Create a Habit of Success
Every year about this time many Americans set out to achieve a “New Years Resolution.” And by about mid February the harsh reality sets in that most people will not be successful in achieving those resolutions. “Thanks for positive outlook Scott!” Facts are facts. Industry statistics will show that retention numbers do not support the notion of success with New Years Resolutions.
Well, here is the good news. I am not here to rub it in that most Americans will not be successful with their resolutions. I am here to make you think of things in a different way so you WILL be successful with not only your New Years Resolutions, but with your life long lifestyle changes!
The problem is most people set these big, harry, audacious goals; we call them B-Hags. Not only do they not have a real defined plan on how to achieve those goals, but they try to make many changes at once, which makes their chances of success drop dramatically. Think of it this way: have you ever tried to juggles tennis balls? Go out and try this for the first time, but start with 5 tennis balls. How many of those balls will you drop, and how long will it take you to drop them all? It is the same thing when someone says, “I resolve to lose 30 pounds starting January 1. And to do this I am going to lift more weights, eat better, do more cardio, pick up a recreational sport, stop eating desserts…” This might last for a very short time, but not many people can sustain this for an extended period of time.
The solution is to create habits that will support your goal and ultimately lead to long-term success! There is a great book by Leo Babauta titled, “The Power of Less.” In his book, Leo outlines a plan to create long lasting habits by focusing on ONE habit at a time for a specific time period. Leo states some rules that if followed will make it very difficult for you to not form new habits in 30 days.
1. Do only one habit at a time.
2. Chose any easy goal/ habit
3. Chose something measureable
4. Be consistent
5. Report daily
6. Keep a positive attitude
So, rather than saying, “I resolve to lose 30 pounds starting January 1. And to do this I am going to lift more weights, eat better, do more cardio, pick up a recreational sport, stop eating desserts…” Try choosing one new habit that will support this goal. Such as:
· Add 1 additional exercise session per week
· Eat breakfast every day
· Add 1 more fruit and vegetable intake every day
· Take 10 g of fish oil every day (per Dr. John Berardi)
Chose one of these habits and do it consistently for the next 2 weeks. The book recommends doing this new habit for 30 days, but I usually tell my clients to just do it religiously for 2 weeks. Once you have been successful with doing this new habit for 2 full weeks, then pick a new habit and do this for 2 weeks. If you were not able to be consistent with this new habit every day for two weeks then you are not ready for a new habit. Before you know it you will start to see and feel the results that you desire. And most importantly these results will be sustainable for the long term because you got these results by forming 1 new habit at a time that are now a part of your daily life and routine.