zenhabits : breathe

The Amazing Power of One

This is a guest post from AgentSully of Life Learning Today.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the goals you want to accomplish? Do you find it especially difficult starting out on a new goal? This is where the powerful “Rule of One” comes to the rescue.

Change is hard. Changing many things at once can be overwhelming. And that’s where most people fail. They become overwhelmed mentally before they even start. A year goes by and their goals remain nothing more than mental laundry continually spinning around in their mind.

The “Rule of One” makes change easier. The “Rule of One” states that you install one new goal at a time. Once that new goal is on auto pilot, only then do you start on your next goal.

How Does the “Rule of One” Work?
Let’s say you have a list of goal that looks like this:

  1. Start Aerobic exercise program.
  2. Start strength training program.
  3. Cut out processed foods. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  4. Do 15 minutes stretching a day.
  5. Increase my output of work by 50%, i.e. writing, sales calls, coding, designing, etc.
  6. Join a hobby group.
  7. Take an adult education class.
  8. Spend more quality time with loved ones.
  9. Write a book.

Rank your goals in order of importance. This may be hard, but just do your best and then don’t look back. Starting with your number one, identify the action steps you need to take over the next week to start on this goal. Then begin.

If strength training is your number one goal, your action steps might be:

  1. Research an “at home” strength training course such as this one from RealAge. (you may need to register which is free)
  2. Plan the days/time into your calendar that you will do this.
  3. Make a simple success chart for your wall. Draw a simple star for each day you complete your goal. (who says charts are only for kids!)
  4. Do it! Start those first steps and build every day.
  5. Share your success with others.
  6. Plan a reward for completion of 30 successful days.

Focus on that One Goal until it is automatic. This could be a couple days, a week or even a month. Don’t agonize over your goal list. Have peace of mind knowing that you will get to all of them!

Failproofing Your Progress
Estimate the time it will take for this new goal to become automatic, then schedule in a reminder at the end of that time period to start on your next goal. When you start the next goal, set the next reminder and so on. In fact, in each reminder remind yourself to schedule the next one!

Greater Success than 99% of the Population
Most people set their goals on New Year’s Day and quickly forget about them. By using this simple goal-hack you will systematically and successfully reach ALL your goals. Maybe it will take you 6 months or a whole year to be working on and achieving all your goals. But imagine how great you will feel when you look back and see what you have accomplished. How exciting is that?! Stick to it. Slow and steady wins the race! Take a peek at Leo’s “My Story” page where he outlines his amazing accomplishments achieved by using the powerful “Rule of One.”

Please share YOUR goals, The One goal you will start installing today, and bookmark this post (delicious link) so you can come back to update everyone on your progress!

AgentSully write about life improvement tips at Life Learning Today. If you liked this article, check out her site and consider subscribing to her feed.



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