Do you feel like your goals are always out of reach?
It’s like no matter how hard you try, you never get enough things done.
Like you’re stuck in a hamster wheel running and running, but you never get anywhere.
You think to yourself, “I can’t wait for the one day I catch up with everything so I can finally get started on what I’ve really been dying to work on,” but the work keeps coming. At this point, you’re just hoping one day, things will get better.
You probably have caught on by now how hard it is to achieve your goals let alone make the time to try and complete them. It doesn’t take long from going to the gym first few days to skipping out your first day because you’re tired. Then you get started on the tub of ice cream later that night to comfort yourself from the feeling of failure yet again.
You’re not alone.
Fortunately, there is something surprisingly simple you can do to finally achieve your biggest goals.
When It Comes to Achieving Your Goals, Inspiration is Never Enough
When you hear the underdog stories of people accomplishing some of the biggest successes, you can’t help but be inspired. You experience a little boost of motivation to do something about your own life as well.
The problem is inspiration isn’t enough. How many times have you been inspired to make a change in your life whether it’s to lose more weight, quit smoking, or spend less money only to find yourself in the same old bad habits again?
Inspiration these days are easy to find.
You can watch a Ted talk at the click of a button or stream some Netflix to watch an amazing movie. The real problem here isn’t about finding more inspiration or motivation, it’s about the routines you have in your daily life.
The Routines You Are Stuck In Are The Key Problem
Maybe you’ve wanted to write your book, but taking care of two kids and providing for your family daily makes it tough for you to find the energy to squeeze in time to write. You may have been hoping to eat healthier, but you get so busy at work it’s hard to find the time to get a proper meal. Perhaps you want to quit smoking, but the stress at work always makes you crave that cigarette so bad so you run outside to light it up.
The reality of why it’s so hard to break out of old routines is simply the fact that it is a routine. We are creatures of habit. Charles Duhigg explains in his book “The Power of Habit” how the basic structure of our habits consists of a cue (trigger), the routine, and the reward.
For example, when you wake up first thing in the morning, you have your phone next to you. Your curiosity triggers you to check your email. You want to know if you received anything interesting so the routine is to browse your inbox. Once you finish, your curiosity gets rewarded and a surge of dopamine takes place to makes you feel good.
Duhigg teaches the key to turning bad habits into good ones is to figure out how to change the routine.
If you’re a smoker and your ten-o-clock break comes, this cues you to go out and light up a cigarette. You obtain the reward of relieving your stress by getting the rush of nicotine through your body.
Rather than smoking, maybe you can go for a nice walk or meditate to achieve the same stress relief.
I’ve attempted to change my routines, but it was so much easier said than done. Especially when the cues come up so often, it’s much easier to stick with what you have been doing already.
It wasn’t until I realized there was one simple thing I could to change up my routines. This was the game-changer in achieving my own goals.
The Key to Changing Up Your Routines: Start Making Changes in Your Environment
Science has shown when you change your environment by going on vacations, it rewires your brain. This can promote both mental and physical health.
Changing up your environment even in the smallest ways can interrupt your brain from going into the same old habit. New neurons are developing in your brain to increase your capability of changing. This is what helps you replace a bad habit with a good one.
So what changes can you make right now? The answer is to keep it simple.
Make it as Easy as Possible For You to Develop The Routine.
Goals are harmful unless they guide you to make specific behaviors easier to do. Don’t focus your motivation on doing Behavior X. Instead, focus on making Behavior X easier to do.
Let’s say you’ve been hoping to read more, but you find yourself too busy to do it. You examine your daily routines and you realized you spend about an hour on your phone every night before bed.
One idea is to charge your phone in the living room and place the book on your bed. This way, you have direct access to the book when it’s time for bed.
By modifying your environment in this way, the chances of you developing a new routine is much higher now. Compare this to having your phone in your room next to your bed and your book out of reach on the shelf in the living room. You’re practically setting yourself up for failure.
Behavioral science studies shows changing up your environment is the key to making it easier to succeed at developing a new routine.
If you use a big spoon, you’ll eat more. If you serve yourself on a big plate, you’ll eat more. If you move the small bowl of chocolates on your desk six feet away you’ll eat half as much. If you eat chicken wings and remove the bones from the table, you’ll forget how much you ate and you’ll eat more.
-Brian Wansink, Mindless Eating
So before you decide to commit yourself to losing 20 pounds in two weeks, quit smoking cold turkey or convert to a vegan diet, first come up with ways you can make simple changes to your daily surroundings to optimize your chances of success.
Remember, the smallest changes can produce the biggest results so stop working so hard to use your willpower to achieve a goal. Just make things easier for yourself.
Then you will finally get the results you’ve been aching to see.
Eugene K. Choi is a talent activation coach who helps young adults produce real breakthroughs in their lives by finding the zone where their passions and talents intersect. You can download his free guide, Four Steps to Instantly Jump Start Your Best Life Ever or learn more at http://destinyhacks.co