Saturday, December 21, 2013



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Chances are you are already thinking about your goals for 2014.
And maybe you’re already wondering whether you’re actually going to hit them or not.
Why is that so many of us set out to accomplish something but fail to do as much as we’d hope?
The answer is simpler than you think.
It involves a dynamic few people talk about. But once you see it, things can begin to change. Radically.

secret to hitting your 2014 goals

You Encounter This Problem Every Time You Start Something New

Let’s say you get a new phone. Or a new car.
Here’s what happens. At least it happens to me, and I’m sure it’s happened to you as well:
The way I learn to use a device in the first 10 days is essentially the way I’ll use it for the rest of its life.
And as a result, I’ll leave 90% of its potential—or more—untapped. 
Here’s what I’ve discovered about myself. Whenever I get a new piece of technology,
I try to familiarize myself with it.
It try to ‘domesticate it’—to move it from an unknown to a known and controllable entity in a short span of time.
I don’t naturally try out it’s maximum capacity.
I simply find a few cool features and try to get it to behave in a predictable way.
Sound familiar?
Almost everyone does it.
As a result, within about 10 days, all the experimentation is gone.
We tell ourselves that we’ve mastered it. But we haven’t.
Our need for predictability killed our curiosity and innovation.

Change the Pattern…Change Your Life

So…what if the next time you get a new device, you decided to learn everything you could about it for 10 days? What if you read blogs, took tutorials, watched user videos and experimented with it endlessly without settling into any habits?
What would the next three years with that device look like? Better for sure. You’d be smarter, more efficient, more satisfied and get far more value out of it than usual.
But that approach only works if you’re willing to suspend habits for the first ten days and resist the drive to make everything easy and predictable.
Enough about devices.
Now the big question:
What if—for the first 21 days of 2014— you refused to settle into a pat routine with each of your key goals for the year? 
I’m convinced that one of the enemies of progress is routine. We are creatures of habit, but our habits (repeated patterns of behaviour) often take us to places we don’t want to go.
It takes 21 days to make a new (and better) habit.
What would it look like if the first 21 days of 2014 meant you launched a radical assault on the status quo:
What if:
You downloaded a new alarm app and set it for 5:30 a.m. and made no excuses?
You changed your meeting schedule so you could do something active 5 out of 7 days?
You studied how to do meetings for 3 weeks and did a post mortem on what worked and didn’t work in ever meeting in January and then redid how you do meetings?
You set up your calendar now to usher in a far better use of time next month?
You changed grocery stores and had to learn a new pattern of shopping – and you just never went down the chip aisle?
You used smaller plates for 21 days as a way to cut back portion size?
You gave away $50 a week you’re currently spending on yourself?
You changed your study practice when it comes to message prep?
You picked up a new bible (or got a new bible app or reading plan) and never missed a reading for 21 days?
You decided you not speak a critical word to your family or friends and every day just prioritized doing it?
You took a new route to and from work to give you more thinking time?
You can fill in the blanks for whatever you need to conquer, but you see the pattern, right?
Rethinking your patterns for the first 21 days of 2014 will set the pattern for how you spend the next 344 days of the year.
Your desire to domesticate the new year and make it predictable and ‘easy to use’ runs deep, and it will lead you to exactly where this year led you unless you attack that pattern. 2014 will be exactly like 2013 unless you intentionally change it.

Start Now to Be Ready Then

So why don’t you do that?
You could start now.
Create a list of your top goals.
Buy some books or get some help from friends and mentors in rethinking them.
Commit to no pattern until you find a new pattern…21 days into the new year. Circle the day on your calendar! Go!
And with those changes, 2014 could be radically different than any other year.
So get started now.
What do you want to change?
What are some other ideas on how to bring engineer the change you want to see?
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