* Editor’s Note: This post was featured on Positively Positive.
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” – Anthony Robbins
Have you ever committed to doing something for 30 days and then reverted back to your old habits? I know I have and I’m guessing many others have too!
My challenge to you is to decide what actions you are willing to weave into your life on Day 31 and after to pursue goals that are meaningful. This is when the magic happens. The changes don’t have to be drastic just consistent.
Short-term changes get you in the game. Long-term shifts elevate the playing field. You have to decide where you want to play.
This idea of making a change came up during a recent coaching conversation with a client. He shared that he wanted to get back into shape and planned to work out everyday for 30 days and hire a trainer with the hope of losing ten pounds (you can substitute working out for anything you want to shift in your life).
It always starts with an intention — and I like this one as getting in shape aligned with the client’s value of healthy living. Your intentions and actions are much more powerful when they align with your values.
The question is what happens on Day 31 and 32 and 33 and so on? Do I think someone can workout everyday for 30 days or achieve any other short-term target – YES! Does the research suggest that the majority of people resume their old patterns once they hit an interim target – YES! The challenge is maintaining the results you want after the initial 30 days or initial time frame is over. Then what happens when the trainer is gone?
My client and I focused on why he wanted to lose the weight, how that would make him feel and what having more energy would allow him to do in his life (ie, play with his kids on the weekend and be involved in their lives). The point is my client wasn’t committing to working out just for 30 days but rather committing to a way of life and taking care of himself. That’s a very different intention. He used the 30-day period to jumpstart the project and realized that working out everyday wasn’t a viable strategy given his heavy travel schedule. Since he was only currently working out 1-2 days sporadically, he revised the goal to work out at least 3 days a week (anything more was a bonus and helped to build his confidence). This small shift helped him look forward to working out rather than seeing it as a chore and stressful. Once he successfully completed the month of 3 workouts per week (and lost 5 pounds) he built confidence, had more energy, and believed that he could keep going. Sometimes you have to revise your goal to stay on track.
Being your best self is a lifestyle issue (aka Living in YOUR Top 1%) rather than a one off fad. For example, if you practice a specific religion or being a vegetarian, that’s how you live everyday as opposed to just the days it’s convenient. The challenge for all of us who want real change becomes creating a sustainable set of rituals that we are willing to honor and put into practice consistently.
Top 1% Bottom Line: It’s matter what you do consistently rather than what you do once in a while. Day 31 defines where we go.
Please share what’s important to you and what practices you will put into action on Day 31+ to make a postive impact in your life and others?
Alissa Finerman is an Executive Coach and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, speaker and author of Living in YOUR Top 1%. She works with managers, C-suite executives and teams to leverage strengths, shift beliefs and achieve meaningful goals. Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked with Ross Stores, Petco, BNP Paribas, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Brookfield Property Partners, Neutrogena, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Dress for Success. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and follow her on Facebook