Change doesn’t have to be big to stick. In fact, that type of change rarely works. The execution of it being so monumental creates a workload paradigm that is not conducive to most people. For example, say you have a new years resolution to wake up earlier and have more productive mornings to shift your entire day and take your 2018 in a new direction. If you are someone who typically wakes up at 9:30am and find that your mornings are generally unproductive, changing that up to a 5am wake up, workout, shower, read, cook your breakfast, write in a journal, make your bed, and meditate, and hop in the car for work all before your old wake up time could prove troublesome. You are trying to change too many variables at one time and that is a recipe for disaster. It will be far too easy for one or all of those things to slip.
Instead try starting with something small. Rather than setting your alarm for 3 different times, 8:00/8:40/9:20am, to make sure you are up by 9:30, simply set it once for 8:00am and make a rule that you are not aloud to hit the snooze button. Instead, you get up at the first alarm and continue that three days in a row. If you succeed move on and add a new thing. “This time I will get up at my first alarm, 8:00am, a I will make a cup of hot tea instead of coffee”. Same system: if you complete it three days in a row add a new variable. “I am going to wake up at my first alarm, 7:57am, have my cup of tea, and do a short 10 minute stretch routine”.
You can start to see where this leads. Before not too long you are up at 5:00am, having a cup of tea while reading a chapter of the book you are currently into, onto your workout by 5:20, done with that and cooling down at 6:15 ready to shower, written in your journal and planned for the day, dressed, eating your home-cooked breakfast, and out the door for your new job you are excited about by 7:40am.
Very powerful stuff if the execution piece is done correctly.
Not that there is one correct or incorrect way, there is simply an assessment of “are you doing it and is it working?” No? Well then that is the wrong way. A good friend once told me “if you want something you’ve never had you have to do something you’ve never done”.
The catalyst for your day was simply getting out of bed at a non-negotiable time 3 months ago. You worked hard, succeeded at that, and began to add new things you wanted to accomplish to build a better morning, a better day, and ultimately a better you.
Real change happens in the details, which is irritating for many because it is not very fruitful in the moment. Those moments take a long time to come to fruition, but when they do . . . look out.