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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time
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Nov 11, 2017

So, we’re ready to go ALL IN and make that 100% commitment with super bright lines.

Fantastic.

But here’s the deal.

First: We need to make sure we make that jumbo-ALL-IN commitment on ONE thing. Not one HUNDRED things. ONE thing.

You can pick whatever you want. Research says you’d benefit from making sure that you do something you actually want to do. Sounds obvious but this is important to keep in mind. Don’t do something because you think you should do it. Do it because it fires you up.

(What’s your ONE thing?)

And, you may want to consider doing something that would have a really positive benefit in your life. Researchers call this a “keystone habit.” Just like a keystone locks an arch in place and is essential for its strength and integrity, our keystone habits keep us super strong and their benefits cascade into the rest of our lives. (Which, of course, is a very good thing.)

Alright. Let’s pause for a moment.

Any ideas on what your ONE keystone habit that you’re fired up to do might be?

Don’t make it a big deal. For now: What’s the thing that pops up immediately that you’re excited to install?

Got it? Awesome.

Now, let’s get specific on what you’re going to do.

Did you pick exercising? Eating better? Meditating? Sleeping more? Whatever it is, let’s get specific. (Remember that the #1 thing successful people do, according to Heidi Grant Halvorson’s uber-popular Harvard Business Review blog post is that they get SPECIFIC with their goals.)

I, ---Insert your name here--, shall do this: ____________________________.

Perhaps it’s: I will meditate for x minutes per day. Or… I will move my body x minutes every day. Or… I will turn off my electronics x minutes before bed time.

Fantastic.

Couple more things:

1. Make it an every day thing. For whatever reason, it’s WAY easier to install a habit when you do it every.single.day and not every third day or twice a week or whatever. (Think of Jerry Seinfeld’s famous streak of Red X’s.)
2. Make it REALLY easy to do. Like crazy easy. Stephen Guise tells us we want to create “mini habits” that are “too small to fail.”

He offers the brilliant advice that we shouldn’t say we’re going to work out for 30 minutes a day, we should say we’re going to do ONE push up per day. We shouldn’t say we’re going to meditate for 60 minutes per day. We should commit to ONE minute per day. Don’t say you’ll write for an hour per day. Write for a minute per day.

Go M I C R O with your habits.

It may sound silly but it works. Make it REALLY REALLY easy to win. And REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to fail.

Make it so you can win even on the days you feel the worst.

Then you’ll build some momentum which is THE key to having fun installing habits that stick.

So… Pick ONE Thing. Make it a fun, high-leverage Keystone. Go Micro. Do it Daily.

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