Day 1 of 2013, 364 more days to go. There’s a certain feeling of awe in my household over what can be accomplished. We are unbound and anything is possible! The most exciting thing is that all of our accomplishments are within our control. We have the ability to design a year that is amazing and shapes the path of the rest of our lives.
As is likely to happen in most households, this feeling of limitlessness will dissipate as the month goes on. We are human and, as such, are creatures of habit. Habits will begin to override goals as our focus goes from what we want to do, be and have to what needs to be done RIGHT NOW. The good news is that we can choose our habits. We can choose habits that support our goals and eliminate habits that defeat them.
So many people think that their goals exist in a vacuum. They make resolutions at the beginning of the year and may or may not look at them as the year flies by. Most, if not all, people will not look at them again at the end of the year as they set their new resolutions. What would happen if we used our goals as building blocks? If we created a habit to correspond to every goal? That way, whether we accomplish the goal or not, we will have created something good and productive in our lives. With that good and productive habit we can set new goals the following year.
This year, don’t just write down your goals, think about the corresponding habits that will make those goals a reality and write them down as well. You must be creative and give it some thought–take these examples…if you are looking for a calm morning with your family minus all the rushing, stress and yelling, consider forming the habit of getting up 15 minutes earlier every morning, laying the kid’s clothes out the night before and planning a week in advance for breakfasts and lunches. If you want to lose weight, form the habit of shopping the outside aisles of the supermarket thus avoiding most, if not all, sugary and packaged foods. If you are looking to improve your finances, consider waking every morning and packing your lunch (plus, think of the added benefits to your health). The possibilities are endless, you need only be creative and give it some uninterrupted thought.
We all know how powerful habits can be, good or bad. What would happen in your life if, every year, you were adding 2-3 positive habits that would stay with you for a lifetime? Three habits a year, five years, that is fifteen new lifelong habits that have a compound effect. How big a change could that manifest in all areas of your life?
Ask yourself…when is the last time you added a positive habit to your routine? Most adults give this question no consideration at all. Habits are things we create when we are children, things that follow us into adulthood. Sadly, most of the habits we fell into as children just happened and we didn’t consciously choose them . Think of the control you can take over the direction of your life when you begin to design your habits around your goals. Believe me, there’s no better feeling than that moment when you realize that act you have forcing yourself to perform has finally become a habit. That, my friends, is success.
So as you set your goals this year (and set them with all the joy and wild abandon that goes with this day) take the time to think about the habits that will support these goals.
Enjoy this day, the people that you love and a wildly prosperous new year!
We hope these two forms will help you develop your habits and meet your goals: