New Year’s Resolution – Focus on “minimums”

Every year we make our New Year’s resolution and usually it is something that is BIG and life changing.  And, every year at the end of the year, we wonder how it got away.  

There are very few people that I have met that don’t use the fact that life got in the way of allowing them achieve their resolution.  In my opinion people increase their likelihood to achieve resolutions for tasks they are currently doing, but want to do better.  However, for those individuals who set goals to do something totally new and add it to their daily or weekly routine, they are usually destined to fail.  I probably fall into that category.  I always try to believe I can add doing something new in my life.  While I am good for the first few days, even weeks, I usually am overcome by the overwhelming burden of the goal I have set.  At least I was, that is until I learned about “minimums”.

Author and speaker Joshua Seldman challenges people to set “minimums”, which he defines as the smallest action one can take that will eventually create a habit – thus allowing them to get closer to their goal.  He gives numerous examples of people that say, “I am going to do 25 push-ups a day” and fail.  The end of the day comes and you are too tired and 25 push-ups seems overwhelming and so you go to bed defeated.  Mr. Seldman would challenge you that it is less about how many and more about the habit.  The “minimum” he would set would be 1-push up per day.  Yes, one.  He challenges people that it is about the act of getting down to do a push up and that is what you have to overcome.  Once in the push up position most will do a lot more than one, but if their “minimum” is one, they are more likely to get down and do 1 push-up, than if it is twenty-five push-ups.  The irony is that once down, they are more likely to do 25 push-ups than 1 push-up.  

What is it that you are struggling to overcome?  Set a minimum.  If you come back a week later and you still aren’t doing something to get closer to your goal, set a new minimum.  Keep setting the minimum until it creates the desired result.  I hope that you find the same results that I have found.  Small actions lead to big results.