Deadlines can maintain life

Considering the time frame is an important aspect of setting a goal and measuring progress.

But often this is overlooked when it comes to adherence-based goals, with the duration defaulting to ‘as long as possible’ or ‘forever.’

Going back to my Headspace app experience, I never set the goal of a certain number of using the app every day for a certain period of time.

Instead, I set the goal of using it daily, indefinitely.

A better idea might have been to set the goal of 100 days, which I would have achieved.

Alternatively, it could have been 150 days, which might have got me to ensure I used the app while camping.

Either way, having a defined duration for the goal helps prevent the inevitable disappointment that often comes with indefinite goals.

This also helps provide a realistic view of your own goals.

If you ask yourself do you think you will never eat pizza/ice cream/etc ever again, the answer is probably no.

But could you avoid it for four weeks? Probably.

So when the temptation pops up and you have the four-week goal, it’s easier to decline and keep working towards your target.

But when it pops up and you have the indefinite goal, you might tell yourself the story that you would never have adhered anyway - it was an unclear goal to begin with!

Tom Fitzgerald