What is a Goal?

This may seem like a silly question, but we still see poor goal setting all the time at 360 Fitness from new members coming in and it’s not as easy as you think to set proper goals.

And that makes it even harder to achieve them.

Ok, first things first – let’s actually start with what is NOT a goal…

“I want to lose weight.”

“I want to feel better.”

“I want to tone up.”

What’s wrong with these, you ask? They’re not specific to start with. They’re just kind of an idea. If you want to set goals that you can achieve set SMART goals.

S-specific – “I want to lose 10lbs, 5% body fat and fit back into my old size six jeans.”

M-measurable. There should be no doubt whether or not you reached your goals. You could measure by weight you want to lift, clothing size, inches, etc.

A-attainable. Make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure! Not too hard, not too easy.

R-relevant. Must meet your individual needs and your WHY.

T-timely. Give yourself a deadline. “I will accomplish this by May 1st.”

Take 15 minutes and write down your SMART goals.

Example: “I will lose 10lbs and/or 5 per cent body fat and fit back into my size six jeans by May 1st.

“I will do this by coming to 360 Fitness three times per week, doing two home workouts per week, drinking half my body weight in ounces of water per day, eating protein with every meal and eating no less than five servings of veggies per day.”

This may seem super simple but it’s not. It’s always easy to just make broad outcome based goals but to connect them with behavior and action is the hard part.

I cannot stress enough how important goal setting is! I have goals. Our personal trainers at 360 Fitness have goals. Our clients have goals. Always aim to be better!

There are two types of goals: outcome goals and behavior goals.

In the example, the first sentence is your OUTCOME goal and the second sentence is your BEHAVIOR goal. You should have both, but your focus should be more on the behaviour goals. The outcome (end goal) comes when the right behaviors are practiced consistently!

I hope this makes sense! Spend a little time on this, then let me know your SMART GOALS!

 

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This article was written by Jack Wheeler, a writer, personal trainer, and owner of 360 Fitness in Redwood, a training and exercise program. 

4 Ways to Maintain Momentum

That’s it, you tell yourself. This time I’m doing it. For real!

Fed up, you make yet another commitment to yourself: Start that business, hit the gym, save more money, stop dating losers or get serious about your future.

You know you need to do it. For some reason, though, it feels impossible to muster the energy to simply get started. Don’t worry; it’s not just in your head. Getting started is hard. The secret to building and maintaining momentum lies in science.

In chemistry, you need a big burst of initial energy to start a chemical reaction. This explosion of energy is called activation energy. What does it have to do with your personal goals? Everything.

New habits and a new mindset will require a personal explosion. You’ll never feel like it; you’ll never be ready; there is no right time. Suck it up, give yourself a push and get started. Once you’ve started, it’s easy to flame out—unless you know the science-backed tricks for maintaining momentum.

1. Do something tiny every day.

This idea comes from BJ Fogg, a Stanford University researcher. When you set the bar low, it’s easier to stick to your goals. If you’ve just started trying to get back in shape, for example, forget the long workout. Instead do five minutes on the treadmill and five pushups a day. I transformed my health by simply walking for 10 minutes every day. I didn’t have an hour, but I could always find 10 minutes. When you start with something easy, you’ll see yourself win and you’ll keep going.

2. Progress must be celebrated.

Making progress in small ways doesn’t always feel like it’s making a big difference. But research from Harvard University Business School discovered that recognizing your small progress every day is the key to productivity and happiness. To make the effect even greater, reward yourself—but only in ways that actually further your goals. Topping off a 5-mile run with a bowl of ice cream is different than rewarding yourself with a deep-tissue massage.

3. Focus on the smaller number.

You can measure progress by how much you’ve done or how much you still have left to do. A study from the University of Chicago discovered that you’ll be way more motivated if you focus on the smaller of two numbers. For example, focus on the 3 pounds you’ve already lost, not the 17 more to go. Each new action feels even more impactful when compared to a smaller number.

4. Keep a “did it” list.

My son’s school uses a program called “Track My Progress” for measuring homework completion rates, and every day he can see how he’s improving. It works like magic to keep him engaged. This week, try keeping your own “did it” list. It’s the opposite of a to-do list. Fill it with every single small task you complete. Keep it in a visible place. Research proves that seeing your progress and how much you have completed will inspire you to keep pushing.

