Welcome to The Spark Show! In this episode, I’ll be talking about how to create new habits that you’ll actually stick to. At the time of this recording, it’s the beginning of 2021 and I’m sure like everyone you’re excited for the new year and the possibilities it brings.
You’re probably thinking about goals and all the things you want to accomplish this year and the thing is, you’re going to have to really put in the work and take action if you want to achieve those goals.
Because if you’re like me, this has happened before. I’m sure. You’re super excited, you create a list of 10-20 goals and then you start off super strong and excited, and then after a week, month or quarter you struggle with the consistency and then it kinda just fizzles.
Don’t worry, it’s not just you. It’s everybody. I don’t know one person that did not have the experience of not achieving something that they set out to do. Everyone has resolutions that they never end up sticking to and the reason is because achieving your goals is about creating habits that you’ll actually stick to.
And to do that, there’s actually a lot more involved than just making a list and saying you’re going to do it. There’s a reason why according to studies, less than 8% of people actually follow through with their resolutions. There’s a lot of prep that has to happen for you to stick to these habits and achieve your goals.
The first thing that has to happen is to decide what your top, must-achieve goals are. List them all down on a piece of paper, actually write them down, old-school style. Trust me, you writing them down communicates to your brain that you’re getting in serious mode here. And as much as I want you to achieve all 20,50 or 100 goals - it’s gonna be a lot easier if you start with 2 or 3.
If you really want to focus, you can also choose one. And it’s easier to create one set of habits than trying to do all 10 and then you get overwhelmed and end up doing none of them.
You have to really connect emotionally to these goals in order to be inspired and excited to achieve them. If these goals are not meaningful to you in a really deep way, it’s gonna be hard for you to stay motivated to stick to them.
After writing down your top 3 goals, I want you to spend the time to write down a minimum of 3 compelling reasons why these goals matter so much to you.
For example, if your goal is to get healthy. It’s not enough of a reason to do it because you want to look good. I want you to go deeper than that. Maybe you want to feel confident when you go on vacation. Or maybe it’s because you want to be able to do active stuff with your kids. Or go even deeper, like you want to live a long, healthy life so that you can travel with your grandchildren. Yes the six pack would be awesome, but at the end of the day, if there’s no deep, meaningful reason that sparks emotion tied to your goal - it’s going to be really challenging to achieve it.
If you can do more than 3 reasons, that’s even better. I would aim for 10, 20 even 50 reasons. I know it seems tedious but this is the prep work. This is the work that has to be done. Your mind and body has to be aware of why this is important to you. Because we are human being we tend to stay in our comfort zone because it’s familiar and safe. You’re not going to push yourself unless you know in your heart that this the reward of achieve this goal will be worth it to you.
That’s why successful people often use visualization, vision boards and take the time to review their goals and the reasons behind them every single day, sometimes even twice a day. Because we do need the constant reminder of why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Another example is if your goal is to start your online business and earn $5,000 of revenue every single month. What is the deep, meaningful reason that you want to do this? Maybe it’s because you aren’t passionate about your job and you want to do something that will give you the freedom to work for yourself while making an impact on others. Maybe it’s because you want to spend more time with your family and be in control of your time and when you work. Maybe it’s because you want financial security and freedom for you and your children.
Get really specific here so you can connect emotionally. One thing that drives me is to be able to get my step daughter into skiing. I’m booking her lessons and there’s the lift tickets and the gear. It’s not cheap! This was not something I was able to do when I was growing up and I want to be able to give her these opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to if I wasn’t making the money that I’m making in my business.
So I really want you to identify those things that you would be able to do if you achieve your goals. The rewards you would reap and most importantly, how it would feel for you when it happens.
Once you’ve chosen your goals, I want you to break it down into daily habits. Sometimes a big goal can seem really out of reach but when you break it down, it becomes something you can tackle and chip away at one day at a time, one step at a time.
So let’s go back to the example I talked about earlier about getting healthy. It could be specific like losing a certain number of pounds or dropping a certain number of sizes. And to break it down into a daily habit, it could be - work out for 30 minutes a day.
If your goal is to make $5000 per month in revenue with your online business, your goal could be to show up on social media 30 minutes a day.
So it becomes a lot more manageable when you break it down and also keeping it small in the beginning. You can start with an hour, but if that sound impossible right now you want to start with a duration that seems doable.
And remember this is just for one goal, so if you’re working on 3 goals, that can easily take up 3 hours of your day. And if you’re doing it outside of work hours, be mindful of how much time you have to work on your goals. Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes a day, that’s better than zero minutes. That’s why it can be difficult to have more than 3 goals.
Once you’ve mastered the daily habits and they become second nature to you, you can always add in more goals.
Now that you have broken your goal down into daily habits, you want to set yourself up to successfully take those daily actions. If you are trying to work out 30 minutes a day, you want to make sure you’ve set aside that time. For some people, that means it’s the first thing they do when they wake up or right after work.
I recommend using time blocking and blocking out that time in your calendar. Maybe that’s 6:30-7:00 am every single day. And you want to make sure to set your alarm so you have time to get up, get ready, and be where you need to be to make that appointment that you set for yourself.
Other things you can do is to plan out what workout you’re going to be doing. If you love to run, do that. If you love yoga do that. You can take the time to plan your workout schedule every week so you know what you’re doing during your workout ahead of time. You wanna be excited for it. I recently added skiing into my schedule for my workouts and I do cross-country once a week and downhill once a week.
When you’re excited and you’re having fun, you’re more likely to be consistent with your habits.
It’s the same thing for showing up for social media if that’s one of your goals. Block out the time in your calendar (I use Google Calendar and get notifications on my phone) and make sure you stick to the time so you also don’t get lost in the black hole of Instagram.
As humans we thrive on rewards, that hasn’t changed since we were kids. So I’d love for you to declare a reward for yourself if you complete a streak. For example, if you do your daily 30-minute workout for 7 days straight, you could reward yourself with new leggings.
When there’s a prize and something to look forward to, we tend to stay consistent. You can give yourself a 10, 14, or 30 day challenge and it also helps if you keep track. There are apps where you can check things off or maybe it’s your wall calendar that you cross off with every day that you complete.
I’m hoping that this will help you stick to your daily habits that will help you achieve your goals. If you miss a day, forget or something else comes up, make sure you forgive yourself and start again. Remember, you’re not the first person to do that. We all do it. Nobody’s perfect and you are not an exception to that. So no need to be hard on yourself.
Just do your best and know that this is a long game. This is a journey and you have the rest of your life to keep trying and showing up every day.
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