WHY YOUR RESOLUTIONS FAILπŸ˜•

Here is a notice I got from WordPress the other day. I have posted blogs for 200 days in a row. One of my resolutions is to have a blog everyday this year, so that number should be a lot higher come the end of the year.

It got me thinking of resolutions we make and why they fail. As a regular gym goer, it is amusing to see how busy the gyms are on January 1st, and how dead they are on January 31st! This is because most people miss a key ingredient to success. I’m writing this so you are not one of those people.

Let’s say you do 20 squats today. If you look in the mirror, what difference would you see? My guess is not much. Let us say you do 20 squats a day for a week. Now look in the mirror, other than the look of mild discomfort on your face, I’m not sure there would be much difference. Now…let us say you did 20 squats a day, which should take no more than 5 minutes of your day, for 200 days. If you look in the mirror would there be a difference? You know the answer would be yes. In fact, the way your clothes fit would tell you the answer before you looked in the mirror.

Here is the funny thing. We know if we did this minor change, that takes all of 5 minutes, for 200 days there would be a significant change. Yet, after a week, maybe two, we have given up on most of our resolutions. Why? We forgot the key of consistency! Even a small change, done long enough, will bring big results. What small change can you start, and stick with for 200 days, that will make a big difference?

Here’s another bonus. If you stick with it for 200 days, like my blogs, you won’t want to stop. Once you see the big improvement, your motivation and dedication will be through the roof!

GET STARTED… KEEP GOING!πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ

Coming up on the first full weekend of the new year. How are those resolutions going? Hopefully you made it a full 2 weeks. One of the reasons resolutions, or goals, fail is that we rely too much on motivation. Once motivation starts to fade, we are often unable to stay committed to our end result.

A great way to make sure that we stay on the path to our goals is to set up habits that serve us. Think of your goal for the new year. Is there a small habit you could set up to keep you moving in the right direction? Simple examples are swapping your coffee for green tea if you want to cut down on caffeine. Parking future away at stores if your goal is to increase your steps. Pick a time to tell your spouse one thing you are grateful for if your goal is to increase the appreciation in your relationship.

What is your goal? Is there a simple habit you can start before the motivation begins to fade? Let’s make the new year a success!

BUILD SLOWLY 🐌

A while back we talked about this blog being viewed in all but roughly 6 or 8 countries of the world. Some have political barriers that will not allow us to be viewed there. Others, like Greenland, are not so populated and may take some time to reach. I have been writing these posts for over 10 years now. (Has it really been that long?!) Sharing my journey and everything I have learned with all of you. Last year, I started my own podcast. You can connect to it by clicking the link at the end of this post. As of the writing of this post, it is followed in 6 countries. Quite the opposite of this blog. Still, I have only recording episodes for 5 or 6 months verses the 10 years of writing blogs.

While building an audience for this blog, I was reminded of lessons I give my life-coaching clients – build slowly. It is easier to add small positive steps in the right direction than to do a dramatic change in your direction. The same holds true for changes we wish to make in our life. If we have spent months on the couch eating pizza and watching movies, than going to the gym 5 days a week would be a stretch we may find it difficult to maintain. However, going for a walk after dinner, parking a little further away at the store to get a few more steps or simply finding a physical activity we enjoy helps us get started on the right path. I love the picture above because it shows little ways to get started doing big things. You want to begin a practice of meditation? Start by taking a deep breath before a sip of coffee. Want to journal, but find it difficult to sit down and write? Talk to yourself in the car. Not only will it get you in the practice of verbalizing your thoughts and feelings, as a bonus it will freak out the other drivers around you.

It any endeavor we embark on, doing so beginning slowly will give us the best chance to maintain these healthy habits. Want to cut down on your drinking? Start by consuming more healthy beverages such as iced herbal tea, (there are some delicious and functional options), green tea or of course, water. Want to cut down on your internet viewing? Try scheduling a fun coffee appointment with friends once a week. Would you like to know a secret to accomplishing goals and changing to a healthier lifestyle easier and with less stress? I am sure all of us would. Here is something I have discovered. It is far easier to add positive things in your life than to solely focus on eliminating something negative. When you focus on eliminating something negative, your brain encompasses a feeling of less, sacrifice or being deprived. “You mean I can’t eat all of the pizza I want and still lose that belly I have been carrying around?” If you focus on adding something healthier your brain either has a feeling of getting healthier at best, or at least does not have the feeling of lack at worst. “Wow, this veggie chili not only tastes good, but is good for me?”