Remember, it’s all science. You need a big explosion to start a change, but it’s the tiny moves forward that will make a lasting difference.

 

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This article was written by Mel Robbins, a contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine, best-selling author, CNN commentator, creator of the “5 Second Rule” and the busiest female motivational speaker in the world. To find out more, visit her website: MelRobbins.com. To follow her on Twitter: Twitter.com/melrobbins.

6 Powerful Ways to Become More Persistent (And Never Quit Again)

Most of us are great at setting goals, but not at achieving them.

Whether it’s starting a new business, learning a new language, or mastering an instrument — we love to start things without finishing. One of the biggest reasons why we never achieve our goals is due to a lack of motivation and persistency.

We start out with an abundance of optimism about the journey, without fully being mentally prepared for the inevitable obstacles ahead. As Tony Robbins quotes, “success in anything is 80% psychology, and 20% mechanics.”

Let’s uncover the 6 powerful ways to become more persistent, so you’ll never quit again.

1. Have a vision bigger than yourself

It all starts with this first step.

Without a bigger vision and purpose that is greater than yourself, you’ll quit at the initial stages of difficulty, as you will inevitably be knocked down.

However, when you’re achieving something for a purpose outside of yourself, the pressure of accountability alone will push you further than a purpose that is self-centered.

For example, if you’re learning a language in order to have a deeper connection with your life partner, you’re much more likely to persist because your relationship is on the line.

Or if you’re trying to lose weight, think about how confident, joyful, and happy you will feel, and how that will affect the loved ones around you.

Shifting from a self-centered goal to a bigger purpose that affects those you love helps you focus on what you will get out of it, instead of how hard it is.

2. Build a support team

As the popular saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

The top performers in the world all have a support team to keep them motivated and persistent, from personal coaches, employees, assistants, mentors, accountability partners — the list goes on.

More importantly, you should surround yourself with individuals who have already achieved what you want to achieve. Not only will this affect your speed of learning, but science has shown that it will impact your persistency and resiliency when things get difficult. When you have a clearly-defined purpose, with a state of certainty that you can achieve it, you influence a system in our body called the reticular activating system (RAS), that helps our brains decide what information to focus on and what to delete.

In summary, your mind starts to focus your energy on achieving the goal at hand, instead of unhelpful distractions like doubts and fears.

3. Have a Growth Mindset

In order to achieve our goals, we often have to get out of our own way.

The author of Mindset, Carol Dweck, spent twenty years researching how our mindset affects success. The research claims that individuals either have the growth mindset, where you thrive on challenges to achieve success, or the fixed mindset, where you think you were born into natural intelligence and talent. Dweck concluded that those with the growth mindset led happier relationships, achieved more success in the classroom, and were much more persistent through difficulties.

In other words, we should focus on celebrating small wins and progress, knowing that we are continuing to improve, rather than having lofty expectations.

4. Schedule it

The most successful people in the world, from billionaire entrepreneurs, Olympic athletes, and world-class learners, all use schedules to priortize their day.

Why not a to-do list?

According to a researcher Kevin Kruse, there are a few key weaknesses of a to-do list:

  • Doesn’t account for time. When we have a long list of tasks, we tend to tackle those that can be completed quickly in a few minutes, leaving the longer items left undone. Research from the company iDoneThis indicates that 41% of all to-do list items are never completed!
  • Doesn’t distinguish between urgent and important. Once again, our impulse is to fight the urgent and ignore the important. (Are you overdue for your next colonoscopy or mammogram?)
  • Contribute to stress. In what’s known in psychology as the Zeigarnik effect, unfinished tasks contribute to intrusive, uncontrolled thoughts. It’s no wonder we feel so overwhelmed in the day, but fight insomnia at night.

Instead we should focus on scheduling our priorities, such as reviewing your Spanish common words, practicing the drums, or writing 500 words for your upcoming book.

What doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done.

5. Teach Others

Have you ever taught something you learned to someone, and found it easier to remember in the future?

This is because when we teach something to someone, our brain is able to register the information more effectively than simply reading about it.

As research shows, it turns out that people retain:

5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately

This research finding is especially relevant for those wanting to master a new skill.

If you’re wanting to improve your communication skills, don’t just watch others do it, you need to immediately use what you’ve learned.

