The Unspoken Secret to Success and Creating Wellness Habits (That Stick)
At one point in my life there, there were all these habits I was working on (especially after writing my book).
As soon as I realized this “gospel of habits” I realized I could change anything in my life, if it was just tiny things that I had to do daily.
So I was working on personal finance habits, tracking my spending, tracking my savings, and tracking things about my fitness, like what I ate every day.
I would track things about how many hours or minutes I meditated per day, how many hours I slept – and in other words, was working on all these habits simultaneously.
The problem was, of course, the more habits you track, the harder it is to stick with those habits in the long run, right?
When you work on too much altogether, it’s very tough to stay focused.
Here’s what I wish I would’ve known years ago when I was tracking all these habits and life changes – but they weren’t sticking.
The Habit Consistency Idea
The Doomsday Habit Document and Secret to Success
To combat all this confusion, in other words, to make sure I would not keep messing up my life, I created something called, “the doomsday document and the secret to success.”
It sounds really creepy, but the simple theory behind the doomsday document is that if I just kept the master document of all my habits, then theoretically if some aspect of my life went to hell, I could just review those habits, then get back on track.
Makes sense, right?
If my entire life went to hell.
If my relationship imploded.
If I gained 50 pounds and got really sick.
If my spirituality went to hell and I was negative every day.
If all of this went out the window, if all I had to do was do “those habits” and I had a list of those habits, then all I needed to do was make a to-do list and do those habits every day again.
Inside this doomsday document I wrote down the various domains in my life, for example:
BEST YEAR: Meditate 2x a day for 20 minutes; read a spiritual text once a day; have a feeling of faith that things will work themselves out; follow your intuition.
Fitness: what was the healthiest and fittest I’ve ever been?
BEST YEAR: Cook 9/10 meals that go in your mouth (breakfast, lunch, dinner M-F); Go to the gym for one hour a day, four days a week, and here are the workouts; cooking – here’s what I typically cook, how much I eat, and how often per day; What I drink – coffee, tea, and water.
Productivity and goal achievement:
BEST YEAR: How do I make sure I get all the stuff done I need to get done (like shooting videos, doing blog articles, etc)?; Do fewer things, and limit myself to the 2-3 most important tasks to reach the goal; Do the hardest thing first each day; Write down a list of what you’re doing the night before (to prevent sleep anxiety); Have all my goals listed on one piece of paper every single day.
BEST YEAR: Meditate twice daily; spend as much time with people as possible; workout one hour a day (or do qigong); Make sure to focus on spiritual, mental, and emotional health daily; spend time with parents and girlfriend as much as humanly possible.
BEST YEAR: Track spending on a daily basis using an iphone app to auto-calculate expenses; do monthly expense reports; don’t get an apartment >30% of my income; no drinks on weekends a lot unless I have plenty of extra income.
BEST YEAR: Date night once a week; make sure to make every single holiday extra special and unique; always make hand-written cards when possible; have dinner together with no electronics.
So I knew that these habits were already proven to make that aspect of my life the best – because I had tracked them previously or had an intuition that these would work.
Over all these months, I would just document the best phase of my life (in that domain).
And if I didn’t have the “best year” yet in that aspect (aka, if I had never been in good health), I would write down the habits I would assume would make the best and most productive year.
Working on Multiple Habits at Once
So the way I accomodate for working on multiple habits at once is by creating this kind of doomsday document – if my life goes to hell, I keep this master list of all the individual habits on my computer.
I literally list out the habits 1-10 on my computer for when I get off track.
This is so perfect for fitness and dieting too, because almost all of us get off track at some point.
Two years ago I was super fit, and this year I gained 30 pounds.
The hell happened!?
It might seem like a mystery (because this is a really common story I hear on a daily basis), but just come back to your document.
This is my doomsday – okay, here are the five things I just start doing again every single day and then I know I’ll get there.
There’s no stress and anxiety about whether or not it’ll work, because you know it works.
There’s no stress and anxiety about whether or not you have “good advice” or a solid plan, because you’ve been there.
It’s the shortcut to getting back on track.
Your Master the Day Tiny Daily Habit for Today
Your mission for today is super simple: first, if you had the best year of your life, then you can take time to think back on all the habits you did.
If it was the most fun year of your life, did you go out with friends every single day so you had a strong social life?
Write it down.
In that document, put together all the key things you did daily that worked for you.
What if you haven’t had your best year yet? What if you aren’t as fit as you want, and therefore don’t know which habits to do?
Write down what you think will get you there – and start doing them.