As a coach, I hear a lot of “I can’t . . . “, “I’ve never been able to . . .”, “I will never be able to . . . . ” and any number of variations of the theme of defeat.
I was so excited last week when a relatively new client was recapping their successes from the previous week. Instead of beating themselves up for not hitting a 100% success rate on a new habit, they focused positive energy on their 67% success rate. A 67% success rate on something that had a 0% success rate just a few weeks earlier is fantastic!
But what really warmed my heart was the end of their recap they said: “I’m going to be happy with a 67% rate for now.”
“For now” can be very powerful and motivating words. “For now” connects us to the present, and leaves the door open for positive change later down the road.
This client’s intention for this week (in addition to maintaining the other habit) is to make a daily to-do list. They have identified success as adding two items to the list per day “for now.” Visualizing a manageable goal in the present and leaving the door open for future enhancement creates an opportunity for success and growth.
Over the years, my “for now” items have been:
- I’d like to exercise 30-minutes every day, but “for now” I’ll consider it a success if I exercise three to four days a week. Currently, I’m exercising six to seven days a week, but it took some time (almost a year) to get in the daily habit.
- I’d like to journal every day, but “for now” I’ll be happy if I make it five days a week. Currently, I’m journaling seven days a week with minimal exception. Still, when I was creating the habit, it felt weird and awkward, so I only journaled two to three days a week.
- I’d like to meditate every day, but “for now” I’ll be happy if it happens three to four days per week. This one was tricky also. It took several weeks to find the perfect time and place for my meditation practice, so my performance was spotty at best. My success today is largely because I’ve coupled meditation with exercise (combining new habits with existing habits is a powerful strategy). Because I exercise nearly every day, I also meditate almost every day.
“For now” gives us the grace to accept our present circumstances while leaving the door open for even more significant achievements down the road.
What can you commit to “for now” that will create a pathway for your future self?
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