5 Tips to Stay Consistent with ANY Goal
Staying consistent is one of the hardest parts of developing new habits and systems. There is a steep learning curve as you try to adopt new behavior patterns while leaving the familiar discomfort of the status quo.
But the familiar isn’t delivering the life you want, so you decide to make a change. The motivation is there; to do better, to be more. So you look for the right tools, the right systems, that you believe will help you grow into the person you want to be.
You start off strong, and though it isn’t easy, you are dedicated to the challenge. Your motivation alone is enough to carry you through.
After roughly the first week, the motivation starts to wear down. Sure, the growth is coming, but it doesn’t happen overnight and the lack of an easy reward is starting to dim your spirits just a bit. Your new system is still a challenge and you really haven't started to see real results yet.
On the other side of this speedbump lie the habits and systems that will get you where you long to be.
Here are five simple steps to help you get over this initial hurdle and on the road to success.
1. Join a Community
One of the best ways to stay consistent when the motivation fades is to join a community of like-minded people who are going through a shared experience. Anchor Planner has an active Facebook group where our users can share their struggles, successes, and find how others are customizing their experience to suit their needs.
Not a fan of social media? Create a community of friends for yourself by hosting a planner party. Share your anchors with those closest to you and how the Anchor Planner is helping you work towards that vision.
2. Plan with a Partner
Having a partner to check in with on a daily basis is the best kind of accountability! Snap an after-workout selfie and send it to your friend. Share your "Best Moment of the Day" from your Anchor Planner through text! Share a quote from your personal development book you read through messenger. Friends help each other grow, whether that means calling each other out for making weak excuses or offering supportive encouragement in the face of real struggles.
3. Plan to Plan
It does little good for us to start a new system if we don’t create the opportunities we need for that system to actually work. You can’t say that you will eat healthier, then expect to see results without planning out your meals in advance. The same is true with adopting a new planning system. If you don’t set apart a specific time of day to plan out your activities, don’t be shocked when you find yourself focusing your energy and attention on the same old things that don’t deliver the results you want. If I want things to change, I have to create that change myself. It isn’t going to happen accidentally. Schedule time in your day to work your system.
4. Keep it Visible
Whether you are starting a new exercise routine, wanting to eat healthier, or developing the habit of daily planning and journal writing, if you want to succeed you need to keep it visible. Make sure you set out your workout clothes, have fruits and veggies on the table, keep your planner on your kitchen table or your desk where you will see it often throughout the day. The distractions and temptations that can easily derail our progress are everywhere. We don’t need to seek them out. That is how they worked their way into our routines in the first place. If we want to stay focused and dedicated, we need to be able to counter those distractions with dedication and purpose.
5. Set Reminders
One of the worst possible approaches to developing new habits and systems is to assume we can rely on our sheer willpower to get the job done. Stop it! If willpower was all it takes, you would have already done it by now. As mentioned, you will encounter numberless distractions as you attempt this journey of personal development. So why not surround yourself with positive reminders as well? Set reminders on your smartphone or alarms on your watch to remind you to take time to plan your day. Post notes in visible areas to keep your anchors fresh in your mind. Change the wallpaper on your computer, phone, and tablet so that you refocus your mind on things that matter most before facing the barrage of social media notifications. Use the tools that are already a part of your daily routine to help you firmly adopt these new habits.
Now, even after you’ve put all of these into practice, adopting a new habit is still a challenge. There are going to be days when your regular planning time is interrupted and missed. Don’t let that get you down. A habit is not broken by missing one day so long as you return to it the next. The undated pages of the Anchor Planner make it easy to pick right back up where you stumbled and keep moving forward.
You’ve got this!