If you’re learning a new language, instead of using one-sided interactions like audio tapes or mobile apps, work with a language teacher or conversation exchange partner to practice what you’re learning.

The key to learning with persistency is to use it (or lose it).

6. Have stakes

Why are we less likely to be late to a business meeting than a meeting with our friends? Because the former could get us fired.

As humans, we’re naturally more motivated to commit when there is a consequence or a stake, even if it’s a friendly one.

Research shows that we are three times the more influenced by negative consequences than positive consequences, so stakes such as losing money is a powerful incentive to use against yourself.

You can either make a friendly bet with a friend, who will keep you honest, or use program like StickK, where you can set a specific goal with a referee to monitor you, and donate money to a charity as a consequence for not succeeding.

The key is to get someone involved from your support team, and share your goals publicly. The social pressure of affecting your reputation alone will push you further than you can imagine.

 

 

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This article was written by Sean Kim, a writer and founder and CEO of Rype, the first personalized language learning website.

10 Daily Habits That Can Actually Change Your Life

Your attitude determines your altitude. “Successful people don’t just drift off to the top. Getting there requires focused action, personal discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen,” says American author and entrepreneur Jack Canfield. So, don’t let old habits hold you back. Start building these simple yet essential habits for a happier and more productive life.

  • Create a morning ritual. Maybe you like to go for a run. Or, maybe you like to meditate or enjoy a healthy breakfast. Whatever it is that makes you feel supercharged, kickstart your day with that habit. Establishing a meaningful morning ritual helps you start your day on a positive, proactive note. Having a structured start to your day instead of rushing to make up for the lost time also helps eliminate stress, mental fatigue and enhances your productivity. Don’t know where to begin? Check out the morning rituals of some of the most successful people to get some inspiration!
  • Follow the 80/20 rule. The Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 rule means that in any situation, 20% of the tasks yield 80% of the results. So you can maximize productivity by investing most of your time and energy on those specific tasks that will create the biggest impact. Once you’ve finished those tasks, you can focus on other activities that are on your to-do list.
  • Read, read, read. Reading books is a great way to gain knowledge and stimulate creativity. Immersion reading also improves focus and has a calming effect similar to meditation. Moreover, reading before bedtime can help you sleep better. Non-fiction books, in particular, are an excellent tool to broaden horizon, develop new ideas and seek motivation. Additionally, they also offer actionable advice on how to overcome all kinds of challenging situations through real-life examples.
  • Learn to singletask. Only 2% people in the world can multitask successfully. While there’s no harm in occasional multitasking, constant juggling between tasks limits your focus and contributes to mental clutter by making it difficult for your brain to filter out irrelevant information. Moreover, according to a study conducted by Stanford University, heavy multitasking lowers efficiency and may impair your cognitive control. This is why you should try to single-task as much as possible. Make a list of things you need to accomplish in a day. Start with what’s most important and make your way down the list, completing one task at a time.
  • Appreciate more. French novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once said, “we can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget how fortunate you are. Practicing gratitude is a great way to create positivity, reduce stress and improve your physical health. How can you cultivate this healthy habit? Start a gratitude journal, volunteer, take time to appreciate your loved ones and remind yourself of at least one thing you’re grateful for every day before going to bed. The more you appreciate the little joys of life, the happier you’ll be.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” said American author and entrepreneur Jim Rohn. This is precisely why you should carefully consider who you’re spending time with. Let go of relationships that bring you down instead of lifting you up. And spend time with people who know how to nurture and share happiness. Since happiness is contagious, it’s one of the easiest ways to create positivity in your life.
  • Make time for exercise. Other than improving your physical health, working out regularly pumps up creativity and enhances your cognitive skills. It’s also an effective way to build endurance and get energized. And if you’re still not convinced, exercising also elevates mood by boosting the production of endorphins – hormones that act as natural anti-depressants. Still need more reasons to hit the gym?
  • Master the art of listening. Effective communication is crucial when it comes to cultivating personal and professional relationships. And listening is central to communication. Pay attention to what others have to say. It’ll not only make others feel valued but will also help you understand them better and gain a fresh perspective. Don’t try to monopolize the conversation or fake attention while your mind is busy figuring out what pizza you should order for dinner. Listen to what they have to say and what they really mean and take note of the non-verbal cues as well. The more you listen the more you’ll learn. Here’s a handy guide that can help you become a good listener.
  • Go for a social media detox. The digital world has taken over almost every aspect of our lives. The average person has five social media accounts and spends at least 1 hour and 40 minutes every day on checking social media. Research shows that the more time you spend on a social media site, the more likely you are to develop depression. Take time to cut back on social media to reduce stress and mental clutter. Switch off your phone and laptop for a few hours every day to improve your mood and reconnect with the world around you.
  • Invest in self-care. Taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel good. Listen to music, learn a new skill, take a long bubble bath, or prepare a nice meal. Whatever floats your boat!

