A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


Well here we are at the start of
yet another new year...

What do you mean "It's not the start of a New Year"? Of course it is. Every day is the start of a new year. It might not be January 1st, but what the heck does that matter? That's just an arbitrary date - and a terrible one at that, to use as a starting point for a fresh start.

And don't even think about making
regular New Year's resolutions...

Because in my humble, considered opinion, they are a complete waste of time and effort... something for losers to do to kid themselves that they might make a difference to their sorry existence in the following 12 months...

But by January 10th, everything has fallen apart
again leaving them to slump back into their comfy chair
until the next big effort in 12 months time...

It's ridiculously pathetic... January 1st is just another day. There are at least 365 opportunities to make a fresh start this year, and none is better than any other.

And there's another good reason for ignoring
the traditional New Year's resolution game.

Attempt to make too many changes at one time and - and even you... yes you with the nerves of steel and fiery determination - will find it almost impossible to stick to all of them.

And once you've failed - the negative
imprint will make it even harder
for you to succeed next time.

So what I want to give you today is a framework for making a series of staged changes throughout the year... starting form today!

If you put this plan to work - and it will take some self-discipline - but you will make more positive changes to your life in the next 12 months than you have made in your entire adult life. The end result will be, literally, life changing.

Proper Scientific Type People (PSTP's for short) have looked
into this and found something pretty exciting...

It takes just an average of three weeks – yes, just 21 days - to make a habit change which is permanent. That may be eliminating a negative habit, or forming a new positive one.

You see, the key to making the habit change a permanent, and hence painless, part of your life is repetition. So to make a habit or behaviour change stick you need to repeat it every day, without fail, for around three weeks. After that it becomes a part of you. You will have become re-programmed, if you like.

Now if you tried to change several habits all at once in this way, it simply wouldn't work. Most of us don't have the self-discipline to carry it through. But tackled systematically, one at a time, any of us can make these changes.

What? You don't find this exciting? It’s too slow
for you? Not a quick enough 'fix'?

Well if you carry out the plan rigorously and completely enough, by the time the clock ticks over at midnight one year from today, you will have made a total of 17 major habit changes.

How many have you made in the last ten years?

The first stage in this process is deciding what your new goals are, and then deciding which habit(s) you'll need to change to maximise your chances of reaching them.

So the goal of improving your appearance and health may cause you to target habit changes in the areas of smoking, exercise, diet, grooming, and alcohol intake.

And the goal of increasing your income may lead you towards habit changes in the areas of education, training, research, work rate, hours worked, interpersonal skills.

And so it goes on....

Let's take a simple example.

Say your goal is to increase your income, and to do that you feel you would benefit from working an extra hour each day. That’s a reasonable assumption. An extra hour each working day equates to an extra 30 working days in a year. So where do you get the extra hour?

How about from sleeping time?

Your first habit goal is therefore to get up one hour earlier each day. And to make the system work, you simply carry out the desired action every day for three weeks. Don't think beyond that three week period at this stage. Just view it as something you're going to do for 21 days. That's all.

At the end of that time the new habit will almost certainly be formed and will have become an integral part of the way you live your life. It’s that easy and from there you can move on to your next target, and then the next.

This is a deceptively powerful technique. Can you even begin to imagine the changes you can make in your life if you use each of the three week periods between now and this time next year, to make 17 positive and permanent habit changes?

And can you conceive how much you'll have improved your chances of reaching your goals once you've done it? Just three weeks from today you can have broken your most self-destructive habit, or formed a new positive habit which will help catapult you towards your goals.

But you have to start, and you have to start today...

And that's the difficult part. Because taking action, rather than just thinking 'That's a nice idea', is a whole habit in itself. And it's the first habit you'll need to form before you can make the rest of this work for you.

So what will you change in the next 21 days, and the next 12 months? Take positive action now and the answer will be 'everything you choose'. But sit back and wait and the answer is 'nothing'.

Good luck with this. And let me know how you get on.

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1 Comment:

  1. stephie said...
    great advice ! but I ain't giving up an hour of sleep for no one ! :P

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