About a month into the new year is when many people begin to give up on their New Year’s resolutions or have forgotten about them all together. It’s always interesting to see all the new members at the gym in January. They bought their gym membership as part of a New Year’s plan and are excited to change the way they look and feel. But by February, most of those folks have given up and it’s back to the regulars that will be in the gym all year long. If this sounds familiar, my message is simple, don’t give up!
The only way you can change a long term outcome is to change what you do every day. In other words, it’s all about your daily habits. Either you control your habits, or your habits control you. If you have good habits, you are controlling your habits. If you have bad habits, they are controlling you. So the objective is to align your daily habits with the long term outcome you desire.
I read an article a while back about a process that has made a huge positive impact on my results (when I actually follow it!) by changing my daily habits. Here are the 4 simple steps.
- Pull out a 3” x 5” card and write on the card the 6 most important tasks you must do tomorrow. Include both work-related and personal tasks.
- Next, number them in their order of importance.
- Now, put the card on your desk until the next morning. First thing in the morning, look at the number one task and begin working on it. Keep working on it throughout the day until it is done, then move on to the second task and handle it in the same manner. Continue this process until the day is done. Of course, you may not get all 6 tasks done, but that leads to step 4.
- Spend the last 5 minutes of every day to identify the “must do” 6 item list for the next day and repeat the process.
This process is simple, but not easy. It requires discipline to stay focused on each individual task to see it through to its completion.
Now, let’s re-visit the fitness example. Let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds this year and one of your habits to help you achieve this goal may be to exercise at the gym for 60 minutes each day. That should be on your “must do” list each day. Don’t end the day until that task is done. Now, follow this same process for lining up your daily actions with your other goals. I think you will find that if you stick to this simple formula, you will be amazed at the results at the end of the year. I committed to an exercise goal a year ago and I have made a significant improvement in my energy level and stress reduction, which are two positive side effects of exercising regularly. So what are you waiting for? Go make your list and keep moving forward to achieve your goals for 2015!