How My Dyson Vacuum Helped Me Reach My Goals

I am a vacuuming fiend and I love it - I'm dead serious here. 

One may think it could be because I am one of those rare women who really enjoy cleaning (this is not me), or because I get lost in the rhythmic pattern and hum of vacuuming (nope that isn’t it either).  I am obsessed with seeing how much accumulation happens in the clear bin of the Dyson vacuum.

I have an 80 lb black lab that sheds...a lot, along with two 10 lb Dachshunds so the hair on my oak wood floor is endless. Needle-like black hairs gather against the floor molding creating tumbleweeds which float along the hall when someone walks by.

While having clean floors should be enough of a driver to vacuum constantly, it never was. Then I got a Dyson and boy did things change. It wasn’t until I was able to see how the Dyson bin would fill with dog hair, that vacuuming became a daily routine.

This transformation got me thinking if I could actually SEE PROGRESS in all of the goals I set for myself, would I be more likely to stick to them? 

I wanted to test my theory and I applied it to weight loss, work projects and becoming a better cook. I would develop a way to physically see movement - even when movement wasn't actually 'visible' I would create ways to make it more visible.

This isn’t a new concept, but it did lay a foundation for our coaching philosophy.

Think about it, if you cannot see the strides you are making, how are you going to be inspired to keep going?  How do we keep people making all the little decisions that ultimately support their big goal, especially when so many of those decisions are made without thought?  

We made approximately 35,000 decisions a day and most of those are handled by our subconscious —coming out of our kitchen and turning right to go down the hall, getting in the car, closing the door, turning the ignition — you get the idea.

Of all the people who set New Year’s Resolutions, did you know that 92% of them do not reach their goal?  That means only 8% are actually achieving what they set out to do.

Here are some tricks to being part of the 8% club:

  • Practice awareness: the more you can be aware of your own being day-to-day, the more you are able to make decisions that will put you in alignment with your goals

  • Find new dopamine hits: Seriously, do you know why you decided to eat the cookie? Because dopamine actually started releasing when you thought about the cookie and anticipated eating the cookie, driving you to eat the cookie.  You need to find new ways to get dopamine fixes. Scent and Taste are big drivers, how can you create new habits?

  • Forget the TO-DO list and create an IT’S DONE list: Big, bold and somewhere visible, chart all the things you DID today without looking down at the long list that has to get done.  When you see the finish line is far away, it makes you want to quit.

  • Create a plan and daily steps toward your end goal: Then put each step ON YOUR CALENDAR and stick to it, like any other meeting or appointment.  The more you do this, the more you retrain your primal (impulse, pleasure-seeking) part of your brain.

I don’t think each of you has to take up a passion for vacuuming or that you need to run out and buy a Dyson (although you may thank me if you do). But what you can do is decide what you want to achieve and develop a visual stimulant that supports your progress.

Marissa Bishop