It dawned on me this morning during my morning run that creating a new habit is much like running a race. If we start out too fast we often don’t finish well or even complete it.
When we’re trying to implement something new into our lives and we set out at a pace we can only maintain for a short time it defeats the purpose of even starting. So, how can we set ourselves up for success in the long run?
I believe we have to start with setting up the conditions for success in following through. This way we give ourselves the best chance to finish the race well.
Recently, I started back to running after taking a lot of time off. So, I set a goal of running three days a week at the best time of day for me. I also set a goal of only running one mile and walking the rest of the time I’d set aside. Then when that became easier, I ran more and walked less, but still only 3 days and at the best time of day for me. It’s now been 9 weeks and I’m running 3 miles and walking 1 and I look forward to getting out and taking this time for myself.
When we translate this to setting a personal or professional goal, planning is key. Taking the right steps in the right order and making them manageable helps us stay on track and keeps us motivated to continue, so we have a better chance to create lasting change.
What personal or professional goal do you have for yourself? What steps could you take this week to help you reach your goal, and how can you set up the conditions for success in following through? What support do you need and who will hold you accountable?
Set your goal with a realistic time frame and only one or two actions steps and plan when you’ll do them. If you’re not a morning person setting a goal of getting up early every morning and going for a walk to increase your activity is not going to set you up for success. Remember you want to make the new action steps as easy to manage as possible so you’ll be able to continue them in the long run.
Then get support and accountability from a friend, a family member or a coach and look forward to finishing the race you start well.