Tuesday December 23, 2008 #85

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”  


Fellow JAMmer CB submitted today’s quote from Aristotle which emphasizes the key to achieving our goals and resolutions:  Action, repeat.  Action, repeat.  The challenge is that this works for both achieving goals and continuing poor habits and problems. 

In our last JAM I asked you to take a few minutes and write out the answers to these 4 questions:

1. What do you want to change?
2. What do you want to outgrow?
3. What do you want to avoid?
4. What do you want to enhance? 

Do you want to change your attitude or your life situation?  Do you want to outgrow a juvenile habit?  Do you want to avoid negative people in your life or other obstacles to your success?  Then you’ll need to take specific actions that build habitual routines that help you change, outgrow, and avoid as you want.  These actions will need to be repeated, over time.

Do you want to enhance your strengths, your positive relationships, your income?  Similarly, you’ll need to take specific actions that help you enhance what you want.   

The good news, is the actions you need to take to change, outgrow, avoid, and enhance are inter-dependent, working together to accomplish all of these “wants.”  Nature abhors a vacuum.  As you make a resolution to lose weight, for example, you can’t just avoid bad eating habits.  You must also replace that bad habit with a positive counter-action:  better eating habits, exercise, etc.  Sounds simple but obviously it is not or we wouldn’t fail in our resolutions every year.

The good news is that you have made a great first step by writing down the answers to the four questions – this is more than most people will ever do.  The better news is that written goals, combined with specific actions and repeated over time have always and will always guarantee significant progress to goal achievement.

We’ll cover examples of successful action techniques in upcoming JAMs.  In the meantime, be sure to pause and reflect on your many blessings this holiday week!