Preparing for Successful Follow Through

In my last post regarding follow through, we explored the idea of using cues or triggers to remind ourselves to take action toward a goal. As part of the example of this strategy, I mentioned the idea of exposing yourself to cues and triggers while at the same time eliminating distractions.

Preparing for Successful Follow Through

This concept of taking a few small actions today to better increase the likelihood of following through with your intentions tomorrow is called “Willpower Leveraging,” at least by the authors of the book Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start. In other words, you set yourself up for success by making it more easy to follow through than to not follow through.

Remove Distractions

For example, let’s once again consider that goal of yours to take the dog for a walk every morning. In addition to the cues/triggers you expose yourself to as a reminder, you can work to mostly eliminate the obstacles that could distract you. If you’re a web junkie, this might mean putting your laptop in the car and parking the car around the corner the night before. This action serves to both eliminate your biggest distraction and forces you to walk to get your car and/or laptop.

Another example involves your goal to improve your diet. You might take some time today to throw out sweets and chips from your kitchen and restock it with fruits and vegetables. This would make it much more likely that you will make good food choices tomorrow as you simply don’t have the junk food alternative without making a trip out of the house.

While I hope these examples prove intriguing to you, the authors of the book give a lot more background and details regarding the strategy. If you try something along these lines, be sure to tell me how it goes.

ADHD Tip: Delegate Mundane Tasks

One thing I have learned through my ADHD coach training is that delegating mundane tasks is okay. In fact, delegating tasks I have a hard time doing myself isn’t a weakness, it is a strength. That’s right, I no longer think about the fact that I’m housekeeping challenged and less than consistently organized as shameful flaws. Instead, I use my “visionary” problem-solving brain to find a win-win solution.

For instance, by hiring someone to come into the house to clean once a week, I’m helping the economy by giving someone else work. I’m also spurring myself on to clean myself because, frankly, I have to get ready for the housekeeper – she has to be able to reach the counters and floors after all. Nothing ever gets that bad around the house because there is a consistent cleaning schedule. Best of all, the house gets clean and I’m freed up to work in ways that are more productive for me and mine.

I’m not sure I’ll ever truly understand why I can’t seem to clean the house unless we are expecting a third party or employing a third party, but accepting the truth of the situation gave me the freedom to brainstorm and find a solution to it.