I’m always shocked when I have a revelation. Perhaps I don’t think of myself as one who can have revelation – if that thought existed it must have been someone else’s first. While that may be true, this is a thought that occurred to me that I hadn’t officially heard from another source.
I’ve been working on my 2015 goals, as you know. A few things came up that I thought – I can do that now. Then later, I had some problems mapping my goals. To add to this brain stew, I was talking with my goals group about goal setting. Everyone has their own issues that everyone else tries to offer a suggestion to help.
Suddenly a thought came to me – not everything has to be an official goal. Like the word diet, the word goal can be a thing or an action. We use the word but don’t realize we mean different things. You see, I have a New Year’s Goal and my goal is to get them planned before January 1st.
My goal to get them planned is not an “official” goal – it’s a DO. A do is something that doesn’t need to be planned – like Nike said “Just Do It”. I’ve realized that the thought process behind a Goal and a Do is different.
Many years I’ve had a goal to use the Neti pot on a regular basis. I don’t know why I can’t get it into my routine. I plan and I chart but I can’t seem to do. That is until I decided to DO it. I started to add it to my 2015 goals when I realized that was silly, why wait a month to do something I can do now.
I changed my focus and suddenly, I’m using the Neti pot every time I shower. Last night as I was getting ready to shower, I thought about skipping it. Then I realized it didn’t take much time and I have already gotten into a little routine with it. Why disrupt it now?
The more I think about this, the more it amazes me. Do’s are easier than goals and, I believe, they will have greater success.
Let’s define Goals and Do’s before I give you some tips for Do success.
Goal – goals are definable, measurable and have a finishing point. Example: write a book of 50,000. (or) Save $2000 in a savings account in the year 2015. Both of the goals end – one when I reach 50,000 words (or THE END) and the other when 2015 is over.
Do – do’s are a single action or a series of single action with the intention to create or change habits. Examples: Stop drinking soda or floss my teeth every night. These “goals” do not have an end date nor do they have a real start date.
The great thing about a Do vs a Goal that I have discovered is my mindset. Because there is no deadline, I can falter and start again. My goal for 2014 of doing yoga every day is a prime example. I miss sometimes. I went a whole couple of months not doing yoga. Because I saw it as a goal and very black and white, I had problems with motivation. If I missed, then I was a failure. My goal was failing. When I changed it to a Do – I didn’t fail, I stumbled and started over again. I add it to my weekly checklist. Every Monday, I start over. I don’t track my missed days, I just treat each day as if it’s a new day for success. The end result – I’m doing yoga most days.
Some tips for success:
1. Start a Do as soon as you realize you need it. Find a way to do it with what you have or to get what you need. For example, my yoga routine just needed ideas but to Neti, I needed a pot. I have one that I wasn’t using so that was easy but if I didn’t have one, I’d make it a priority to get one (or serious question why I needed to add this do).
2. Make it easy on yourself. I have lotion I need to apply to a rash that I keep getting due to allergies. To remember to put on the lotion, I keep the lotion on top of my pill box (which is next to my toothpaste). As I am already in the habit of brushing my teeth at the time I should apply the lotion, the lotion container with my toothpaste serves as a reminder.
3. If you need to make changes (batteries, replace old materials, etc), choose a date that is easy to remember. For example, I apply the lotion for two weeks. I know that Christmas is just after the two weeks ended so when Christmas comes I can be done. We also change our toothbrushes on New Year’s Day – then our every three months for changes is easy to remember.
4. There is no try – only do. I don’t know if Yoda really said this but I like the sentiment. With that in mind, I just do. As I said before, if I make a mistake – I start over again. I ignore my stumble and move on. Makes it so much easier.
Just remember if you forget to brush your teeth one busy morning, you don’t stop brushing your teeth forever. You just brush them next time and ignore the fact that you forgot. That’s the great thing about Do’s – there is failure, just doing.