If You Can Stop This One Bad Behavior, You Can Do Anything…
Lots of people start the New Year with high hopes. This is not new information.
Even if they don’t formalize their resolutions or announce them to the world, there’s something about waking up in a new year that makes them say, “This is it. This is the year that I lose 50 pounds…”
Or the year they finally write that book…
Or the year to get a new job.
Millions – if not billions – start the year with these new hopes and aspirations.
Then, by an overwhelming majority, they fail. No matter what the goal is, by two weeks into January, they’ve forgotten all about the New Years-fueled promises they made themselves and they’re right back where they started from.
This is no secret – we talk about it a lot.
In fact, we’re so inundated with statistics about how many people fail that making resolutions has almost become a parody of itself.
The very idea of making a choice to change oneself and then carrying through for a while… only to flounder and fail is so common it’s in meme culture now, too.
There’s a meme going around right now with a photo of a bored looking woman that reads, “Let me guess. You’re going to cut all the toxic people out of your life, go to the gym, make more money, and focus on you in 2020? Groundbreaking.”
The punchline here, of course, is that so make people make these promises year after year, but never actually achieve any of them.
It’s so commonplace it’s the exact opposite of groundbreaking.
Why Does It Have To Be This Way?
Why are we so bad at making progress that the very idea of even getting started is a joke?
When it comes to other people, we can probably see why they fail. The answers are loud and clear.
“Oh, my coworker failed to lose weight. It’s no surprise because I see him with a McDonald’s bag every day.”
“Yeah, my brother’s business failed. It’s not shocking – he’s terrible with finances.”
“Mark from accounting didn’t get the promotion he wanted and it’s obvious why – he hasn’t been on time even once this month.”
But when it comes to us… It can be hard to understand why we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do.
We tell ourselves that there are external forces at play. It’s not our fault, right?
It’s probably because the boss is a jerk, or because traffic is getting worse by the day, or because it was too late to cook, and besides, we all deserve a little treat every now and then, right?
When it comes to failing, we have no one to blame but ourselves. The number one thing we’ve got to attack when we want to stop this “Set a goal, fail, lament, set a new goal, fail, lament again,” pattern is our excuses.
My guest Jocko Willink has an unpopular, but very insightful and successful take on how to achieve your goals.
He explains that the first step to breaking through and achieving what you really want in life is to…
Stop lying to yourself.
As Jocko says, all those little things we tell ourselves to make not hitting our goals aren’t just excuses… they’re flat out lies.
And Jocko knows all about busting through excuses.
He’s the best-selling author of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win and the co-founder of Echelon Front, an elite company dedicated to teaching leadership and problem-solving skills.
He came by all of this knowledge honestly – he spent 20 years as a Navy SEAL, and rose through the ranks to become a Lieutenant Commander.
If you think becoming a Navy SEAL is easy, or that he never faced a moment of internal conflict when working towards his goals, you’re wrong.
Every moment of just the training experience is accompanied by a little mental tape telling you, “It’s ok to quit – no one will think less of you. You can take a break. Why not stop? You work too hard…”
That mental tape is present for everyone. In order to defeat it, you’ve got to recognize it for what it is – just lies.
Take a moment to explore what your goals are – whether their New Year’s resolutions or goals you’ve been meaning to achieve for a while now – and start to examine what lies are keeping you from making those achievements.
In all likelihood, it’s probably something very simple to overcome.
You Don’t Have The Time?
If it really matters to you, you’ll make the time. Rearrange your day. Cut out television time. Get up earlier. No matter what, if it matters, make the time.
You’re too tired?
Well, do it anyway. You’ll still be tired if you’re sitting on the couch, so you might as well be tired and making something of yourself.
You don’t have enough money?
Sure you do – or you can, anyway. You can allocate what you do have differently. You can make more. You can sell some crap that you didn’t want anyway. The money’s there – you just need to put the work in to find it.
The one thing keeping you from your goals isn’t your situation, or your boss, or your wife – it’s your mindset. When you can stop lying to yourself and cut out the fake resistance you’re creating, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored