An Alternative To Our New Year’s Resolutions

Made a New Year’s Resolution?

And how’s that working out?

Utterly smashing it? Then I doff my grandest hat to you, sir or madam.

Not utterly smashing it? Then join the rest of us.

Get fit. Eat healthy. Lose weight. Save money.

Most of us have the same goals, yet despite our best intentions, failed resolutions litter the wayside come Januaries end.

Put more precisely….

Humans suck at New Year’s resolutions. Like, really suck.

The way I see it, we’re in one of 2 camps. First, there’s the “I don’t do resolutions because they’re impossible” camp. The people in this camp, the realists, are setting themselves up for a mediocre year.

Then there’s the “New Year, New Me” camp, flying the banner of optimism. But as we all know, good intentions only go so far, and only a small tent of people make it to February.

But, friend, there is room for a third camp.

The 30-Day Challenge Camp.

 

Your Invitation to the 30-Day Challenge Camp

Here’s the idea.

Every year, you’ve got 12 months. Each month, you’ve got one 30 Day Challenge.

And guess how long it takes to form a habit?

Roughly 30 days.

John C Maxwell said: You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

So every year, you have the opportunity to form 12 new habits. 12 new habits that take you further down the path to the strongest version of yourself.

5 minutes of meditation a day. 30 minutes of weightlifting. Eating 2 pieces of fruit and vegetable every lunch time. Or maybe going for a walk after dinner for 30 days. It’s up to you.

It doesn’t even have to be a habit. 30 days is a great length of time to challenge your brain in areas where you’re weak.

Maybe you can’t play music to save yourself. Then pick up an instrument for 30 days. Maybe you’ve never read poetry. Then read poetry for 30 days. Never learnt a language? Commit half an hour of language learning a day for 30 days.

Whether habits, or new challenges, the options are endless.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll be growing stronger in 12 different areas every year. Stronger in 12 areas in which you were once weak. Score.

 

Why Is This So Powerful?

It’s human nature. We love to start big, all guns blazing. 5 fruit and veg every day. 2 hours of studying a day. Get a chiselled fight-club look this year – “No chocolate in 2016!” we decry.

But, much like a gigantic star, what starts big comes to a magnificent and early demise, leaving us back at square one come February. Then what do we say?

“I guess there’s always next year.”

But with 30 Day Challenges, you dream big and start small.

By starting small, we kindle our enthusiasm and build our momentum, until it becomes a roaring fire of self-motivation. By starting small, we become more determined as the challenge goes on.

And despite a humble beginning, it’s amazing after 30 days to look back and see how far you’ve come.

More human nature. We overestimate what we can do short-term and underestimate what we can do long term.

 

“But I don’t have the discipline to do that!!”

DISCIPLINE IS NOT SOMETHING YOU HAVE OR DON’T HAVE. DISCIPLINE IS SOMETHING THAT IS FORGED IN THE FIRES OF CHALLENGE AND THE FLAMES OF HARDSHIP.

If you think you’re lacking in discipline, then your life is probably too easy. (Often the case for me).

The perfect way to build some of that iron discipline? 30 Day Challenges. Start with an easy one. And increase the difficulty as your discipline builds.

Also, you know what sucks about New Year’s resolutions? They’re too long, and too big, and too all-encompassing.

With 30-day challenges, you can plan them around your 1 year goals, and get down to the specifics. Deliberate practice.

For example, “being healthy”.

That is a monstrous 1 year goal. But split it into 30-day Challenge chunks….

30 days of eating a salad at lunchtime. 30 days of walking after dinner. 30 days of going to bed at 10pm. 30 days of drinking a glass of water before breakfast.

Manageable. Fun. And habits that last a lifetime.

And if you fail? Then who cares! Pick yourself back up the following month, and get back on the wagon.

We always overestimate what we can do short-term, and underestimate what we can do long-term.

So… the only question is…

What’s going to be your 30 Day Challenge?

As always, Dream Big Start Small!

Lots of love,

Iain