Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goals (and the simple fix)

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A scientist named Roy Baumeister did a study where he had students fast for a time before they came to his lab. When they arrived, the entire lab smelled like freshly baked cookies. When they sat down, there was a a bowl of cookies and a bowl of radishes placed in front of them. One group was allowed to eat the cookies, while the other one was only allowed to eat radishes.

While none of the radish group cheated, they stared longingly at the cookies. Some even touched and smelled them.

Afterwards, the students were then brought to a different room to work on a puzzle that could not be solved.

They didn’t know the puzzle had no solution. They were told it was an IQ test.

The real test was to see how long they would try to solve the puzzle before they quit.

The results?

The cookie eaters worked for an average of 20 minutes before quitting. The radish eaters quit after an average of 8 minutes. A control group not involved in the cookie test also tried the puzzle for an average of 20 minutes.

The conclusion – the radish eaters depleted their willpower reserves resisting the cookies, leaving little left to push through the puzzle.

What’s this mean for you?

Well, let me ask you:

Have you made a list of goals? Are you easily reaching your goals on that list?

Have you boldly declared that this month (or, this year) you’re finally going to drop 20 pounds, save for your dream trip, and buy 2 investment properties?

If you have created a list of goals like that let me save you the disappointment right now. It’s like trying to resist the cookies, solve the puzzle and be friendly and kind to the cookie eaters all at the same time. You don’t have enough energy and willpower to do it all at once.

I’m not saying you can’t get all those things done but I am saying that it’s going to take an enormous amount of will power and discipline to do them all at once. Even just thinking about them all probably makes you feel overwhelmed and tired, right?

It’s not going to happen all at once so let’s not try to pretend that it will.

It’s not your fault – we all have a limited amount of willpower and need to focus it!!

It’s just like the experiment found. We have a limited amount of energy and will power reserves. You have to choose where you’re going to spend it.

The good news is that as things become habits, you don’t spend much of your energy and will power to do it. I’ve been dedicated to working out for so long, that most days I just go do it. There’s no drain on my will power because it’s a habit.

So keep your list if you want, but pick the first thing you want to tackle. Maybe you want to spend a month or two getting a new exercise and eating plan on track. Once it’s habitual, then you can start tackling what you need to do to buy two investment properties this year.

What is the ONE thing you can do next to move yourself closer to living your ideal day?

Ask yourself that and commit to it. If you commit to ONE thing you are much more likely to succeed. It’s like going straight in to solve the puzzle … you will push forward much longer and be much more likely to create the results you are working towards if you only have one primary mission in mind.

In other words if you want to become a real estate investor commit to that right now. Once you get through the learning curve and get your first deal done THEN you can work on training for the marathon or learning to play the flute.

You don’t have to believe me, but you should believe the research.

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 Image Credit: © Artofphoto | Dreamstime.com
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