Yes, it’s "that" time of year again. The time when we all misguidedly believe that a new year will magically provide the spark, motivation, and persistence we need to turn ourselves into the people we want to be.
But it's also the time of year when that dust gets kicked up by everyone around us, and we're reminded that we have so much more inside of us than we are bringing to the world.
Wherever motivation comes from, use it. Ride the wave. No need to be picky. Let's just set ourselves and our friends up to win.
To help you along we got 5 simple things that straight up work.
5 No-BS tips for smashing your resolutions in 2018.
1. Plan Ahead (AKA - NOW)
This is easy - because chances are, you already know what you want (even if that's just a change.)
Quickly dive into it: What's pissing you off about your life right now? What have you been wanting to do for a while that just hasn't clicked into place? Who do you want to be? What's that one thing that would make you feel a million percent better about yourself if you started?
To make sure you're successful, plan your changes ahead of time ensuring you know where you want to go, why you want to get there, and what you'll need to pull it all of, all before you dive to jump off the deep end.
Of course, the more time the better, but even a week is plenty of time to get yourself mentally prepped.
Start getting the ideas churning in your head now and you'll be a lot more concrete in them by the time the New Year rolls around.
There are a few things you should do to prep and get the systems in place to have a shot at making the change:
1. Spend some time thinking about it – don't wait until the starting bell sounds to get ready. Start thinking about what you want to do today. Visualize what you want, how you want to change, how you're going to get it, and why it matters to you. The earlier you start this, the better prepped you'll be.
2. Read up on it – No matter what kind of change you're trying to make in 2018, know that someone somewhere has already gone through it, failed, succeeded, and then wrote a book about it. Spend some time researching and understanding who that is and learn about how they succeeded. Doing this is basically giving you a cheat code.
3. Put a plan in place – January will come and life will most definitely get in the way. Putting a plan in place now will ensure that you have a course you can stick to when things deviate.
2. Start With One Thing
Contrary to flashy headlines, don't start with a huge goal. Instead, focus on a single (and even small) area of your life you want to work on.
Make sure it is a single, concrete thing so you know exactly what change you want to make. If you’re successful with that, then you can go ahead and add another on.
By making small changes, one after another, you will build momentum in ways you never could by doing it all at once.
If you're goal is to run a marathon by the end of the year, yet you can't walk up the stairs without running out of breathe, set your goal to simply be putting on your running shoes and going for a 10 minute walk each day. From there, progress to running in short bursts, then constant running by May, a 10K, a half, and then finally a full marathon by the end of the year.
Breaking it into chunks and starting with one small thing will keep you motivated throughout and not crush your spirits when you don't amount to a marathon in the first month.
3. Visualize success and Crave it
One thing that will both get you started, and carry you through, is craving what you want. To crave it you've got to be able to see and feel it clearly.
Once you know what you want, start to think about what it will look like and feel like to succeed. Think about yourself in that position and think about how you will feel. Use this as some fuel when things get tough.
Your vision for your future self is a powerful convincer of what you need to do today.
4. Understand Where (NOT IF) You Will Screw Up
Spending time thinking about and understanding what it would be like to fail. This might sound scary at first, but it helps for three reasons:
1. You'll understand if this actually matters to do you – If you go through this process and realize you don't really care about failing, ask yourself if what you're chasing really matters to you.
2. It can provide a lot of emotional fuel – As much as failure is a healthy part of progress, it also sucks. Understanding well ahead of time what it would feel like to fail can be a powerful tool to keep you going when you're thinking of giving up.
3. It can show where you'll screw up before you screw up – There will inevitably be problems so before they pop up, make a list of what they’ll be. This will help you anticipate what they are and either how to avoid them all together or how not be knocked down when you hit the ones you can't avoid.
The process is pretty simple:
- Imagine the worst-case scenario: Spend some time thinking about being on the other side of your goal and having everything go wrong.
- Create a list of reasons for failure: List all the different ways you could have gotten there.
- Create solutions for each reason for failure: For each reason for failure, create one solution (or several) to prevent this from happening.
- Keep the list close and review it often: Keep reviewing the list throughout and come up with creative ways to strengthen the plan.
5. Commit To It (AND Be 100% Ok At sucking The 1st Month)
This is where the rubber hits the road.
Commit to it.
Like seriously commit to it. Not just a half-assed little "I think I want to *insert goal*).
If this is something you want, make a pact with yourself (and with people around you) that this is something you are going to give your all.
Understand why you will succeed, understand where you could screw up, and actually give it a serious run.
The brutal truth is is that there's almost no change you're trying to make that is impossible for you to make. Want to lose 50lbs? Somebody else has already done it. Want to run a marathon in 6 months, there are tips on it here. Want to build a billion-dollar company, not only has it been done, but there's a how-to guide.
We say these half-jokingly, but having watched '000s of people go through Damn Early Days, we know that the biggest thing holding all of us back is, well, ourselves.
So, with that, commit to it.
And remember, you can't BS yourself on your deathbed.
6. Find Some Accountability
So many go after their goals haphazardly, wondering why they've lost all motivation only halfway through January.
Life starts to get in the way, their old habits start to creep back in, and they convince themselves that what they are chasing really doesn't matter.
11 and a half months later, they are right back in the same place with a year less of their life ahead of them.
And they had nobody or nothing to steer them otherwise.
Yes, everything above is helpful and a great reminder to stay focused and dedicated, BUT at the end of the day – achieving your dreams and growing through life is about doing the work, consistently.
Having someone that can hold you accountable and call you out when you're not standing true to that is one of the most powerful things you can have.
They will help you stay focused, they will help you practice patience, they will be your source of positivity and optimism, and most importantly, they will help you keep going when you want to quit.
Find some accountability in your life to keep you moving. They can be your lifeline.
Speaking of accountability, if you're looking to make some change, Damn Early Days January 2018 is live. If you want in on it, you can sign up below.