Last week I read a book called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy.
The Compound Effect is one book that I have already started gifting to people when they are having issues with most aspects in their lives.
The main premise of the book is that pretty much everything that you would like to improve in your life can be done fairly easily as long as you are willing to make small changes on a regular basis, be patient and be persistent. All of the habits that we have grown to have throughout our lives have all been learned; therefore we are able to unlearn these habits and learn new ones. Changing our habits can have massive effects on our lives. All that’s needed to break a habit is to make small changes over time. Don’t give yourself any temptation to fall back into those habits. So find your triggers and avoid them. If you are aware of what it is that causes you to feel the need to continue to do these than you can cut that out of your life and begin to better yourself. Also try to replace your bad habits with new habits that help benefit your goal. So if you are trying to give up smoking for instance, start chewing gum. continue the exact same process you would if you were going to go out for a smoke but instead of putting a cigarette in your mouth, pop in a piece of gum, chew it for the same amount of time you would smoke, then spit it out. By following the same steps that you take when you would be smoking but just replace the one part of it, it becomes an easier way to give up everything all at once. Especially since smoking can also be a social activity for some people. At the same time, it can be helpful if you have someone else doing the same thing with you. Having someone else to go through the pains with you, hold you accountable, and even create somewhat of a competition with you will add to the potential for success opposed to going at it alone.
Keeping track of everything that we do is also a large part of making lasting changes to our lives. If you are trying to eat more healthy than track everything that you intake. If you are trying to become financially stable, than track every single cent that you spend. If you want to better your relationships, than track all of the positive and negative things that you do for them. When we track everything that we do than we are able to see both the good and the bad things that we are doing and will be more focused on the things that we need to change. Tracking what we are doing gives us a path towards our goal that we can physically see. Having a list of money we have spent or food that we have consumed, makes us feel guilty if we put junk into our body or spend frivolously because after we have written it down then when we reflect on the list after, we can see exactly where we went off course and will try to avoid that next time because we won’t want to have that disappointment written down.
Once you have gotten the hang of tracking everything and been able to learn how to kick your bad habits then the biggest and in my opinion the most important step is being able to keep the momentum going, continuing the routine and being patient. I don’t know how many times I have personally made goals and made it 50% of the way to that goal, whether it be with saving money or getting in shape or a dozen other things, and then lost my momentum and drive because I started to see the results that I was wanted so I started to slack off. Making lasting changes to our lives is not something that we can take lightly and can not expect to happen over night. Every “overnight” success story that you have heard of, probably took 5-10 years to get to that point. Even though you may not have seen all of the things in the back round that needed to be done for something to be an overnight success, doesn’t mean that it didn’t take a ton of hard work and dedication to get there. So take your time, set strict goals, and remember that our lives are more than just the next 3 months so play the game that takes you to the end, not the one that just gets you to the next level.
If you really want to make changes to your life and you aren’t 100% sure of where to start, then pick up a copy of The Compound Effect and I promise that you won’t be disappointed. It isn’t a hard read at all and has quite a few good points in it. Invest in yourself, it has the highest return on investment possible because the possibilities are endless!