This is one of the ways I check in with clients and help them meet their goals and intentions. Speaking of clients, I've been sharing this hack with them and they've seen great results and improved ability to get things done.
This is a hack for helping get things done, meet goals and intentions. It’s call pre-commitment or implementation intention by researchers. I learned about this from one of my favorite authors Nir Eyal – speaking about his book, Indistractable and recently again from another favorite speaker and author of Atomic Habits, James Clear in a recent coaching webinar.
The basis of this hack that James Clear quotes is from:Peter Gollwitzer and Paschal Sheeran, “Implementation Intentions and Goal Achievement: A Meta‐Analysis of Effects and Processes,” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 38 (2006): 69–119.
Pre commitment is making a plan to do something, get something done or reach a goal.
There’s even a formula to help you – I will do ____ by _____. Another way is, When X happens I will do Y.
Sounds easy – it’s all about taking time to plan, envision and remove obstacles for your goals.
Some of my examples:
I will walk the dog daily every morning for 15 min.
When there are sugary treats offered, I will politely decline. (eliminating AGAIN that darn sugar that crept back into my eating again…)
By doing this simple hack of pre-planning and setting your implementation intention you’re 30% more likely to reach your goals. That's not small amount.
Remove your I should lose weight, I need to exercise, I have to pay taxes thinking and wording.
Replace them with a positive reframe of I get to and I will. For example, I get to exercise on MWF at 6:30am in the living room on the rowing machine or with a Les Mills video.
Have a back up plan for when you don’t feel like it - we are human and have those I don't feel like it days. If I don’t feel like it I will have already placed my workout clothes out and ready to remind me of why I’m exercising for my well-being. If I don’t get to it in the morning because I don’t feel well, I can exercise at lunch or before dinner.
James Clear says it this way in Chp. 4 of Atomic Habits:
I will [behavior] at [time] in [location]
The thought is by pre-planning using this statement, you’ve pre-committed to the goal and are 2-3x more likely to achieve the goal. That’s a significant increase and it’s a simple hack you can try today.
This simple hack may sounds a lot like a SMART goal. It is a component of a SMART goal. Making a specific goal and then a specific plan for a specific event or outcome.
SO what are you going to DO on TIME in what LOCATION?
I’d love to see your pre-commitment statements
I'm going to do __Behavior__ on/at date/time at/in place.
If you or someone you know would like support in setting and meeting goals with simple proven methods, I can help! I love seeing my clients gain new perspectives and reach their goals. I have space for 2-3 new clients in 2022. Click here to learn more.
Much peace, love and blessings,
Teresa – Remembering to pre-commit and plan for goal success
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, ACC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
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