Resolutions for Life, not the New Year

It happens every year. January 1st the gyms are packed and people are gung-ho on their New Year's resolutions that are guranteed to change their life. A few months go by and the excuses start stacking up. 

  • I was just getting bored. 
  • I didn't see any results. 
  • I didn't set realistic goals. 
  • I am too busy and there is no way I have enough time. 
  • I can pick it back up when things slow down at work. 

So I ask you this question....

Why don't our NYE resolutions stick?

We are obsessed with immediate gratification. Transformations and overnight successes are what we want and what we expect.   

  • We rarely hear about the process of being successful, we hear about the success. 
  • We rarely hear how he or she earned their money, we hear about how much was given to them. 
  • You never hear about the process or the habits that created the result.

It is natural to think you need results, but in reality, you need better habits. Heading into the New Year, focus on the process over the result. Focus on getting better, not getting by.

Almost any habit you have, good or bad, is a result of many small decisions over time

Think about it......the problems and crossroads you face right now; your habits are the result of many small decisions you have had over a long period of time.

Rather than focusing on the result, the goal, or the dream........focus on the daily process, your habits will get you where you want to be. 

You have to understand who and what influences you on your habit making. 

5 Things That Influence WHO YOU ARE

  • What you read. 
  • What you listen too. 
  • What you watch. 
  • Who you hang around with. 
  • How you talk to yourself.

What you do on a day to day basis forms who you are, what you believe, and what personality you portray to others. 

The 3 R's of Habit Change

The 3 R's come from a book called the POWER OF HABIT by Charles Duhigg. 

  • Reminder - The trigger that initiates the behavior. 
  • Routine - The behavior itself. 
  • Reward - The benefit you gain.

Find a "trigger" to act as a cue for your new behavior.

Examples : Visual Reminders

Set yourself up for success. Plan around and use your existing habits as triggers, or things outside of your control triggers to excel your new habit. 

Start With Small Steps

"Make it so easy, that you can't say no." 

Want to floss every day? Start with one tooth, once a day. 

Want to lose weight? Go to the gym for 5 minutes a day. No longer than 5 minutes a day. 

After a while, the one tooth a day and the 5 minutes at the gym will start to be frustrating. You will be telling yourself you need more time in the gym, or I might as well just floss all my teeth. The smaller you start your desired habit, the easier it will be to transform your daily habit into what you want it to be.

The Importance of Celebrating

Celebrate the small wins. 

We always want to continue to do things that make us feel good, that makes us smile, and that makes us want to jump in the air. So when you have those feelings, why not celebrate them? 

Celebrations can be in any form. 

After a big test, a good workout, a quick power nap, tell yourself, "Good Job, you made progress today."

  • High Five a co-worker. 
  • Go out for dinner. 
  • Have a drink while watching some Netflix. 

Recipe for Sustained Success

  • Decide the type of person you want to be. 
  • Prove it to yourself with small wins. 

Your Identity needs to match your habits. 

A person who works out regularly is a person who has the ability to become strong and get great achievements in the weight room. You need to have that identity of a person who works out regularly, then you can move on to focusing on performance and appearance. 

  • Want to lose weight? Buy a pedometer.
  • Want to become a better writer? Write one and only one paragraph every day. 
  • Want to become strong? Do only one push-up every day. 
  • Want to be a better friend? Call one friend, every Friday. 

The Problem with Goals

We set a deadline, but not a schedule.

We set goals that we can't achieve. Screw the outcome-based goals and this year focus on the things that you can control. 

Control the Controllables

  • Energy
  • Effort
  • Attitude
  • Perspective

Regardless of what's going on, and what you want to achieve, you can always control those 4 things. 

The biggest gap in life is who you are and who you want to become. Your goals will not close that gap. Your focus on your habits and your focus on what you are going to do with your 86,400 seconds today will help close that gap. Focus on everyday things that you have control over. 

Fall in love with the process and focus on practice, not performance or the result.