As we start the New Year with all of our new resolutions or goals written out, apply the “1 for 21 to get 17” method to your action plan to reach those goals.
Choose one new task, behavior or action that will propel you toward your goal.
Do that one thing every day for 21 days to make it a new habit. As the months of the calendar flip over, you will have made 17 new behaviors a part of your everyday life.
You don’t need to change everything at once, or charge forward on all goals simultaneously. That’s a good way to set ourselves up for failure. Instead, think about one thing you can do for 21 days that will help you to start the next new behavior. The compounding effect of the two behaviors, and then the third through the seventeenth should lead you to that big goal.
For example, you’ve got a goal to lose 30 pounds this year. Well, you can focus on the number 30 and drive yourself crazy every time you binge, or you can dump dieting for good and change one behavior that will help you lose 2.5 pounds each month.
So, the first “1” might be to stop drinking sodas. After 21 days, you have a new habit that will contribute to your goal of weight loss. Then you might choose to walk around the building every day on your lunch break. After 21 days, you’ve created a second new habit that will help you reach that goal of 2.5 pounds per month. Imagine how effective 17 new healthy habits could be.
Think about how to apply this to other areas. Let’s say you made a resolution or goal to make more money. You could start with 21 days of logging every expense, including those mid-afternoon lattes. That new habit will show you where you’ve got money going out that can be redirected into a resource that you need to set you on a path to make more money, such as paying the monthly fee for your website hosting for a new business. Then after the first 21 days, you start just one more new behavior that will push that goal forward.
Don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed by how much you think you have to do. It’s as easy as 1, 21, 17.