How To Increase Your Odds Of Doing Anything

Is there something that you've been meaning to do that you keep putting off? 

For me, it was teaching yoga, writing, and meditating daily. I always wanted to wait until I got better, until I learned more, and until I had more time before I started. And then I started traveling.... I was on a five month extended vacation with literally nothing to do but explore the world and meet awesome people, and still was putting off my goals. What were my excuses for not performing now?

No matter where you are in life, there will always seem like a better time to start something. You'll always be too busy, nervous, tired, old, young, smart, or dumb to start until you actually do it. I recently learned a little trick that finally got me started:

Commit Publicly

When you tell other people you are going to do something, it significantly increases your odds of doing it.  All of a sudden, you have a deadline, and a reputation to protect. You don't want to let others down, and you want to follow through on what you said you would do.

About a week ago, I sent an email to literally hundreds of people telling them that I would write and publish a post every day of this month. I could have easily not sent this email, and I probably would have slacked off, continuing my habit of writing just once or twice a week.

About two months ago, without ever having taught a class outside of Yoga Teacher Training, I signed up to teach hour-long classes at a studio here in Colombia. I was nervous, but I knew that if I didn't commit, I wouldn't end up teaching. Over the last two weeks alone I've taught nearly 10 classes, and I'm becoming increasingly more comfortable and confident as a teacher.

My next project is to meditate daily. I've been on and off for the past several years, but I'd like to commit to meditating for 20 minutes, every single day. If I can't develop this habit on my own, I'll be committing publicly to this as well in the coming weeks.

The next time you are considering doing something that you've been putting off, make an effort to commit publicly to it. Tell three friends your plans and ask them to hold you accountable, or post a public message on Facebook. One of the best ways to publicly commit is to sign up for a future event long before you are ready for it. If you want to start giving public speeches, sign up for a local speaking event. If you want to run a marathon, go sign up for one online today. Adding some sort of external pressure to your goals will push you to achieve them. 

Whatever it is you want to do, commit to someone else, get out there, and just do it.