“The gist of New Year’s Day is: Try Again.”
Frank Crane, 20th Century American Film Director
Image from Unsplash by Brooke Lark
If you ever established a New Year’s Resolution and came up short, you are not alone.
Statistics show over 90% of people have the same experience.
Studies have shown that even when doctors tell heart patients they will die if they don’t change their habits, only one in seven will be able to follow through successfully.
It appears that desire and motivation aren’t enough, even when it is literally a matter of life or death.
It is also clear that the status quo has a pretty tight grip on what Roger Kegan calls The Immunity to Change.
What patterns of thinking and doing would have your “Try Again” efforts work this time?
Beyond limiting your focus on fewer priority objectives, consider adding a wide variety of social and structural supports to bolster your motivation and ability to succeed this time.
“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th Century American Essayist
I have some bad news.
You can’t have it all, despite what the media and marketing industry tells you.
I also have an abiding faith that you can have many of the things you deeply desire if you recognize and embrace the concept John Maxwell calls the “Law of Trade-offs.”
As an example, I am an early-to-bed-early-to-rise kind of guy. Given this habit, I fully recognize that I miss late-night events many people relish for their daily efforts. What I gain is the rest and added vitality to wake up refreshed, go to the health club, and be fully present to the clients I am committed to serving.
Where can you apply the Law of Trade-offs to intentionally choose things you are willing to miss in order to gain even more of the things you value?
“Powerful indeed is the Empire of Habit.”
—Publilius Syrus, ancient Syrian writer 42 BCE
I wonder if Publilius Syrus was an influence in the creation of Yoda in the Star Wars series. Today’s quote sure sounds like a Yoda-ism!
Take a moment to examine your personal and professional empires. How satisfied, fulfilled, and generally happy are you in regards to what you have built through your daily habits?
How are things looking regarding your health, relationships, career, finances, community engagement, and spiritual pursuits?
If you are falling short of the mark, examine your current habits, which are the key to over 90% of our lives.
Daily microresolutions can help set you on a more successful course. You can learn about microresolutions through the work of Caroline Arnold and her book, Small Move, Big Change.
“Are you following a path, or blazing one?”
-Michael Bungay Stanier, Sr. Partner of Box of Crayons
Image from Flickr by Vinoth Chandar
We are all creatures of habit. Just take a look at a typical day to explore all of the routines and rituals that engage your time.
The good news is that habits are often extremely helpful in that they usually provide us the necessary momentum to pursue and achieve many of our goals.
On the other hand, new goals that we passionately desire rarely come to fruition because we continue to follow our current path, using familiar strategies and tactics.
Where and on what personal or professional goals is blazing a path the thing to do to achieve what you most desire? What new and different behaviors and attitudes will be required to do so?
“If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return.”
—Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
A client recently shared with me a book titled Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals by Tom Corley.
From Corley’s years of research into hundreds of rich and poor people, I learned that of the wealthiest people:
- 88% read for 30 minutes or more each day.
- 63% listen to audio-books during their commute.
- 94% read about current events.
- 50%+ read biographies of successful people.
In contrast, only about one in fifty of those struggling financially engaged in daily self-improvement reading.
How can and will you invest the time and resources in your personal and professional development efforts to lead an even more richly rewarding life?
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
-Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
Image from Quote of the Day
I like bargains and two-for-one sales. This quote is a three-for-one! In Ben Franklin’s time, the word “vices” perhaps meant “behaviors that do not better oneself or another.” Today, I suggest we consider them “bad habits” instead.
The idea of being a better person points to our ability to learn, grow, and improve as individuals.
What bad habits/vices will you declare war upon? In which relationships will you make a stand for peace? In what ways do you intend to be a better person in this new year?
“You are What you Eat.”
Image from eslforeveryone.com
Most health and fitness experts would agree with the truth of today’s quote. Who would want to live their life as a baloney sandwich? Or a deep-fried Twinkie?
Based on my research, here are the foods that should be on everyone’s shopping list:
||Beans & Lentils
|Nuts & Seeds
Consider going on a food safari to bring more of these life-enhancing foods into your kitchen. Even small adjustments to this part of your lifestyle can make a big difference.
“I’ll take good habits over good luck.”
—Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author
Image from bodyforwife.com
Samuel Goldwyn’s famous statement, “The harder I work the luckier I get,” points to our ability to create our own luck, or at least become more successful through our own committed efforts.
Examine your good habits, and those of people you admire, to see what positive and favorable outcomes result.
Rate your habits in the following areas on a scale of one to five, with one being poor and five being high. What efforts might be required on your part to be the one that people admire?
||Health and Fitness
|Avocations and Hobbies
“Inspect what you expect.”
-Paul J. Meyer, Founder of the Personal Development Industry
Image from Flickr by Kate Ter Haar
One of the primary reasons people experience varying degrees of upset in their lives is unfulfilled expectations.
When we believe that something is supposed to happen, such as a friend or colleague making a promise on which they do not follow through, our blood can boil a bit.
If we take coaching from today’s quote, and inspect what we expect, we can often shift our expectations on the fly. This will reduce negative consequences considerably. On many occasions, the added attention we give to such matters increase the odds of our expectations being fulfilled.
How would the practice or habit of inspecting what you expect impact your personal or professional worlds for the better?