Educational and motivational powerhouse Lou Tice, of the Pacific Institute, often said that he never wanted someone to tell him that he ‘hadn’t changed a bit after all these years’. His point was that he always wanted to be growing and changing in some way. During this season of lockdown and self-quarantine, many of us have had a little extra time to reflect on a great deal of things. I would venture a guess also, that there have been a great many who have made resolutions of how they’re going to change when ‘things get back to normal’. But just like with those New Year’s resolutions’, if this fresh crop of resolutions are not getting a little daily care, they’ll wither a die of neglect.
To give our resolutions the best chance of success, we need to keep them in focus; finding daily motivation, initiation, and appreciation of the intended accomplishment. To keep the focus, here a few Steps For Today:
1. Ask yourself why is this change important? There is usually some epiphany driving a new desire for change. Take a few minutes to dig for the underlying ‘why’ until you are satisfied with your answer.
2. Either journal, or download the ‘Today’s Expectations’ worksheet from the website, to capture this ‘why’, and the thoughts from the steps below.
3. Write down a few words or phrases describing how making this change will affect your life and/or the lives of those you love. It’s important to write these down so that you will recognize the changes as they begin to occur.
4. Create daily reminder to reflect on these steps. Writing something down daily forces us to take just a few minutes to record our thoughts and accomplishments, and refresh our intentions.
5. Ask a reliable person if they can be your accountability partner. Someone who will take the time, at to whom you’ve given the ‘all clear’, to ask you about your progress.
6. Tell others about your intended goal. Knowing that others expect a change will help solidify your resolve.
These simple steps will go a long way towards helping you reach your new normal.
I’d love to hear any tips or tricks which you use to help keep focus on your resolutions!
As always, thanks for reading.
And remember to take the next step…
PS: The Today’s Expectation worksheet can be downloaded for free from the website store. It is a one-sheet, pdf file, with an identical front and back. Each face of the sheet contains the following areas:
– A place for 3 good expectations for the day
– A place for 3 areas to focus on
– 15 lines with checkboxes for activities to accomplish
– 3 lines to write down expectations that were met and/or pleasant surprises
– 3 lines to write down expectations for tomorrow
Near the end of last year, I had to the opportunity to talk to employees from several local gyms. Of course I had to ask them about the impending, predictable, January flood of newly resolved patrons. Sadly, they all stated the same thing; that only a few of the new members would continue their exercise ‘routine’ past January.
Why is it so hard to make change? Why can’t we simply just reorganize or lives and schedule to include our new endeavors? Could it be that as we age, we increasingly become a creature of habit? These habits subconsciously run our lives; imploring us to get on to the next task, without any conscious thought on our part. Experts agree that habits can be changed. But they don’t always agree on how long it takes to change them. That is why I firmly believe in a daily tool and process that, once established, helps to usher-in any change we’d like to make.
Ask any teacher how to properly prepare students to make a change to their routine. They’ll probably tell you it’s through setting expectations. Here at Steps For Today, we’ll tell you….you haven’t changed much since grade school. Having a daily routine that starts and ends with setting your expectations will help focus your thoughts and organize your activities. A tool to help establish this new routine is our ‘Today’s Expectations’ worksheet.
The Today’s Expectation worksheet is a one-sheet, pdf file, with an identical front and back. Each face of the sheet contains the following areas:
- A place for 3 good expectations for the day
- A place for 3 areas to focus on
- 15 lines with checkboxes for activities to accomplish
- 3 lines to write down expectations that were met and/or pleasant surprises
- 3 lines to write down expectations for tomorrow
That’s it! It’s simple to use. To get the best use, we recommend dedicating 10 to 15 minutes of quiet time after waking in the morning, and before going to bed. But if that seems impossible, just print the thing out and fill it in while eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, or putting on your makeup. The point is to write something early in the morning and get the habit established. I truly believe that once you see how much change this simple tool can make, you’ll want to give it more of your time and energy.
To download a free copy of the Today’s Expectation worksheet visit our store at: https://www.stepsfortoday.com/product/todays-expectations-worksheet/.
As always, thanks for reading.
And remember to take the next step..
A mind-bending Scientific American article on the power of expectations, written by Gareth Cook can be found at: