The goal achievement process can include goals to stop doing unproductive things. Sometimes things you are currently doing are obstacles to achievement of a new goal. Removing the obstacle will clear the way for achievement of the new goal. Review your activities to see if they are really productive. Instead of planning what you will do, let’s concentrate on things you should not be doing. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Maybe now is the time to make some changes.
If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for you job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” Attitudes, behaviors, and activities can account for our success or failure. We should be measuring the results of our activities to see if they are moving in the direction of our goals.
So start by looking at your activities that have produced little or nothing and may have kept you from doing more productive things. It may be, for instance, your networking activities. I, for one, have resolved to stop going to networking groups that are not my target audience. What activities will you eliminate?
Now how about eliminating harmful behaviors and attitudes? That is not so easy is it? You may enjoy those behaviors but, of course, you remember that someone once told you there is no gain without pain. But who can be in pain all the time? I suggest you use this approach to change your unproductive behaviors.
How about changing your bad habit by considering why you have that habit in the first place and what pleasure it gives you. Next substitute a new pleasure for breaking that habit. You really can’t change habits in a vacuum. You are going to be in a constant state of stress. You need a new pleasure or reward.
Let’s say you have a habit of coming into the office, getting coffee, chatting with others, reading emails and then you discover half the day is gone. You are used to that and it is comfortable. But now it is almost afternoon and you are fretting about your scheduled appointments. Now substitute the pleasure of spending time talking with the pleasure of knowing that I have a full dance card every day this week. The energy and excitement of that full schedule is satisfying but what is even more satisfying is the knowledge that you have enough activity to generate those additional sales. What will those additional sales do for your year and your lifestyle? Before long you have a new productive habit. You have also reduced your stress level because you have removed the anxiety of non-achievement.
Take action now. First, summarize the habits you think are harmful. Make note of the reason you have that habit. Now find a new pleasure or reward when you stop doing the thing that is not productive or harmful.