. The tendency is to make decisions that reduce your anxiety in the short-term.
Unfortunately, this leads to long-term failure. Keep your focus on the objective.
5. You work toward your goals intermittently.
A little effort each day will accomplish more than a lot of effort here and there. Daily action keeps you focused and is easier emotionally.
◦ Avoid the belief that you have to work yourself into the ground to be successful. A little each day adds up to a lot.
◦ Make a list of actions you can take each day and then do a few of them. That’s often all that’s required.
6. Are you losing focus on your end result?
A short-term perspective will sabotage your efforts. If you focus on the short-term struggle you’re experiencing, you’ll almost certainly find a way to quit.
◦ Remind yourself daily of the prize at the end. Visualize success and how great you’ll feel. Bask in how amazing it is. That’s the key to following through.
7. You want everything in your life to be easy.
Do you just give up and go on to a new project whenever you see that something isn’t easy?
◦ There’s no glory without struggle. A little challenge can make your successes more meaningful. If life were too easy, you’d be bored.
Do you follow through on your intentions, or do you find a reason to quit? You probably already know enough to make dramatic changes to your life, so the real challenge is managing yourself and following an effective process.
The power to change your life is within you. You only need to adjust your approach. Perseverance is a significant part of positive change.
What could you change in your life if you followed through on your decisions? A better question is, “What couldn’t you change?”
What’s Wrong With Busy Work?
We like busy work. It’s always at least a little bit less painful than the task we know we should be doing. At the same time, we feel at least a little productive.
Cleaning behind the fridge is normally less than inspiring, but it doesn’t sound half-bad when the other option is doing your taxes.
It’s important to be aware of when you’re avoiding your real work for busy work. You’ll actually be happier if you make the most of your time each day.
Consider these examples of busy work:
• Deleting old emails
• Unplanned house cleaning
• Learning when you should be doing
• Organizing files
Busy work is any activity that provides less value than what you should be doing, such as: 1. It gives the false impression that you’re being productive.
We can feel pretty good about doing busy work. We’re active and feel like we’re accomplishing something.
No one can say that cleaning out your desk drawers is a completely useless activity.
◦ However, it’s not a pressing activity. It’s probably not the absolute best use of your time at that moment.
◦ Busy work gives the illusion that you’re productive, but it doesn’t make the boss happy or pay the bills. It doesn’t make progress toward your goals. 2. It’s a form of procrastination.
When engaged in busy work, you aren’t being completely useless, but you’re avoiding your real work nonetheless.
Recognize that busy work is just a way to procrastinate in a way that seems justified. 3. You’re failing to do what’s meaningful.
Ultimately, busy work prevents real progress from happening. You might be active, but you’re not effective.
◦ Using your time wisely is the key to success and progress.
Avoid busy work and accomplish more today with these strategies: 1. Plan your day.
This shouldn’t take long. Five minutes is plenty. You can choose whether you do this in the evening or first thing in the morning.
Make a list of high-priority items that need to be done before the end of the day.
◦ There are many apps available that will allow you to create a schedule and set reminders. You’ll always know what’s on your schedule, even if you’d like to forget. 2. Pick out the three most important items.
Ensure that you’re using intelligent criteria for choosing these items.
These should be items that will move the needle, not just be items that feel good to do. In fact, the most important items will often be the least appealing.
◦ Busy work is about avoiding discomfort. Choose your tasks based on usefulness, not on how enjoyable they seem to be.
Average people plan their lives around comfort. Avoid being average. 3. Get started early.
Avoid waiting as long as you can to get started working. Create a little momentum and use that to carry you through the day.
If you have a productive morning, the rest of the day will be productive, too.
Before beginning any task, ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time at this moment?”
Asking that question and allowing yourself to be guided by the answer is the solution to avoiding busy work. It can be that simple.
Busy work will waste your time and keep the achievement of your goals off in the distant future. Take control of your day by keeping busy work at bay. You already know what you should be doing. The key is just doing it.
Related Reading: https://www.discoveryhub.net/self-development-plan-sample.html
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Cheers, Helene Malmsio
Related Reading: https://www.discoveryhub.net/self-development-plan-sample.html
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