Benjamin Franklin had 13 virtues that he worked on regularly. He felt that by creating and following these virtues he could make his life a little bit better each week. While you could use Franklin’s virtues, a better strategy would be creating 12 life changing habits of your own, one to work on for each month of the year.
The habits you’ll want to choose are effective habits that put your success on autopilot. By doing the right things each day, in time, good things are bound to happen.
Today let’s look at how you can create your 12 life changing habits.
Use this process to create your 12 life changing habits:
1. Decide on what you want.
You can’t create life changing habits without knowing what you want out of life. In other words, what are your goals? This is because you want to create habits that support your goals. So, the first thing you need to do is make a list of your goals and then prioritize them.
2. What habits can help you reach these goals?
Now that you understand what you want, make a list of all the habits that can help you reach those goals. Take a look at your first priority and consider the habits that can help you to reach that goal. When you do this, use the brainstorming method, listing every possible habit you can think of no matter how small or how outrageous it might be. You’re not judging them yet, so list every habit you can think of.
3. Prioritize your habit list.
Let’s face it, some habits are far more effective than others. Examine your list of habits and prioritize them from the most effective to the least. Take your time and be honest with yourself. Keep in mind that the most effective actions are also the least enjoyable.
4. Choose the 12 habits you feel will make the biggest impact in your life.
These 12 habits are the ones you’re going to work on for the next year. Make sure that list them in a logical order that makes sense for you to achieve your goals.
5. Plan your work.
Nothing starts without a plan. Figure out a plan you can use to implement your first habit for the next 30 days. Let’s say your first goal is to start an exercise program that includes going to the gym for 45 minutes, six days a week, alternating days between cardio and lifting weights.
Here’s how you could lay out your plan:
- Day 1. Choose a gym that is affordable and close to your home.
- Days 2-7. Start exercising at the gym for at least 15 minutes a day, letting yourself try out the different machines and equipment.
- Days 8-14. Go to the gym for at least 25 minutes a day, alternating weightlifting with cardio.
- Continue through the month until you are at your 45-minute goal by day 30.
6. Begin with one goal.
Don’t start on multiple goals, instead, choose one goal and stick to it. While it might seem faster to try put all the habits into action at once, what you’ll find is focusing on one goal gets you better results in the long run. This is how you establish 12 life changing habits in a year.
7. Focus on that one goal
Now that you’ve decided, put all of your energy and focus on that one goal. This goal has to be a huge priority for you, after all it’s your life we’re talking about. Commit to putting 100% of your focus on that one goal at this time.
8. Practice doing it daily.
It’s a lot easier to turn daily actions into habits than things you only do a few times a week. Determine to do something that will solidify this habit daily.
9. Plan your actions around your energy level.
Many people plan their time without considering their energy levels. Going back to the gym, do you have more energy for the gym in the morning or in the evening? Since everyone is different, plan your actions around your energy.
10. Keep your eye on the prize.
New actions won’t become life changing habits right away and they probably won’t be that enjoyable, at least at first. However, if you keep your attention on what you’ll gain from persisting at them for the long run, it will make doing them a lot easier.
11. Track Your Results
An old saying goes, “what gets measured gets done”. To get the most from the efforts you put into your life changing habits, you must absolutely track your results. You might track pounds of body weight, dollars, pushups, or hours of piano practice, whatever fits your goal. As you move closer to your goal, your results will become more motivating.
Continue Until You Have 12 Life Changing Habits
Once you’ve worked on your first habit for thirty days, it’s time to add your next life changing habit. Keep adding one every 30 days until you’ve added all twelve. 12 life changing habits will make a huge long-term huge difference in the way you experience life.
So, instead of trying to change everything about your life at once, try tackling your life one habit at a time. Which life changing habit will you choose to add first?