Now, once you have all 3 questions answered, work out the plan to get there.
Select all the short-term actions that you need to do to get to the big goal. These should have a shorter “due date”. Not all the short-term goals will take the same amount of time to complete; therefore, it is worth considering first how long each of them will take.
If the sequence doesn’t play a significant role, it is better to start with short term goals that take the longest to complete. By doing so, you will shorten the overall time required to get to your desired place.
For example, you may have selected for your short-term goals the following:
1) Drink lemon water every morning
2) Exercise for 45 minutes 3 times a week
3) Practice mindfulness every day for 5 minutes to gain more control over my emotions
Some of the short-term goals you’ll have sorted out by completing the tasks in this program. But think broader, what are other things you could do to help you? You know yourself better than anyone else, so personalized steps are inevitable.
Think, which of the steps you listed down are easy to implement and follow. Maybe something you could get into the routine after one week already (like lemon water in the example above).
The second goal from the example depends on your current activity level. If you haven’t exercised for years, you should start with mild exercises once a week, gradually increasing the number and variety of physical activity you are performing.
The third one depends how comfortable you feel with mindfulness and whether you tried it before. If feel comfortable, probably it will take you less time to get this into routine. If you did not, plan longer time before you can start doing this automatically.
Let’s assign a possible length to each of the tasks:
1) 1 week
2) 4 weeks
3) 6 weeks
The third goal takes the longest and all the steps could be implemented independently from one another. It is worth then to start with this goal. You could then add a week later goal number two and do meditation and exercise, and the following week goal number 1. This would prevent overwhelm and feeling of control will reassure you in this journey.
It can be tough to change all of your bad habits at once. When you feel mentally overwhelmed, you won’t last long. You should implement short-term goals gradually; this approach is much more sustainable.
Take your time now to write down 3 short-term goals you are going to implement during 3 coming weeks.