Yesterday was the first weekday of January! How did you do holding your commitments to a new routine and the New You: version 2016? If you aced it, this write up is for you! If you missed your mark, this piece is for you. Time to take on Tuesday!
Setting new goals and achieving things that you haven’t achieved before requires new habits. Habits are hard to form. One awesome day can add some bounce in your step and some ‘nailed-it’ in your mind. A day full of challenging distractions and events not scheduled into your perfect plan can leave you deflated and dragging your feet back to the 2015 you. No matter which one describes your first Monday of January, it’s time to take on Tuesday.
If you won yesterday and you have that swagger in your step approaching Tuesday, use your confidence to create more self-efficacy by asking yourself a few key questions.
- What made yesterday so successful?
- How did I manage to stay on-track with new routines?
- What preparation work helped me yesterday?… Am I prepared for today?
- What strategies did I use to deal with distractions and tempting routines/habits?
- Which 3 controllable actions that I took yesterday will I take into today to keep me on track?
Being aware of the choices, strategies and actions you made yesterday will help to build your resources and confidence to deal with specific distractions, demands and barriers. Higher self-efficacy will lead you into Tuesday with a confidence based on personal control and skill.
If your first Monday of January got totally derailed, and you’re wondering how you’ll make your goals a reality, take time to set-up a plan and tackle the likely switch-points in the tracks today. Identify the following three specific events that sabotaged your day yesterday.
- What was the first even that got you off track? Chances are that once you had a small snag in your day, your stress levels and willpower suffered, leading to additional breakdowns.
- Come up with 3 strategies (ex. Pre-planning, in-the moment choices, or alternate choices/activities that would get you the result you want) so that this first-thing in the day snag doesn’t catch you again.
- What event/choice was your greatest disappointment yesterday? Why was this so significant?
- Review the barriers that presented and prevented you from achieving what you wanted.
- Come up with 3 strategies to deal with this type of barrier in the future. This was your most significant disappointment and obviously one that is important to your goals. Be brave with your strategies but be realistic with actions you are willing to take.
- Create a back-up plan. What if more barriers come up today? What’s your backup plan to ensure this important task/activity/choice gets done?
- Which event added to the pile of stuff that didn’t go as planned but was LEAST significant?
- Slough this one off. It was the least important addition to a pile of stuff that seems really big. Discard it. Give yourself a break and work on getting a great start to the day and achieving the most significant action of the day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t put sweaty small stuff in today’s laundry pile – throw it in a ‘get-to-it later’ basket!
Getting a handle on your first derailment gets you in the conductor’s seat with a better rail-map and puts you on lookout for your switch-points. Knowing your most important event of the day and understanding the impact it has on your goals & emotions sets you up to accelerate towards your big actions of the day and/or put the brakes on when other things come up (maybe even say “no”). With a detour already set-up, you are more prepared to arrive at your win today. And unless you are fully on-track with your day and everything is on schedule, you can avoid feeling like you need to fit in all the sightseeing which isn’t so significant! To better determine the critical vs. the insignificant events of your day, Create a Winning Day.
Building new habits is hard work. However, in order to successfully achieve new goals, we all need new habits. Winning is in the Habits! One day at a time, clear reflection on your decisions and actions will keep you focused and confident with your progress on building new habits.
With today’s plan in place – it’s time to Take on Tuesday!