Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Struggling to follow through on long term goals. 5 tips to self control and stay in check


Let’s face it. It is a common human weakness to give up on long-term goals for immediate gratification. We decide to go on diet but when someone offers us a chocolate cake, the urge to grab it cannot be controlled. And we decide the diet can start from tomorrow. 

We promise to save money, but just when we decide to save, we see a new bike, a pair of good shoes that we must have and we cannot control the craving to buy them.

Something similar happens with healthcare as well. Everyone is aware that preventive medicine is more cost effective and good for catching and avoiding health problems if diagnosed early. But we often procrastinate and avoid getting health checkups done regularly. 

Many coaching clients talk about how they would achieve their self-development goals and have impressive action plans but in reality, they struggle to get them off the ground. So, what holds them back? Busy schedules, lack of confidence, or absence of instant rewards? Often it is the absence of instant rewards.

When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we are in control. But actually, we are not. 
In the book “Predictably Irrational” behavioural economist and author Dan Ariely talks about the hidden forces that shape our decisions. In a series of experiments, he shows how expectations, emotions and other factors skew our reasoning abilities. And this is the reason why we can’t do what we want to do.

Try these self-control mechanisms to stay in check,

1. Precommit to achieving goals. Know your “why” clearly.
2. Delay gratification when you have an urge to break your diet plan or your goal to save money. Journal and make a note of what you have done to overcome instant gratification
3. Set limits for yourself.
4. Get an accountability partner who will nudge you and make you answerable if you fail to follow through.
5. Find yourself a coach, mentor, guide who can inspire you and help increase your confidence and hold you accountable to achieve your goals.