There goes your alarm. Correction – that was your alarm going off – ten minutes ago. You’re already running late. So much for that New Year’s Resolution, you think.
But hold on, not so fast. You can still fix your bad habits and make dramatic changes in your life in just a few minutes per day. And yes, it’s still possible even though your boss is working you overtime (without the extra pay you deserve – another resolution to fix) and while you juggle a social life, family responsibilities, and even enjoy a little downtime for yourself.
And best of all, making these dramatic changes won’t cost you a thing (you might even win some money for dropping your bad habits and achieving your goals). In fact, you’re about to discover a complete thirty-minute blueprint for changing your life, and then we’ll get to how you can win money just for doing so.
Right now, the most important thing you need to know about and take action on is a simple five-minute solution for success. The first five minutes of your transformation are the most important, and can be done right now or at the end of the day.
In these five minutes that will have a big impact on your life, you’re going to create a checklist for the next day’s priorities. Simply write down the 3-5 biggest things that need to get done tomorrow in order to move you ahead with your life changes. This step helps you become pro-active about success, rather than being re-active to what happens around you. It’s a seemingly small change in behavior, but it’s actually a giant step forward in transforming your life. Wasn’t that easy?
The next ten minutes of your transformation are as important and are essential to making big changes in your life. Tomorrow you’re going to get up ten minutes earlier than normal.
Yes, I know, we struggled with the alarm today. But now you have priorities. Now you have a checklist of things to do and motivation to get out of bed not just on time, but a little bit early, because it’s going to make all the difference in your life.
Getting up early starts with making changes at night. Simply cut out a bit of TV today (you can watch what you missed on the weekend), and get to bed on time – or even fifteen minutes early – so that you can get up with ten minutes to spare in the morning. When you do this, you’ll be shocked at the difference it will make.
Every problem can be attacked better first thing in the morning when you have better mental clarity and fewer distractions. Eventually you should work up to getting up thirty minutes – or even an hour – earlier than you do now, but let’s start with ten minutes tomorrow.
Keep your priority to-do list right beside your bed. When you wake up and get through your morning routine, go right to item number one on the list and start taking action to get it done. This might mean starting an exercise routine, preparing a better lunch for work, doing a CSI-style investigation on your bank balance, or simply going through a stack of unpaid bills on your kitchen table.
Whatever your number one priority is, attack it first thing in the morning. Again, you’ll be shocked at what you can get done in just ten minutes without distractions. You’ll get addicted to the progress you can make in the calm and silence of the early morning hours. Getting an early start is one of the top secrets of the most productive and successful people in the world. And now you’re an insider just like them.
So far, so good. By borrowing just fifteen minutes from your busy day we’ve already made a dramatic change in what you are getting done. Your life is starting to change for the better. But we’re only halfway done.
In the next five minutes you’ll identify the obstacles in the way of your success, and more important, how to get these obstacles out of your way. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. In the left hand column, write down every obstacle that stands in your way of success. In the right hand column, write down two solutions for every obstacle.
For example, if you want to lose weight but don’t know how to eat properly, you’d write that down in the left hand column. Then on the right side you could put down, “Get that nutrition program that Joe from work used to lose fifteens pounds”, and “Schedule an appointment with the nutritionist at the gym”.
Once you’ve gone through this exercise for your goals, you’ll now have the action steps for success. But we need to turn these action steps into habits.
The next five minutes of your transformation is all about making change easier. You’re going to work on building new habits and ensuring that these new actions become automatic and easy.
You need to plan your day so that all the good actions in your life become easy to do, and all the bad actions in your life become more difficult. For example, if your current habit right now is to get up late and wolf down an over-priced, high-calorie fast-food breakfast on the way to work, you need to come up with a plan to make the better decision easier.
Whatever the case, you must first identify the obstacles and come up with two solutions for each. The solutions will become your new habits. In the above example, solutions include going to bed earlier, getting up on time, and stocking your fridge with real food solutions for breakfast.
Next, you make those solutions easier to use. That means making a rule to turn off the television at a set-time each work night. You could also place your alarm clock further away from your bed. And to keep your fridge stocked with better food, you will need to start a habit of doing a big shopping trip every weekend or come up with a new route home from work that allows you to go to the grocery store for real food once or twice per week.
Make a list of all the new habits you need to build that will support your goals. Then create a simple checklist to follow each day. Creating a checklist for these habits is a surefire way to keep you on track. It might seem silly at first, but a checklist is extremely helpful until your new behaviors become automatic.
Write your daily ‘to-do’ checklist and keep it beside your daily priorities so that you have easy access to both first thing in the morning. Keep these with you at all times as reminders to stay on track. Which brings me to the easiest five minutes – and potentially most rewarding – of your transformation.
The final 5 minutes are where everything comes together. You’re going to take advantage of two of the four pillars of success. These are social support and accountability. To do this, go to the website, www.TransformationContest.com, join the FREE contest, and write down your goals and what you did today to move one step closer to them. That’s it.
By sharing your goals and your progress with the world (don’t worry, you don’t have to share any private details about yourself), you’ll get social support and you’ll have people that will hold you accountable. Research shows that the more frequently people check-in and use these types of websites, the better the results they achieve. So take advantage of this free tool to keep you on track.
In addition to the support and accountability, the TransformationContest.com website also gives you a deadline and incentives for making changes. Those are the other two pillars of success that you must have in your transformation, no matter if you are trying to lose weight, quit smoking, take control of your finances, or simply improve the relationships you have with your partner or children.
The 30-minute transformation plan is a simple yet powerful way to change your life. It doesn’t require massive sacrifice. Instead, you’ll gain confidence and motivation with small victories each day.
Action begets more action. Accountability and support keep you on track. The deadline reminds you to keep on pushing because your time is limited. And the incentives, well, hey, everyone loves to win some money, and when it comes with the added benefit of pushing you to reach your goals, it’s the perfect recipe for success.
That’s how you transform your life thirty minutes at a time. It all starts today, right now, by writing down your priorities to attack tomorrow. Once you’ve done that, go over to TransformationContest.com and take advantage of the DONE-for-YOU four pillars of success that will keep you on track for the next 90 days of change.
[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and author of Financial Independence Monthly and Turbulence Training. He is also the co-creator of the Early to Rise $100,000 Transformation Contest. This 90-day contest is FREE for you to enter, and you'll have a chance to win up to $25,000 in prizes in four categories: Healthy, Wealthy, Wise, and Overall. Let us motivate, assist and hold you accountable for accomplishing your goals. Get started on your major life transformations today.]5 Minute Task to Turn Your Life Around,