Yesterday I was talking about why most people fail to succeed at what they REALLY want, simply because they are unable or unwilling to take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to them – their job, their health, their weight, their finances….
If you want to reach those big goals that few people ever get to and leave as a ‘nice dream’, you’ve got to be on top of every choice you make, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day so that you are ‘voting’ on how your life works and not just becoming a passenger with your path driven by other peoples’ schedules.
If you missed that post check it out then head back here – Read ‘Choices’
Once you’ve got a grasp of this and you get that surge of excitement when you realise that actually you CAN start making changes right away and grab life by the balls, we need to get started.
Now this can either be the time where you make amazing gains and shock people, getting results that ‘should take months’ or it is yet another stumbling block.
“Where do I start?”
Suddenly that January 1st adrenaline rush can subside pretty quick because you haven’t actually given much thought to how this is going to happen.
What needs to change?
Who do I need to help?
What behaviours am I going to have to plug into my life EVERY SINGLE DAY to start creating change instead of hoping it will appear then blaming others when it doesn’t?
This is where you need to be the ‘space shuttle’ and create momentum.
Did you know space shuttles use up more fuel in the first few minutes than in the entire rest of the journey into outer space?
Sprinters exert the most effort coming out of the blocks and then proceed to make running at over 30mph look effortless.
When you ride your bike you might have to really push down hard on the pedals to get going, then you can often just keep the pedals turning along the flat.
When you start a new business, it’s best to really make an effort with a big launch and external marketing to get things going and get attention. Then you can often rely on giving great service to your current clients and let them do the talking for you as raving fans.
Many marketing experts suggest the decision to continue on as a customer is made in the first 30 days, so often if you front load what you give to the client in the first 30 days, you create momentum to keep them on your books.
So what can we do to create momentum, and shed loads of it, in the first 21 days of our new lifestyle?
I say 21 because again, research shows that’s how long it takes to imprint new habits whether it’s giving up smoking, cutting out crap food, getting into a training routine or anything else.
Break the cycle at any point before 21 days, and you’ll usually find yourself on a slippery slope back to where you started.
Unfortunately millions of gym members every year don’t make it past the 2 week phase.
Willpower (which I rate very lowly!) will often only last 14 days at best which leaves us with a 7 day black hole with no way to get past it unless you are committed to maintaining momentum and have an awe inspiring reason to continue making your new positive, constructive behaviours into daily, subconscious rituals.
Imagine if you could make these behaviours like brushing your teeth or having a cup of tea in the morning?!
You’ve normally done both before you’ve even woken up from your AM doze!
Call it habits, call it rhythm, call it routine.
Whatever you label this as, the key is creating momentum by doing stuff EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail until it becomes part of life.
There may already be things you do that other people seem to see as a mountain to climb.
It’s easy for you because you’ve ‘always done it’.
You might look at others and wonder how they do certain things with such ease.
That is the key!
Success isn’t complicated.
It is simple.
The problem lies in being willing to be the guy who sticks it out the longest.
Be the girl who gets up 30 minutes before to do her morning run before breakfast and looks amazing on the beach in summer.
Be the one who does what’s required, longer than anyone else.
One of the most famous examples of this is famous golfer Jack Nicklaus.
One day researchers timed how long it took him to start his routine on each shot from start to finish over 18 holes.
The longest time difference in completing the routine between holes was not more than 1 second.
That is insane!
He had practiced over and over and over again to the point that it was like playing out the same movie, which inevitably ended with the ball in the hole 1-2 shots quicker than everyone else.
Just consistent commitment and ‘drilling’ it to become a habit.
And ‘drilling’ longer and more often than the other guys.
So what can you do to create momentum and really surge forward with the goals you say you’d love to achieve?
Well I know your busy.
I know you don’t have 6 hours a day to practice or get coached.
And that’s good, because it’s going to force you to get this stuff done quickly and efficiently!
I want to look at your Opening and Closing Procedures.
No matter where you work, you will likely have Opening and Closing Procedures.
