Why is it so difficult to do the things we say we want to do? To stay accountable? To complete daily tasks, stick to deadlines, create content consistently.
Last week I was chatting with my mom about sticking to my workout schedule and how she’s been able to stick to hers.
For her it was doing a workout video that she enjoyed, but for me it was the act of checking off that task on my habit tracker and seeing how long I could keep it going (26 days so far). Whether I really enjoyed the workout was beside the point.
Which made me realize that we have VERY different triggers for sticking to our habits and being consistent.
In this episode I’m sharing how this conversation led to an epiphany about holding ourselves accountable. And how you can use the same idea to get more consistent with your business tasks and habits.
Resources + Links
The habit tracker I’m using: Done
Find me on Instagram @xosarahmorgan!
Last week I was on the phone with my mom and we started talking about working out and staying accountable to our goals.
I was telling her that I’ve been able to stick to my new workout routine for the past month because I’m now alternating weights and yoga and working out every other day. My plan is – if I didn’t workout yesterday I’m working out today.
My mom said something like, “Oh yeah, you just have to find something that you like to do. I sometimes don’t feel like it and come up with excuses but then I remember that I actually like the workout and then I’ll do it.”
And I realized – that just enjoying the task doesn’t work for me.
The reason I’m able to stick to my routine isn’t because I really like the workouts, it’s because I’m tracking it in a habit tracker app (I use Done) and I don’t want to break my streak. That is very influential over me – I’m doing it because I thrive on the feeling of accomplishment.
Eventually after weeks and it becoming a habit, my body will start to crave that movement and energy, but for now just checking the box is what’s keeping me on track.
Other people might be able to stick to their routine because they want a big butt or six-pack abs. Or maybe they’re working out with a partner and they don’t want to let them down. And others might be sticking to it because it all adds up to them running a race or competing – they’re focused on the end goal.
Everyone has a different trigger that helps them get past their excuses, not being in the mood, or not having time and stick to their schedule.
So let’s look at this in relation to business and marketing.
I am able to produce a weekly podcast episode not just because I want to show up for you weekly, I want to create content consistently, or I want to get in front of new people. Yes, all those things are part of my motivation. But the real reason I’m able to stick to a weekly schedule is – my editor is expecting me to send an episode for every week and I want to stay accountable to that commitment.
They’re not checking in on me and they’re not going to be mad if I miss a week, but I’ve made a commitment and knowing that someone is expecting me to send them episodes keeps me on track.
Knowing your own triggers might be helpful in getting yourself to be consistent too.
Make a list of a few things you HAVE been consistent with – work stuff or life stuff – your triggers will be the same.
What are all the reasons you stick to those things?
Do you have a schedule, someone waiting for you so they can do their part, a goal / bigger picture?
Once you see a pattern in your triggers, see if you can take that trigger and apply it to something you want to get more consistent with.
Knowing that I’m more likely to work out if I can see my progress in a calendar and get a streak going shows me that I can use that elsewhere.
I’ve started using check lists to make sure I’m staying accountable and ticking off all the important tasks. Nothing fancy – a spreadsheet with the dates on the left and what I want to track along the top.
If you’re interested in digging more into why you do things and how to stay accountable,
Personality tests are really fascinating – I love seeing why I do things and there’s some comfort in knowing that…
1. It’s built into who I am
2. Other people have totally different ways of thinking and doing things so I can think my way is right, someone else can think doing it that way is wrong and we can both be right!
What a freaking relief!