Developing these habits require determination, oodles of patience and constant effort. Maybe it’ll take just a few weeks or maybe more than a year, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to build the habit as long as you don’t give up.

Now pull up your socks, it’s time to win at life!

 

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This article was written by Noma Nazish, a digital journalist and writer for the past four years, primarily covering lifestyle and science & technology.

5 Keystone Habits to Help Supercharge Your Success

In a compelling and insightful book entitled, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg coined the term “keystone habit,” to refer to a select group of habits that help to supercharge our success in life.

A keystone habit is no more difficult to form than any other habit, yet it provides the most benefits.

In particular, there are three things Duhigg claims that keystone habits do:

  1. They extend small senses of victory – By completing a keystone “habit loop,” as he calls it (cue – habit – reward), we’re filled with a sense of accomplishment. It’s a small win that we can then build from, acting as the foundation for a successful day.
  2. They act as the soil from which other good habits grow – When we complete a keystone habit loop, we’re more inclined to engage in other good habits. For example, when we exercise, we’re likely to drink more water, take a vitamin, and eat healthy meals.
  3. They provide you with energy, confidence, and the momentum to achieve more – As the keystone habit becomes solidified in our daily routine, it helps to build momentum. When we see progress in one area of our lives using a keystone habit, it creates a platform to engage in far more.

Keystone Habits: The Gateway to Success

In architectural terms, the keystone is the centermost stone in an arch that helps to interlock and hold the other stones in place, yet it bears the least weight. Without that keystone, the arch would collapse; it’s an integral part of the structure. Similarly, a keystone habit is an integral part of any good habit routine.

Not only are they no more difficult to form, but they also help to promote other good habits while also helping to eliminate bad habits. In short, if you want to supercharge your success, focus on developing a set of keystone habits that will support and empower you.

Fundamentally speaking, habits themselves play a key role in our lives. In fact, where we are right now, today, has more to do with our habits than anything else considering that 45% of all human behavior is habit-driven. A large part of what we think, say, feel, and do are primarily controlled by our habits.

So, if you want to make a change in your life, you have to focus on improving your habits. And, since keystone habits act as the gateway to success, requiring no more effort to form than any other habit, they should be the sole focus at the outset. Over time, as those keystone habits develop, other good habits will hitch a ride while bad habits fall to the wayside.

But, we all know that forming habits takes time. According to one study, it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days of repetitive behavior before a habit takes hold. On average, it was found that the habit-formation process takes 66 days. But, generally speaking, you’ll want to ensure a behavior is repeated for at least 90-180 days before things really start to solidify.

The problem? Getting over that initial hurdle is hard. But, once you pass that point, reinforcing the habit becomes easier.

Keystone Habits List

#1 – Active Goal Setting

Many of us set goals. But we don’t set them the right way. We fail to write them down and get specific about what we want, why we want it, and when we want it by. We don’t fully envision our goals when they’re left in the abstract mind.

When goals are written, they’re far more real. The simple fact that they’re on paper makes all the difference. When we write them out, it forces us to envision and specify them. Anything the mind focuses on, it tends to see and get over time.

But, it’s not just about long-term goal setting. The keystone habit of active goal setting also involves setting goals on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. Take your long-term goals, and break them down into milestones. Then, you can actively set your goals.

For example, let’s say you wanted to lose 60 pounds by next year. To some, that might sound like a lot. But, when you break that goal down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals (milestones), it becomes more manageable. That equates to 5 pounds per month, or about 1.25 pounds per week.

Once we have milestones, we can actively go about our days to reach those milestones. But, without long-term goals and milestones, we couldn’t engage in active goal setting. This simple keystone habit can provide enormous benefits to anyone.