Unlock the door, turn the lights on, boot up the computer system, check overnight orders, send the daily figures to the line manager….whatever.
Now we need to do this for your life.
Aiming for 10-60 minutes at either end of the day before the madness starts in the morning and after it all ends to close out your day and enable you to go to sleep with your subconscious brain still working to ‘find’ the things you need to do the next day.
Try the following (and yes you will probably have to get up earlier – don’t worry you’ll soon WANT to get up earlier!).
These are things I do – you might want or need to alter it slightly.
Remember, we need to do stuff nobody else will, for longer than anybody else will!
– Say thanks for what is already present in your life – this tunes you in to seeing abundance and positive things in your life and gets you off on the right foot. The fact is we all live on the same planet but success is largely determined by seeing what’s there rather than what’s not.
– Send a couple of messages to friends, family or your partner telling them what you appreciate about them.
– Think about your 3 biggest goals. What can you do today to move closer to that goal? Picture it clearly and think in detail about why it’s important to you and commit to doing it. It may involve getting up right now and going to the gym before work, or doing your marathon training run.
– Tune your day. Rather than being like an old dodgy camera with a blurred focus, write in your diary what needs to be done to move closer to the goals and when you will complete them, how long they will take, anyone you need to contact – kind of a to do list but one that creates change and isn’t just a task list to keep you busy for 24 hours.
This all needs to be done before ANYTHING else.
You could do it over breakfast but make sure you’re in a situation where you won’t get distracted by the kids or the breakfast news.
So if you have kids, wake up 10 minutes earlier, lie in bed and run this program in your mind, writing down anything you need to do today.
All of this needs to happen before you go near your mobile phone or emails otherwise you have just entered yourself into someone else’s schedule which is hard to get out of – you’ll spend your day reacting to other people’s demands.
And be a sheep for the rest of your life.
– Cash up. You do it in business so you can turn the systems off so why not for life? Did you complete the checklist you wrote this morning to keep you moving forward or did you skip into old habits and rituals just because it was easier and required no thought? Were you a passenger in the day or did you actively push for change?
– Read for at least 10 minutes – something inspirational. Something that will open the door of your subconscious when you go to sleep. You’ll be surprised what ideas ‘just come to you’ in the morning that help you move another step closer tomorrow to where you want to be.
MANAGING YOUR NEW SYSTEM
The easiest way I’ve found to stick to this is to create an Action Checklist for each week – you could do it daily but some things don’t need to be done every single day and it also enables you to catch up if something happens out of the blue. This stops you feeling like you messed up today so it’s all over and you let things unravel.
On my register I have things like:
– Training 1-2 hours: 6 per week
– Visualisation: 7 per week
– 20 minutes outdoor activity: 5 per week
– 60 minutes outdoor activity: 2 per week
– Write a blog post: 7 per week (That’s what I’m doing now at 0530 while everyone else is still in bed!)
– Interview one expert for my blog: 1 per week
– 30 minutes networking / making new contacts online and offline: 3 per week
You need to first be clear what your goals are then decide what actions are required each day or week.
My Action Checklist has the actions down the left hand side and Monday to Sunday along the top.
Each day I write how many times I completed the Action.
By the end of the week it needs to add up to the required total.
It’s simple and all it requires is creating the spreadsheet at first (5 minutes) then filling it in each evening before bed (2 minutes).
This is how we create momentum to carry forward but if we only do it every 3-4 days, it just doesn’t work.
Listen to Will Smith on success: Don’t be outworked!
Do it more and longer than anyone else.
– Eat cleaner more often than everyone else on the beach.
– Stay in the gym 5 minutes longer and do that ab work.
– Write more blog posts
– Read an extra book a month
– Get up an hour early on Saturdays and get that long run in for your marathon.
– Get that extra rep on your squats.
And do it every single time without fail.
It’s our choices that determine our success and it’s the momentum we create with these choices that move us forward over and over again when everyone else is in front of the TV, watching the news and listening to all the negative bullshit we’re surrounded with.
You’re better than that.
And if you want to do this in 21 days to really create momentum in your fat loss efforts…