Very little in life just happens. That’s why it’s baffling to me that, despite understanding this maxim very well, I fail to follow through on so much. I’m not even talking about things I have to do: I regularly put off things I want to do. Why? What does this say about me?
Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my whole life intending to make certain dreams come true, and then watching the Big Bang Theory in my underwear instead. I hate this about myself. So I did some research, trying to figure out why I possess a fatal lack of follow-through.
Well, according to a Harvard study entitled Making the Best Laid Plans Better: How PlanMaking Increases FollowThrough, some plans just suck. In fact, some plans aren’t even plans.
If you really want to follow through on something, you should:
* Want to do it
* Make a concrete plan of action
* State it publicly
* Think about how to overcome the obstacles
Your plan will also work best if you have not already made a competing plan, if you are naturally forgetful, if you have time limitations and if there are specific moments during which your plan will be most effective.
Of course, these strategies don’t comprise a cure-all, but I had the opportunity to test them today, with good results. I’d been wanting to take some pictures of my daughter for a while, and snow presented the perfect opportunity. But when I work up late this morning feeling blah, I almost didn’t do it. Luckily, I’d already made the plans. Basket: check. Coat: check. Camera: check. Plans: CHECK. Plus I’m super forgetful, the snow wasn’t going to last, and all I had to do was actually take the darn pictures.
Guess what? I actually did. Now I have a bunch of bright, colorful, snowy pictures in my photo library that weren’t there this morning! Note to self: make more plans.