The University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. So why is staying motivated so hard?
In order for our minds to not suffer from informational overload, we live most of our lives in autopilot. A survey conducted by Child Accident Prevention Trust found that eight out of ten people admit that they carry out many tasks without any conscious thought. What this means is that you may have no recollection of the early morning drive to work or the fact that you’ve already had two cups of coffee today. Instead of this being looked at negatively, this will make those goals that much easier to achieve. I will be talking about a few key points to make 2016 your year.
- Don’t break the chain
- You’re either going up or going down, there is no same
- GIGO (Goodness In, Goodness Out)
Commit to the process not the end result.
Let’s be real, it’s hard to get into shape. It will be the #1 goal for most of you who will be making a New Year’s Resolution. All with the ill-intent to triumphantly hold those fat jeans up in the air like you’re a finalist on the biggest loser. However, why did you fail the year before and possibly the year before that? Why does your stomach tie into a knot when you think of all the work you’ll have to do to get there? When you think of that end result it seems so far away. However, since we do so many activities on autopilot, can’t we shed weight this way too?
That’s where Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity tip “Don’t Break the Chain,” can be your biggest asset. Since ending it’s run on NBC in 1998, the series Seinfeld has generated $3.1 billion dollars. At the peak of the shows success, Seinfeld was making $1 million per episode. In addition, Seinfeld has gone down in history to be the most profitable 30-minute television show in TV history. In order to do this the creator must have been a genius! Nope, he just understood the process.
In order for Jerry to hit pinnacle success, he understood he had to be a better comic. And in order to be a better comic, he had to create better jokes, and to create better jokes he had to write everyday. When an aspiring comedian named Brad Isaac came to Jerry for advice it went like this:
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
It’s made clearly apparent that the end result didn’t even matter. It didn’t matter the quality of the jokes nor where the jokes would end up. The only thing made utterly important was the consistent act of writing.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, showing up is half the battle. I’d like to challenge that by saying showing up is the battle. By committing to the sheer act of showing up to the gym every single day you will reach your goal. Get your red marker and hang your 365 calendar and whatever you do, don’t break the chain.
You’re Either Going Up or Going Down, There Is No Same
I believe the only time you are actually same is when you die. Even then, that statement is questionable. If you are not pushing forward in an aspect of your life you are actually regressing. If you choose to deprive yourself this year again of one-hour of exercise daily will it kill you today? Of course not! Will it kill you next year? You may pack on a few extra pounds, but most likely not. However, if you still have deprived your body the one-hour of exercise it needs daily up into your golden years, will it have killed you? It probably will be a big contributor. So why do humans neglect change until it’s too late?
Most likely because these acts appear to be so insignificant at the time. However, if mastered, these daily choices can be the biggest contributor to your overall success. Jeff Olsen in the Slight Edge conveys this message the most effectively.
I could tell you that if you would agree to read ten pages of one of these good books every single day, over time, you could not help but accumulate all the knowledge you’d ever need to be as successful as you could ever want to be. Like a penny over time, reading ten pages a day would compound, just like that, and create inside you a ten-million-dollar bank of knowledge. If you kept this up for a year, you would have read 3,650 pages — the equivalent of one or two dozen books of life-transforming material. Would your life have changed? Absolutely. No question.
Yet again, the commitment is built around the act not the end result. However, by committing to the act the end result will come. There is no need to get discouraged when you look in the mirror after a week or two of exercising and see no immediate result. Either way you will be on track to looking healthier or unhealthier. Stay on track, stay focused, and stay committed to the process. You will get there and most importantly, stay there.
GIGO (Goodness In, Goodness Out)
Growing up my mom would always say “Robby, you are who you hang out with, you hang out with hooligans, you’ll become a hooligan.” At the time I didn’t understand this. Although, I’ve come to realise you are what you consume as well. It’s so easy to consume garbage nowadays. I’d say now more than ever. With all the apps, websites, and programs it’s easy to get lost in a life full of distractions and illusions of how life should be. However, if used effectively, our $80/mo smartphone plan can be used to leverage all sorts of valuable information. A February 2015 study by Informate Mobile Intelligence that tracks and measures consumer use of smartphones in 12 countries found the following data on our neighbouring Seattle Americans:
While the U.S. did not lead global markets in terms of amount of time spent on social media networks, it was far and away the highest consumer of monthly data, spending the most time per day on their phones with a staggering 4.7 hours. Considering that the average American is awake for just over 15 hours a day (seeing as we sleep for an average of eight hours and 42 minutes), this means that we spend approximately a third of our time on our phones. Sure, using your smartphone isn’t mutually exclusive with completing other activities, but still, 4.7 hours is a significant chunk of the day.
Ways to make the most out of your smartphone:
- Change your phone background to a quote to stay motivated — especially something encouraging for when you don’t want to do something you’ve committed to.
- Follow inspirational or educational accounts on your top 3 social sites you spend most of your time on. This way you have no choice but to consume goodness when you’re getting lost in the Gram.
- Download Medium and follow tags you find interest in — I’ve found Medium to be super helpful for any thought provoking topics or interesting articles by many thought leaders from respected industries (founded by one of the co-founders of Twitter).
- Give Quora a try — They say they have the best answer to any question and I have yet to disagree with them.
- Overcast — Works as a podcast player, although, they have a library within the app. The lineup of keynotes include Robert Kiyosaki, Tim Ferriss, and more.
In addition, I found a post on Medium where Tomas talks about Tools I Use To Learn, Work And Travel Anywhere.
If you’d like a copy of the PDF calendar so you don’t break the chain of your New Year’s Resolutions just shoot me an email at: email@example.com
You don’t decide your future. You decide your habits and your habits decide your future. — @AgentSteven (Instagram)