Do you feel as if January has lasted for about 6 months? Me too. It's the last day of this month, and it already feels like we should be well into the second half of this year. There is a reason that the first month of the year is known to be a killer of resolutions, big goals and good habits. You come back from the holidays, excited about a new year, and then it hits you how all that time off, holiday spending, traveling, and overeating has set you back. You now not only have the big goals you set looming ahead of you, but you most likely have to backtrack to get back to your regular starting point before you can even hit the ground running. It's almost like a mass shared memory loss how we all forget how drudgingly difficult January always is, and in the wake of the difficulty, we often just lock-down and allow ourselves to be completed thrown off track.
The key to getting back in the game and working towards your goals isn't in accomplishing a huge task but in your daily habits.
Before we move on, take a moment and write those goals down again. Yes, those same goals you were on fire for only a month ago. Write them down in a journal, a scrap of paper, or even in the notes in your phone. It's likely that if you've fallen off the path to your goals, you've pretty much written them off, put them on hold, or given up on them altogether. Let me, let you in on a HUGE secret: getting "back on the wagon" is as easy as replacing a few small habits every day. That's right. Let's dive right into the high-performance habits you can start TODAY.
Change Your Morning Habits
If you read this and groan, it's likely that you're not a "morning person", but did you know that is changeable too? How we begin our day is paramount to how we end our day and everything in the middle. Here are a few small, high-performance habits to try this week to change the trajectory of your day:
Begin your day earlier. Even though I don't have a "set" schedule or an office to report to, I begin my day at 6 am.
Start your day without screens. Be honest, is opening apps automatic first thing in the morning? This begins your day with distraction and often leads us right into that "fog" we exist in all day long. No matter what the app of choice is, make it wait, and start your day actually waking up.
No snooze, no laying in bed. This is a hard one. Did you know you can undo the restful feeling of a full night of sleep by killing your sleep cycle with the snooze button? The best way to start your day with intention, and reaffirm to yourself that your yes is yes, and your no is no, is to wake up and get up when your first alarm goes off.
Change Your Habits to Increase Your Energy Levels
How many times in January did you have an opportunity to choose something productive, but simply didn't have the energy? Yep! You guessed it. This is fixable too. What could you get accomplished if you had energy throughout the day? You can, but you have to change your habits to boost your energy when it's falling and drop the habits that zap the energy from you. Here's what you can try:
Make sure to get in 30 minutes of moving your body every day. This doesn't have to be the gym, it can mean going for a walk on your lunch break, having a dance break with your earbuds in, or just doing jumping jacks in your office. Move your body, change your mind, (Rachel Hollis). I promise.
Make a habit of noting when your peak energy times are, and when it bottoms out. When you know how your energy ebbs and flows throughout the day, you can add in habits that will increase your energy.
Identify and Drop Your Time-Wasting Habits
I saved this one for last in the article today, because while adding habits will help propel you to your goals, identifying and dropping your bad habits will set you free to chase your goals all out.
Identify what habits are wasting your time. I'm leaving this fairly open-ended because we all have different time-wasting habits, but I am including several common time-wasting habits that you won't want to drop, but will make an incredible difference in your life if you do:
Stop scrolling on social media. I'm not telling you to stop creating content, but as someone who produces content as part of my business, I'm telling you that you don't have to consume social media to create consumable social media content.
Close the tabs you don't need. Coming from someone who used to have so many tabs open she would forget what was up, this made a huge difference in productivity for me. Only keep open what you need and it will keep you from switching back and forth so much where you're not getting anything done.
Stop using other media as "background" noise. Having a tv show going in the background, a YouTube video, or whatever else may seem harmless, but it is unnecessarily fragmenting your attention from what you should be focusing on. Give the task-at-hand your FULL attention and watch how much better you do it, how much quicker it gets done, and how much more energy you have afterward.
We all set big goals for 2020 whether we made it public or we kept it secret in our hearts. Whether it's to make a million dollars, buy a new house, lose the weight you've been trying to shed for years, go full-time with your business, or whatever else that sets your heart on fire. All these massive goals have one thing in common: they are built on a foundation of everyday habits that compound into big moves. There is nothing you can't do if you will break it down into its smallest pieces, and choose to reject the habits that don't support your goal and embrace the ones that propel you forward.
I hope this article helps you pivot back into your goal, and changes the trajectory of your February and entire 2020. Let me know what your goals are in the comments below, or send me a line by connecting with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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