Happy New Year!
Bare with me… it may sound like I’m about to put a damper on things, but if you read on, you’ll get what I’m talking about.
If you’ve made New Years Resolutions this year, I want you to squash them…
(stay with me… I’m not asking you to throw the decade away just yet).
If you’ve set Goals that you want to achieve, you’ve gotta rethink them with a different mindset.
Because as great as intentions are to make 2020 your best year (and decade) ever – and I know you can – setting New Years Resolutions and even planning S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Goals are flawed.
Resolutions are a blanket statement – “I will lose weight in 2020”…
Great intention, but there’s no specificity…
When will you lose the weight by?
By Dec 31st, 2020?
How will you do it?
Setting Goals are a bit better for sure – “I will lose 20lbs by Memorial Day 2018″…
This is a step above a resolution because it’s specific both in the amount of weight and in the timeframe it will take you to do so.
But again, what’s the plan, Stan?
What are the actions that you need to take to get there?
And that’s where we get into habits…
Habits are the foundation for THE achievement of anything.
When we want to achieve our goals, more often than not, we are wanting to achieve something that we’ve never accomplished before – or at least haven’t in a long time.
Therefore, we must do things that we’ve never done before (or have not done in a long time).
And the root of that is adopting new habits and/or getting rid of old ones…
…essentially, we’re changing our behaviour.
And if that’s the case, then we have to change things about our mindset and what we think of ourself.
Author James Clear breaks it down this way…
- Decide the person you want to be.
- Prove it to yourself with small wins (adopt a new habit).
Note: I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to start with incredibly small steps. The goal is not to achieve results at first, the goal is to become the type of person who can achieve those things.
For example, a person who works out consistently is the type of person who can become strong. Develop the identity of someone who works out first, and then move on to performance and appearance later.
Start small and trust that the results will come as you develop a new identity.
Think about how much easier and less-daunting it is now achieve your goal.
“The goal is NOT to achieve results at first…
THE GOAL is to become the type of person who can achieve those things”.
-On the acquisition of a new habit
Say you do, in fact, want to lose 20lbs and get in the best shape of your life.
Then your action plan is as follows…
Step 1 – DECIDE that you’re the type of person that does something active everyday…
Step 2 – DO something everyday that develops the habit necessary to be that person.
For weight loss, I suggest just doing something everyday for 20 minutes.
Anything: go for a walk, yoga, swing kettlebells, do push-ups, join a league or do a combination of all of those things.
Just do it.
Everyday… for just 20 minutes.
Step 3 – Get accountability… tell people about it.
Your wife, your friends at work (or better yet, start a group with the same habit goals at work), post on a Facebook Group or on your own personal page, track your progress publicly on Instagram (that one is pretty powerful).
The idea behind accountability now, is that you’re making it REAL.
You know the saying “if a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear?”… accountability is the same.
You’ve made these decisions in your mind… telling people takes it outside of your mind and puts it out in the universe.
Here’s a very personal example…
I want to write and publish a book this year.
Step 1 – I’ve decided that in order for me to complete this book, I have to decide to be and act like a writer.
So every morning in my journal I write “I am a successful author” to affirm and remind myself that I am in fact a writer.
In order to ACT like a writer, I’ve got to write. So…
Step 2 – DO something everyday…
As soon as I wake-up (I get up at 4:44am everyday), I go through a quick morning routine that includes that 7-min routine that I showed you a couple of weeks ago, then I sit down and I write and I don’t get up until I have 1000 words written.
Sometimes it takes me 30 minutes, some times it takes me 90 minutes.
The idea though is to PRACTICE the habit and the more you practice, the better and more efficient you get at it.
Step 3 – Get accountability…
I’ve told the 5 people in my life that I don’t want to disappoint that I will write and publish a book in 2018…
…And now I’ve told you and 27,000+ other people on my subscriber list.
Can’t really turn back now 🙂
So you see how this works?
Decide. Do. Make it REAL (Get accountability).
So, as much as I love seeing people resolve to do things in the New Year and as much as I love to see people setting goals and see where the next year can take them…
…If you’re serious about achieving those goals, then you MUST develop a plan on how to do it.
And the first step in that plan is determining the WHO you need to be to achieve the goal and WHAT HABITS you need to adopt to get there.
Resolutions are fine… but the real power is in developing a STRONG CHARACTER where you’re able to carry out a resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
The major difference between setting New Year’s Resolutions vs. forming habits is this concept…
Consistency > Intensity
Consistency IS GREATER THAN intensity.
Consistency means that you do things everyday to get better. It means that you do “the little things” that turn you into the person that you want to become.
Intensity, on the other hand, is trying to do too many things all at the same time wanting to make that change NOW.
Remember, you must change your character and who you are and that takes time… you have to be consistent and show up everyday.
When you do things intensely, you go hard for a few weeks (maybe even a few months) and then you fizzle out… trust me, it happens to millions of people every year.
Resolutions are a powerful tool (intensity), but it’s your habits that will determine whether or not you change (consistency).
So pick one “IMPACT HABIT” that will allow you to be the person you want to be, and focus on doing that one thing everyday – whether you want to or not; whether you’re motivated or not; whether you feel like it or not.
Be consistent… and win the decade.