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This Is More Effective Than Your New Year’s Resolution

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New Years Resolution Challenge

We are creatures of habit. Unfortunately most people never decide how they want to live. As a result they get taken wherever the wind blows.

But not Addicted2Success readers, you want more. You live consciously. You decide how you want to live and what you want to have. You build the habits conducive to the good life.

Aristotle famously said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Unfortunately, most people never set goals, or challenge themselves. Year after year on December 31st whilst jacked up on alcohol, in the midst of self-pity they decide to set some new year’s resolutions. Their excitement may last for a few days, or even two weeks, however, because the resolution was formed on alcohol and emotion they rarely see this through.

How do I know? Because I was one of those frustrated individuals on every January the 15th. I decided 9 years ago to no longer be flimsy about my approach to life. I realised that if you don’t consciously choose the direction of your life, you will most likely go with your emotions. This is the last thing you want to do. Success will rarely come on this path.

When you decide the life you want, you start to think about your daily, seemingly unimportant actions. To the onlooker what you are doing seems irrelevant and redundant; you know that those conscious daily actions will become habits.

Your habits will naturally draw your dream life into existence. Leaving that onlooker dumfounded.

“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so masterful at all.” – Michelangelo

Habits and the examined life is something I treasure greatly. About 10 years ago I was, well, a bit of a no-hoper. I was failing school, university was a no go and I lacked any kind of direction. That was until I read my first personal development book. 100s of books later, I’m now my own best-selling personal development author.

It wasn’t just knowledge that awakened me to my greatness. It was the action that succeeded it, that truly made the difference. I started doing 30 day challenges. With the sole purpose of building good, constructive habits that put me on course for the life I knew I was capable of.

In 30 days you can remove a vice or learn a new skill. The time frame holds you accountable to see the challenge through. The main benefit I found from challenging myself was the increase in discipline. Where I was disciplining one area of my life, all the other areas of my life became more structured and productive because I was motivated from honing my mind.

Over the last 10 years I’ve done various challenges such as quit meat, stopped consuming sugary drinks, started writing a book an hour a day and quit masturbating (it was hard – pun intended).

You really can use this simple tool to improve your life drastically. Before you get started ask yourself some questions like:

  • What area of my life can I improve?
  • What could I give up that would make me happier/healthier?
  • What would excite me for 30 days?

From your answers you should have an idea where you want to start.

challenge picture quote
 

I have failed many times, so let me give you 5 tips to help you successfully complete your first 30 day challenge.

 

1. Know your success criteria

If you don’t know where you’re going you won’t know when you get there. By clearly defining your outcome and what you need to do (or don’t do) daily, you will be setting yourself up for success.

When I first started doing the challenges I would have a loose idea but never clearly define it. This caused many slip-ups, especially when I was quitting sugary drinks.

 

2. Nothing wrong with failing

Yep, it’s true. There is absolutely nothing wrong with failing a challenge. Mistakes happen, what matters is you learn from it and start again. Try not to leave it too long before you start the 30 days again, maximum of 3 days.

Life has a funny habit of getting in the way. Then it’s 2 months later and we never started again. See through what you committed to completing, after all there was a reason you started.

 

3. Visualise yourself succeeding 

Let’s say you are doing 5am wake ups for the 30 days. For a night owl this is an unbelievably hard challenge – I know I’ve done it. What helped me was visualising myself hearing the alarm clock, waking up (and being happy about it) and getting straight out of bed to make a coffee. You can do this daily, weekly or once. The more frequent you do it, the more impact it will have.

When we visualise a better future we are creating a neural pathway in our brain. This pathway will trick your mind into accepting this as truth.

 

4. Do one challenge at a time

It’s easy to get carried away. I’m still struggling to keep to one at a time. Now I just want change, hopefully you will too. If that’s the case it’s easy to want to do multiple challenges at once. The issue here is that we only have a finite amount of will power each day.

Some of these challenges can be very trying. To start with just pick one that will enrich your life.

Then after your first challenge, consider picking two that compliment each other if you have the desire to do more than one.

 

5. Reward yourself

It’s important to reward yourself. You may get disheartened at times throughout the challenge. Energy is low, will power fading and you are starting to forget why you even began.

It’s important to reward yourself each week with something that is meaningful to you. That may be your favourite meal, a hot bath or drinking with your buddies.

 

Conclusion

Most of my good habits that are building success in my life right now have come from doing these 30 day challenges.

By challenging yourself you will increase your motivation levels, clarity for your goals and be building success habits that will propel you towards your dreams.

So many people in life don’t try or at best set New Year’s resolutions, but you’re different.

Challenge yourself, I dare you!

 

New Years Resolution – Learning Better Habits

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Athena

    Jun 8, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    great points altogether, you simply gained a new reader.
    What may you recommend about your submit that you made some days in the past?

    Any certain?

  2. Santo

    Jun 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

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    May 28, 2015 at 1:04 pm

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  4. Trang, Dinh Thao Doan

    Jan 8, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Stuart,
    Firt and foremost, I wanna say thank you with all my heart for this useful post.
    I’m writing these lines for you with a strongly hope that you can help me or share to me what should I do to improve my status now.
    I’m 20 year olds. My body type is so sensible with weight. I used to lose weight successfully but in a unhealthy way. I study in university that far away from my house, living far away my mother so I don’t eat full. I always break the meal or only eat 2 meals a day and sleep when I’m tired. I lose 5 kilogram and have a shape body that I used to dream year ago. But now, when I finish my final exam of this semester, I come back home with mother & I begin back my unhealthy diet. I don’t know what’s the problem with my stomach ? Despite of eating full at lunch, 1-2hours later, I feel hungry, my stomach becomes bad, it makes me feel that I can’t stand unless eating so much sugary food. This status lasts around 10 days and now I raise 6kilogram, my body becomes so ugly and my mind is much worst right now.

