Success with the Three Appointment Technique

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This is just a quick post to share a Three Appointment Technique that has been working great for me recently. I have been using it to fulfill my goal of exercising.

It radically improves follow-through.

It also reduces your stress level about getting things done.

And, it is a great way to feel confident about making changes to your routine such as introducing new habits or goals.

The Three Appointment Technique

Step One

First, identify your goal or sub-goal. I began by using it with a goal of running for between 30 and 60 minutes. Now, I’m also applying it to my goal of editing my book.

Step Two

Second, identify when you would optimally like to set time aside to get your goal done or make progress on your goal. You are scheduling your time-to-spare-appointment. I wanted to run on Monday because this is generally a day when I have some open time. Nothing new here you might be thinking!

But, steps three and four really hold the power. It’s a bit like double-entry bookkeeping allowing you to hone in on what has been overlooked in your accounting records.

Step Three

Third, with your optimal time-to-spare-appointment in mind, identify when you could get your goal done or make progress on your goal that would be early and ahead of time. You are scheduling your pre-appointment.

Step Four

Fourth, with your optimal time-to-spare-appointment in mind, identify when you could get your goal done or make progress on your goal if you missed your optimal time and were against your hard deadline. You are scheduling your hard-deadlineappointment.

Step Five

Fifth, record the three appointments with whatever calendar method you use and set the intention to complete the goal at the earliest opportunity.


These are your three opportunities to get your goal or sub-goal done. The first time it comes up if it is at all possible to follow-through you do. However, if something unexpected needs your attention and limits time available you can breathe easy knowing that you have two more chances to follow-through. Running is influenced by weather and energetic factors in your own body. If it rains all day or you are feeling off-color there is no need to feel like you missed, just pick up the next appointment in the sequence.

This system really reduces pressure. No need to feel stressed or down on your self if you can’t follow-through one time. Ultimately, with The Three Appointment Technique, you will be able to.

This system also helps when changing behavior. If you have a new practice you want to implement it provides reminders until it becomes more habitual.

Let me know how you use it.


Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

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