If you’re anything like the typical human, then you have goals in your life. In fact, there are probably many things — big and small — that you would like to accomplish: starting a new business, saving for a home, or going on a trip to Barcelona.
That’s great, but there’s one common mistake we often make when it comes to setting goals: lack of motivation. We start hearing those whispers in our heads telling us to take the easy road, or just let them go.
According to the behavioral economist Dan Ariely, we don’t fail to act on our goals simply because we’re not determined enough. The problem is we don’t see what we’re giving up.
To stay on track and make smarter decisions with our time, Ariely suggests adopting a very simple but useful trick: keeping a calendar.
Set a date
One of the best ways to knock out a goal is to put it on your calendar. If you put a stake in the ground and impose a date on yourself, you’re much more likely to reach it. That might not sound like a big shift, but it is.
“Deadlines are basically a way to get intentions not to evaporate, but to become a part of the immediate reality,” says Ariely. “We need to take the occasions where we have good intentions and translate those into actions, and deadlines are a wonderful way to do that.”
Commit to yourself
There’s only one single person in the goal-setting process that matters. You. Commit to yourself. And if you fall along the way – well, recommit yourself once again. There’s a reason you want to achieve these goals, so respect that desire and do something about it.
Giving up on our long-term goals for immediate gratification, my friends, is procrastination. – Dan Ariely
Bringing it all together
Writing a goal down on a calendar each day makes it easier for us to see what we give up and what progress we make.
So if you want to be the type of person who achieve goals on a consistent basis, then give yourself a deadline and keep yourself ahead of the game.
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