    I really feel upset. I think that I’m a un-discipline person. I’ve read so many books about development-self , about how to change habit. But I still can’t control my stomach, my hand, my foot to find food.

    I find the support medicine to lose weight. It helps me, but, again, the lack of my discipline makes me fail. I addict in coffee, morning,afternoon and evening, whenever I sit in my work table, my mind think of coffee immediately. And coffee makes my support medicine useless.

    I really hope you can help me to find out a exit way for this bad status. Please help me !

    Wait your reply with all my hope !

    Best Regards,

    Trang.

    • Stuart Ralph

      Jan 10, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Trang,

      Thanks for your kind words and comment.

      Sorry to hear you have be struggling. The two best diets and ways to eat in my opinion is the Paleo Diet and the Slow Carb diet. They are both based on lots of vegetables and good meats/fish. They both limit and forbid carbs and refined sugars.

      You say you are having a tough time giving up sugar, this is because sugar is as addictive as some drugs. If sugar is your main issue do a 30 day challenge to quit it. Don’t go near any sugars, fully commit yourself to this.

      Or you could do the Paleo diet or slow carb diet for 30 days. However if you struggle with will power, maybe start with no sugary drinks or foods. The healthier you eat the more discipline and energy you will have.

      All the best!
      Stu

  5. RAM

    Dec 30, 2014 at 7:31 am

    WORTH READING . Well said . I am trying to build my body and am failing every time . The main reason is “I am not able to wake up early” I set alarm every night and thoguht of waking up at 6 !!! . But still I fail . I have missed my gym day today too . I am really worried about it .

    I KNOW IT . I have to make it as a habit to wake up at 6 !!! But I am not sure Whats making me not to do it . I have passion about it always . But now I am thinking IS IT REALLY MY PASSION . If its my passion then I could have been doing it right!!! I dont know how to figure it!!!

    • Cody Faldyn

      Dec 31, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      RAM do you read books? If so I recommend you check out either The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod or Limitless Energy by Brandon Epstein. If you like summaries like me, I work for The Entrepreneurs Library and we interviewed both authors. You can check em out on episodes 65 and 44 at theELpodcast.com/books.

      I was having the same problems until I met Brandon Epstein at a conference. He has been giving me endless amounts of tips and advice for the past 4 months and ive gotten alot better at seeing more energy and having an easier time waking up everyday at 5am. I suggest subscribing to his email list at entrepreneurfitness.com.

      Hope all this helps buddy! Stay strong there are many people willing to help you out. 🙂

      Happy 2015!

    • Stuart Ralph

      Dec 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks for the comment RAM. To add to Cody’s great advice. Is there another time you can train i.e. evening, lunchtime etc? If not consider a 30 day challenge, give a friend some money that they can keep if you don’t get up. It worked for me and I’m not a morning person. If the morning is the only time you can train then get to bed as early as you can, have your alarm clock away from your bed and have a motivational quote or pic of your goal by your alarm clock which will inspire you. It’s all about building the habit. Know that it will be really hard and painful, but after a week you’ll start to love it!

      Hope that helps,
      Stu

  6. Cody Faldyn

    Dec 29, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    YES!! I am not alone! (LOL). I met a colleague at a podcasting conference who got me hooked on 30 day challenges. Although I’ve been mainly trying food challenges, I’m going on my 3rd 30-day challenge and it’s life changing for sure. My friends think I’m crazy, so it feels awesome to have read this article today. Good stuff Stuart…definitely going to check out your book. 🙂 Cheers to being crazy!

    • Stuart Ralph

      Dec 30, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Hi Cody,

      Haha you are not alone. I too get weird looks for my challenges. I find it funny.

      Great work on the challenges so far. My book should have a few nuggets in there for you. You are already well on your way to an excellent life!

      Keep it up,
      Stu

  7. Jazzel Yousef

    Dec 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    This looks like a great way to accomplishing my goals. Lets do this!!

  8. juliana

    Dec 27, 2014 at 12:09 am

    my 2015 resolution is to start another ablog via wordpress,wish me success ..Thank you,happy year

    • Stuart Ralph

      Dec 27, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Hey Juliana,

      Thanks for reading. Good luck with your goal.

      To your success,
      Stu

  9. Tim Denning

    Dec 26, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I did a 30 day challenge back in 2012 after attending a Tony Robbins event and I have still kept up the habit of cold press juicing to this day. Its a great way to try something new and turn it into a habit. I also had someone who had the same 30 days challenge as me so I was accountable for keeping the habit going otherwise I would have the pain of telling that person that I failed.
    So often people make news years resolutions and never stick to it. I found it important to write the goals down and then actively track them weekly or even daily. This important step is so widely known yet very few people actually do it. This is because their reasons for wanting the change are not strong enough. This is the most important thing to figure this out first.

    • Stuart Ralph

      Dec 27, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Hey Tim, thanks for reading. Great work on doing one and keeping it up to this day!!!

      Good luck in any future challenges.

      Stu

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