We are at the end of the month of January.
Maybe the beginning of February.
One month after new year.
The period where everyone gets a lot of resolutions that no one will ever maintain through the long run.
Am I defeatist? No.
Resolutions are developed to give you good conscience. A good feeling about yourself.
I’m sure that some of your resolutions consist of the following:
- Hit the gym
- Lose fat
- Build a business
- Get in shape
- Start saving money
- Become more confident
- Earn more money
- Eat healthier
- Be nicer to people
- Make more friend
- Build a website
- Stop smoking
- Stop alcohol
- Become more productive
- Get started online
- Drink less coffee
- Stop procrastinating
A long list of popular resolutions.
What I note, and the resolution that annoys me the most is the first one.
An army of random people decide to hit the gym.
The gym gets crowded. Everyone complains.
After January, 99% of this army is defeated by… I don’t even know by what.
Lack of motivation? It’s too hard? It takes too much time?
January is the worst month to train as they are hundreds of Joe at the gym.
And then, when February appears, they all disappear faster than when they came.
If I didn’t know of new year’s resolution, I would call this a migration or more, a magical trick.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
And the same happen to all your resolutions, no matter what they are.
After a set period of time, they stop. One after another until you become again the same guy you were the 31 December before your good resolutions.
Resolutions sucks for the pure reason that they don’t help you to improve your life.
They have for sole purpose to give you good conscience about yourself for half a month. And then pouf. Everything disappears.
Everyone hates the result. Nonetheless it’s real
Despite all your good will, your resolutions didn’t change anything.
When you apply a resolution, you go all in.
For a month you hit the gym 5 days per week.
No one is mad enough to start their training like this, except you who truly believe in good resolutions.
It’s pure madness for a beginner to be that extreme so early.
What you are really doing isn’t working out. You are exhausting yourself by using this strategy.
The same applies to every other resolution.
You do it aggressively!
You go from non-inexistent to extreme in all your resolutions.
Up to a point, your body doesn’t like it anymore.
He gets tired and wants to stop. You must be mad to maltreat him like this!
You get the information and suddenly, within a day you stop everything. All your resolutions are gone because you believe that “it’s too hard” to live like this.
The problem isn’t that it’s too hard. The problem is that you jumped from level 0 to level 50 in a matter of hours.
It’s not sustainable at all for your body and your mind.
Until proven otherwise, you are still a human and not a machine.
You can’t jump from non-inexistent to extreme in a matter of hours. It’s IMPOSSIBLE!
Step by step, restructuring your resolutions with habits
For a good resolution to stick, it must become a habit.
A habit is an activity that you do mindlessly.
I.E. You brush your teeth mindlessly.
What does it mean to do it “mindlessly”?
You don’t even think of it.
After a meal, your first reflex is to brush your teeth. You don’t have to make an effort to figure it out. No one as to tell it to you.
You MUST brush your teeth after a meal. It becomes a principle.
This rule is easy to follow, it takes you no energy to achieve because it’s all scripted.
Your brain already knows what to do.
- The brain gets a signal: You finished a meal
- It triggers an effect: Duh! I have to brush my teeth
- You brush your teeth
- You feel proud of you because you brushed your teeth
And the cycle repeats itself again and again after each meal.
This is a habit. You learned that after each meal you have to brush your teeth.
You made a habit.
You can make habits for everything.
They are simple:
When an event happens, it triggers the need to do something.
The need is triggered because you decided to always do the same activity.
For this to be efficient, you must create a relationship between a trigger and an activity.
You must do those actively.
I.E. A long time ago you decided to make a coffee each early morning.
Everyday when you wake up, you move to the kitchen and make your coffee.
You don’t even think of it, it’s a habit.
You did the action manually a lot of time, and then you brain learned the action.
Result: The action is triggered every time you wake up.
How to build a habit
I gave you a hint.
To build a habit, you must repeat the task after a trigger.
After dozens and dozens of repetitions, the pattern will stick to your brain and eventually it will become a habit.
Sometimes it takes less than ten repetitions, other times more than a hundred.
Don’t get demotivated by these numbers, habits are definitely worth the struggle.
It’s priceless to do anything instinctively!
In a nutshell, to build a habit you make a habit manually.
When the trigger happens, you play manually the habit you want to create.
Let’s see how you can create a habit together.
First, define that habit.
You want to…
- Write daily
- Read daily
- Hit the gym 4 times per week
- Sleep more
- Build a business
- Read your mantras daily
- Brush my teeth after every meal
Perfect. If the habit you want to choose isn’t on the list, it’s not a big deal, just add it mentally.
Now, let’s define when you want to define that habit.
- At a certain hour?
- Some days of the week?
- After every meal?
Just choose the time to apply your new habit.
Once that’s done, take a sheet of paper and write in big letters:
I want to “Your new habit” “When/what triggers the habit”
Make sure to do it, that’s your plan.
Did you do it?
Don’t go past this sentence without your written habit!
Nice, now you have to apply it every time the trigger happens.
Starting from right now.
If your habit is to sleep more and it’s already late, close your computer/smartphone and sleep.
Habits are built by repetition.
The more your repeat your habit, the easier it is for your brain to learn it.
Don’t miss a day and profit.
Quick tip: To remind yourself of a habit, you can set up an alarm or a notification on your smartphone at a certain hour. Add a text and you’ll always be up to date with all your habits.
Habits can make one’s success.
- Writer developed the habit to write daily
- Photographers developed the habit to shoot pictures whenever they have the occasion to
- Chess players developed the habit to read everything to chess when they have a bit of free time
And so on.
I want you to be original.
Forgot about the “resolutions” that you decided to put in practice at the start of this year. This is bullshit.
Start to build your habits right now so they will last in the time, not like your resolutions.
If you are interested in habits, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy this article on systems.
It’s based on the same idea: Play long term instead of short term!