I’m writing this blog on a day that does not exist … at least not for me.
What is your goal?
Most importantly, what are you willing to do differently from 2018 in order to achieve it? The person you are today is because of choices you made knowingly or unknowingly 1 year ago. The person you will be in 2020 will be because of the choices you make today.
Let me ask you to consider this: for whatever your goal for 2019 is - and I do encourage you to have one - can you think of someone who has already achieved it? That’s right. Think of someone you know (including media personalities) who have already achieved what you want for yourself.
What characteristics do they possess, and what behaviors do they need to possess in order to achieve what they have?
Commitment? Consistency? Integrity (i.e., their word is their bond)? Moreover, what characteristics and behaviors do they actively avoid? Unnecessary spending? Wasteful excess? People-pleasing (i.e., inability to say “no”)? Before you set your Resolution in stone, I would encourage you to consider the characteristics and behaviors that you need to embody. If you don’t February will be here soon enough, and you will be no farther than you are now.
Tips for 2019
It is a Japanese word that means “continual improvement.” Rather than attempting to achieve monumental goals in a single step, small steps every day that add up over time make the biggest difference.
Consider a very simple example: the ambitious goal to exercise daily for 30 minutes.
Let’s say that you are physically capable to 30 minutes of focused exercise. However, you also have a myriad of additional daily stresses that consume your time.
So in the span of 1 week, you do 3 sessions for a total of 90 minutes of exercise.
To contrast, if you were to dedicate even half of that time - 15 minutes - but develop the habit of daily physical activity, your effort will earn you 105 minutes of exercise per week.
Progress does not always need to be immediate: just consistent!
On the topic of habit, don’t expect immediate progress no matter what your Resolution is. To create a new habit takes 70 days of daily repetition.
And to “break” or change an existing habit takes even longer!
… I would, therefore, encourage you to create a new habit!
One of the best ways to do so is to use the addictive nature of your human brain in your favour?
Do you have a diary or calendar for 2019?
If not, quickly Google and print a monthly calendar for 2019.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is simple: pick the new habit and the daily task that will help you to accomplish it and then mark on the calendar days when you have completed the task.
After 3-4 successive days with an “X” marked on your calendar (best kept in a highly visible place), the compulsive nature of your brain to continue your streak will kick in!
And when it does, your brain will actively be working to help you establish your new habit instead of fighting you.
3. Less is More
Sometimes, the best Resolutions are not to add more things/stresses into your life, but to remove existing ones.
What is your life is not serving you? That includes people!
What one thing, if you changed, would make the biggest difference in terms of your personal happiness, freedom, and prosperity?
It’s one of those “simple but not easy tasks” … but so worth it on the other side!
Dr. Jeff’s Personal Resolutions
I have plenty of things in my own life that I can improve … just ask Natalie!
Kidding aside - and to be held accountable for 2019 - I’ll share with you a few of the Resolutions I have for 2019.
1. Kill Facebook
Somehow I got hooked 3 years ago. Over our Christmas break, I found myself one day looking at my phone and getting agitated by stuff that people were commenting on about Chiropractic in Australia.
I realised right then that I don’t need to inject other people’s negatively into my life!
A few years back, I nixed the habit of watching news online or on TV. Well, let me add Facebook to the list.
The Facebook app is already deleted from my phone!
Now, I'm not saying that I'm anti-Facebook. I'm simply admitting that I've found myself spending way too much time waiting for responses!
The interesting challenge I have is that I will continue to be active on Facebook for office and teaching activities. However, I shall be limiting my hours severely to 1-2x daily … and certainly not when I am at home or on weekends when I should be relaxing!
2. Core Four
As I described last month, Natalie and I both listed to Garret J White, founder of “Wake Up Warrior.”
Part of the “Wake Up Warrior” program is a list of 4 tasks to be completed before your day truly begins that focus on the following:
1. Physical Exercise - 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (or other activity approved by your healthcare provider)
2. Nutrition - Included or as the entirety of your breakfast, have 1 glass of a green smoothie … your choice and lots of recipes are available online
3. Reflection - 10 minutes of meditation, prayer, journaling or reading (not news), and then sharing what you learned with at least 1 other person that day
4. Appreciation - Reach out to one person via email, SMS, card or direct call/contact to tell them one thing that you appreciate about them
The game is to score yourself 1 point for each activity that you perform daily and keep track of your weekly scores and streaks throughout the course of the year until you establish new habits.
Even though I do partake in these activities already, as far as a daily ritual goes, the “Core Four” will be a challenge for me!
My plan is to use the exact same method about habit-forming that I described above to establish the rhythm. … Plus the added incentive that I do not want to have to admit to people in March that I “fell off the bandwagon.
Happy New Year, and good luck in whatever resolution you have made. I hope that the future version of you agrees it is one of the best things you’ve ever done.