Focusing on Effort rather than Outcome, achieves more in the longer term

We lose interest, eventually. Our motivation wanes and we drop our goals. Over the years I have looked for many ways to help keep me on track with my goals and have passed these on to my clients who are working towards behavioural change. Nothing works as well as recognising and rewarding effort rather than outcome. I am sure someone asked you at least once in your lifetime when you were disappointed or worried about a result: ‘well, did you do your best? That’s all that matters’. The more we notice (and acknowledge) the effort we put in to achieving our goals, the more likely we are to keep going. It is that simple.

Here is one of my own Daily Check-In Sheets, aimed at longer-term sustainable behavioural change. Try it out for yourself, it is kinder (to yourself) and it really does work!

Did I do my best to?

5 – Yes, I did my absolute best to try to do this

4 – Yes, I did my best, just a little off, but did try really hard

3 – I kind of tried my best – a bit hit and miss – was easily swayed from trying

2 – I didn’t try much – easily gave in – not much effort to keep trying

1 – I didn’t try at all

0 – Not applicable today

Today did I do my best        MAY, 2020
to……………                             16th    17th    18th

Consume only 2 small ‘unhealthy’ snacks      
                                                   3           4           2        

Do one inside short exercise                    
                                                  4           5           3           

Take time outside for air/in nature                 
                                                 5           5           4          

 Participate in one all-family activity                             

                                                3           4            4

 Have a 30-minute walk
                                                  4           4           3     

Consume 5 Fruit/Veg portions      
                                                   4           5          4            

To encourage you I will share a secret: one of the most famous Executive Coaches in the world, Marshall Goldsmith, says he pays someone (yes, actually pays them real dollars) to ring him every night and ask him what effort he has put into each of his goals. Hey, if it is good enough for Mr. Goldsmith, then it is good enough for me!

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