Yesterday's exercise was to read the Michael Hyatt article and consider what obstacles lie in my path for my chosen habit (15+ minutes a day of puppy walking) and to create strategies to help me be prepared for them. Hyatt's article echoed what Paine has been talking about: prepare for obstacles and have strategies to overcome those obstacles. I enjoy Hyatt's writing and have been a subscriber of his blog for a while now, so it was a good reminder and reinforcement to read his tips, especially today when it was cold and rainy/snowy, and the last thing in the world I wanted to do was walk the puppy! But, the cold weather was one of my perceived obstacles from yesterday's exercise, along with being too tired, so I was ready! My strategy for the cold was to bundle up and walk more quickly! I know that's not earth-shattering or very exciting, but strategies for overcoming obstacles don't always have to be magic. My strategy for overcoming the obstacle of feeling tired was just to remind myself that it's a really short time frame and that puppers and I will both feel better after finishing the walk. Also, it makes him tired earlier, so it will benefit me more than if he's wound up all evening! Plus, I'm such a nerd that I get a little excited about having a check in streak on Daily Feats for this goal! Hey, whatever works, right?
Now onto today's chapter. Paine starts out by saying that she's constantly tempted to set goals that are unrealistic. SHE'S PREACHING TO THE CHOIR! I'm so bad about not only setting way too many goals but they're also usually unrealistic. For example, I won't just say that I'm going to walk the puppy at least 15 minutes a day; it's got to be I'm going to walk him to this particular spot every time, then let him spend time outside in the back yard, and do this and that and the other. I very much overcomplicate things and then when part of my "perfect" plan gets messed up, I just quit. By being realistic and starting small, I'm more likely to stick with things and not get so crazy if things don't go like I think they're supposed to. That's more beneficial in the long run because it's better to have some hiccups and keep going rather than to abandon yet another habit. I don't remember who said this (Jon Acuff maybe?) but "some is better than none." So true!
The exercise for tomorrow is to step back and consider whether you're being realistic about your discipline goals. Do you need to tweak anything to help set yourself up for better success? If so, tweak it now!