A Year From Today, “if you were to look back at your actions today, what would you have changed? Do that.”
(paraphrasing Craig Ballantyne).
Craig has a wonderful philosophy by which he lives his life and works his business. His most successful clients in his weight-loss program had a very powerful set of personal rules by which they lived. His analogy of why a vegetarian never eats meat is an excellent example of how people can live their lives if they have a set of strict rules and guiding principles. A Vegetarian doesn’t “slip-up” and say “oh just this once, I’ll have a Big Mac”. They have a guiding principle by which they live their lives and will never depart from this behaviour. Craig explains that these individuals have “adopted guilt-free behaviors that achieve results congruent with their personal philosophy”.
What might your personal rules be? Craig has 12 very powerful personal rules by which he lives his life and manages his businesses, which he shares in this video.
The rules you live by are already part of you, they are your personal values and the habits you’ve put in place over the course of your entire life. But you need to write them down so that they become a tool by which you can continuously improve your self. Once your rules are written down and visible to you, you can continue to improve on them, tweak them and personalize them. I suggest you put them on a whiteboard or a large piece of paper you can hang on the wall. I’m a scrapbooker and card-maker, so I have mine on a beautiful 12″ x 12″ Scrapbook layout that I have framed on my kitchen door. It is something that I glance at every day, many times a day. It serves as a constant reminder of my ethics, my values and the person I strive to be.
Some of my Personal Rules are:
1. Do something today to become the person I want to be. Add this to my habits to form list and practice it every day. Practice what I preach. Set my goals, take actions, write my goals down, make sure I’m focused on what I want to achieve today and how that contributes to my future.
2. Start the day on Evernote, where I store all my to-do, to-don’t and habits to form lists. Look at my To-do and To-don’t lists every day and make an action plan for today with the top 5-10 things I must work on. This action plan is my tool to stop procrastination and eliminate distractions. It is these things that need to take priority over other time-wasting behaviors, such as checking emails or watching youtube or checking Facebook.
3. Recognize judgmental behavior in myself and take positive action to correct it. If I notice myself making a generalization or judgement of someone or something, I make a mental note. But a mental note is not enough, so I write it down.
4. Journal your day – just a few lines or paragraphs. Cross reference your journal with your personal rules. This can be a powerful means to recognize in yourself the behaviors that are incongruent with your personal rules.
5. Never raise my voice or my hand to my children. Always provide an example of how to behave. Striking and yelling only teach a child that it’s OK to strike and to yell.
6. Be childlike in wonder at the beautiful world around me. Never lose sight of the beauty and wonder around you.
8. Say thank you often. Recognize the people in your life who have impacted on you – reach out to them and show your generosity. Send a thank you card. Reach out by phone or Facebook to those people who have made a difference in your life. This is especially important if you want to Make the Internet a Better Place! A very simple way to say thank you is to give Facebook Likes & Shares, Google +1’s, Tweets and Pins to the beautiful and helpful things that you find on the internet. Share these things to reward the creators.
I recommend you start documenting your own list of personal rules. Start with watching Craig’s video – you might find some of his rules resonate with you and give you a good starting point for your own list.
Another tool that might help you is a list of your own “Success Principles”. Your success in life, your ability to achieve your goals, should be guided by your “Success Principles”. Success Principles such as these from Addicted2Success:
Do something you love
Move in the right direction
Use the power of dreams and your imagination
Focus on growth
Maintain your determination
Set a clear vision
Set goals along the way
Work out plans of action for your work
Commit to taking action
Get rid of negative influences
Be grateful and appreciate what you have
Brian Tracy suggests that success is predictable. It is just like following a recipe. You find the recipe for success by studying those who have achieved success and do those things that work for you. What action can you take today to find that recipe? Check out Brian’s homepage for some amazing tips. Brian has been teaching success principles for decades.
So how do you find the ‘recipe for success’? Do you find yourself on youtube looking at re-runs of your favorite soap opera? STOP! Instead, take the time to watch inspirational videos, interviews with successful people, goal setting videos, TED Talks – anything that inspires you to think about how you can improve yourself and find that recipe for your own success. These actions TODAY will contribute to your success, whether it be today, tomorrow, next month or a year from today. You have to take action today in order to see a change in yourself in the future.
Are you doing today those things that will contribute to a better you in the future? Then why not? You should be making changes today and consistently working on making those changes into habits. Studies have shown that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So, my challenge to you today is to:
1. Write down your personal rules and put them up on a wall where they are visible. If you’re a crafty person, you might make a pretty and decorative banner or poster or something you can frame and put on the wall. It doesn’t matter what they look like, only that they are there when you walk into that room – put them on the wall, on the fridge, or on the toilet wall. I grew up with a poster of Desiderata on the back of the toilet door- it was the basis for the very first personal rules I formed. Please have a read of it for your own inspiration.
2. Write down your success principles or use some you’ve found on the ‘net as a starting point. These principles will help you to form the habits that will lead to your success. Put them up somewhere they are visible and use them for inspiration.
3. Decide what you want to change TODAY and set yourself a 21 day plan to cement that behavior into habit. Again, write it down and put it on display.
4. Think back to a year ago. What would you have changed then to put your life in a better place today? DO THAT today and consistently for the next 21 days so that you can form a habit for the future.
5. Get Organized. Set up your to-do and to-don’t lists, plus your Habits to Form list. Check these lists every day and form a habit of setting up your 5-10 things to do today. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted from these things today, they are the most important things you have chosen for today. If you notice yourself not doing these things, correct your behavior immediately! If you’re doing something other than the 5-10 things on your list, ask yourself WHY. It could be that you’re doing something important that you simply forgot to put on your to-do list, but it might be that you’re procrastinating.
Procrastination will be the next topic I cover. Check back soon to see more.
Would you like to share some of your guiding principles? Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. Here’s to your brightest future!
Not sure where to start still? Check out our get organized page to get some more inspiration. A year from today, you will be glad you took these steps today.