#2 – Effective Time Management

Effective time managers are some of the most productive and self-made people in the world. When you can effectively manage your time, it means you can steadily move towards your goals no matter what the situation might be.

Remember, we all have the same amount of time in the world. No single person has more time than the other. It’s the great equalizer. The biggest difference? What we do with the amount of time we do have. Do we squander it or do we use it efficiently?

This keystone habit involves the usage of a system such as the quadrant time management system that categorizes all activities into four distinct quadrants based on urgency and importance. Either things are important and urgent (1), important but not urgent (2), not important but urgent (3), or not important and not urgent (4).

When you use the quadrant system to manage your time, you break your day into activities based on quadrants. How much of your time is being spent on quadrant 4, the time-wasters? How much on quadrants 1 (crises) or 3 (interruptions and distractions)? And, what about quadrant 2, the long-term goal related activities?

Spend a week or two auditing your day. Find out what percentage of your time is spent in each quadrant. Then, in the mornings, get used to creating a to-do list and front-loading all of your quadrant 2 activities at the start of your day. This is also called tackling your MITs or “eating the frog.”

#3 – 30 Minutes of Exercise

Exercise is quite possibly one of the most beneficial keystone habits. It helps to energize the body, clear the mind, and rejuvenate the spirit. It helps to oxygenate the blood, improving health and diminishing the chances for disease, while also increasing our motivation to achieve more.

Exercise helps to build momentum by establishing a small win, helping to attract an onslaught of other good habits. When you exercise, you’re far more conscious about the health choices you make throughout the day, and are more attentive to the basic needs of the body.

When we exercise, we’re also less likely to indulge in bad habits such as smoking, drinking, and doing other things that are detrimental to our health. The hard part of building the exercise habit can be overcome by the micro-habit approach.

Start out by walking around the block for just 5 minutes every morning. Do that for the first week. Then, increase it to 10 minutes the next week. The third week, up it to 15 minutes. The fourth week, lightly jog those 15 minutes instead of walking them.

Why take this approach? All habits are built slowly over time. They don’t form overnight. When people try to go from zero to hero instantaneously, they fail, and end up too discouraged to continue forward. Sometimes, they end up a few steps back from where they started.

#4 – Daily Gratitude

While all of us tend to want things, not all of us tend to appreciate what we already have. There’s a great deal of calamity and strife in the world. People are suffering and dying. There’s poverty, famine, war, illness, genocide, and oppression.

It’s hard to see what we have as opposed to what we don’t have. But, this keystone habit is integral to a sound mind and elevated spirit. What the mind focuses on it tends to see and get. When we focus on abundance, we reap abundance. The opposite is true for scarcity.

Many of us are so busy living in lack, that we forget to see the abundance all around us. Take 15 minutes in the morning and write down everything that you’re grateful for. Whether you have enormous problems or not doesn’t matter. Just write down what you’re grateful for.

In the beginning, you’ll find this keystone habit hard to institute. But, over time, just like any other habit, it will become commonplace.

#5 – Learn a New Skill

Success in life doesn’t come from being stagnant. We must always be learning and discovering new skills, methods, and ways for doing things. And, the keystone habit of learning a new skill can help drive us towards our goals, irregardless of what they might be.

However, most people get into a routine of not learning new skills. They get complacent with the status quo and stop exploring and discovering new ways to enhance the level of value that they can add to the world.

When we’re not adding enough value to the world, we’re not moving forward. And the only way to truly succeed is to add more value to the world than you receive compensation for. That’s how some of the most famous people who failed achieved wild success.

Use YouTube, TED Talks, or even an online academy such as Udemy.com to help learn a new skill. All it takes is 15 to 20 minutes per day to institute this keystone habit. Learn, discover, and grow your skill-set every single day.

 

 

 

 

 

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This article was written by R.L. Adams, a writer, blogger, entrepreneur, software engineer, and best-selling author of dozens of SEO, online marketing & self-development books.

Did the ’10-minutes-a-day’ goal-setters make it?

A year ago in this space, I put out a call for volunteers to join me in conducting a major test of my theory that the best way to reach a personal goal is to commit to working on it for just 10 minutes every day.

