The past few weeks, I got into a major slump when it came to taking care of myself. I started eating out with my girlfriend much more and replacing the salads for the burgers and fries. Working out started going from a mandatory once a day event to a, "Well I'll just get to it tomorrow" kind of relationship.
Feeling I needed to make a major change to get back on track, I decided I was going to (forgive me for the Drake line) go from "0 to 100 real quick."
It's important to note this is not a recommended strategy for developing new habits. The best way is to gradually develop new routines over time, walking slowly in instead of diving straight in the pool. I was restless, however, so I decided I was going to make a drastic change from the start and keep it.
Most people who try this strategy fail miserably. But using one rule I've now learned to live by, I was able to make a drastic change and keep it as a habit ever since.
What's this magical secret?
It's setting up a routine so you have as little will power exerted as possible. Below, I'll go into why this works so well and how to apply it for your business and personal life.
Magic Tip: Adjust your life so all you have to do is just have to show up.
Many times I never feel like I get a good workout when I go to the gym by myself. As I enter the facility, I always feel like my energy is depleted and I just want to go home watch some football and order some chicken wings. I know some people who go to the gym and workout like they're training for a zombie apocalypse everyday. Much respect for you, but I just don't have that kind of willpower.
So instead of putting it on myself to get a good workout in, I decided to put the burden on someone else.
There a variety of ways to do this such as getting a personal trainer, going to something like a crossfit, yoga, cycle class etc. Essentially, What this does is makes it so all you have to do is show up. Even when my body is tired and I feel like crap, once I'm at crossfit class there is no backing out. I can't dog the workout or leave early; I'm forced to work my butt off. What's funny is that once I get going, I start to realize it's not as bad as I thought.
If group or personal classes aren't in your budget, a good step to take is to get an accountability buddy who has much more will power than you. Have that person be your motivator and use him or her to make sure you push yourself.
If that's not an option, at least write out your entire workout before hand and make sure you don't leave before it gets done. Having your workouts written on paper will help prevent from quitting early. While a workout class or trainer is the deal option, this is a great cheaper place to start.
You can take the most motivated gym rat in the world and appreciate the exact or even better results by having an expert push you through tougher workouts and serve as your motivation. You're saving willpower, getting the results, and ensuring you stay on track. All you have to do is show up.
This doesn't just apply to personal fitness either. As a writer for a bunch of outlets, I have to write a huge number of pieces every day. To make sure this gets done, I force myself to drive to Starbucks every night to write. Even if I don't feel like writing, once I'm there it forces me to start moving.
As we enter 2016, most of us will have New Years Resolutions. According to Forbes, only 8% of us will succeed in our New Year's goals.
To be part of the 8%, remove will power from the equation. Whether it's getting in shape, finding a special partner, or becoming better at your job, create an environment where all you need to do is show up and by the time 2017 rolls around you'll be a completely different person.