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Drop Your New Year’s Resolution and Change Your Environment Instead


A Better New Year’s Strategy: Change Your Environment

A goal-resistant environment kills goals. Humans prefer the easy way, and that’s often because that’s all we have energy for. When your environment is against you, you will spend most or all of your energy fighting against it rather than pursuing greatness.

Jacksonville Beach, FL — Exercise In Paradise

Jacksonville Beach was a nice place to live. My apartment was spacious. Ample sunshine year round and the beach nearby encouraged outdoor activities, which not only presented opportunities for exercise, but also vitamin D (via sunshine). I also had gym nearby to exercise and play indoor basketball.

Portland, OR — Date, Eat, Travel, and Live Simply

I moved to Portland and sold my car. In the center of Portland, it was possible to live without a car, which dramatically simplified my life. I could easily walk to places of interest, which wasn’t realistic in Jacksonville. One of the places I could walk to was the light rail, which went straight into the airport. This made it extremely convenient to fly places.

Seattle, WA — Good Friends and Food on an Alien Planet

In Seattle, I’ve got two close friends who live in the same apartment building as I do. This alone has been a huge improvement for my emotional health and enjoyment of life. I got extremely lonely in Jacksonville and Portland.

Your Environment Shapes You Before You Do

Environment is your base. It shapes your lifestyle before you get a chance to do it yourself. Therefore, when possible, environment change should be a foundational first step of any change attempt.

What I’ve Learned From Moving Three Times in Three Years

No environment is perfect. If anyone would have found the perfect place to live, it would be me. I’ve searched for hundreds of hours, digging deep into possible living arrangements, areas, cultures, amenities, and so on. No place had it all (or if it did, it was outrageously expensive).

The New Year Approaches!

As you go into the new year, consider your environment first. I’m not even saying that you have to move to a new place. Changing your environment can also mean changing the inside of your home, the things you own, or the people you spend time with. For example:

  • Putting a treadmill in your house could decrease resistance enough to make exercise a regular thing (make your treadmill goals mini-sized).
  • Clearing out clutter you don’t need could make you more relaxed and decrease your stress levels
  • Choosing to avoid (or engage more with) someone could change your emotional health and influence your decisions and perspective

About the Author

Stephen Guise is the author of three books, including the worldwide bestseller, Mini Habits, which is available in 17 languages. You can learn more about him here.

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