Learn a new instrument, language or other skill. Purge the storage areas in your house. Write the memoir, novel or screenplay that’s been percolating in your head, read those classics, scan those old photos. You know, the big plans that often come to mind when the flip of the calendar reminds us that somedays rapidly turn into yesterdays.

My personal experiment with it had gone well. On New Year’s Day of 2014, I’d quietly resolved to devote 10 minutes a day to the fiddle, an instrument I hadn’t played much for 30 years. And my improvement was noticeable, at least to the one judge who matters — my long-suffering wife.

The plan was simple: 10 minutes of practice, minimum, no days off.

Ultimately, 81 readers made the “10MaD” pledge and committed to a variety of goals.

Finally finish that long-dormant afghan knitting project. Learn to watercolor. Organize those recipes. Empty the email inbox. Write daily notes of encouragement.

“You always have 10 minutes,” said Lorne Holden of Stockbridge, Mass.

Holden and I were in touch because she’s the author of the 2012 motivational book “Make it Happen in 10 Minutes a Day: The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.” And, getting in the spirit, she added her name to my roster, saying she’d spend her 10 minutes a day working on a follow-up book, “Make it Healthy in 10 Minutes a Day, Simple Strategies for Getting More Fit.”

Well, you know who didn’t always have 10 minutes? Lorne Holden.

“I had an immensely challenging year, both in my own life and in the lives of people I love,” she reported during a follow-up exchange this month. Accordingly, Holden explained, she “fell off the 10-minutes-a-day path” but is now devoting herself to another book project and creating a webinar.

I heard similar excuses often as I corresponded over the past few weeks with members of Team Ten. Things came up. Life got unexpectedly challenging. We moved. My computer broke …

No argument here. You need the emotional as well as the physical space in your schedule to strap yourself to the wheel every day.

But the more typical washouts were those who simply got distracted — missed a day, missed two days, lost momentum and quickly gave up.

“I worked diligently for about six weeks, then I went away on vacation,” reported Mila Novak, whose aim was to reduce her book collection from 60 boxes to 15. “I was extra stressed and tired when I returned, pretty much got off the plane and to work. So the next day I was too tired. And the next. And I never got back in to it.”

I put 33 such Team Ten members in the “fail” category based on their self-reporting, and, assuming the worst, added to that side of the ledger the 10 enrollees who didn’t respond to several requests for an update.

I put 12 members into the “kinda sorta successful” category. They fell short of their goals, stopped with a few months to go or slacked off toward the end, but still credited the idea with helping them get a lot done.

The remaining 26 members fell squarely into the “success” category.

“This simple 10-minute ritual kept my fingers moving,” said Dionna Griffin-Irons, whose steady work on her memoir resulted in a sample chapter being published in a web anthology.

“It is much less daunting and, therefore, less stressful to set small, daily goals rather than to attack a giant goal all at once,” reported Erica Lauf, who set out to write three children’s stories and ended up finishing six.

The at-least-partial success rate of 47 percent represented a solid improvement over the 28 percent success rate I saw in 2001 when I recruited 188 readers to commit to devoting 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to realizing their goals. This leads me to conclude that attaining new goals is always hard, but it’s easier when the increments are smaller.

If you want to try a 10MaD project for 2016, here are my five guidelines based on reading all the updates

Set a specific goal. “Meditate,” “read,” “get fit” and so on are resolutions, not goals, and usually too vague to be sufficiently inspirational. My goal for 2015 was to get hired to play fiddle at a square or contra dance, and I ended up with four gigs.

Find a 10MaD partner. Or get someone else to hold you regularly accountable.

Make it portable. Contrive tasks at least tangentially related to your goal for those days when you’re away. For me that was studying sheet music on my travels.

Don’t combine days. Getting momentum is the secret, not averaging a certain amount of time. There’s no point in doing 20-minute “make-up” days; just get back on the 10-minute horse.

Ten minutes is the floor, not the ceiling. Nearly everyone discovers that, on some days, the 10 minutes turns into 30 minutes or an hour. That’s not extra credit or an excuse to skip tomorrow; it’s baked into the idea that inertia, not lack of time, is the biggest obstacle between you and what you want to attain.

 

 

 

 

 

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This article was written by Eric Zorn, a op-ed columnist and daily blogger for the Chicago Tribune.

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