Determination is all you need

Determination is all you need to make dreams a reality. I kinda knew that but why do I keep falling of the bandwagon? For a while now I’ve been trying to eat more healthy and keep track of my calories. I’ve also tried waking up around 5am because I KNOW I can get so much done. Nevertheless, I haven’t managed to keep up after a couple of days. I figured out that the reason why I’ve had a hard time staying on track is that I wasn’t ok with walking off the track for a bit and then coming back.

The Situation

Initially I thought that the problem was that my motivation behind my goals was not “pure” or “real” enough whatever that means. I tried addressing by limiting my goals to things that I truly cared about (my health and personal development). However, I kept falling of track. Maybe I was able to pull things off for a couple of days at the beginning of the week but by Wednesday I was already struggling.

Now I had a handful of goals that I truly cared about to focus on. Yet, I still failed. Miserably. This is quite frustrating because I felt I was not able to build on the momentum that I wanted so that I could see the compound effect of building the habits that I wanted (e.g. eating healthy and waking up early).

Then I remembered what I learned from this book called Kaizen Way, which argues that most people do not accomplish their goals because they try to accomplish a lot of things at the same time. The book (and Kaizen methodology in general) suggests that progress is achieved through quick and small iterative steps rather than through big and effortful moments. This might seem intuitive but I’ve found it hard to implement because I (as many other humans) tend to overestimate what I can get done.

The Solution

What I read in the Kaizen Way got me thinking about how I could stay on track with my goals by trying to reduce the scope of my goals to a point where I could be sure that I could fulfill them and that’s exactly what I did. I restated my goals the following way:

  1. Write 500 words per day
  2. Learn 30 minutes per day (usually programming)
  3. Read 20 pages per day
  4. Exercise 3 times per week
  5. Write journal entry

The Insight

More importantly I came to an agreement with myself that it will be ok if I didn’t fulfill one of those objectives for a day because I could make up for it the next day. For example, if I didn’t read 20 pages one day I could simply read 40 the next (this actually works way better for me). This “mental flexibility” gave me the psychological wiggle room to fulfill my goals.

I’ve only being using this method for 2 weeks now but so far it has worked very well. Hence, why I am writing this post. If you feel that this might be useful to someone you know or to your network in general please be sure to share.

Also, if I can help with anything feel free to reach out – hi@xavierpladevall.com