On January 1st, most people will be setting resolutions.
But why wait?
Why not start today?
You see about three weeks ago I decided to start making some small changes in my life.
Ever since I was in college, I became addicted to Diet Mt. Dew. At first it was just something that kept me up during the night.
It got to the point, where I was only drinking diet soda.
So I wanted to kick the habit.
So here is how I have been able to turn some of my habits around.
#1 Start with the bare minimum
Often when we want to change something in our lives we try to make huge drastic changes, and they don’t last because they are unreasonable and unsustainable.
I started by just proposing myself to go without soda for one day.
At the end of that day my head was throbbing but I got a small win. And that’s what I think is the key to altering behavior in our lives is getting those “small wins.” They make us feel good about what we have accomplished and give us the energy to continue to make changes.
So what is an area where you can get a small win?
#2 Don’t tell anyone (initially)
If you tell someone your goal they can either put you down or encourage you. If it’s something you’ve been trying to accomplish for a while more than likely the comments you will hear will be negatives ones.
Plus actually telling people about your “something” you want to accomplish has the same effect as actually doing it.
Yes, so if you go public with your goal you’re actually less likely to achieve it.
But once you get a few “small wins” under your belt, I think it’s perfectly fine. To tell someone what you’re trying to accomplish.
#3 Get some accountability and encouragement
This might seem contradictory to the previous point, but eventually I think you need someone to hold you accountable and give you encouragement. Personally, I have used the Lift app to track my progress and then I post the results to my social media profiles to get some encouragement.
#4 Create a process for success
If I want to get up at 5am to work, I know exactly what I need to do.
It goes something like this:
1. Put my iPhone in bathroom
2. Tape a to-do list on the mirror
If I want to running in the morning, the process goes like this:
- Put iPhone inside of running shoes
- Put shoes on top of running shirt and shorts
- Tape a to-do list on the mirror which includes “go running.”
But most of the time I will place my iPhone next to my bed without creating a to-do list. This results in me just hitting the snooze button and staying in bed.
The funny thing is that I know that I’m not going to get up if I set my iPhone next to my bed.
But I tell myself that I will.
Once the alarm rings, I hit the snooze button and stay right in bed.
So my advice is pretty simple. Figure out a process to force you to go through with your new positive habit. Maybe you just need to set a bottle of water next to your bed, so that’s the first thing you’ll drink in the morning. Or maybe you’ll disable you phone’s notifications so you won’t check your email or Facebook in bed.
In order to stop drinking soda I simply did the following:
- Don’t buy soda
- Place a water bottle on my desk
- Check into the lift app that I’ve gone another day without drinking soda even though the day hasn’t really started.
I don’t know what works for you, but you do. So figure out simple but effective process to bring change.
Remember you’re not perfect
Now this isn’t an excuse, but yes there have been days where I haven’t drunk 100oz of water, but I remind myself that I’m doing a heck of a lot better than a month ago.
In the end, the goal is really to create positive inertia that will help us improve our lives.
Conclusion and Action
So why wait until January 1st to get started?
What is one thing you would like to change or improve?
Here are a few ideas:
· Pray for 5 minutes
· Be grateful for 3 things
· Drink 64oz of water
· Listen more than you talk
· Jog for 10 minutes
· Go to bed by 11pm
· Tell someone how much you care
· Plan out your day
· Don’t be on your phone when you’re talking to someone
· Don’t check email unless you’re going to take action
· Write 100 words
You get the point.
Pick a simple habit and get some small wins under your belt and then slowly add some other positive habits and then create a simple process that encourages you do follow through.
Again, don’t go crazy. Just start small and grow from there.