nicole bensen

How’s that resolution going?

tl;dr: 5 steps in 5 minutes to improve the likelihood of accomplishing your goals (no matter how big!)

Did you set a new year’s resolution? I’m not a big resolution person, myself, and I’m not here to tell you to throw yours away completely, BUT…in my positive psychology-based coaching practice, I encourage you to choose a goal that’s so-easy-you-can’t-help-but-do-it as a stepping stone to that big goal/resolution. I call these micro goals: MVEs. Minimum Viable Experiments.

These smaller changes are more manageable, and accomplishing them gives you a boost to keep going—not to mention the ability to pivot if something needs tweaking.

So if you set a new year’s resolution, my recommendation is to break down that goal to the tiniest baby step, and once you’ve accomplished it, choose the next step, or MVE. Although I rarely set resolutions, I’m constantly dreaming about my best possible future, creating vision boards, and making MVEs to move forward. 

I’m sharing the 5 steps I’ve been using every day that take just 5 minutes in the morning and evening. I call this sheet “Dream. Do.”

5 steps in 5 minutes to increase the likelihood of accomplishing a goal
Click the sheet to print or complete online.

Here are the 5 steps:

1. In the morning I write down “5 things I want.” This could be a big goal, like a bigger home with a curved staircase (actually on my vision board), or something that I want at that moment, like more sleep (this has been on my list most mornings since having a baby last month!). There are no rules. 

2. Then I write “Ideas to propel me forward.” This is an open brainstorming area where I’ll write down anything that pops into my mind that might support the “things I want.” For example, if I wrote down, “A bigger home with a curved staircase,” ideas to propel me forward could be “spend 5 minutes on Pinterest pinning photos,” or “research mortgage rates,” or “look at real estate videos on YouTube.” In this brainstorming area you might write down five ideas for one thing you want, or one idea, period. You don’t have to come up with an idea for every thing you want. 

3. Third, I choose an MVE. What’s the minimum thing I could do to propel one of my ideas forward? Using the example above I could block my calendar for 20 minutes in the afternoon to take a break and scroll Pinterest for 5 minutes. I also recommend adding in “where” and “when” you’ll do your MVE, like “On the living room couch at 1:00pm.”
That’s it. Giving yourself permission to want, and choosing one small action. Sounds too easy to make a difference, right? Well, in these mico-moments you’re doing tiny experiments that make the goal closer to reality in your mind, which eventually leads to big breakthroughs.
4. At the end of the day I write down how my MVE went in “Post-MVE Notes.” Usually it’s as simple as, “Spent 5 minutes looking at staircases on Pinterest.” It’s just a spot to keep you accountable. 

5. And last, I write down “3 Good Things” from the day I appreciate.
Examples: 1. My cup of coffee this morning. 2. A new coaching client. 3. A video catch-up with my friends. 

Example:
5 steps in 5 minutes to increase the likelihood of accomplishing a goal

You can print out several copies of this sheet to fill out by hand, or you can type in that sheet to save the paper. Now that I’ve memorized the format I’m actually writing in this beautiful notebook a friend recently gifted to me.

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I just opened my schedule to accept 4 new clients this month. Learn more about coaching and grab a complimentary 30-minute chat to see if one-on-one coaching with me is right for you.

And don’t forget to comment with your MVE; I’d love to cheer you on.

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