If you aren’t where you want to be in life right now, it might be that you are attempting to do too much, or more specifically too much at the same time.
We are told to set goals both for the short and long-term and then put a plan in place to achieve them.
We sit down with a pad and pen and commit our dreams to paper, fire ourselves up with new-found enthusiasm only to run out of steam a week or two down the road. We miss a gym session, which then turns into a few. We start hitting the snooze button on the alarm again. stay up too late, drink a little more caffeine, eat poorly and before we know it we are back where we stared.
The problem with this approach is often that our attention is spread too far and wide. Building new habits, at least in the early stages, requires dedication and focus. When we try to do too much all at once , both of these can erode very quickly, the wheels inevitably fall off and we give up completely.
The answer to this dilemma is simpler and easier than we make it.
FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME!
Multi tasking is a phrase used often and the ability to do it is seen as a positive. The reality is very different though and multi tasking usually means we do several things less well than if we’d have just concentrated on singular task.
Focusing on one thing at a time will improve your chances of success and heres why!
Willpower is a limited resource
It takes time to build new habits. Studies show that this can be anywhere between 21 and 45 days. Imagine the willpower and dedication needed to implement one new habit over this period of time let alone 4 or 5?
Even something as simple as drinking a couple of litres of water a day takes focus and planning.
Start simple! Build momentum and the uplift of implementing and achieving a goal will fuel further progress.
Having one set goal at a time allows you to really drill down on what you are looking to achieve. The usual scatter gun approach means that you may be working on business, health and personal goals all at the same time with no real idea of your final destination. By simplifying our goals we can choose what is most important to us and then put a plan in place to achieve it. You can, if needed, break a large goal such as ‘get fit’ , into many smaller goals and implement them one step at a time.
Positive habits are the key to success and with clarity, we can decide what habits we need to make part of our routine and focus on building them one step at a time.
Having one goal at a time also allows you some freedom to experiment. If your sole purpose is to exercise daily then you may be able to find more time in the day to implement this. If on the other hand you have 6 or 7 goals to achieve then time becomes even more precious and things will usually begin to slip.
Work out in the morning, afternoon or evening to see what works best for your schedule and body. Once this has become a habit you can always start to build around this . Something which you may not have the luxury of as these positive habits begin to pile up!
Every goal that you work on achieving will have a tipping point. A point where the level of effort needed to maintain it reduces and the habit (and a degree of automation) takes over.
Use the power of this to your advantage. Concentrate on one thing at a time and once built into your routine and ritualised, move on!
This ‘tipping point’ may appear at different times, depending on what you are trying to implement, but the principle remains the same. After this point it feels as though you are travelling downhill and will not require the same level of effort as previously. Using this law allows you to begin stacking one habit on top of another and ultimately propel you towards the achievement of multiple goals. One step at a time!
Less juggling means more completed tasks
The pressure of wanting to get as many things done as possible often lead us to tackle several tasks at once. Studies show however, that people who juggle several tasks at once are actually less likely to complete them over a given time.
By focusing on as small a number of tasks as possible we are both more likely to get them finished but also more quickly than by switching from task to task.
The same applies to larger goals. By tackling them sequentially we increase the chances of achieving them and in better time than if we tackle several at once.