Red and Yellow Diwali Night Blog Banner 2

How To Achieve Goals When You’re Busy: 2 Scientific Ways

Have you observed a gap between your actions and intentions?  Have you tried time and again to set goals and failed, inevitably? Well, let’s break this problem down to help you make smarter decisions and achieve your goals.

One of the biggest problems you might be facing while setting your goals and achieving them is being too busy with already existing baggage. This could be as tiny as preparing your meals by yourself, taking care of your ageing parents, or having certain family or financial pressures to deal with.

When you have these problems always existing in the background, it becomes 10 times more difficult to focus on anything else. In this blog, we shall highlight this basic but most common problem and help you rethink how to approach your life problems and thereby set your life goals the right way.

Why Are Busy People The Ones With The Biggest Problems?

The busiest people have the hardest time sticking to their goals. Their preloaded responsibilities and burdens, including work obligations, busy schedules, childcare, relationships, exercise and sleep, parents, and much more, would not allow your actions and intentions to come together.

They often face problems with willpower, time, or stress management while achieving their goals. For instance, if you’re a successful person with a busy life, a decent career, and family and friends, you might not feel supporting your parents as a problem. But, no matter how much you deny, it becomes a problem when you have a hundred things to take care of.

What you need to do here is ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a demanding job?
  • Do you have a family that’s loving?
  • Do you have a new business?

In each of these scenarios, you might have a demanding boss, school appointments of your kids, and client requirements pulling you back.

How to achieve goals while having such little time?

Sticking to your goals is not something that comes entirely from intent; it’s actually a skill that you need to evolve in yourself to make it easy for goal achievement. Here’s what you need to do to achieve the same:

  • Start with minimal or tiny habits. This could mean reading a page of your book today if your goal is to read 12 a year.
  • Have predefined review periods so that you can always come back and track your progress.
  • Distinguish between maintenance and growth goals and the focus they require.
  • Keep some front-loading plants to account for obstacles you can’t anticipate.

These are the short-term things you should be doing. However, there are long-term strategies to ensure that you achieve your goals without fail. These are called IF-THEN plans, or reducing frictions along the way.

IF-THEN planning

IF-THEN planning includes taking the uncertainties around you into consideration. Now, imagine two scenarios to understand this better. In one, you intend to exercise every day, but you get sick, skip a couple of days, and end up giving up.

The second scenario is where you also intend to exercise every day, but you anticipate that getting sick might happen. So you decide to set a threshold. If you’re feeling sick, all you have to do is touch the gym door; you don’t actually have to work out.

Now, you get sick, but because you anticipated this when you missed your workout, everything is still going according to plan. Best of all, you planned for a reasonable method to maintain your momentum.

This is exactly what the IF-THEN planning is. You start by asking yourself about a bunch of things that could potentially derail your plan. Next, you tell yourself what you would do in each case of uncertainty. Imagine what it would be like to be in that situation and what a reasonable response would be.

The power of this method is that by anticipating obstacles when they do occur, you don’t stumble. Instead, you follow your plan and continue forward. Busy people need to do IF-THEN planning more than most because the number of things that can derail your goals is much higher.

Identifying Friction Points

Go through your plan and try to identify any of the steps that will require effort—not in terms of time spent, but in how much motivation you’ll need to go forward. These are your barriers, and you need to keep a close eye on these points.

I’ll give an example: I was writing a research paper, which was a lot of work. I was putting in the work but was still not able to meet the deadlines. Soon, I realized that my major friction was coming from the place I was writing, my day schedule, and the technique I was following.

Once I identified these as friction points, I changed the place I was writing, tried incorporating the technique used by already accomplished PhD students, and tried to write during the hours of the day when I was the most focused (right at the start of the day).

All in all, we know now that getting closer to your goals requires nothing but a plan. If you want to stick to the one that makes the most sense to you, you’re already one step closer to your goals.

Also, here’s how you can rewire your brain to overcome the lazy out of you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial