So many people want to change their lives. Some people want more money. Others want more time to spend with their family or to travel the world. My wife wants to shed a few pounds and look even sexier. While my son would like to cut another second off his swimming time. Me, I want to take things to the next level in 2020.
People want change, but they aren’t willing to put in the time or the energy to achieve their goals. It’s the reason so many New Year’s resolutions don’t make the end of January. We are a society that wants and expects fast results. Speed is key to our success, we just have it the wrong way around; rather than speed up, we need to slow down.
When people ask me how they boost their productivity, master presentation skills, learn a foreign language, my answer is always the same – focus on your little things. That’s where the magic happens.
We all have excuses about why we can’t do something. We tell ourselves it’s too hard. It takes too much time. It’s too expensive. It’s too far. It’s too cold and the list goes on and on. While we want to achieve certain things, we self-sabotage ourselves.
Everyone can lose weight. It’s not rocket science. The formula is as simple as eat less, exercise more. It’s not a question of whether we can, but will we. Do we have the willpower to lose weight? Considering that according to the CDC, obesity affects 93.3 million adults in the U.S. I would say that it seems most people don’t.
That’s why when people come to me for help, I think back to what Jim Rohn used to say, “Success is a few simple disciplines practiced every day.” There are a few keywords in that sentence: few, simple, disciplines, practiced every day.
Forget about transforming overnight, instead play the long game. Every little thing you do adds up slowly over time. It works both positively and negatively. Say John decides to eat a salad for lunch with water on the side while Chris orders a burger from his favorite burger joint thanks to UberEats and washes it down with an ice-cold Coke. John also runs around the block each morning while Chris prefers to catch up on the latest episode of Survivor. At the end of that day, not much has changed. Fast forward 10 years and if they continue to do the same thing day in and day out ad quite a different picture emerges. John is healthy and has gained 4 kilograms, but looks pretty much the same. He’s also rarely sick. Chris, on the other hand, isn’t doing so well. He’s gained about 15 kilograms and has hypertension.
I have a group of what I like to call my “5-Minute Habits” which I have clients use.
Properly brushing your teeth, 15-20 push-ups, planking, stretching, and reading are just a few things that can be done within 5 minutes and they might not seem like much. But, done consistency, overtime and the results will be dramatic. When I tell people the secret to their success lies in those 5-minutes we carve out each day, people think I’m bonkers. I’d deadly serious.
Everyone has five minute no matter how busy they are. There’s no excuse for not doing them. They’re meant to be easy. They’re meant to both be able to be implemented into our daily lives easily. The hardest part isn’t doing the activities, it’s creating the habit.
Once the habit’s created it’s easy enough to take it up to 10 or 20 minutes and then you’re really going to start seeing the results. The best thing, each good habit that we introduce into our lives helps another.
I personally can’t wait for 2020. I’m excited about the opportunities that await me thanks to the changes I made in 2019. Stephen Covey’s second habit states, “Begin with the end in mind.” I have already created my goals for 2020 and implemented what I talked about in my article here a few weeks back.
Regardless of what you want to achieve in 2020, habits will help you get there.
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