Imagine it was 1848, and you found the biggest gold mine, and told everyone about it. You were right—the motherload of gold was there, but you never carry through and took any action. Instead of living the rest of your life covered in gold, you watched people who heard about your discovery do the hard work and carry off with the gold.
Good ideas pave the grounds of startup cemetery and failed new year resolutions. Dreams and ideas are wonderful, but they have no value and can sometimes seem to be only figments of our imagination if we don’t take action. The real magic is in making them happen.But is there really magic?
Successful implementation makes dreams come true, it isn’t very complicated (not to say that it’s not hard).
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering a 12-step process to making it happen. This process works for any goal—wealth, parenting goals, behavior change, weight loss, you name it.
These 12 steps put your success on autopilot. If you’re doing the right things each day, good things happen.
Step 1: Practice Consistency
Consistency doesn’t guarantee results, but it multiplies your effort and accelerate results. When you first start doing anything, it’s awkward and you want to quit to put an end to that mild discomfort. But if you stop, it’ll always be awkward and hard. When you’re consistent, whether it’s with math practice, public speaking, working out, taking StrengthBuilder, you build muscle memory and reduce internal resistance,
Consistency takes practice, and it builds your faith in yourself and discipline, which is a requirement for success in any area. What you do consistently, everyday matters more than what you plan to accomplish.
What about my goals, you ask? I’m going to get to goal setting in a future post. Setting a goal that is right for you and attainable is very important, but it’s what most people already love to do. It’s fun and oh-so-tempting to chase the next great idea, shop for goals and jump from one thing to the next Chasing keeps you busy which our brains often perceived as productive, but it doesn’t get you to the finish line. We start with consistency or self-discipline because it is a prerequisite for any goal you choose.
The Mini Consistency Challenge:
Consistency takes discipline, and both are strengths that you can intentionally build and fortify Practice first on a goal that is realistic to make it easier for you to follow this process before tackling more difficult ones.
1. Assess and Measure your progress.
Performance experts say that “When you measure something, the thing you measure changes.” Just by monitoring your progress, you’re likely to see more improvement. Whether it’s a chore or a goal, you can use a tracker to monitor it—it’s proof that what you’re working on is important.
This is why our StrengthBuilder programs have assessment questions discreetly built into the game portion six or seven times throughout the program.
2. Support Your Journey
Set reminders of your goal for yourself in places and times when you’re likely to see them. Leave notes, signs, and any other type of reminder to ensure you remember to take action each day. In my house, we have reminders on whiteboards, calendars, Amazon Alexa devices. I’ve tried different reward charts, responsibility apps for years with my kids to get new habits to stick. Many of them failed because as a parent who’s supervising the system, I wasn’t consistent!
The Coming of Mad Dash
Almost every night, I would drag myself to get my kids to put their stuff away, prepare for the next day. It was repetitive and exhausting for me. Nothing worked until I laid out our “Mad Dash” plan where I schedule our speakers to play a Mad Dash music list for exactly 15 minutes at the exact same time everyday where everyone drops what they’re doing and starts cleaning like “mad” until the music is over.
Set Up For Success
The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” is so true. Discipline is difficult, so do anything you can to limit temptations. When you’re assessing your progress, make sure to investigate where problems tend to occur. Are you distracted by the TV or internet? If so, do your work where these distractions aren’t present. Are you less likely to be compliant in the evenings? Then, get your work done in the morning.
In the beginning, there would be days when a movie or game on their iPad would tempt them to skip Mad Dash. To problem solve and set up for success, we started to schedule our family movie night to end before our Mad Dash time. Going a step further, I scheduled for wifi to be turned off during Mad Dash time. It made being disciplined about our family Mad Dash much easier when my kids didn’t have to resist Netflix. I simply took that option away.
Many cite a Maltz study that it takes 21 days to form a habit. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, talks about the different research and there is sufficient evidence that it may take as long as 254 days to securely form a new habit. This is why all of curaJOY’s programs are deeply discounted for children who sign up for an entire year. Learning new skills, forming new habits are hard and they take time. It’s human nature to fall off track, so having a support system to spot it and remediate is critical.
p.s. We had Flo Rida’s My House playing in our Mad Dash playlist for more than a year before finally switching it out, and even years later, I feel the urge the “mad dash” and vacuum every time I hear the song.