"92% of people won’t make it to February with their 2019 goals. Don’t be 92% of people."
~ Jon Acuff
Depressing, isn’t it?
We, humans, create grand expectations for a brand new year and for ourselves, but so often we’re busted before we even get used to writing the new date.
It’s even worse than we think it is because for every wrecked resolution, every habit that never fully hatches, and every promise to paint a healthier, happier, harmonious portrait of our lives, we - in the words of author James Clear - “…lose sight of who we are and what we can become.”
When we don’t do what we say we will do, we lose a little more hope. What we say we will do is pretty often an unrealistic expectation.
When we don’t do what we say we will do, we lose a little more hope. #tinychanges
Jon Acuff in FINISH: Give Yourself the Gift of Done tackles perfectionism.
One person described it this way: “I start with the belief that I could do something. Then I get all excited and start dreaming. At first, I feel confident and like I know what I am doing. Then my dreams get big. Then I want perfection. Then all of a sudden I feel inadequate to do the job because I don’t know how to do it at that level. Then the dreams die, and the goal is forgotten. The best part is most of the time all that I mentioned above is mental. I never actually started anything.”
This has been me, but I’m changing my tune.
How? Lots of ways. Mostly, though, I’m learning how to set reasonable expectations for myself and other people.
You know what? It doesn’t happen overnight - just because I “decided” to live life differently. Don’t get me wrong, the decision to be different and to do life differently is important. But lasting change comes as a result of a series of daily choices.
You know, habits.
The RIGHT habits! Not like the ones a lot of us have already messed up on this early in the new year. But simple ones. Practices that don’t require us to be perfect and only take a couple of minutes to do. (Keep reading to learn more about some new tiny habits that are WRECKING me for good.)
But first, let me ask you a question...
One more question…
What could happen if you learned to stop beating yourself up? #tinychanges
James Clear is a habits guru who wrote the book Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones.
Clear explains how our identities and habits are intertwined:
This vicious cycle of beating ourselves up spirals and spirals and we no longer know how to be kind to ourselves. We no longer know how to set reasonable expectations and achievable objectives with weight loss, fitness, career goals, family objectives, and standards for behavior. We lose sight of who we are and what we can become.
Clear talks about building tiny habits that change the way we see ourselves, giving us the confidence to stack habits and routines onto our first habits, and ultimately improving our lives for the better.
A few weeks ago my friend Tracy Winchell of the Reboots Podcast told me about one of her favorite journaling habits. Every few days she writes a note to her next day self (maybe you’ve seen me practicing this on Instagram and Facebook). Tracy tells me this singular habit has helped her change the way she sees herself.
Through this exercise, Tracy has learned to encourage her next day self, and to set expectations for her attitude toward herself and others. She shared one of her notes with me, and I was blown away! No really, I freakin’ LOVE this exercise (almost as much as I love my friend, Tracy.)
I knew right then that my people HAD to learn how to do this.
Because if James Clear and Jon Acuff are right and that our identities are wrapped up in our habits, then building a habit designed to change the tapes we play in our heads ABOUT OURSELVES is a freakishly powerful method for creating clarity!
For some of us, mid-January means a return to the same old same old: a return to bad habits, and giving up new ones we said would bring us a better 2019.
But we can choose a better way by making a decision to stop the negative self-talk. And then setting up a ridiculously simple method - that takes no more than 10 minutes a day - to change the tapes in our head.
Oh, yeah. And the method still works if we only do it 10 to 15 times in any given 30-day period.
It’s my friend Tracy’s “note to next day self” journaling technique, and it’s helped her send the lying jerks in her head back to wherever the hell they came from. And it can do the same for you and me.
On Friday, January 18th at 11 am CST, I'd love for you to join my friend, Tracy Winchell and me for a free webinar. We’re gearing up for a workshop to show you exactly how this works. It’s called TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve has Fizzled. It’s Friday, January 18, 2019, at 11:00.
My friend Tracy found freedom from the negative self-talk during a time of massive change in her life. She was walking through the hell of losing a job, selling her house, moving in with her mom, and dealing with the loss of a close friend. And we’re going to show you a ridiculously simple method (that will take less than 10 minutes, a few days a month) that will help you kick your negative self-talk to the cub.
"My soul sometimes feels like a Twitter feed where I’m following a million of the most annoying people ever, and I can’t find the Unfollow button."
-Steven Furtick in Crash the Chatterbox
Is this you?
It’s no way to live, is it?
If you're ready to take a bold step toward choosing NOT to FEEL THIS WAY ANYMORE, sign up for our free webinar.
My friend Tracy and I will teach you how to unfollow the annoying voices in your head and learn to follow the voices who will tell you the truth about yourself - compassionately and with love and grace.
If 2019 feels a lot like 2018 all over again, sign up.
If you're feeling like this year is a lot more of the same old stuff: procrastinating on building new habits, failing to give up old habits you don’t want anymore, and beating the crap out of yourself, you’ll want to hang with us for this webinar.
Click here to join us in the LIVE workshop - where we’ll show you how.
If you’re already beating yourself up because the New Year is a lot less shiny and bright, please join us.
For now, though, rest easy. Don’t worry about it if your New Year’s resolve has already fizzled. You’re normal!!! And it’ll be okay. I promise.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
Giveaway: 21 Books That will Change Your Life
What is shame? (And how to heal it.)
Exploring Grief: A Podcast Series (with Brandon Carleton)
VIDEO: The spiritual hero who was depressed and desperate
Finding God in Stillness
Burnout: What to Look for & How to Fight Back
Difficult People: Identify, Strategize, Implement
Podcast: How to Find Balance for Stressed Out Parents