In closing, focus on building slowly and sustainably. Little wins and accomplishments will help you gain and keep momentum as you are moving in the direction of a more amazing life. Focusing on quality changes instead of quantity also increases success. Instead of trying to go for a run, followed by the gym, followed by a yoga class, focus on doing 2 sets of 10 squats every day with perfect form. You will gain the momentum of sticking with a healthy habit. Soon, you will notice a difference, and that will not only help you gain further momentum, but may motivate you to add other positive changes. Build slowly, but keep building my friends.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE “LIVING THE DREAM WITH NEIL PANOSIAN ” PODCAST 😎

MAKE A NEW CHOICE!πŸ˜ƒ

Looking back on this past year, there are things we wish we would have done differently. There are also things that we wish would have turned out differently. When we backtrack in our minds, let us not just be filled with frustration and regret, but look at the decisions we made that led up to those outcomes.

Tony Robbins says, “Our decisions determine our destiny.” I believe that to be true. You decide to work at a certain place and maybe that it where you meet the person who ends up being the love of your life. You decide to move to a certain neighborhood and that determines where you shop and the people you interact with.

It is not just these grand decisions that determine our destiny. In fact, to a greater degree, it is the small daily decisions that have the biggest impact on our lives. At every meal, what you decide to put in your mouth will determine the energy you have, the health of your body, the strength of your immune system, and your overall appearance. The people you surround yourself with has one of the greatest impact on your life. They say you are the culmination of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most.

One of the most powerful decisions we make is the words we use. Not only in our conversations with others, but also with ourselves. If you tell yourself, “I feel like I am on the verge of death.” When you have a cold, it will have you feeling one way. If you say, “I’m a little under the weather, but I’m getting better. ” will lend itself to a far different feeling. Some people have a hard time believing this is so. If you are one of those people, I ask you to do this little experiment. Spend some time with someone you know who is generally a melancholy individual. Really listen to how they speak and the words they use. Then, after you have given yourself some time to cleanse your ears, do the same with someone who always seems to be in a good mood. Notice the difference in how they speak.

Another important aspect to consider is the thoughts we frequently have, which are dictated by the things we say internally and externally, embed themselves in our subconscious mind. This is a whole conversation in itself. Just note when you frequently think and say the same thing, it becomes a habit and part of our reality. That holds true if it is positive or negative.

This year, let us focus on making better decisions and that will provide us better outcomes. This is a daily adventure. Thinking about what we put in our bodies. To the ever important, what we think and what we say. Surround yourself with positive, motivated people. It will not only help you improve your inner and outer dialog, but you may gain insight on some better decisions. I know I’m going to work on mine. Think of one positive and empowering phrase you can begin to use today. If you feel comfortable, please share it with the rest of us.

GET EXCITED!πŸ€—

It is day 2 of the New Year. How are your new year goals coming? Hopefully 2 days in you are still going strong. We all hear the clichΓ© about the gym being full January 1st and empty by the 14th. As someone who goes to the gym regularly, I can attest to the truth of this. We know our drive will start to fade.

That is why it is vital to do something now to keep our excitement level up. I suggest that you plan celebrating small goals. Make it one week going to the gym? Buy yourself a new workout outfit. When you reach one month plan another treat. Maybe a spa day? Keep this up while the difficult process of becoming a habit takes place.

It is good to foster things to stay motivated. Maybe put together a list of songs that get you pumped up and create a Playlist. Think of movies that inspire you to be your best and work toward your goals. It is time to get these and other ideas together now. That way, when your motivation begins to fade, which it will, you have a little extra help.

A few other ideas that were given to me to help stay motivated are having a vision board, buying a new outfit in the size you would like to become, start a savings account with weekly or monthly goals. These and many others would be great ideas. What are yours?

ELIMINATE THE OUTCOME πŸ€”

Here we go! The last day of the year. As we look forward to the new year, many of us will make resolutions and think about what goals we would like to accomplish in the next 365 days. That is good. I would like to encourage that. Looking to improve yourself is always something to strive for. This year, I would like you to contemplate something new. This was brought to me by doing something that I have told you about earlier this year. I heard it while listening to some daily motivational and inspirational videos.

