How many times have you told yourself, “This time I’ll stick to it”? I’ll lose the weight; I’ll be more patient with my kids; I’ll be better about quiet time every morning. Multiple time a year you’ve set important goals, but your resolve and determination fizzled within weeks, or maybe even days. It feels yucky to think about the times I’ve failed at keeping my resolutions. And I’m not alone in this. Statistically speaking, you are the exact same way. So what on earth is holding us back? I believe it’s because we set goals the wrong way, and we don’t prepare ourselves before taking on change. Let’s focus on ending average by preparing ourselves to introduce habits that will set us up to achieve our goals. I want you to get yourself ready to stick to your resolutions this year and to get to the next level in whatever area you need to grow. Here are three things you need to do to prepare for new growth habits:
1- Focus on your WHY. Motivation is free, but you have to know where to get it. Viktor Frankl said, “If you know your WHY, you can endure any HOW”. Viktor endured torture in concentration camps, so I don’t want to hear excuses about how hard it is to give up diet Coke. If the concept of finding your WHY is new to you, you can read about it HERE.
2- Shed the bad habits. Starting to exercise is really going to suck if you’re still smoking. Paying off that credit card is going to be crazy hard if you’re still using it. Think of it this way, if the old way of doing things isn’t making you successful – why are you still doing them? Figure out what that bad habit is and kill it before trying to improve yourself. This might take some time and effort, and you may need outside help or accountability. It is necessary and will be worth it though. Next time you’re in your car, go ahead and stomp both the gas and the brakes and see what happens. It just doesnt’t work.
3- Make your plan way ahead of time and start making supporting habits. If your goal is to exercise every day then start waking up 10 minutes earlier each week between now and your start date so that you’re not forcing yourself to wake up an hour early AND starting to jog. That is essentially two habits at the same time and statistically there’s a 92% chance that you will fail.
So we’re back to the idea of baby steps. When I started a morning routine, I first introduced quiet time and reading. This was about 20 minutes of reading the Bible and then trying to think of ways it applied to my life. After a few months, I finally got used to doing this (yes, it took me that long). Once I was ready, I introduced exercising into my morning routine. The time commitment required me to get up half an hour earlier. But the bonus of this is that the kids aren’t running around the house yet so I got to have quiet time for my quiet time! This morning routine has expanded and the alarm is now set even earlier. My current routine includes time for journaling, praying, reading, exercise, and writing – but it definitely did not happen over night. Trying to introduce it all at once would never have worked. The point I’m making is that to prepare for your new habits you need to start now, and build up to the goal. You can do it if you chose to do it. I can personally attest to the fact that if you do this, you will never, ever, EVER look back and think “aww… the time spent improving wasn’t worth it”. My life has dramatically changed trajectory because of these basic changes.
Let’s end mediocre habits so that we can make way for improvement. Let’s end average together!
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