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Your Best Energy is Earliest – Use It!


The post title says it all: Your Best Energy is Earliest – Use It!

It’s January 2014. It’s the first Monday of the first month of the New Year. Chances are, you’ve probably made some New Year’s Resolutions. If not, you’ll probably get to work on that today (or at least you should).

So why do people make New Year’s Resolutions in the first place?

  1. They want change in their lives.
  2. The old year has gone, the new year has come.
  3. The old year’s failings are over, the new year’s hope and opportunities are ripe.
  4. They want to make THIS year better than last year.
  5. A New Year reopens your eyes to goals, dreams, and passions that may have gotten lost in last year’s busy-ness, work, and sameness.

But don’t they realize that most New Year’s Resolutions eventually fail?

The problem is that most people go about New Year’s Resolutions completely wrong. Take a typical New Year’s Resolution for example: “I want to lose weight.” Now with that one statement come a whole bunch of other questions (like “How?”) and many more necessary resolutions:

  1. To lose weight, I will eat breakfast.
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
  3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week (doctors recommend it, after all).
  4. Combine strength training, with cardio, with stretching.
  5. Fast for one meal per week (to control my cravings).
  6. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and chocolate.
  7. ….. and so on …..

What’s wrong with this?

There’s just plain TOO MUCH to do! There’s too much change! Even if you would plan to gradually fade in these resolutions over the course of a few months, your body and brain only have a limited supply of energy to keep up with all of this.

  1. At first, you have to think about and plan what breakfast you will eat. EVERY morning!
  2. Then you have to be intentional about drinking 8 glasses of water per day – so you’ll plan that, and COUNT it.
  3. Then, you have to find a gym to become a member of – and remember to go 3 times a week.
  4. ….. you get the picture …..

BUT, the principle to be learned here is not how and why typical New Year’s Resolutions are doomed to fail, but rather the simple fact that the New Year, and particularly New Year’s Resolution planning encase a whole range of passion and a great amount of energy that you can and SHOULD put to use – in the right way.

New Year’s Resolutions still provide a powerful kick of energy

Why are New Year’s Resolutions so powerful even though they are so often ineffective?

  1. There’s a lot of built up angst from the previous year.
  2. People consider the New Year a new chance to “finally get it right this year.”
  3. The New Year is a time when people more easily and readily leave the Past behind them. (“What’s done is done. 2013 is over. What’s next?”)
  4. It’s also a time when people find it easier to Dream Big about the Future. (“The calendar is empty! The sky’s the limit!”)
  5. People are willing to try new things to meet their goals.
  6. There is a collective feeling of energy and anticipation in the air.

Now, what do you do with that pent up energy?

USE it! Early on! To build momentum! Momentum is the most important thing that will carry you through to the completion of your vision.

Take the example from earlier again (“I want to lose weight”). How could we use the pent up energy of a new year to create momentum make achieving this goal a success?

  1. FOCUS on only one aspect of your goal: “I’ll exercise.”
  2. Make it enjoyable: “I hate the gym. I’ll buy a bike.”
  3. Start strong: Set a firm decision in your mind about when and how you’ll do it.
  4. Do NOT negotiate without yourself when it’s “hard.” All the best things in life are “hard” but also “possible.”
  5. Rigidly fix it in your brain that THIS year is not about goals or resolutions, but about HABITS. You aren’t shooting for a goal here, you’re constructing a lifelong habit.

This is the NUMBER ONE KEY to meeting your goals: HABIT

“People don’t decide their futures. People decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.” -F.M.Alexander

SECRET: The same energy that gives oomph to your New Year’s Resolutions is also available to you every morning. 

Have you ever seen a sunrise? Have you ever felt the energy and excitement at the dawn of a new day? The whole day is new and filled with hope and promise!

  • But if you sleep in, you miss it.
  • If you sleep until lunch, you get lazy and fall into old habits.
  • If you wake up late, you’re so rushed that all your energy is spent just getting where you need to be on time. You’ll have nothing left at the end of the day, and the next day will start and end again the same way.

SECRET: The 1-Step Plan for the Super Productivity all High-Achievers is: “Get up Early.”

Last year, I’m sure I set some goals and made some New Year’s Resolutions, but those all faded in my memory compared to the one new habit I (intentionally) developed: getting up at 5am every morning.

My Story

I actually developed this habit for strictly selfish reasons. I have a family, wife, two kids, a full-time job, a part-time job, and various other weekly commitments to other groups and organizations (like church, a band, this educational/motivational website, etc).

Last year, I found myself floundering.

  • I was barely able to keep up with my work and other commitments.
  • My wife was getting upset that I didn’t spend more time with her and our son, and then we found out she was pregnant again.
  • Her Korean tutoring wasn’t growing like I’d hoped, so I wanted to help with this website more.
  • And I really had ZERO personal time for personal projects, relaxation, creativity, or entertainment.

The solution: Start getting up at 5am. I have lots of dreams and goals, and none of them were being met. I wasn’t able to read and learn and grow. I wasn’t achieving the things I’d wanted. So I set that vision in stone – and made it a habit. Since then:

  1. I’ve posted 190 new articles to this blog in the past year.
  2. Created 20-30 new Korean class PDFs.
  3. Gone through and found over 2,000 new vocabulary words for our vocab lists.
  4. Set up Learning with Texts on this site and have studied 30 texts myself.
  5. Uploaded nearly 70 audio sermons and accompanying notes in the past week.

So what’s the best advice I can give you in the New Year?

Your Best Energy is Earliest (in the morning) – Use it (to solidify new Habits – like studying Korean).

[This post was inspired in part by these resources:

What about you? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? How did it go last year? What are you going to change this year?

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