Most of us have some goals which we would like to keep going on a daily basis - it may be going for a run, or doing our piano practice, or tidying the office, or any of thousands of possible actions which we feel will leave us better off physically, mentally or financially.
Some of these may be negative goals, in that we want not to do something on a daily basis, like smoke cigarettes, eat chocolate or drink coffee.
So we are either trying to establish a new habit or break an existing one.
The trouble with these types of goals is that they often are very difficult to keep going. We usually start off with the best of intentions, keep going for a week or two and then miss a day. Then it’s a shorter period until we miss another day and that turns into two days, and before we know it we have given up the goal altogether. All we have achieved is to make ourselves feel guilty!
How can you motivate yourself to do better than this?
There is a simple method called “Chaining” which can greatly increase your chances of success. It takes the form of competing against yourself to produce the longest chain of days in which you succeeded with your goal.
For example, if your goal is to practise the piano daily you manage to carry this out for two weeks and then miss a day. You have made a chain of fourteen days. Now your aim is to beat your record of fourteen days.
The great advantage of chaining is that it recognises that we are almost certain to fail sometimes, but this a positive as it allows us to compete with ourselves to get better and better.
So why not give it a try? Select one goal (positive or negative) which you would like to establish in your life and see how long a chain you can make. There’s even a website to help you do this:www.joesgoals.com
Get your first goal well established before taking on another. Having too many goals going at once will dilute the effect.
Let me know how you get on!