The message came from Inky Johnson, the man pictured above. In case you haven’t read any of my previous posts about him, allow me to provide you a quick explanation. Inky Johnson was a stand out college football player. He was projected to be an early first-round pick and an instant millionaire. He came from a very poor family and was looking forward to being able to help them move to a better location. Only a few games before being drafted, Inky suffered a hit that ended up costing him the use of his right arm and the ability to ever play football again. In one play, all of the years of hard work and dreams of being able to help his family were taken away from him. That would be enough to break most people. Not Inky Johnson. When the doctors told him that he would never be able to use his arm again, he politely corrected them. “I am going to use this arm every day.” was his response. Inky has went on to be one of the most powerful speakers and motivators. He uses his story to inspire those that he speaks to.

When someone like that speaks, I tend to listen. What about all of those years of discipline and hard work that seemed to be for nothing? He has an answer for that too. He said something in this video that really stuck with me. He said if you want long-term success, you should eliminate the outcome. This sounds very counterintuitive, but considering who was speaking, I listened. He explained if you tie your efforts to an outcome, you will never be successful. The outcome, he said, can be taken away from you. I think he knows a thing or two about that. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as his situation. You could have been a great employee for years at your company and then they have to downsize or go out of business. You could work on being a great spouse, and your lover could leave you.

What is the point here? Don’t have any goals? Don’t chase any dreams? Not at all. What Inky said next in the video really made sense. He asked, “What is more important? What you get or who you become?” You see my friends, what you get can always be taken away from you, but who you become is yours forever. If your goal is to get in shape for that class reunion, that is good, but what if it gets canceled? How about getting in shape because you want to give your children someone they can be proud of? How about becoming someone who can be proud of themselves?

When we are setting our goals for the coming year, let us focus on who we want to become and not just what we hope to obtain. Ask yourself, who do you want to be in the coming year?

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FROM INKY JOHNSON

NEW YEAR – NEW HABITS

HERE IS AN IDEA OF A FEW HABITS WE CAN SWAP OUT. I WOULDN’T APPROACH THIS AS “SACRIFICING SOMETHING”, MORE LIKE ADDING SOMETHING DIFFERENT. NEXT TIME YOU’RE TEMPTED TO PICK UP A QUICK BURGER ON THE WAY HOME, KEEP DRIVING AND MAKE YOURSELF A LITTLE SOMETHING HEALTHIER AT HOME. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALL THE TIME, BUT TRY IT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.

SO MANY OF OUR LIFESTYLE CHOICES ARE DOWN TO HABIT. IF WE CAN START NEW GOOD ONES, WE WILL AUTOMATICALLY HAVE LESS TIME FOR THE OLD BAD ONES.

USE THIS WEEK!

THE WEEK BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS IS ONE GENERALY FILLED WITH LOTS OF EXHALING AND RELAXATION. DESERVEDLY SO. THE SHOPPING IS DONE. THE CRAZINESS OF THE HOLIDAYS IS WINDING DOWN. TOWARDS THE END OF THE WEEK, SOME PEOPLE BEGIN TO CONTEMPLATE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. YOU KNOW, THOSE LOFTY GOALS WE ASPIRE TO IN THE COMING YEAR.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ARE VERY GOOD IN AND OF THEMSELVES. IT IS ALWAYS ADMIRABLE TO THINK OF WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN IMPROVE OURSELVES AND OUR LIVES. THE PROBLEM IS MOST OF US JUST WAIT UNTIL A FEW DAYS BEFORE AND CHOOSE SOME RANDOM OR MAYBE EVEN INTENSE GOAL. WE DON’T SPEND MUCH TIME AND THE PLANNING AND THEN ARE SURPRISED WHEN WE HAVE FAILED ALL OF OUR RESOLUTIONS BY FEBRUARY 1ST, IF NOT BEFORE.

THIS YEAR, LET’S DO IT DIFFERENT. SPEND THIS WEEK THINKING OF THE AREAS WE WISH TO IMPROVE IN THE COMING YEAR. DEVELOP NOT ONLY A PLAN FOR HOW TO DO IT, BUT WHAT TO DO IF WE FEEL OURSELVES AND OUR MOTIVATION SLIPPING. ONE OF THE BEST WAYS IS TO COME UP WITH A STRONG ‘WHY’. THE REASON BEHIND WHAT WE WISH TO ACCOMPLISH. LET US WRITE DOWN BOTH WHAT WE STAND TO GAIN BY ACCOMPLISHING IT AS WELL AS WHAT WE STAND TO LOSE IF WE DON’T.

