New Years is a time when people are thinking about making big changes. Most people fixate on long-term results and the outcomes they want in the distant future. A distant goal can be a good motivator, but for me what has worked best is to focus on consistent daily action in the direction of my goals.
Right now I have four activities that I am committed to every single day and I use a simple app called Way of Life that keeps track of them.
After you reach a certain point (around 10 or 15 days for me), the pain of losing your streak becomes a great motivator. Even at 1 am when sleep is calling, I will sit down and blog to protect the streak.
I’ve built some solid momentum over the past two months:
- Meditating 57 days in a row
- Blogging 54 days in a row
- Writing Gratitude 41 days in a row
- Reading 15 minutes of Mastering Bitcoin 11 days in a row
I know that taking care of these activities each day will lead me in a direction that makes my life better.
For each daily activity, I have very low standards. Most days I meditate for 15 minutes in the morning, but 1 minute of quiet, focused breathing counts.
Some days I will write out long blog posts, but even a small 100-word post counts.
Some days I will write out a detailed paragraph about someone I’m grateful for. But, even writing their name and thinking about why I appreciate them counts.
The bar is low so that even when I am tired, sick, and disconnected from my goals, it is still possible to jump over.
If you’re interested in the idea of setting daily challenges instead of results-focused goals, Isaac Morehouse has a great post on the topic that I first read as a Praxis participant in the fall of 2015. It motived to experiment more with daily challenges and that experimentation led me to my current view on the value of daily challenges over result focused goals. Check out his post here: https://isaacmorehouse.com/2015/09/03/tiny-ridiculous-daily-challenges-work-better-for-me-than-big-goals/