Can you imagine accomplishing all your New Year resolutions? Pretend every physical challenge that you set out to accomplish on January 1st occurred because you hustled every day. Imagine if you followed your budget for a whole year. Where would you be now if you accomplished your audacious goals?
The truth is that life change is difficult to achieve. According to the University of Scranton, only 8% of new year resolutions are achieved.
Research from the University College of London found it takes 66 days to make a habit permanent. That’s why I started a journey of 66 days to start and maintain a few habits: read a book a day, exercise, complete a daily sex challenge. I record my journey as a daily podcast called the 66 Day Experiment.
The idea of constant, never-ending improvement leads to mastery is not new. In fact, on Day 19 I spoke with Meron Bareket of Inspiring Innovation about the idea of the Compound Effect.
Your Action Guide for Life – Day 19
The Grand Canyon didn’t happen overnight. Rather, the canyon’s stream applied consistent action on the river to create a big change over time.
This podcast is a daily action guide to help you demolish barriers to your success. Let me be clear, it’s not more or new information. You already suffer from information overload. This show is about taking daily action to make habits stick and in turn, cause a significant change in your life.
The Greatest Struggles Thus Far
As Benjamin Franklin once wisely wrote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” My greatest struggle is managing my time.
On top of publishing a daily podcast, I also run two side businesses, work a full-time 8-5 job, have a family, and love Netflix miniseries (like DareDevil). My inability to manage my time became my greatest foe. Procrastination could kill the whole experiment. By day 3 of the experiment, I procrastinated recording the podcast episode. I distracted myself with mundane tasks like email, Facebook, or checking my YouTube subscriptions.
What I needed was a signal to initiate all my habits in a timely manner. I realized I needed a trigger to initiate the podcast process after reading The Power of Habit by Charles DuHigg on Day 1.
The Power of Habit – Day 1
What Changed My Life during the First 7 Days
You need triggers to make any habit stick. I took what I learned from day one into action by creating a daily trigger at 5:15 AM to record the podcast. Sadly I struggled with initiating my fitness habits. Once I identified daily triggers, like getting coffee in the morning, I found that starting the habit routine flowed.
Where should you start?
My inner drive by day seven faltered to do more push ups. I lost willpower because the task was large to me. At this point, I was doing about 26 or 27 push ups a day (which is small by comparison where I’m at now). I would think about doing the push ups and the thought entered my head, “You have to add one more push up today.” My body’s response would be to shut down and ignore the habit. On Day 6 I skipped my exercise habit entirely.
But on Day 7, I read a book that became my saving grace: Mini-Habits by Stephen Guise. You’ll learn why this book changed everything for me if you listen.
How Small Effort Can Change Your Life – Day 7
Since reading Mini-Habits, I implemented two additional habits that I didn’t start with: 1 pull up a day and writing 50 words a day. I have not missed a day of doing these simple habits.
Think about your big dream. Maybe you want to make extra cash, or lose 20 pounds or learn a new skill. What simple and small action can you start for the next 66 days to lead to your ultimate goal?
Don’t believe that buying a new program or even reading a book will change your life overnight, and you become a successful billionaire with six pack abs. Take a small step today and for the next 66 days to create a big change in your life.
Photo: Flickr/ bhanu210