What is one area of your life you would consider yourself to be “successful” in?
This isn’t a rhetorical question, I’m actually asking. If I were there in-front of you and asked you this question, what would you say?
Finances? Is there a certain relationship you’ve worked hard to develop? What about your job? Your health? Your lawn? Your role as a parent? Anything. Before you read any further, I want you to stop and think of something specific you would consider yourself to be successful in. I know you may think this sounds like you’re boasting if you say, “I’m successful in blank.”, but you’re not. The definition of the word successful, is the accomplishing of an aim or purpose. Therefore, according to the definition, if you achieve a specific goal or purpose you set out to accomplish, you are successful.
Now that I’ve distracted you enough, please think of something you would consider yourself to be successful in.
Now that you have this thing or area in-mind, I want you to think about how exactly you became successful in this area. Was it by luck? My assumption, is no.
If we look at anyone who is successful in anything, they have a series of patterns (aka habits) they do every day to ensure this outcome. If we look at areas like being a good parent, being a good friend, or having financial success, the people who have or do these things, have done and continue to do very specific things to ensure their attainment. If someone is successful financially, they do certain things every single day (work, invest, save, etc.) to create this outcome. It’s a large focus of their life and affects their behavior in more ways than they are probably even consciously aware of.
Does your experience ring true with my assumption? To be successful in this area you are thinking of, were there certain things you did repeatedly (and probably still continue to do) every day to achieve this result? Of course.
Let’s take a look at two scenarios:
In scenario #1, every day after work John comes home and watches tv. In scenario #2, he instead comes home and goes for a 3-mile walk around his neighborhood. All other things being equal, do you think the difference in these patterns will affect John’s life? In the short-term, probably not. But what if he repeats this pattern every day for 5 years. 10 years. 20 years. Do you think it would make a difference then? Absolutely.
This seemly inconsequential difference in patterns can, when repeated over-time, cause John to gain-weight, have decreased energy and develop various health issues in scenario #1, or cause him to weigh-less, have more energy and be healthier overall (i.e. fewer sicknesses, hospital visits, etc.) in scenario #2. Obviously, these effects are produced and magnified from a combination of different patterns, but the point is this:
If you can make a simple pattern shift like the one described in this scenario, and combine it with 1 or 2 more positive pattern changes, the effects will compound together to create a significant difference in the quality of your life, health and body.
A lot of what I do as a coach, is helping people to recognize seemly insignificant patterns (the way they sit, their morning routine, how they disperse their food throughout the day, etc.), and help them to shift these patterns so that they align with their long-term goals.
We are going to do a variation of this right now with you.
Assessing and Revising Your Patterns
Think about your current and long-term health and body goals. Once you have these at the forefront of your mind, I want you to step back and look at your day/week as if you were someone else. Pretend that you are assessing your own life from someone else’s point of view. Keeping your goals in mind, I want you to identify 2, just 2, daily or weekly patterns that you are running right now that do not serve you, your health or your goals. Really think about it, what are two things you are doing on a daily or weekly basis that do not align with where you want to go?
After you have 2 patterns identified, I want you to write them down. Yes, go get a pen and piece of paper and write these two patterns down or type them out in your phone. I know your phone is sitting there next to you, maybe even…in your hand. Stop reading now, and write these two patterns down. I’ll wait here.
Okay, now that you’ve identified and recorded two patterns, step 2 is I want you to think of a simple way you can adjust these patterns to where they now align with what you want for your health, body and life. Either come-up with a simple little tweak, or an entirely new pattern to replace the old one. The key to this activity is to make sure that whatever two patterns you select, are ones you are willing and committed to changing. If you wrote down “smoking”, but have no desire to quit, then go back and think of a different pattern that you are willing to adjust. My goal for this article is not to convince you to quit any particular pattern, the goal is to help you make a few simple adjustments to get some momentum going, and the only way you will actually make these adjustments is if they are to patterns you are open and committed to changing. So again, take these two patterns (revise them if necessary to fit the above criteria) and write down their new modification. The pattern modifications should be simple, little things you are 100% confident you can do right now. Pick things you have absolute confidence you can follow-through on, and make sure they are written in a way so that you know exactly what the new pattern is and how to do it. Some examples might be:
Old Pattern: I eat fast-food every day for lunch.
New Pattern: I am going to start bringing my lunch to work 3 out of the 5 days.
Old Pattern: I randomly go to the grocery store, and when I do I have no plan for what I’m going to get.
New Pattern: I am going to commit to going to the grocery store at some point each weekend to stock up on food that supports my goals. Doing this will make me committed to eating these things because I won’t want to waste them. This will also make eating in accordance with my goals very convenient because I won’t have to go anywhere after work to get food, it will already be at my house making it an easy option.
Once you have your two new patterns, the third and final step is to start implementing them TODAY if at all possible, tomorrow at the latest.
99% of all articles are passive. You read them, say “That was nice.” then keep scrolling. This one is active. If you clicked on this article and read all the way up to this point, you are obviously interested in changing something. Instead of simply leaving you with a fact, like “Eat less and move more” or “Fruits and vegetables are healthy for you”, I want to leave you with the opportunity to actually start making progress in the areas you want to make progress in. If you did everything we went through in this article, you now have a self-created written plan to start getting you closer to your goals. All that’s left, is to do it. And since you spent the time to read this article, think through your goals and create a plan, why wouldn’t you follow through? The things you wrote down are easy to do, and you are willing and committed to changing the old patterns you identified.
So, before you read another article or “like” a friend’s post, go back and do the steps we went through if you haven’t already, and begin implementing them NOW. You’ll be so glad you did.
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