Using the "If/Then" Strategy to Help You Reach Your Goals.

Let's face it, going after your goals isn't easy.  We start off with good intentions but have a tough time following through.  I can't tell you how many times I've made huge plans concerning what I'd love to accomplish in a week. But when Friday rolls around, a lot is left undone.

Actually, I do get stuff done, but I often struggle with incorporating NEW habits into my routine.

 Can you relate?

One reason why I often make little progress when it comes to tackling new challenges is because there's no contingency plan in case things don't go as expected.  Thankfully, I've stumbled on a solution.  It was developed by a psychologist who theorized a goal achievement method that produced a high rate of success.   I love this method because it's super easy and we can all start implementing it today!
Today is July 1rst.  This marks the start of the second half of the year.  If you aren't making as much progress on your goals as you would like, perhaps this method offer a viable solution.

The process is called If-Then planning.  It basically, offers a way for us to develop a contingency plan to ensure that we reach our intended outcome.   You can use the If-Then strategy in two main ways.

  • To create triggers that prompt you into action
  • To develop back up plans in the event that you fall into old habits.
Let's talk examples.

In the case of using If-Then as a trigger mechanism, you would simply establish moments throughout the day as reminders to implement new habits.  Basically, you'd create a set of rules that serve as triggers to initiate action. 

 For example:
  • If I'm done eating dinner before 6:00 pm, then I'll go for an evening walk.
  • When my Fitbit buzzes at 50 minutes past the hour, I'll bounce for 10 minutes on the mini-trampoline.
  • If I jump on Instagram, I'll market my business for 15 minutes before scrolling through my feed.
 You can also use this technique to help you break negative habits as well.
  • If I find it difficult to maintain focus, then I'll stop and meditate for 5 minutes.
  • If I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep, then I'll practice visualizing my goals (instead of reaching for the phone).
  • If I didn't meet my step goal for yesterday, I'll start the next day with 30 minutes of activity.
  • If I gained weight over the weekend, I'll eat at least 4 salads for lunch this week.
You can play around with it.  This process can be applied to reach any kind of goals (financial, personal, business).  Get creative with different If-Then rules that you'll respond to.  I think, for me, triggers associated with a specific time of day might work well. That's what I'll experiment with this week. 

I'll also add the variation of "before xxx, I'll do xxx."  For example, "before jumping in the shower, I'll workout for 10 minutes."  Or "before grabbing a snack, I'll drink a liter of water."  

What I love about this process, is it removes a stumbling block that most of us face when it comes to taking action.....making decisions.  If we have to decide what to do at a given moment, chances are we'll default to the same choices we made in the past.  Achieving new goals is about making new decisions and this is the easiest way to do it.  I should mention that this method boasts of an over 60% success rate of goal achievement.  That's huge!  Let's start practicing this today so we can experience an amazing second half of 2019!

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  1. I use this method in a sense that I say to myself that everyday before I shower, I'll do 10 squats! It works!
    Chloe X http://chloelxuise.com

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