When we think of doing activities that can get us near our dreams, our mind would throw plenty of excuses in the attempt to prevent us from stepping out of our comfort zone. Our mind has a hate relationship with change, at any cost, it will resist it. Unfortunately, to move towards your dream you need to embrace change and begin somewhere.
What is the first challenge to pursue our goals?
The hardest challenge we will face to achieve anything in our life is to set the first achievable goal in the direction of our dreams.
I have mentioned many times in my earlier posts that, goals can be achieved only by building healthy habits related to our goals. Hence it is crucial not only to set a small achievable goal, but we should also figure out the most basic habit we need to build in order to attain that mini-goal.
My excuses in not following my dreams
I am working mother with two kids. Most of my days are extremely busy. It is very hard to work from home with kids.
Writing is a skill which I wanted to learn since my younger days. It is one of my dreams. But I have been excusing myself that I cannot write because I am busy with kids. Some of the excuses that curbed me earlier to step out of my comfort zone and pursue this dream are…
- How can I write with little kids around? Writing is a creative skill. It needs focus and attention. With kids, I am never going to get the focus and attention that writing demands. Hence it is impossible to write.
- I am busy with my other website work. How can I find time to write?
- I am too tired at night as kids drain me out. How can I work on the nights to write?
- I go to bed late, how can I wake up early to write?
- The days are very noisy and cluttered with kids around. How can I write during the day?
Whenever the desire to practice writing strike me earlier, zillions of excuses would pop up in my mind and smother the wish to write.
Then I began…
The evil game of excuses, continued for the past five years, until one day I read a book related to writing. The book explained plenty of techniques to encourage anyone to develop the writing skill. Again the desire to write struck me and this time it is more than a passing excitement.
I seriously want to set a writing goal and start to pursue it amidst all the constraints I have at this moment.
But I don’t know where to start! How to Begin?
There is no use in doing something for few days and abandoning it altogether when the interest wears off. The real challenge in doing anything lies in our ability to prepare ourselves and sail through all challenges to achieve what we set out do.
Hence I started with a small habit to begin my writing goal. I began to write just 5 minutes each day.
Why just 5 minutes? How can one improve a skill by writing just 5 minutes?
Yes, I decided to write just five minutes, because writing 5 minutes is an easy task which I can’t skip by blaming my kids. Whereas, If I had begun my writing goal with a solid 30 minutes, I would have easily caught in the web of excuses and would have deserted the habit long before I even attempt to begin it.
Also, working for 30 minutes is a very long time as per my standards. It will simply daunt me to even begin the task. Hence I started with 5 minutes mini writing habit
Necessary planning to stick to the habit
To prevent me from giving up even this small habit, I also planned out the below things before I began this 5-minutes writing challenge.
- I am going to write five minutes each day on a notebook
- I am going to write about my daily life happenings.
- I am going to write down on the same time each day after I am done with my exercise (Exercise is already a habit that I have formed, so I simply tagged this new habit to already established routine so that I won’t forget it.)
- If for some reason, I am not able to take the notebook with me for some reason, I am going to write five minutes on my mobile and later going to copy them down on the notebook.
- If I decide to write it on mobile, I am going to use Evernote app for doing it.
The idea here is to begin something with the tiniest goal so I won’t find it frightening!!! Also, I made necessary plans to avoid quitting the habit after few days.
You can also begin to follow your dreams by this simple strategy. Find your dream. Write down your goals that can make your dream come true. Divide your goal into mini actionable tasks. Start with the simplest of the task that you can’t refuse to do each day. Do it consistently. Make it as a habit.
Some examples to set small goals…
- For instance, If you want to begin exercise daily, begin with the easiest goal, that is to walk 5 minutes during your free time. 5 minutes of walking is very simple and you won’t skip it.
- If you want to develop a healthy eating habit, begin by eating just 1 fruit each day. Of course, you might hate to eat restricted meals all three days of a week. However, eating a fruit each day is not something that is difficult to attain.
- Suppose you want to develop a healthy relationship with your spouse, begin with spending just 5 minutes each day with your spouse inquiring about her/his day.
Starting small is the key towards building any habit. These small habits, when repeated consistently over a period of time will have tremendous compounded impact on our life. It is the way to achieve a goal.
Consistency is the key
Once you set up a small habit each day to accomplish the goal, try to do it every day consistently. This is the key. The habit should be so small that you should never skip it on a day.
Anything that can take less than 10 minutes of your time can be easily done every day. So be wise. Set a proper goal to build your habit. And with patience do it for at least 30 days.
30 days will make you do all the prep work needed. Then you can actively begin to invest more time on a particular habit/goal. After 30 days, you can set more challenging goals based on the progress.
After I practiced a month of 5-minute writing goal, I eliminated my initial fear of writing. Then I set a goal to write 30 minutes each day. That’s how I started to write this blog. I am still doing it every day and I feel very happy to see the progress.
Before you pursue a challenging goal, it is very crucial to get started. Take your time and think about this.
Drop a note in the comment section to let me know how you work towards your goals. Have you ever tried this mini-habit strategy?