With the new year approaching, you’ll notice I’m focused on making 2021 the best year yet! I’ve talked about habits before, but today, I’m going to dial in and ask you to take a look at what you do daily, which will make you who you are in 2021 and beyond.
Everything you’ve become is because of your habits.
Let’s take a look at the ‘easy’ analogy first: being physically fit. Being physically fit involves habits that might look like waking up early every day to get a workout in before the day starts, or it might mean choosing to count macronutrient intake or preparing your meals for the entire week. A physically fit person’s habits will look a lot different from a person who is obese or out of shape.
Now that I got that comparison out of the way, you’ll see that what I mean is it takes small habits compounded daily to start making a difference. The first day you start working on your health, you won’t be physically fit, but over time, the daily habits of choosing the right foods and working out will make a difference.
The same goes for the things you choose NOT to do.
If you don’t watch your sugar, over time, you will become unhealthy.
If you don’t respond to customers promptly, they will take business elsewhere.
If you don’t wake up with enthusiasm, you will burn out.
If you don’t set goals, you won’t get done what you need to accomplish your dreams.
See what I mean? It’s the daily habits, the things that are easy to do and easy not to do, that will make or break you. The things that will mold you into the human being you are and the things you do or don’t do daily.
You can blame COVID, or stress, or uncertainty, but that will only last a certain amount of time. Don’t let blame hold you back. Don’t become blame.
I want 2021 to be your best year yet!
I want your job/business to be successful and fun.
I want you to have habits that make you proud.
Below I’m going to list the habits that will ruin you in 2021:
Have you even read the definition of insanity? It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. What are you doing over and over that you are hoping to see changed? What habits are you committed to that you know deep down are not serving you?
Make 2021 successful by having the intestinal fortitude to changing your habits. The little ones might not seem like a big deal now, but you know, overtime it is costing you. Don’t wait for 2021 to change or erase all that 2020 has brought. That would be insane. Instead, change something and do it over and over until you are in love with the results you’re getting.
2. Wait or Plan for the Perfect Time
Have you ever thought that you would wait for the right thing to come to you? So much time will pass you by if you wait for the good stuff to appear. Let me let you in on a little secret. There will never be a perfect time to get er done. I can promise you that the path I’m on, I created. It didn’t appear out of thin air. It took me knowing what I wanted and making little habits every day to look like a path. Sitting idle won’t wear down the road. Doing and creating habit patterns will form ways for you to take. Envision yourself walking in the direction you want. What do you look like, and how do you sound? How do you move? What kind of confidence do you have? 2021 is ready for you: what type of road are you going to make? Will it be a dead-end or a highway to BIG things? Does 2021 feel like the perfect time to take your dreams to the next level? My guess is no. I guess many of you read this wanting to wait to see what happens with COVID, what happens with politics, the economy, with your spouse, your kids’ schools, etc. I can promise you you can’t plan for the perfect time. Let 2021 be perfect even if you know it won’t be.
3. Think You Deserve A Smooth Road
No matter who you are, you are going to need to put in work. Sweat, sacrifice, and sleep are usually the three things a goal requires to become accomplished. If you don’t need to sacrifice or sweat, aka real effort, it likely isn’t a big enough goal. How do you put in sweat and sacrifice? By your daily habits. Are you losing sleep out of excitement? Are you losing sleep because you’re getting up early to have a head start on the day? Are you losing sleep because you’re up late working on your project, even when others are home for the day? These are the habits that, over time, will lead you to success. But that path to success is not bump-free. It’s not smooth and without potholes, bumps, rocks, roadkill, and the occasional accident. Don’t expect a smooth, paved, perfect path just because you want one. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth celebrating the accomplishment. If it were easy, you wouldn’t have stories to tell about overcoming adversity and having the win. You don’t deserve it any more than anyone else. Go after it with your habits. What habits will you adopt? Will you adopt practices that take the easy way out or the ones that show others your best attributes? It’s your choice.
4. Stay Safe
Being safe feels cozy and comfortable and fuzzy. But everything in life involves risks from getting up, leaving home, and getting in the car. It’s all a risk. (Now put “during a pandemic” in the equation, and you just raised the stakes even more. But here’s the thing: When you take a risk and have trust in yourself, you will feel more alive than ever before. No winning habits ever happen in a safe zone. They occur in the uncomfortable, risky parts of life. Don’t let life pass you by as you stay safe. Go out and DO things that involve risks. I’m talking about habits that will help you live your best life. Not the kind of risks that take your rent money because of a bad hand at the poker table. You can take all the things you learned in this crazy year and make 2021 better. You can make the habits that push you out of your safe zone and into your risk zone. Have a dream to start a business but think it’s crazy to try during COVID? Start now, and take the risk! 2021 is going to come whether you’re ready or not. Don’t hide.
