“Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”
-John F. Kennedy
It’s time once again to get those New Year’s resolutions in full swing. Whether you finally kick some bad habits, create the life of your dreams, or you simply need to shed a few holiday pounds – you’ll likely need a plan. Today we’ll review 4 key elements to ensure you leap forward in 2016 by “living exactly as planned!”
DIET AND EXERCISE
Look I know it’s basic, but I assure you it sets the tone for the entire year. You’ve likely heard Benjamin Franklin’s quote at some point, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Adopting this mantra in my own life has meant living energetically and enthusiastically. Planning meals and exercise routines will ensure consistent energy for tackling your goals this year. An excellent tool for dialing in your diet is Myfitnesspal. It’s user-friendly and helps you stay on track throughout the day.
Let me ask, have you ever come across studies on decision making and improper nutrition? Believe me, they exist, and the results are astounding. Diet and exercise can improve decision making in moments where hesitation means the difference between success and failure. If you feel great about yourself from proper diet and exercise, you’re likely to execute decisions confidently in the moments that matter.
Whether you hire a nutritionist or research on your own – dial in your diet! Whether you head to your local gym or sweat it out in the garage – dial in your exercise routine!
FIND AND USE A PRODUCTIVITY SYSTEM
A productivity system guards against the unknown twists and turns life offers. Additionally, it becomes a failsafe against, well, yourself! There’s infinite value in mapping out steps for important areas in your life. A problem most people have is they only map out one area –most commonly job related – but neglect other equally important areas. At the end of the year, you want progress in all important areas. So whether it’s for your job, health, finances, personal development, or a combination of some or all, having a productivity system ensures consistent progress towards your goals.
Personally, I get my money’s worth (and then some) from the use of OmniFocus. My collective achievements last year trumped those in years past from my adoption of this system. It worked for me, however, it’s important to find what works for you. Perhaps its David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system or a combination of apps, software, or even pen and paper. The point is to find something and use it!
GET SPECIFIC, LIKE REALLY, REALLY SPECIFIC
Have you heard of the Reticular Activating System? It’s an important brain function we all possess that’s multipurpose. In a nutshell, a nice feature of this system allows you to filter out information to avoid complete sensory overload. When you get really, really specific, you can activate this system. It’s like the phenomenon of buying a new car and suddenly realizing everyone has your car! Why is that? Since you’re now focused on that model, guess what magically appears everywhere!
If you want a similar phenomenon to occur or want to experience what it’s like to be lucky in life, then get specific. Map out your goals in grave detail. Then become laser focused on them by reviewing daily to keep them top of mind. Suddenly you will begin seeing connections in all areas of your life relating to your goals. And trust me, when I say it comes out of thin air boy does it ever. You may even feel as though the universe finds a way to lay before you all things capable of aiding in your goal achievement. Don’t believe me? Just try it – I dare you!
FOCUS ON WHO YOU NEED TO BECOME AND NOT JUST WHAT YOU WANT
Just about everyone has a list of things they desire. Things like a dream house, car, spouse, vacation, or high paying job – they could describe them effortlessly. And though specificity, as we covered, is important, it’s only one side of the equation. I once heard Jim Rohn say, “Success is something you attract by the person you become,” and I can tell you this nugget of wisdom restructured my way of thinking.
So as you’re mapping out your desires, equally, focus on who you need to become to attract such things. Make changes to yourself and your circumstances will likely change, but only change your circumstances and you risk simply staying the same.
This year make an effort to identify characteristics you need to attract the success you desire. Work on them daily and don’t be impatient in your evolution either. Keep in mind it’s a process. If you get stuck, identify successful individuals in your circle of influence and take note of their characteristics.
Before you think I’m asking you to copy someone, that’s not the case. Be the most authentic version of yourself through the process. If done correctly, this last element is sure to help you leap forward!
Now it’s time to leap! You can make this year better than all of your previous years combined. Keep in mind it all starts and ends with you. Combine these elements and live out your best year yet. I look forward to hearing any other suggestions you have that will help everyone leap this year!