WHEN AND WHERE TO START IMPROVING YOUR LIFE

I love this quote by Jocko Willink. Why? Because all too many of us are guilty of it, myself included. I get it, you don’t want to waste time or action. You want to discover the action that is going to give you the greatest return. Here is a secret – that action is the one you take. You might be asking, “What if I take the wrong action?” I can promise you that you will find out a lot quicker if it is, or is not, the right action by taking it. Not only can you then take corrective action, but you will have learned valuable information on what does not work and why in the process. Plus, as we discussed in the last post, you begin to gain momentum. Even seeing little successes can help you push through and tweak what does not work.

Still find yourself paralyzed by fear of doing the wrong thing? Let me tell you, doing nothing is the wrong thing. You may be trying to find the spark that disappeared from your relationship and are worried that if you do the wrong thing, it may push that spark further away. If you do nothing, and nothing changes in your relationship, that person’s emotions will continue to slowly fade. Even if you do the wrong thing with the best of intentions, they see that you are trying. Nothing stays the same. It is either getting better or getting worse. Take your health for example. Many people reading this post will have the New Year’s resolution to get in shape. In the next month and a half, not working on improving your health can have disastrous consequences. Those extra pounds around the midsection, that extra daily stress, that unhealthy diet or sedentary lifestyle will continue to slowly, or not so slowly affect you. If you start now, you can find what does and does not work for you. Rather than waiting to start until the New Year, make it your goal to be living a healthier lifestyle by the New Year.

Choices in life can be confusing. What is not, is the choice whether to act or not. Jump in with both feet. You will not drown, but you will figure out how to swim in a hurry. You cannot learn standing on the shore. You may swallow some water, especially early on, but you will get there. Here is another powerful thought to keep in mind. The quicker you start, the quicker you will arrive. You can read about something all you want, and you should, but do so as you are taking action. Learn from your actions as well as your research. When is the best time to start? Now. Where is the best place to start? Right here.

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #23)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

As we continue our journey of gratitude into the new year, we take a look at traditions. This is something I think changes a little as we age. When I was younger I used to find certain traditions archaic at best and ridiculous most of the time. Fast forward many years to my current state looking over this keyboard as I watch the sun set as I write. Now, I find myself looking forward to taking part in certain traditions and even creating others.

To me, traditions offer us a chance to mark time when it comes to certain aspects of our lives. When you are younger, you have little or no choice in what traditions you take part in. I think parents could benefit greatly by allowing their children to have more of a say in the creation of traditions the family observes. As we grow older, however, we more or less choose what traditions we wish to observe and which ones no longer serve us.

When it comes to creating traditions these days, I focus on those that bring joy and togetherness. One of my favorite yearly traditions is the Wisconsin State Fair. Not only to I literally jump out of my skin when the first day arrives and it is time to go with the love of my life, we found ways to create traditions throughout the year. I enjoy taking a day off of work and going with Margie to purchase our tickets in advance and then go out to breakfast. We make rough plans for the things we look forward to seeing and doing together once the time arrives. In the summer there is a 5k run that Margie, her daughter Siraya and I have done the last few years. It is great fun and gives us chance to see where we are at physically. It also gives us something to work toward in these cold winter months.

Another tradition I love is the yearly bike expo here in April. By this time my Seasonal Affective Disorder has usually gotten the best of me and quite often there is still snow on the ground. When I walk into the expo hall to attend this great event held by local bicycle company Wheel & Sprocket, it is as if the warm weather has arrived. There are many bikes to choose from all at good values. There are clothes, helmets, and accessories to purchase. There are also bicycle clubs to join and rides to sign up for. It gives you hope and something to look forward to in the warmer weather. Walking hand in hand through this event with Margie gives me the resolve to make it through the remainder of the cold weather.

What traditions are you grateful for? Being that we are reading this in the beginning of the new year, what traditions would you like to start this year? How do you think traditions can be used to positively affect our lives and bring more joy to them?