I love a new year.
It’s a great time to start fresh and to commit to becoming a better person, whether that’s in terms of health, relationships, career or anything else.
But there’s one thing I don’t like about a new year and the resolutions it brings … we often stop and wait for it.
You know what I mean. It’s the “Well, things are going to be busy for the next couple of months, so I’ll wait to get started in January” approach.
Have you fallen into this trap before? I know I have. Maybe you’re doing it right now? Maybe there’s something in your life that you’d really love to change, but you’re putting it off until January 1 rolls around.
3 Steps to Change Your Life Right Now
There is never going to be a perfect time.
Whether it’s now, or on January 1, there is never going to be an easy time to change your life. Change is always hard, but it’s always worth it, and that’s why I’d like to help you get started now. Don’t wait.
Step #1: Plan Backwards
Fast-forward you life one year into the future. What would you like to see changed? Use that change (12 months from now) as your starting place, and plan backwards to see what smaller milestones you will need to hit along the way.
For example, imagine that your goal is to lose 25 pounds within the next year. That’s a great goal, but it’s also very complex. Thinking about all the food choices, the exercise and the new lifestyle habits you’d have to incorporate to lose 25 pounds is overwhelming.
Instead, let’s break down that goal. Losing 25 pounds in one year requires losing about 2 pounds per month. That milestone sure sounds more approachable than the year-long goal you started with!
What’s your goal for the next year? How does it look when you plan backwards to break it into smaller milestones?
Step #2: Master One New Habit
Now that you’ve got an approachable milestone that you can begin working on right now, it’s time to determine the What? What exactly are you going to do to reach that first mini-goal?
In our weight-loss example, it would be tempting to try to make some major changes: Exercise with high-intensity seven days per week! Eat only broccoli and chicken! Sleep 12 hours per day!
Yeah, those actions would likely get you to your milestone, but there’s no way you’ll ever sustain such a pace (at least I know I couldn’t do it!).
I like to challenge my clients to think about mastering just one new habit that will help them work towards their first milestone. So, with a goal for this month of losing 2 pounds, where can you begin?
- Go walking for 15 minutes each day
- Add a vegetable to each of your meals
- Drink 3 extra glasses of water each day
These are just a few examples of single actions that you can certainly master this month. In fact, I bet you could master one of these without it even feeling like much effort at all.
Yes, these might seem small, but just imagine where you will be in 12 months when you have added 12 of these as HABITS! That’s exciting.
Step #3: Get Some Accountability
You’ve got your plan, and you’ve broken it into achievable milestones. You’ve also chosen one new habit that you’re going to tackle right now — great!
The final hurdle is staying the course.
While a 25-pound weight-loss sounds very motivating, that goal can be lost when it seems so far in the future. Between now and then there will be times when it feels like you’re not making any progress at all, even though that’s not the truth.
This is where accountability is crucial. Do you have someone who cares about your success? Ask this person to check in with you. Give him or her specific questions that you know you’ll need to be asked. For example, “Did you get your walking done today?” or “Did you buy your vegetables for the week?”
The more people you have on your side, the more likely you will be to make your changes happen. Nobody can become the best version of themselves if they try to do it alone — we all need other people!
Want Us To Help?
You’re all set to get started right now. Don’t wait for the new year when you can begin making changes today.
And then, we’d love to help you take those changes and give them an amazing boost in January! We’re launching a health and fitness program called the FBG 10 in 4 Challenge that will give you the guidance and accountability you need to see some serious changes in 2017.
Click here to save your spot, but …
Don’t wait for this new challenge to begin. How are you going to start today? Tell us in the comments section below! —Dave
Dave Smith is a professional fitness and weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” in 2013. He shares awesome health and weight-loss tips through his blog and podcast that you can find at makeyourbodywork.com.