Why Successful Habits Are About Structure, Not Effort

Full article from Fast Company can be found HERE

START WITH A SMALL GOAL
The number one driver of whether a habit change is a success or not  is how big the initial goal is. Because everyone, if they’re consistent, will eventually achieve something massive. But the people that end up failing are the people trying to achieve overnight success.

CONSISTENCY TRUMPS EVERYTHING
The idea is to start with something really, really small and let it grow into a bigger habit or routine. You could write your goal as “go the the gym.” Not “stay at the gym for an hour,” but just “get to the gym.” Put on your workout clothes. It’s not that you have to run five miles; what matters is that you just get your running shoes on three times a week. In a month or two months, you’ll be running as far as you want to run. That consistency ends up trumping everything else that you can do with goal setting.

SCHEDULE IT AND CREATE AN AUTOMATIC REMINDER
You can be motivated, you can be able, but if you forget to do it, you’re not going to make any progress. Having a trigger in your life is a big part of that structure.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO DO IT

If you go to a gym, a lot of time it’s hard because you don’t know what exactly to do, you’re shy or uncomfortable around some of the machines. That’s why a lot of people get a coach at the gym, it makes it easier for them to get started. Then on the trigger part, you can link your goal to a pre-existing behavior.

SET YOUR PRIORITIES FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
For me, my number one productivity practice is to set priorities at the beginning of the day, before I get lost in the chaos that goes on around me. When I sit down at my desk, I set priorities. I’ve trained myself that that’s the trigger for this other goal that’s not as natural, but is actually really important to me. It was a major a-ha moment when I realized that productivity is about how important the things that I get done are. I used to count how many things I crossed off my to-do list. Now, much more importantly, I actually work in the prioritized order.

PICK A REPLACEMENT HABIT
A common tactic applicable to any type of behavior change is picking a replacement habit. If you have a bad habit, the way to break it is not to just will yourself, which is a ton of effort, but to give yourself an alternative.

 

19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

running snowREUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A woman jogs past snow covered beach huts in Brighton, southern England January 7, 2010.

You have to do the hard things.

  1. You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  2. You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  3. You have to give more than you get in return right away.
  4. You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  5. You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  6. You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
  7. You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  8. You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  9. You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
  10. You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
  11. You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
  12. You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
  13. You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  14. You have to try and fail and try again.
  15. You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
  16. You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
  17. You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
  18. You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
  19. You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
You have to do the hard things. The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you.
The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.
Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference
between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.
The hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away.
To pretend like they don’t apply to you.
The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success
is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people
don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.
Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.
 

Read more: http://danwaldschmidt.com/2014/01/attitude/hard-things#ixzz2wGHSQgZG

 

Role Model of the Week: 81 Year Old Runs a Marathon Every Month

Many of us have excuses for our struggles, your pal Jimmy included. You can’t find a job because of the economy. You don’t have time to exercise. You can’t find love in your city. You’re getting too old. Your body can’t do the things it used to. Usually it helps to find a role model that can prove that you can. Case and point, this man:

Doctor’s Prescription for Beating Cancer: Running More Than 200 Marathons (article from yahoo!)

By  | The Good News – Fri, Mar 7, 2014 10:50 AM EST

photo courtesy of Dr. Moses ChristianThe 81-year-old physician battling prostate cancer will run his 19th L.A. marathon on Sunday, one of more than 200 marathons he’s run over 18 years. Christian was diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease in 1994, and it has since metastasized and spread to his spine. Nevertheless, the man on a mission continues to work full time as a general surgeon and practitioner in Beaumont, California, and runs a marathon every month.

Furthermore, he’s skipped chemotherapy in favor of a vegetarian diet, alternative medicine, and, most importantly, running.

“One thing that’s going through my mind when I run is the health benefit, and then the challenge of it, the determination,” Christian tells the Good News Blog. “Especially when you do one a month. There are times when you think you can’t do it because of the pain and all, but I tell myself, no I have to finish it. How can I go back after travelling and going this distance and tell the people at home that I quit?”

Dr. Moses ChristianWhile Christian only began running only at age 61, he has conquered more than many who’ve been hitting the trails their entire lives. For 14 years, the doctor has run a marathon every single month. He got into it when his cousin dared him and quickly became hooked.

Christian initially believed running great distances was bad for the knees, but he changed his mind once he took up the sport.

“It is a good addiction,” Christian remarks. “One of the secrets I have lived this long with the cancer is my exercise. A good diet and a stress-free life, it’s a holistic approach.”

Christian opted out of radiation years ago, as he felt the treatment did more harm than good. He was told surgery wasn’t an option, which actually made him happy because he didn’t want to quit running.

As a substitute, the doctor visited an alternative medicine clinic and started taking all-natural vaccines. Keeping his health in check, he adopted a mostly vegetarian and vegan diet, with the occasional serving of fish and ice cream.

Otherwise, it’s all about marathons. Christian even ran the Boston Marathon in 2013, which was disrupted by two fatal bombings. He was on mile 20 when officials halted the competition.

“They told me to stop. They said I couldn’t go any further,” he recalls. “They said to come rest in the tent. I said no. I had planned whatever happens, I’m going to finish. I took my own road, my own route. I’m a very stubborn man.”

Dr. Moses ChristianChristian finished the 26.2 miles his own way and would later learn what had transpired.

In addition to running, the spry senior participates in biathlons and is a thrill seeker. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 1997 and went bungee jumping in New Zealand in 2007.

“Running a marathon is much harder than jumping. You just close your eyes and jump and trust the rope,” Christian says.

It’s his ability to look beyond cancer that makes him such a winner. He hangs his medals in his office as a means of motivating patients, and he pushes everyone to test their limits.

His motto is to lead by example.

“Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God,” Christian remarks. “Be an inspiration to others.”

Harvard Study: An Actual Formula for Happiness and Success

This isn’t just another feel-good chart or quote. Research shows that completing the simple tasks on this chart daily for 21 days trains your brain to retain a pattern of scanning the world for the positive, not for the negative. Dopamine has two functions: it makes you happier, AND it turns on all of the learning centers in your brain which, for those of you who don’t know, is pretty awesome.

Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 12.16.02 PM

At this point, if there is any reader who still doesn’t see the benefit of this, feel free to watch this TedX presentation, which elaborates on it (and makes you giggle in the process, which is always fun).

The World’s Most Amazing Job

For those of you who think work and fun simply don’t mix,

prepare to have your minds blasted!

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