I spent a good chunk of time this weekend re-watching Jim Rohn’s fabulous series “How to Have Your Best Year Ever!” I got it many years ago – long enough ago that it is on VHS – and it’s been at least 7 or 8 years since I originally watched it. The videos are from a live seminar he did.
One of the things Rohn talks about early on is how, “Failure is simply a few errors in judgement repeated every day.” I may not have realized how true this statement was the first time I went through this series, but with the additional life experience I have now, I fully understand how true this statement is.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with several thousand people over the years. Without exception, most people have something in their life that they would like to change. Most people are under the false belief that it always takes massive change to produce massive results. That’s not always the case. Typically, it’s small things that people do on a regular basis that add up to negative results.
I wrote earlier today about the real cost of a daily Starbucks coffee. This is a perfect example of how one simple habit can result in negative repercussions on our health and our finances.
People often fall into two camps:
1. They are aware of their bad habits but don’t make changes because they figure that the impact is so insignificant it wouldn’t be worth it to make a change.
2. They intentionally avoid awareness. You may know you have a daily cup of calorie-rich coffee but you don’t actually check how many calories are in it. You don’t calculate how many calories that works out to over a year. You may see yourself spending $3-5 at a time for a coffee but don’t add up how much that costs you over a year. It’s less painful for us to be ignorant.
How to make changes
If there are areas of your life you aren’t happy with and want to improve upon, consider what your current habits are. What are the real implications of your habits? What is the true cost? What changes can you make to these behaviors to start to see results stack up? What positive behaviors can you replace these negative ones with?
You don’t need to totally revamp your habits in every area of your life overnight. But making one change at a time – give yourself 30 days of replacing an old habit with a new one – will result in significant changes over time.
Let’s say that two challenges for you are improving your relationships with others and losing 20 pounds…..
Here’s what a personal game plan may look like over the next 9 months:
Month 1 – Replace your daily afternoon chocolate bar with an apple.
Month 2 – Set a weekly date night with your spouse/significant other.
Month 3 – Take your spouse/significant other and children for a walk after dinner 5 days a week.
Month 4 – Set a weekly family night where you all disconnect, enjoy preparing a meal together and engage in some activity together.
Month 5 – Set a monthly night out with a small group of friends.
Month 6 – Replace the cream in your coffee with skim milk.
Month 7 – Replace the high sugar cereals and snacks in your house with healthier options.
Month 8 – Replace high calorie beverages with water.
Month 9 – Limit unhealthy fast food options to once a month.
On their own, taken a day at a time, these actions may not seem to be huge things. But over time, the results will compound. I can guarantee you if you make a personal game plan like this and tackle one thing a month, your life will start to look entirely different.