Start with One Goal, add Massive Action, and you will beat that list of resolutions every time.
Today is January 2nd … and I am publishing this post today for a reason.
That reason is that many of you have already failed at your New Year’s resolutions.
The good news for you all is that you likely set yourself up for failure to begin with – and that can be changed.
Why Do Resolutions fail?
The problem with New Years resolutions starts with the list. We decide that we need to change our weight, our schedules, our finances, and our parenting style all on January 1st.
We start with good intentions but they fail – frequently on the first day. And the reason they fail is that our minds get completely overloaded by all of the changes we have put in place.
Wake up early, meditate, exercise, prepare meals for the day, don’t get upset with an overly tired teen, stop overspending at the store… it goes on and on. And wears out our minds. Our best intentions just overload our brains and we end up achieving 0 goals. And by evening time, when our brains just want to shut down, we go right back to our previous habits.
Start with One Goal
Have that list from yesterday in hand? Take a look at it – and pick your #1 goal. Then rip up the list. Just trust me.
The truth is that focusing on one goal will get you much further than a whole list. One goal gives you the time and resources for specific focus. The changes necessary to complete one goal are less overwhelming for your brain. One HUGE goal can be achieved.
Tips for Setting that One Goal
- Get Specific on your goal – Setting the goal of “weight loss” is much less actionable than setting the goal of “losing 60 pounds this year.” The more specific you are, the easier massive action will be.
- Establish your “Why” – If your biggest goal is losing weight, check out my post on preparing for weight loss: https://doctormome.com/post/10-questions-to-mentally-prepare-for-weight-loss/ It will give you a great starting point. And this theory can be applied to any goal. You need a strong reason to fall back on during difficult times. And there will be difficult times.
- Realize that there is time for your other goals – I know it is frustrating to pick just one goal when you had envisioned so many. There will be time for the other goals – once this goal is complete.
When A Busy Mom Picks One Goal
As a Mom and Doctor with major perfectionist tendencies, I struggled with the one goal approach myself. When I get into gear, I want everything changed and it needs to happen today. But I had a huge win with this theory recently that has helped to change my mindset.
I wanted to declutter my home. I have been jokingly told that I live in a “show home” and meticulously arrange my home before I can go to sleep every night. But with the toddler, the clutter factor was increasing. That and my husband’s borderline hoarding tendencies. The man has every receipt from 2012.
So I decided to start decluttering. And I half-heartedly started in the family room. I had the holidays coming, work, painters in our home, a toddler under my feet, and created even more short-term mess for myself. Way too much disorganization for my brain.
The result was simple – I got half a room cleaned out with bags in the garage that just kept piling up. I had no system, had allotted little time, and ended up creating more mess for myself.
We Can Achieve Anything
After taking this in, I decided to wait a few weeks until I had time to prioritize the cleaning. I did just that. A few weeks later, I bought an online course (shout out to Allie at https://alliecasazza.com/start-here/ for Declutter Your Home – it was just enough to keep me organized but not over the top) that worked for busy Moms and used that to guide my progress.
I actually stopped posting – you may have noticed. And I focused on organizing my home to reorganize my mind. I had bags prepared, my husband transported to Goodwill, and I just have photos to complete the process.
It feels awesome. And I know that I would never have gotten there had I not shut down other goals for a bit to do it. And that, my friends, brings me to massive action.
What is Massive Action?
I first learned this concept from Master Life Coach Brooke Castillo and then heard it rephrased by Master Coach Kara Lowentheil. These ladies rock and have guided me in changing so many of my action-inhibiting thoughts.
Massive action is simple really: doing whatever it takes to achieve a goal. And I mean whatever it takes. It means making up your mind that you will show up for yourself and persist until you reach your goal. Period.
In my simple house decluttering example above, massive action meant dropping my blog posts for 2 weeks. That was big for me as I also have a goal of posting at least weekly. But, my reason why was strong enough that I knew it had to be a bigger priority. Decluttering my home would declutter my mind and that would benefit my blog in the long run.
It also meant that I had to be willing to continue despite complaints from my husband that I was “obsessed” and “not allowed to clean out his things.” So, I worked around his stuff and kept going with mine. His bathroom sure is cluttered these days.
Tips for Achieving Massive Action
- Get Specific on your fist steps – Once you commit to achieving your goal, you need to get a specific plan in place. But, it only needs to be the first steps really. If you know that you will do anything to achieve this goal, you don’t have to worry about future steps – you will adjust when you need it.
- Be willing to adjust if needed – When you assure yourself that you will reach this goal, you will be less attached to the short-term plan and more willing to do any adjustments needed to get to the long-term goal.
- Realize that you will have set backs – Our brains want to go back to what is comfortable. Yours will at some point. I can guarantee that.
- Keep that “Why” in the front of your mind – That’s why your ultimate reason for making change is so important. This is bigger than one set back. This is a dream for your life. Go get it.
When I started this blog, I struggled with just these thoughts. I wanted to create a successful outlet for my writing, medical, and parenting knowledge but it was WAY outside of my comfort zone. I had to rely on massive action to keep going. It would have been too easy to slip back into my medical comfort zone and quit. But I have bigger goals than that.
And at 86 posts in I’m on my way.
Simple Solution: One goal with massive action – get started today on changing your life. You won’t regret it.
If you are into podcasts, check out Kara’s podcast – I am obsessed with her work!