Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If so, make sure you’re doing these 3 things.
Most of the world makes resolutions for the New Year and most of the world fails. Nail yours with these 3 easy steps. Back by popular demand…
This is our last newsletter of 2018, and the year has flown by! Time does that, doesn’t it? First you can’t wait for the softball season to start and then, before you know it, it’s convention time and the holidays are here.
If you’re like most people, the close of a year makes you reflect back on things that happened as well as projecting forward to the things you want to accomplish. New Year’s resolutions are popular, and while I’ve never done them, I know I’m in the minority.
People who make resolutions do so with full intentions of making them come true. And yet, so few actually follow-through. We write them down with great enthusiasm, taper off around February, and by April we’ve totally lost. Our good intentions end up on the trash heap because our motivation drains and we eventually give up.
James Clear has written a fantastic book all about habits. What makes them, how to change them and how to make them stick. It’s called Atomic Habits, and in it he refers to something he calls the Plateau of Latent Potential. Basically, that’s the space between your Effort and the Results You Want. Most people give up in this zone because they don’t see results happen fast enough.
Because all BIG change is really the product of tiny little efforts repeated over and over again over a period of time – it’s this “time” that delays the desired result. This compounding of tiny little efforts eventually creates very powerful outcomes, but these outcomes are delayed. Thus, the Plateau of Latent Potential, AND, the graveyard for most of our well-intended New Year’s Resolutions.
So, as you enter 2019 with fresh energy and a renewed sense of accomplishment, let’s look at 3 things that James Clear taught me that you can do to give your New Year’s Resolutions the greatest chance of coming true:
1. Make It Easy – Whatever you’re trying to change or do needs to stay in front of your face and be obvious. For instance, if you’re trying to eat healthier then get rid of all the crappy food in your cabinets & refrigerator and put healthy food in front of your face. Put your workout clothes on the bathroom counter at night so they’re already laid out and ready to go in the morning. If you have to work too hard to find your change, you won’t do it.
2. Make it Small – This is probably the biggest trap – people go from zero to 100 and think they’re going to be able to keep that up. No way! Make super small steps toward your goal. Pace yourself super slow purposefully, knowing that it isn’t the ONE day effort that will make the change, but the eventual accumulation of tiny increments. The Sky cycling team refers to this as “marginal gains” – getting 1% better at a ton of things, instead of 100% better at 1 thing. In fact, make your new habits so small they can be done in 2 minutes or less. Think about the goal of “working out more in 2019”. Vague as hell, but it’s what most of us write down. So, you think about going to the gym on Day 1, crushing it with weights and cardio and yoga, and then not being able to move for a week. You might not go back on Day 2! Instead, imagine your workout took 2 minutes or less. You’d do it wouldn’t you?! In fact, you might do it a couple times a day. Now, we’re on to something!
3. Don’t Miss Twice – Here’s the magic!! Make it Easy, Make it Small, and then DON’T MISS TWICE! Give yourself permission to miss once, occasionally, but to create a behavior change you want this new behavior to become standard. And for that to happen you’ve got to actually do it – a lot.
This act of doing tiny things over and over again over a l-o-n-g period of time is called compounding, and here’s where the power of compounding really comes in. If you want to change something BIG then start by doing something small – every day. Check this out:
– if you get just 1% better everyday for a year, you end up 37 times better!
– after 3 years you’re re 53,405 times better!
– and 5 years of 1% better every day, you’ll be 76,240,507 times better!!!
While I’m not sure I’m bad enough at anything that I need to do it 76 million times better (although others might disagree!), those numbers do make me see the power compounding creates when you do a small thing over and over again, without missing twice.
Use these 3 tips to help create change in your life, or the lives of those around you. Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
On behalf of all of us at Softball Excellence, I want to Thank You for being a reader, a customer and a coach! You play such an important role in the lives of the kids you coach, and we know the time and money you put into it. Your passion changes lives – and we Thank You!
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