Hitting our daily goals is often a difficult task. It is easy to cross activities off your to-do list. But there is always something stopping you from achieving that. Even I myself face the same situation. Every time I miss my daily goals, I feel disappointed in myself. It feels bad when you don’t hit your daily goals. We will feel really guilty.
But it’s okay! No one is perfect and not being perfect means that you still have space for improvement. With this knowledge, you can change to become a better person than yesterday.
The reason why we miss our daily goals? We procrastinate. We lack motivation. Knowing the reasons behind something is the first step in solving it. To hit our daily goals, we need to stay motivated all the times.
And here are two techniques for motivating yourself:
The Procrastination Method: Just Do A Little Bit More.
Remember how you usually procrastinate? Just like these examples:
- The alarm rings. You press the snooze button. You tell yourself “I’m just gonna sleep for 5 more minutes…” You end up waking an hour or two later.
- You’re watching the latest House of Cards episode on Netflix but you know your finals are tomorrow. You tell yourself ‘1 more episode and I’ll start studying.’
- Or maybe you’re playing your PS4. You know that you should be doing a more important task. Yet, you tell yourself “I’m gonna play just one more round”. In the end, you played countless round…
Do you see the similarities here? You always try to convince yourself to just procrastinate a little more. But little by little, in the end you wasted most of your time procrastinating.
Have you ever thought that you can actually apply the same method to motivate yourself?
Similar to how you always procrastinate, tell yourself to do just a little bit more. Whenever you feel like stopping or giving up on doing the task at hand, tell yourself you’re just going to do a little more.
So how does it work?
Let’s say that you’re a writer and you plan to write 1000 words per day. However, for unknown reasons, you just can’t make it, you stop at 500 words. You start feeling like you want to give up on the plan. Now, just tell yourself this: “I’m going to write just five more sentences, just five more!” You have to make the task as easy as possible that you won’t resist doing it. Perhaps, now you are left with 450 words….. Repeat the technique again and again until you hit the target. Remember, baby steps.
What if after a while, you start to resist writing five more sentences? (This always happens to me.)
Make the task simpler and easier. Make the task into this: “I’m going to write 10 more words”.
By applying this technique, you’re tricking your brain into thinking that it is just an easy task. This causes your brain to be more compelled to do the task. You make the task looks so easy that your brain can’t refuse to do it.
It’s similar to the Door-In-The-Face technique in which you make large request to the responders and they will most likely turn it down. Then, you ask for a small and more reasonable request. This time around, the responders will be more likely to accept the second request.
While the “Five sentence” request may seem tough to you, a small “10 words” request would seem like a more reasonable request to you, and thus you will be more likely to do the second request.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
Remember it’s all about accumulating small efforts to achieve your target. I use this technique daily, just to keep myself from procrastinating and leaving my task midway.
Review and Compare.
This is another technique for self-motivation which can be used together with the first technique.
It’s all about your mindset. What you have to do is review your progress so far and reflect on it.
Let’s go back to the example we mentioned before. You’re still a writer, but now you are stopping at 700 words. 300 words to go. Now, review your progress. You see, you have already written 700 words, you have already hit 70% of your target! Now, ask yourself why stop now? Why give up now when you have achieved the majority of your target. If you can write 700 words now, why can’t you write another 300?
If you are still not motivated and you still stop at 700 words, consider breaking the task into two parts: Done and undone.
Compare 700 words to 300 words. Which is easier? Surely it’s 300 words, right? You have already proven that you can write 700 words, why can’t you just write another 300 words? You review your progress and compare the remaining parts with the parts you had already completed.
You then persuade yourself that you can do it by reviewing the process that you had already gone through and by comparing the difficulties of the tasks. The important part is you will know that you are capable of performing a harder task. So, there is no reason that you can’t maintain the great performance on an easier task.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.“
This technique aims to develop a positive mindset within yourself. By reviewing how far you have come, it boosts your self-confidence, thus making you more motivated. It’s about convincing yourself that you have done the hard part, so why can’t you finish the remaining, easier part of your task?
To me, this is an additional technique which complements the first technique very well. You can apply either one or both techniques together whenever you feel like you are about to give up on a task.
The key of these self-motivation techniques? Perseverance. It’s all about the small tasks. Always make the tasks as simple as possible. Then, complete these simple tasks again and again. After hitting your daily goals continuously for a couple of months, it will become a habit. (According to the latest research, it takes 66 days to form a habit, Check out this article for more information) And that is when you don’t need motivation to hit those daily goals.
YOU’RE THE ONE WHO CAN CHANGE YOUR OWN LIFE.
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