5 Tips to help you avoid going back to default mode

With every New Year comes a new or old resolution. Some of us want to loose weight, eat healthier, exercise move, spend more time with family, be more productive, learn a 2nd language or finally write that book that has been rolling around in our heads for the last 5 years.

Whatever your resolution goals are one thing we all share is the struggle of keeping at it. It is much easier to revert back to our default mode because it’s comfortable.

Quitting bad habits or forming new ones is hard work. Luckily it doesn’t have to be that way. We are halfway through February, which is when most people quit on their resolutions.

Here are 5 tips I’ve come across over the years that have helped me fight the default mode monster.

1. Set yourself up to succeed

How does one go about setting themselves up to succeed? It starts with identifying the correct goal. First, make sure the goal you give yourself is one you actually want to accomplish.

If you don’t really want to write a book and don’t enjoy writing then you shouldn’t listen to friends and family who say “Wow you should write a book about that everyone would buy it”. That’s their goal, not yours.

Second, you need to make the goal achievable. Will I finish my business book this year yes, will I go to the international space station probably not.

The third is to get all the resources you need ahead of time and lay out your plan with specific mini goals with dates. Want to learn Spanish then set small achievable goals you can do on a daily basis. I will practice for 10 minutes a day while I’m eating my breakfast. Connecting goals to routines you already do will help you stick to it.

2. One Step at a Time and One goal at a time

This is one of the most important things when trying to accomplish any goal. Breaking the goal into smaller tasks.

Let’s say you want to lose weight. If you try to go on some all-out crazy diet where you can only eat rabbit food every day you will last two weeks before giving up. You don’t need to cut all the things you love to eat all at once.

Pick one thing in your diet that is the unhealthiest and cut that one item out of your diet. Once you have cut that one item let’s say soda for example (diet soda is even worse so don’t replace a bad habit with an equally bad one) out of your diet for a month then move on to the next problem item on your list.

The same thing applies to exercise. Don’t go to the gym and work out for 2 hours if you haven’t worked out in months. Start with a light 15-20 minute workout routine and gradually add to it over the course of weeks and months.

Lastly, don’t multitask. Give your goal your complete attention and focus. You can’t watch TV and learn to play chess at the same time.

3. Mentally prepare yourself and ask for help

If you truly believe in your mind that you can accomplish something then your subconscious will do everything it can to achieve that goal.

Going it alone is 100 times harder than doing it with a partner. Want to go to the gym more? Then find a work out partner.

Want to learn how to become a better writer? Join a writers group.

Want to learn a language? Find someone online that wants to learn your language and help each other.

For difficult goals, you can also seek out a mentor. Someone who has already been there and done that can speed up the learning process 10 fold. Why stumble in the forest in the dark alone if you don’t have to.

If you want to learn the piano taking lesson from a piano teacher will accelerate your process.

Starting a new business, hire someone who has set up businesses before and let them guide you through the process.

4. Cut out the negative people and distractions from your life

If having a mentor speeds up your learning process then negative people in your life will pull you down just as quick. The people you surround yourself with will directly affect if you succeed or fail.

If you put an average player on a good team they will get better. If you put a good player on an average team then the whole team has to get better. If you surround yourself with helpful people who truly want to see you succeed you have a greater chance of hitting your goals.

Surround yourself with jealous and negative people and they will only bring you down. Cut these people out of your life now or drown with them in misery.

Next, you have to set aside a time in your day that you will be free from distractions and interruptions so you can focus all your efforts on the task at hand. Turn the TV off, put your phone in the other room, tell family, friends, and co-workers you don’t want to be disturbed.

Every time we let a distraction in it takes a couple of minutes for our brains to get back into the mental state to be able to focus on the task we were just doing. This is why you hear that a lot of successful people wake up early. They do tasks they know will require their full attention before the rest of the world wakes up and steals their focus.

5. If at first you don’t succeed get back on the mechanical bull your date is watching

The one thing successful people have in common is the will to dust themselves off and keep at it. They learn from their mistakes and use what they learned to achieve greatness.

I might not be a millionaire with my own private jet but I have a pretty amazing life. For all my successes there are an equal amount of failures to match.

The key to failure is to recognize where you went wrong and to fix the problem. If you started a work out routine and quit after the first month at what point did it go downhill? Maybe you were working out after work and had a big project come up so you would skip working out because you had so much work to do.

Identify the problem, come up with a fix or ask someone to help you solve it. In the workout example, a possible solution might be to work out in the morning before work then you have already done your workout by the time you get to the office.