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Have Your Best Year Ever

Have Your Best Year Ever

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At this time of year, many people make resolutions to improve, only to abandon most of them by month’s end. The problem is that, instead of taking small steps, people look for cataclysmic change and become disillusioned and give up when they don’t get it. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you take the time to reflect, prioritize and you don’t get overwhelmed, you can make phenomenal progress. Here are my tips and strategies for improving your habits and your life in 2020.

There are three main things that hold us back when it comes to improving:

Lack of a Plan

Many people repeatedly set a goal, but then come up short because they fail to plan. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! To succeed, write down your goals, determine the necessary action steps you need to take and then ensure you have the resources required to get there.  

Inconsistency

If you consistently do something the same way, it becomes second nature and very effective over time. Being consistent is the best way to build trust with others, and with yourself.  If you want to improve, be consistent in your deeds and actions.

Bad Habits

Og Mandino once said that good habits are the keys to success and bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.  To improve, you must break your bad habits. It will take time –habits can’t be changed overnight – but if you are persistent and consistent, your bad habits will be banished for good.

So, now that you know what’s holding you back, how can you make strides to improve this year?

Know You’re Not a Quitter

We all have good intentions – we start with purpose, but then we stop again. Take exercise, for example. How many of us have bought exercise equipment only for it to sit gathering dust in the garage? We think we’re quitters because life gets in the way and our goals and plans go out the window. However, there’s a big difference between stopping and quitting. A quitter is somebody who gives up permanently. A stopper is someone who stops, but then starts again. To make progress, shorten the time between stopping and starting again.  The key is to keep getting back on track– and back to the routines that were productive.  

Stack Your Habits

Being very active doesn’t always mean you’re being productive. That’s where the principle of habit stacking is very useful. Picking a specific day, time and place to do your planning and reviews increases effectiveness significantly. Also, when you write your to-do list, keep an eye on your long-term goals. It’s important to do things that are immediate, but also things that are connected to the bigger, overall goal.

Write It Down

Some studies have shown that a goal is seven times more likely to happen if you write it down, as opposed to just having it in mind. Write down your goals and then periodically look back and revisit how you did.

Leave Yourself Some Clues

Don’t give yourself a chance to make excuses! Leave clues for yourself to remind you of the goals you want to reach. If you want to become a reader, leave a book on your pillow. If you want to become a runner, leave your running gear by the bed.

Difficulties will always present themselves, but this can be your best year yet if you’re willing to analyze what holds you back. Bit by bit, consistency can be yours and you can become very effective over time. Success is a series of new beginnings, so take charge of the things that you can proactively control and you will make radical improvements this year.

Listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life” to hear more about having your best year ever.  

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