My previous post was about the importance of making a plan and following through with it.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Making a plan is one thing; sticking to it is quite another. So, here are 4 tips to help you follow through:
Rather than making your plans and goals vague, make them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed. (For example, compare “Get healthy” vs. “Lose 25 pounds in 6 months.”)
Get an Accountability Partner
Your odds of following through increase tremendously when you have even one person who knows about your plan and will hold you accountable for it. Checking in regularly—weekly or even daily—can be a great motivator to stick with your plan (or at least be honest with yourself and your partner if you fall off the wagon—and then get back on!).
Have a “Plan A,” but be flexible.
Circumstances change. Things come up unexpectedly. Once you’ve started, you may find that your initial plan was unrealistic—too ambitious or too stressful to stick with.
When you encounter unexpected obstacles, detours, or setbacks, don’t give up. But also don’t feel you have to doggedly follow your initial plan to the letter.
If your best-laid plans go awry, follow these 3 R’s:
- Revise your plan.
- Renew your commitment to “Plan B” (or C or D or E…).
Love Yourself Unconditionally
OK, go ahead—roll your eyes and smirk at me for getting mushy all of a sudden. I can take it. But I mean this seriously, especially with regard to plans and goals.
So often, we beat ourselves up for not being where we want to be: We should be thinner, richer, more accomplished, etc., etc., etc. And sometimes this self-flagellation does serve to motivate us to action. But more often than not, it just makes us feel like crap! And it perpetuates the self-defeating thoughts and poor self-image that probably contributed to the perceived “problem” in the first place!
Whether or not self-loathing can ever inspire positive action, wouldn’t it feel better to be OK with yourself as you are, wherever you are—and then also feel good about yourself when you reach your goal (and every step along the way)? What’s the point of making plans or reaching any goal if you’re miserable the whole time? Wouldn’t it feel better to feel better?
I hope that these tips help you turn your dreams into reality! Do you have any other tips for following through with your plans? I’d love to hear what has (or hasn’t) worked for you.