Aristotle said “we are what we repeatedly do”. I could end there! Just stop this post and move on cause that really says it all, right? To figure out what kind of person you are, just look at what you do consistently, day in and day out.
But you didn’t come here for a philosophical quote and end at that, and I truly believe that change comes from applying what we learn to our lives, and what better way than with some simple tips on how to do that.
Let’s dive in.
1. WIN YOUR MORNING
How you start your day has a massive impact on how the rest of your day goes. Just think about a day when you were late from the get go… the rest of your day is a blur of rushing and stressing. Taking control of your morning is one of the simplest ways to become more consistent in anything you do.
The exact how of doing that is really up to you – that will depend on your lifestyle, if you have a family, your work schedule, but the point is to take control of the first things you do every morning.
A few suggestions to put this in practice:
– Set a specific wake time, and stick to it every day. In order to get enough sleep you will also need to have a structured bed time, so in doing this you are bringing consistency to 2 big things in your day – at the same time.
– Create a specific routine. Do the same thing every morning, which does NOT include work, email or social media.
– If you have a spouse and kids, strive to complete your morning routine before your household is up for the day.
My example (not what you have to do, what I do and works best for me):
– Evening wind down 9:30pm
– Sleep 10pm
– Wake 5am
– Gratitude, journaling, bible reading, meditation 5 – 5:45am
– Exercise 5:45 – 6:30am
When my kids wake up I am finishing my exercise, by the time they need any help I am done, and we all go on with our day.
Consistency in your mornings will give you a sense of accomplishment, will put you in a better mental state, will wake up your brain and your body, and will get you started with a greater sense of control and focus.
2. LET GO OF YOUR ATTACHMENT TO MOTIVATION
Motivation is all the rage right now, and while I am all for being motivated, motivation is not a good indicator of best decisions all the time.
Hear me out… when you set a goal for yourself you start out pumped, motivated to crush it. But things are usually not as easy as we would prefer, and motivation does not really like hard work, motivation likes excitement, comfort, shiny and new. So we abandon many goals because we are not motivated.
This happens in any area in life – finances, fitness, health, relationships, eating well, parenting, personal development… We have these big dreams and when it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get the dirty work done… well, we don’t “feel” it, so we quit. And worse, so many times we convince ourselves that we didn’t really want that, or that it wasn’t a valid goal.
If you have a goal, if you have a vision of the person you want to become, figure out what you want, and then do something about it. Regardless of your motivation.
Exercise is the easiest example for this: how many people WANT to exercise every day? Every fitness professional I’ve ever talked to or heard talk about this is honest enough to say that motivation is not there every day, but the goals are. Goals and habits trump motivation every.single.time.
Set your goals, find the tools and systems that will get you there, and move that needle every day – regardless of your motivation.
3. ADJUST YOUR MINDSET
We are what we repeatedly do, and we do what we repeatedly believe. This is important: you can set as many goals as you want, but if you don’t believe in yourself, and if you don’t adjust your self talk you will NEVER reach those goals.
Goal: eliminate sugar consumption
Lack of motivation day: everyone eats sugar, why should I not be allowed to eat sugar?
Mindset adjustment: I get to choose what I eat, and I do not eat sugar.
Goal: be a better listener instead of losing my patience with my kids
Lack of motivation day: these kids are driving me insane! do they not understand a simple command?
Mindset adjustment: how I speak to my kids becomes their inner voice. I am patience, I listen before I speak. I will choose my actions instead of reacting.
Goal: save 3 dollars a day
Lack of motivation day: 3 dollars won’t make a difference, this (insert object) is so cute… I’ll just buy it and save more tomorrow.
Mindset adjustment: little investments over time make a difference. I can do whatever I put my mind to.
These are three random and surface examples, but you get the picture. How we speak to ourselves and how we look at our goals and feelings will dictate how we act. Adjust your mindset, stop thinking about what you lack and focus and on what you can accomplish.
4. FOCUS ON THE PROCESS, NOT THE OUTCOME
Goals and dreams are good and important, they give us something to strive for – but the growth, the beauty, the transformation is in the journey, not at the finish line. Furthermore, you cannot control the outcome, you can only control the actions you take every day, the choices you make every time you are presented with an opportunity that will further or hinder your goal.
Focus on the process, focus on what you CAN do, and leave the outcome to the future. Will you do it perfectly? No. Will your progress be a straight upwards line to success? No. But the journey is, every time, where you will learn and grow, where you will transform, where you will inspire others. The outcome will come… and in many cases it will look different from what you imagined. Find joy in the journey, in the ups and downs, in the highs and lows, all the while knowing that you are imperfectly climbing that mountain to reach your goal. LIVE through the journey – it is the best part of living.
Own responsibility for your everyday actions, not for the result of them.
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE
A surefire way to not reaching your goals is to complicate things. Focus on one goal at a time, when you’ve created a good system, built good habits, keep that going and tackle another goal. And keep it simple, keep it simple, keep it simple. Stop trying to find complicated ways to get less done.
Figure out your goal, and then figure out the smallest steps you can take to accomplish it, and do those, and build on them. You never need to start by doing it all, you just need to start by doing.
Keep it simple. Focus. Repeat.
At the end of the day we all need to figure out that we are responsible for our own life. That is not true for everyone in the world – but it is certainly true for the absolute majority, if not all, of the readers of this blog. Owning responsibility for our choices and not falling into the victim mentality is a very important step to freedom and joy.
YOU get to choose your goals. YOU get to choose the kind of person you want to be, the kind of life you want to live. When we finally understand that we are making decisions every day that impact – positively or negatively – our goals, it is much easier to make choices that align with our goals. And when we make choices that don’t… we can take responsibility for them.
Consistency is what you do every day, routinely, all the time. Consistency is a collection of small decisions you make from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Use these 5 tips to help you simplify these choices and have more purpose and intention in your day to day life.
Keeping it simple,