5. Focus on Failure
When you go for it, take risks, go down bumpy roads, and change habits, it will be inevitable that you fail. I know, you’re likely thinking, “WOAH, slow your roll Aaron, this is supposed to motivate me, not terrify me!” I get it. Failure is scary. But if you get familiar with it and are willing to walk away and not stay focused and obsessed, you will learn from the loss and be better the next time. Your following habits will be more refined, specific, and committed. You will fight this one a lot. You will need to be self-aware. It would be best if you were ready to fail. Then be prepared to walk away. Please don’t make it a habit to get hung up on your failures. You can’t focus on the future if you focus on your failures.
6. Blame Others.
If you blame others and don’t own what you do, you will not get anywhere. I’m not saying that every single thing that happens to you is your fault, and I’m not saying you deserve it if something terrible happens. But you are in control of how you respond. You have habits about how you think about things, your past, and your situations at hand. Don’t let blame hold you back. Please don’t make it a habit to blame others. Some things are not your fault, but you still can respond and take responsibility for what happens after the fact. It’s all about how you habitually deal with problems, challenging situations, and the past.
7. Have Tunnel Vision Syndrome.
I know, here I am saying, get focused on your habits and stay committed! Now I’m also saying that tunnel vision syndrome is also a bad habit to create. Suppose you’re so focused that you aren’t willing to change a pattern if it isn’t working. Or suppose you are so stubborn that you don’t see something right in front of you. What do you think will happen? Be open to learning, growing, changing. How can you make this a habit? Read books, listen to podcasts, attend lectures (or watch on youtube), talk with others in your industry, join communities of people who are motivated but maybe have different outlooks, ideas, etc., then you. Life-long learning should be a habit, not a blue moon thing.
8. Let Negativity Occupy Your Brain.
Your brain should be like a toll booth. People need to stop and ask to enter. They pay you with positivity, ideas, feedback, brainstorming, friendship, etc. If you allow the negative people to join, soon, they will cause roadblocks and accidents. Learn to set boundaries before there are accidents and damage. Please don’t make it a habit to surround yourself with people or ideas you KNOW will bog you down. It’s up to you to make it a habit to kick out those taking negative space in your brain. Make them do a U-turn and go somewhere else. Your mind is too precious to be full of negativity daily. If/when you accidentally or inevitably have to let a negative person pass through, let that be what it is: A pass-through. If they start telling you your idea won’t work, why you shouldn’t do what you want, or point out your changing (new habits scare idle people), let it go in one ear and out the other! Let them say their piece and then say goodbye. Letting negative people pass-through is going to take practice before it becomes a habit. There will be plenty of cheerleaders in your corner. Let their energy be louder than the loser(s) trying to take you down.
9. Allow Your Ego to Control You.
The ego will hold on to something long past when you should have let it go. Your ego is stubborn and has pride for the sake of having pride. You can get past a challenge even if it leads you to a dead end. The key is to acknowledge that you are at a dead end. It will help if you let go. It would be best if you accepted this is not changeable. Then start fresh. Trying to prove you were right when you may have been wrong is so hard. But if you create the habit of letting go of your ego, you will move mountains.
10. Have Great Expectations
If you have great expectations, you will likely be disappointed. Why? Because you swapped the habit of messy, hard work with the habit of expecting perfection. Setting a standard and having unrealistic expectations are very different. Many times when you have great expectations, you allow the ego to be in the driver’s seat. You become rigid, unbendable, and stubborn. You will inevitably crumble in disappointment. Don’t compare your beginning or middle with someone at the finish line. Don’t look at social media, aka the highlight reels of a person’s life, and think they don’t have adversity. Don’t be discontent because you have great expectations. Great expectations silently create habits in you that will only make it harder for you. Make the best of every situation and let go of the rest.
How can you be better at habit creation? Think about a situation you have right now in your life that you want to make better/change for 2021. What are the habits you do each day that have created this situation? Own your circumstances, then write down what you want to change. What would make you proud and happy? What would the new/changed situation be for you? What habits can you make to get you what you want? Are they daily habits? Break down big habits into daily/hourly patterns if you need to.
I want 2021 to be memorable for you. Why not make this YOUR year, regardless of what the external circumstances dictate.
Do you have one habit you want to change or adapt for 2021?
Remember, you are what you do regularly. Who do you want to be?