It’s the time of year that people make resolutions to do things differently. Why not take a different approach by doing the same thing?
We love to have resolutions. We love to make little promises to ourselves about how we will do things better. We think that this time it will be different. If we just apply ourselves, we can make a change.
But maybe that approach to self-improvement is all wrong. Maybe that approach leaves us always excited about the possibilities the new year brings, only to make it a few days into the year, dreading the rest.
Maybe, instead of looking to change things, we should look at how we can make our dreams come true by doing the same thing.
A Different Approach
Several years ago, I decided to make a change. I went from a disillusioned, overweight couch potato, to a healthy, three-time author, blogger of nearly one thousand posts, business owner, and public speaker. More importantly, I don’t recall a single New Years resolution I made during that time.
Why? Because I found a much better road to self improvement. I found a better way to get what I want out of life and it’s not in big changes, but in simply doing the same things. Much like the way best-selling author John Grisham became a household name, I found the secret to making dreams a reality that I detail in my video on small steps.
Simply put, your mind rejects large changes. It doesn’t like them. The thought is often appealing as the brain craves novelty, but when we get down to the hard work of making it happen day in and day out, our habits fight to maintain the status quo.
Instead, if we find little ways to get things done everyday, like making sure we write five minutes every day, we will find we make more progress with small, constant work, than with big infrequent and erratic effort. We can do more by taking small steps daily than by planning out big changes that freak out our brains.
If you want to make a change in your life, simply find a small way to make that change. Let your mind get accustomed to it. Size the work in a way that it doesn’t seem like work.
Don’t try to write a chapter a week if you’ve never written before. Maybe make it a page a day. If that seems daunting, make it a paragraph a day. If that still triggers alarm bells, just tell yourself you have to sit at the computer and open up your document and type a sentence. You’d be surprised at how much you can write when you don’t have to write.
Keep Moving Forward
Once you set your goal, stick to it. Use the Seinfeld method, and do it every day. Don’t miss a day. Keep track of each day you write by putting x’s on a calendar or with some other method. It will be motivating to see a big long chain of x’s showing you the progress you are making.
At first it may seem ludicrous. How can you finish a book if you only write a paragraph a day? Wouldn’t it be better to write a chapter a week? Yet, after a month, you will realize you have a great start on a book vs. not having ever started because the task seemed so daunting.
If you want this coming year to be amazing, don’t look for big changes. Simply keep doing the same thing in small chunks each day. You will be amazed at how much your life improves without a resolution.