What if you focused on changing your day instead of your life? Is not, life made up of a series of days? So if you change your days and you have more good days then bad ones, won’t that result in a better life?
As the new year approaches, many people are thinking about making big life changes. Sometimes life changes will change your day, but that’s not always true. You can change jobs, but if your day looks and feels the same, they nothing has really changed except your external circumstances. One thing we can guarantee is that you will likely see another day though.
So as you write down your new years resolutions on page 23 and 25 of The 2014 New Year Guide, think about them in terms of how they change your day. The top 10 new years resolutions usually include:
Besides looking for a New Year’s Eve party and outfit, here are some other things you can do pretty quickly to leave 2013 in the past and start 2014 with a clean slate. You can also find this year-end to do list on page 8 of my free 2014 New Year Guide along with other tools to help you make 2014 your best year yet.
1. Lose weight
2. Get out of debt and save more
3. Change jobs and make more money
4. More family time
5. Reduce stress
6. Drink or smoke less
7. Learn something new
8. Get organized
9. Travel to a new place
10. Helping others more
Unfortunately, only 75% of people maintain their resolutions through the first week, 71% past two weeks, 64% past one month, and 46% past six months.
You know I believe in creating your Perfect Average Day and shifting your life towards experiencing it one intentional choice at a time.
So what if instead of thinking about these changes in the context of a year, what would these goals look like on a daily basis? Oftentimes we focus on the wrong unit of change and our goals becomes overwhelming. But if we focused on how our goal affect our day, then they would become more manageable. The Oregon Ducks have a slogan “Win The Day,” and that’s what I want you to focus on. So, if any of the goals above are your goals for this year, here’s how I challenge you to think about them.
1. What does losing weight look like daily?
On a daily basis, losing weight looks like 15-30 minutes of physical activity. I don’t use the word exercise because people immediately think going to the gym and that creates another obstacle. Physical activity could look like getting off of the train to work one stop early and walking the rest of the way or walking up 20 flights of stairs in your building during a 15 minute break. You can get creative about what physical activity looks like based on your life.
2. What does getting out of debt and save more look like daily?
If your savings goal is $1,000, then that’s only $3 a day. Simply by putting all of your lose change and a few dollar bills in a big Alhambra bottle when you get home could get you there, especially if you have a partner and/or your kids doing that with you. That could mean drinking water on a daily basis instead of going to Starbucks. That could mean bringing your lunch to work twice a week. Most online bank accounts have a feature where you can schedule an automatic transfer from one account to another as often as weekly. $20 a week for 52 weeks is more than $1,000.
3. What does changing jobs and making more money look like daily?
This looks like high performance where you are—even if you hate your current job. Your current job is your greatest asset in any career change. If you perform high there, it positions you for more money there or a new job elsewhere. If you haven’t been performing high because you hate it, that’s only hurting you because now when you go to an interview, you don’t have any recent stories that you can tell about how you created value for your existing company. As an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t hire anyone who can’t demonstrate their value. So how can you find the energy to go above and beyond where you are, knowing that the results you create there will position you for what’s next?
4. What does more family time look like daily?
This could be as simple as making sure that everyone has breakfast or dinner together. Or the family could have a favorite show like The Voice that they watch together on some weeknights. Or the family can have game night where they play board games like Scrabble, Twister, or Apples To Apples together. These are just a few ideas. Once the kids grow up and get too busy, you can create weekly family rituals instead such as movie night or pizza night.
5. What does reducing stress look like daily?
This could mean actually taking your full one-hour lunch break instead of eating lunch at your desk. It could mean meditating for 15 minutes in the morning. It could mean a 90-minute closed-door work period in the morning where you don’t open email or the internet and you focus on what’s most important instead of always focusing on what’s urgent. Or you could take a 15-minute afternoon break and go sit and read in one of your favorite hiding places near the office. This could slo mean outsourcing something in your personal life such as laundry, grocery shopping, gardening, or housekeeping because it’s just not worth your time.
6. What does drinking or smoking less look like daily?
I love Alcoholics Anonymous because they get it. In most cities, they have meetings every day. Two of their quotes are “One day at a time,” and “Don’t drink. Go to meetings.” Overcoming addiction goes beyond will and self-discipline—it’s physical, chemical, neurological, and psychological. And so are some our goals. Like addicts, we self-sabotage—but deep down inside, we know that’s not who we are. If you are dealing with an addiction, I definitely encourage you to find a group because it can help you win the day.
7. What does learning something new look like daily?
This just means reading for 15 minutes. You can be reading a how-to book, a personal development book, a subject matter book, a magazine, or an online article. You can even listen to audio books in the car. Whatever you do, simply declare you learning goal upfront. For example, do you want to learn Spanish? Do you want to learn about World War II history? Do you want to learn about starting a business? Do you want to learn how to code computer programs? Once you’ve set your attention, new information related to you learning goal will come your way and you will find yourself immersed and improving your knowledge of that subject or skill.
8. What does getting organized look like daily?
At the end of each work day, if you simply filed all papers that you won’t need tomorrow, placed any new downloads on your computer desktop into the proper folders, and archived emails that you’ve addressed, you would be 10 times more organized. At home, simply by taking 10 minutes to tidy up before you go to sleep will help you go to sleep and wake up with a clear mind. Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Wash the dishes. Recycle the newspaper. And throw away trash and junk.
9. What does traveling to a new place look like daily?
I live in New York and honestly, tourist know my city better than me. There are so many places around you that you haven’t traveled to yet that you can take advantage of. If you’re looking for a cultural experience, there are usually ethnic communities around you. Go to Little Italy. Go to China Town. Go to Little Havana. Search the web for the best places to visit in your state and take a road trip on the weekend. While you do these mini-trips, keep saving for the big trip that you want to do daily. Figure out the price of the tickets, accommodations, and activities that you want to do and add that onto your savings goal above. Create another jar for it if you want and add something daily.
10. What does helping others more look like daily?
You don’t have to volunteer daily to help others. This is all about being in a spirit of generosity and giving at all times. You can do this by giving $1 to every homeless person you come across. You can hold the door for people. You can put money in someone’s meter. You can help an older person across the street. To increase your commitment to certain people, you can set weekly reminders in your phone or your calendar to call certain people and check on them. Perhaps you have a friend who isn’t doing so well and you want to consistently offer your ear and support. Or you can join some sort of program that provides a schedule for you such as beach cleaning on Saturdays or mentoring on Mondays, or feeding the homeless on Thursdays.
If it doesn’t change your day then it probably won’t change. your life. The difference between a writer and someone who writes is that a writer does it daily. So if you want to BE a writer, not just DO writing, then it must become part of who you are daily. If you’re unemployed and want to be employed, you should still get dressed like you’re going to work. You should be out the door by 8am like you’re being employed. When you focus on BEING first, the DOING and HAVING come naturally and in unexpected ways.
I hope this daily approach helps you simplify your goals so they don’t feel overwhelming.
Change your day. Change your life.
If you found this to be valuable, make it viral by sharing.
I believe in the Creator in you to create a life worth living.
May 2014 be your best year yet!
Comment Below & Inspire Others:
I’m curious to know…
What’s your BIG new year’s resolution & how will you break it down daily?
Let me know in the comments section and inspire others with your answer.