The fact that the first week of the year is perfect doesn’t mean that the rest of the year will be. All the great things we want to do as habits, somehow find a way of miraculously cramming their way into our first week. In that first week, nothing can go wrong, we are usually all on point.
Here are the regular wish lists. Now, these are not the goals, but what makes the goals possible. They are the atomic habits.
1. Journal daily
2. Study the Bible daily
3. Be more intimate with God – Pray and listen daily
4. Exercise daily
5. Eat Healthy Daily
6. Read daily
7. Write daily
8. Be a better person – Encourage others daily
9. Do your accounting daily
10. Touch sides with spouse/friend or partner daily
11. The list goes on, sure you get what I mean
So typically, we find a way to do everything for 7 days. After the 7 days, the new year ginger wanes and we are left limp and less than average. Somehow all the good habits begin to drop off gradually. We still struggle with the journaling till January ends, the walk lasts a little longer, the Bible study quickly loses frequency, and the reading daily becomes less automated. Let’s be real, we need a new hack.
If you doubt what I’m communicating, just look at your journal from last year, or the book reading target you set for yourself, or even your income goals, or your better at relationships goals. You will find them speaking to you in high pitch.
Rather than the urge for a perfect week, I am recommending a new hack. In case you are wondering what audacity I have to offer you a hack, let me assure you that I have tried the perfect week model and I have tried a different model and seen a huge difference in the results. You will too.
Here are a few things to have in mind to work out this different style.
1. Every new habit requires a deliberate replacement of an existing habit. These habits may not relate to each other at all, but they take the same time that you would use for the new habit. For example, Studying the Bible daily can be – study the bible for 10 mins immediately after waking up. This may need to replace catching up on your socials while you take-a-shit.
2. Find dependencies. You are not likely to be able to focus on those 10 goals of yours with equal intensity. So, it will be a good idea to find goals that put other goals on autopilot. For example, your journaling can be an opportunity for you to express what you have learned from reading over the day. Your Bible Study can be the basis for your prayer and conversation.
Once you have these thoughts on lockdown, the approach is to be willing to start small and grow daily. The perfect week can wear you out, and help you start with unrealistic standards. Use the first week and month to observe yourself, observe the dependencies, and what you need to replace.
There are things you are doing that take 30 mins to 1hr to do that you may need to stop or reduce to achieve your goals. See every month, week, and day with close to the intensity of a new year. That’s going to be tough because you are not getting the happy new day or week messages and the world is not in the same fireworks mood as January 1. You can work on your mind however to begin to think about new as what can be smaller, and you can start at least with measuring progress monthly then weekly, and then daily.