We also know that motivation can be fleeting. So how can we buckle down and shock ourselves into the change we need?
I'm going to share seven ways to produce stunning change in your life immediately.
1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do.
I've just recently gotten into the rhythm of waking up at 5 a.m. While I'm not a morning person, getting up earlier helps me get a jump start on my day.
If you challenge yourself to get up just 30 minutes earlier it will help you kick start your day. It will also help you at night. You'll be that much more ready for sleep in the evening.
You'll also have gotten just a bit more accomplished throughout your day. This will alleviate any bedtime brain chatter/freak outs about the day ahead.
2. If you can, meditate or nap during the day.
I used to assume that if I got some rest during the day it would effect how quickly I would fall off to sleep at night. Of course, if you take a two-hour nap this will change the time you go to bed. That's also a pretty unrealistic request of any productive adult.
Optimally, we're looking to reduce your stress throughout the day. That shouldn't take longer than a quick 20-minute respite.
Ducking into a conference room to close your eyes and enjoy some deep breathing can have a lasting effect. Download HeadSpace APP to help with guided meditation.
3. Remove the distractions to your goals.
This morning I noticed a large bag of Doritos in our office cabinets. I joked with my colleague who brought the bag into the office, and then gently requested that he take it home.
I'm not some sort of health nut (well, maybe), but I know that if it's near me, I'll want to eat it. I love Doritos, but I also know that if I eat them, I'll feel horrible. By removing the temptation altogether, I've effected positive dietary change.
4. Tackle big tasks one baby step at a time.
Big projects loom constantly. The more we think of the big deadline, or the volume of pages that need to be written, the more discouraged we become.
By breaking down big tasks into little ones, we break the inertia and move in a positive direction. Stock piling small wins will build our confidence and stoke the fires of production.
5. Think about death more often. Yes, seriously.
When we attempt to manage our time, and accomplish more in shorter periods of time we're forced into the position where we need to resolve that we won't waste time. This seems noble enough, except that it doesn't work.
What does work is if we increase the scarcity of time. We can do this effectively if we set serious time constraints. For example, challenging our minds to believe that this year is your last year on earth. How productive would you be then?
It's also a fun way to live your life. When you're deciding what to do next weekend for example, challenge yourself to imagine it's your last weekend on earth. Thought of something? Great. Do that.
6. Choose better words.
Becoming more aware of the impact that your words have on those around you, and yourself, can be a powerful change agent. Opening a conversation with comments like "You look tired" or "You look good for your age" can destroy your rapport with friends and colleagues.
Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and president at Talent Smart, suggests you start with "Is everything OK?" or just state "You look great." Bradberry stresses that some compliments don't need qualifiers.
7. Get new friends.
It's true that you're the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you surround yourself with positive people who are pushing themselves to bigger and better things, chances are you'll have a better time of effecting change in your own life. Harvard Business Review's Joseph Grenny says this can be a potent way to trick your brain into long lasting change.
Bringing it all together.
If you want deep, long-lasting, positive change in your life, you'll have to commit to at least a few of these suggestions. Why not try out one or two? You'll enjoy the results. Report back to me regarding what you did on Twitter.