1) Say what you’re going to do.
2) Do it.
Do you know why such a mind-blowing strategy works? Because no one does it. People don’t do what they say they’re going to do. Me included.
Several weeks ago, I switched from a weekly newsletter to a daily one. The weekly version included all the week’s posts, plus a selection of articles I enjoyed. But I was struggling to find the time to collect, read and link to articles from all over the web. It become an obligation that I began to loathe. So I changed it up.
I sent out a short email to my subscribers explaining the change. I then told them that if they wanted to get interesting articles and quotes, they could follow me on Facebook. I’d post them there instead.
Well, after one week, I stopped. Too much effort to read all those articles and post quotes from them. Not enough value provided, for me or for the reader.
I said I was going to do something, and I didn’t.
There’s one main reason why we don’t do what we say we’re going to do. We say too much, too soon. We say yes and make commitments before we’ve assessed the costs. We agree to way more than we can possibly fit in. We make suggestions that we have no chance of following through on.
So the solution? Say less, later. Avoid comment until the last possible moment, and then, make no commitment lightly. Be frugal with both your words and your commitments. Don’t let anyone pressure you into saying yes or making a commitment that you’re not 1000% sure you can, and want, to keep.
I’ve tried doing this. It’s incredibly hard. Friends, family and colleagues get pissed off. But it’s a better alternative than saying a lot and doing a small percentage of it. In fact, saying less, later is the only way you’ll ever get close to being someone who does what they say they’re going to do.