The Big Steps to Change Your Life

“Hey,” he said, stopping me in the hallway at the Fitness Business Summit where I had just presented, “I’ve got something just for you. Stay right here!”

When my friend, the high-energy mixed martial artists warrior, Martin Rooney, tells you to stay put, you listen. As one of the world’s top performance coaches, Martin has trained thousands of clients, from teenage athletes to busy moms to prima donna SuperBowl Champions, and hundreds of hardcore Mixed Martial Arts fighters. Martin is also one of the most dynamic motivational speakers that I’ve witnessed. Seconds after stopping me in my tracks (he’s fast as a cat at 40-years old), Martin was back with a copy of his book, Rooney’s Rules.

I’m hooked. Each morning during my Daily Guiding Documents review (learn more about my documents here) I read one of Martin’s rules for inspiration. Yesterday’s Rooney Rule hit me hard. It is the number one rule for life if you want to grow a strong family, build an amazing business, help more people, and leave a legacy in your community. If that sounds like your goals in life, then this Rooney Rule is for you.

“Your life will not be measured by all of the things you started, but by the few of those you finished.” – Martin Rooney

Biff. Boom. Pow. That quote hits you right between the eyes.

Your number one step in changing your life is to figure out what matters, to concentrate on what counts, and to finish what you started.

You can’t have a strong family if you merely talk about building a better relationship with your spouse and kids but fail to have the difficult conversations with them that allow you to do so. You won’t grow a great business if you only talk about it, and never sit down to create your action steps and implement that blueprint. You’ll never help more people if you don’t become a massive action taker. You won’t transform your body if you merely read about diet and exercise. You have to step up and do the work. Or as my friend Dax Moy, the UK version of Martin Rooney, once said to me, “You only get paid for done.”

If you’re anything like me, you probably consider yourself an “Idea person”. You have so many big ideas for getting new clients, for taking your family on legendary trips, for writing books, for achieving new personal bests, and for changing the world, and of course, somehow doing all of this while working less.

You and I say yes to too many things. The end result is that we do not finish our big projects that can change our communities and the world. Let’s step back and remember Martin’s rule. Let’s finish what we started. Lets GSD: Get Stuff Done.

Here’s what you’re going to do to accomplish more in life.

First, list “what you say” are your top three priorities in life. Next, make a list of activities that you spend the most time on each day.

Now you need to compare the two lists. Are your actions congruent with your priorities? Or are these out of alignment? Do you say that you want to improve relationships within your family, but you’re still spending 14 hours per day at work? Are you telling yourself that building a second income is a top priority, but you watch three hours of television each night? You must align your habits with your desires.

What habits and rituals can you change so that your priority actions match what you say really matters? What obstacles & temptations do you need to eliminate? What resources do you need? Now that you know, go get them & make these changes. Align your priorities with your actions.

Next, to follow Martin’s number one rule for achieving great things in life, you simply need a five step plan for changing your habits, to get more done, and thus eventually, to improve your life. The 5 steps are:

Step #1: Pick one BIG habit you want to change. Pick one that really matters.

Step #2: Tell positive people that will offer you social support.

Step #3: Pick one person – preferably a professional related to your goal (i.e. if you want to lose weight, hire a personal trainer or nutritionist) – to hold you accountable. Make a rule that you must check in with them each night to report on your progress. Don’t hold back. Tell them about every small victory and each obstacle in your way. Research from Stanford University found that professional accountability is one of the most important factors in a transformation program.

Step #4: Incentivize yourself. Promise yourself a reward for hitting your goal. Or threaten yourself with a punishment if you miss it. No matter if you choose the carrot (the reward) or the stick (the punishment), having an incentive in place will increase your compliance to change.

Step #5: Set The Deadline. Having an endpoint is so important that it gets capitalized. If you don’t have The Deadline, you won’t have an intense stimulus for taking massive action. It’s more important than having an incentive. The Deadline is the ultimate catalyst for taking action.

In summary, pick the habit to change, tell positive people, step-up, be accountable, know the consequences, go after that reward, and do this all under the pressure of your own personal Deadline.

These are the Early to Rise Five Pillars of Transformation. They are proven to work, as shown in the nineteen Transformation Contests that I’ve run in my fitness business at Turbulence Training. They’ve helped thousands of people change their lives and even win my money (we’ve paid out over $150,000 in prizes!).

Along the journey never lose sight of the Rooney Rule that should inspire you every day:

“Your life will not be measured by all of the things you started, but by the few of those you finished.” – Martin Rooney

Finish what you started this time. Prepare each night so that tomorrow doesn’t take you off track. Stay in touch with your social support and accountability professional. Keep your eye on the prize. That is how we make breakthroughs. You can do this. Everyone here at Early to Rise believes in you. No matter what your situation, we’ve seen people come from much worse and achieve the dreams that you also desire.

Today is the day that starts your journey. No more procrastination. It’s time to GSD.

What one habit can you change in your life today?

[Ed Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with research of proven methods in your career, in your business and in your personal life. He has created a unique system to show gratitude and appreciation to stay on track for these goals each and every day. Click here to follow the exact 5-minute system you can use to improve your life.]