Goals & New Habits for 2017
Written by: Coach Slater
If you take control of your habits, you’ll take control of your life.
Your habits have been patterned into your brain since the day you were born. Some of those habits are great. They keep you alive, employed and sociable. For example, a great habit is when you have to pee, you find a bathroom, you don’t just pee your pants. You’ve been ingraining that habit since you were two years old. It would take some serious effort to retrain that habit to go from “hmmm, I have to go to the bathroom, I need to find an appropriate place to do this” to “I just peed” at this stage of your life.
Crude? Sure. But, it’s true. Imagine trying to retrain habit. It would likely take years to change. We’re full of such habits and not all of them are universal. They define and outline our daily lives, our relationships, our successes and failures, as well as our expectations. They are the cause and effect of what, how, and why we do what we do.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, do you hit the snooze button? How many times? When your car’s gas light goes on, do you immediately find a gas station, or do you think, “Alright, 40 miles from now, I need to find a gas station”? When you sit down to eat, do you eat all of one thing, then move on? Or do you mush everything together and eat it all at one time?
Now, think about changing any of those habits.
NOW, THINK ABOUT CHANGING THOSE HABITS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
If you’re like most people, the “for the rest of your life” makes an enormous, perhaps even insurmountable difference. Especially regarding those more ingrained habits. Anyone can change things for a short period of time, but what imprints them forever?
Motivation, action and consistency.
First, you need a really good reason to change a habit. You need to reach deep within yourself and figure out what you want to do and exactly why you want to do it. Then ask “why” again and again and again until you find the real reason you want to do what you want to do. It needs to be something that you can feel. It should be something that gives you a tingly feeling when you imagine your success. It needs to be important enough that you’ll give up other, less important things to achieve it.
It should inspire actions. These actions should be feasible, like… really feasible. Feasible enough that you may think it’s not enough. Remember, we’re trying to change an ingrained habit that we’ve been doing for years and years and years. It’s going to take some sustained effort to change, so the actions to change it need to be reasonable.
Literally anyone can do anything for a short period of time. You can hold your breath for a few minutes if you have to. You can go without food for a surprising amount of time. You can do many things for 30, 60 or even 90 days. But can you do those things for the rest of your life in the face of temptation? Most people cannot. But, if you’re reading this, then you’re not like most people.
You can take small actions steps for a sustainable period of time and build off of them for the future. Very small actions over two-week periods build up to be 26 positive action steps over a year that I guarantee will have you much closer to your goal than doing them all at once over 30, 60, 90 days.
Then, these actions need to be maintained with consistency. They need to be done roughly 80-90% of the time, all the time. Remember, small habit changes lead to long term success. Doing, or at least being cognizant of, your new habit on a daily basis will keep you accountable and on track.
A great way to do this is to just have a calendar next to your bed. At the end of the day, if you did your new habit, make a check mark. At the end of a 2-4 week period, if you’ve filled in a majority of the days with check marks, you should feel great about that habit. If you feel great enough to refine that one habit or add to that habit, do it and start your calendar tracking for that habit, while maintaining progress checks on the old one as well.
By the end of the year, you could be at 26 new habits, if you do one every two weeks. That could mean that, by the end of 2017, you could be:
*eating smaller portions
*cooking for yourself
*being more punctual
*being more attentive to your loved ones
So this year, rather than trying to tackle too much all at once, take a habit-based approach and start small. Grab a Goal Card from the Front Desk. Fill out two with your Goals and New Habits, leaving one with us and placing one of your fridge. Make 2017 your best year yet.