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The Real Secret To Getting Things Done

Aug 17, 2007
In a previous article I talked about the value of a "Commitment Ritual" in helping you adopt a new habit, develop a new skill, complete a new project, or achieve any goal.

Basically, I said that an effective way to achieve something new is to go through the same "ritual" that has helped you commit to, and accomplish, similar goals in the past.

For example, if you're starting a new hobby, you might recall that when you embraced other hobbies in the past you did specific things that helped you learn a lot about the hobby and develop key skills in a relatively short period of time. It might have been purchasing books and magazines related to the hobby, visiting relevant websites, and/or joining groups of
like-minded people to discuss and take part in the hobby.

Not only are these activities enjoyable and valuable in themselves, but they also form your Commitment Ritual, which essentially enables you to fully commit to, and stick with, the new hobby.

As another example, when I decided to become a competitive runner a few years ago (as opposed to just running for fitness) I read a lot of books and magazines about running, I joined a running club, I kept a training diary, I joined an online running forum, I competed in races, and I visualized a lot, among other things.

That's how I committed myself to competitive running.

In fact, everything I did was part of a Commitment Ritual that got me hooked on running -- and not just willing, but EAGER -- to get up and train at 6am every morning -- rain, hail or shine!

Well, I'd wager that for many goals -- whether it's writing a book, job-hunting, starting a business, developing management or other skills, studying, sticking to an exercise routine, or pursuing any important objective -- an essential part of an effective Commitment Ritual is to:

MEASURE (and RECORD) YOUR PROGRESS.

Ever heard the saying, "what gets measured, gets done"?

When you measure and record your progress, you're not just keeping track of how you're doing...

The actual process of measuring and recording helps ingrain the legitimacy of, and your commitment to, your goal...

And when you write down your "results" -- especially results you're not happy with... you're often even more motivated to perform better next time.

Although, in many cases, what you measure and record matters less than the fact that you are measuring and recording!

So get out your notebook, spreadsheet, or diary... and start keeping track! Even if you don't like your current "results" you'll probably find that simply by writing them down... they'll get better and better.
About the Author
Anna Johnson is the creator of the inspiring 1 minute movie, A Bit Of Inspiration. Enjoy the movie and get inspired! Then claim your free A Bit Of Inspiration screensaver - your daily reminder of the power you have within.
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