s I spend some time at home with my family this Christmas season, I'm reminded yet again how quickly time flies. It's the end of the year again. Not really sure how that happened. But naturally it gets me thinking about the year I just had and whether or not I liked that year. What are some things that I did well? What are some things that I want to improve on? And do I really like the direction that my life is going in? And for the most part, probably more than any other late December pondering, that answer is yes. You know, I'm pretty happy with where I'm at right now, but it wasn't easy to get here. And I remember so many times in my life where that answer was no, where I really didn't like the person that I was when I thought about it. I really had some deep regrets about the year that I just had. I made some mistakes that I really wanted to correct. I wanted to break some bad habits. I wanted to start new habits. But the problem is it seemed like the same story every year. I didn't really know where to start. I didn't really know the secret to getting change to stick, and I'd watch YouTube articles, just like this one, trying to figure out the magic formula that will help me stick to my goals and truly start a new chapter in my life. But the bottom line is you're not gonna change a thing if you don't want to change. If you just feel like you should make a New Year's resolution, or you want to change some aspect of your life because somebody told you that it was a good idea, then you kind of defeat yourself before you even start. You need to combine a very strong will to change with a good strategy. And I can't provide you with that will, but I can provide you with a strategy. So in this article, I want to cover some things that helped me really transform my life, not in sort of an overnight kind of way, as we'll go over, but as a consistent mechanism that served me day after day. So that over the course of months, I was in a better position that I was the previous year. And these things that I'm gonna go over, don't just apply to New Year's. You might be reading this article in July. It doesn't really matter. If you have a strong feeling that there's something in particular that you want to change about your life, then hopefully some of these things that I'm gonna over will help you do just that.
So the first thing is to pick one thing to focus on. It's extremely tempting to try to let your mind run irresponsibly wild with all the things that you want to change about your life, in your mental health, your physical health, your social life, blah bidy, blah bidy, blah. And this is good. This motivation and this drive to improve is extremely useful, but you should dedicate all of this emotion to changing one thing about your life. Later down the line as this thing becomes a habit, it might only take 30 days for you to have this thing locked in. Then you can think about adding more things. So what thing do you pick? Well, I think the first thing you should do is write down a list of things that you want to change about your life in several different areas and be very detailed and specific. Where do you want to be five years from now? Where do you want to be in your financial life, your social life? What do you want your mental health to be like? Be very specific about this and detailed. And if you were to boil down one of these things into a daily habit that you could implement, what would that look like? An obvious example is if you want to have some ripped beach body and have crazy muscle mass and low body fat, then obviously probably the most important thing that will help you get there is to develop a consistent gym habit. So the actionable process to achieve that hypothetical goal is to go to the gym four or five times a week, or whatever you think works for you. And once you've determined what the actionable process to achieve that eventual goal is, it's really important to reflect on whether or not you are comfortable with doing that process day after day after day. Is this something that is realistic to you? Is this something that you think you could stick to? Because this process is what you're gonna be interacting with 100% of the time. You're not gonna be interacting with the goal. Once you get there, your goal will change. The process itself is what that thing will feel like. It'll never feel like you are living that goal. You know what I'm saying? You have to learn to fall in love with the process itself. And that is possible because a lot of that satisfaction comes from the quiet understanding that you're trending your life in the direction that you want to trend it in. Part of the reason why going to the gym feels so good is because you know that going to the gym is good for you. And by going to the gym, you're becoming someone you are proud of. You are operating on a day-to-day basis as a more authentic version of yourself. And the gym specifically feels really good because of the endorphin rush and the feeling of power you get when you lift heavy weights. You know, that's a bonus. Pretty much anybody who's ever been consistent with the gym knows that they're consistent, not because they're thinking about this end goal all the time. It's just because they really like the way going to the gym makes them feel, both physically and mentally and emotionally. It's just so good for you. This is a big ad for going to the gym. If being well-read and well-versed in literature is extremely important to you, and you decide that this is the one thing that you want to work on, you want to read a book a month or whatever, then anybody who's actually been successful with that will know that the thing that kept them going wasn't this vague concept or this vague sentiment of getting smarter. They just learn to enjoy reading for what it is. The microcosm of their end goal became the enjoyable thing to interact with. So decide what exactly about your life you want to change. What does that look like specifically? Then determine what that thing looks like on a day-to-day basis. Then try to figure out whether or not you're ready to strap on the boots and do that thing every single day. Because that thing is the thing. If you can't find enjoyment and fulfillment in the daily process of getting to where you want to be in life, then not only are you probably not gonna stick with this change, but your overall just gonna live a less enjoyable life. If everything you do on a day-to-day basis is just a means to an end, then your life is just a means to an end.
All right, the second point I want to make is that forcing yourself is a good thing a lot of the time. Right off the bat, you might have alarm bells going, "Joey, what about toxic hustle culture? What about getting burnt out? This toxic self-improvement is really taking over your mind, Joey." But I think that's all BS to a certain extent. Almost everything worthwhile in life requires some form of sacrifice. A lot of the time, you're not going to want to go to the gym. A lot of the time, you're not going to want to read books. You're not going to want to drink more water, or whatever the hell you decided is the best thing for you. But you should never determine the value that something has in your life before you do it. Not never. I mean, that's probably not a concrete rule. Like you shouldn't . You shouldn't just do drugs and then evaluate afterwards whether it was good for you or not. Like, you know? You can use your judgment. But we're not talking about doing crack here. We're talking about doing things that you've already determined are good for you and will help you be where you want to be in life and help you be someone you're proud of. And a lot of the times, even though these things are extremely good for you, before you do them, you're gonna have tons of this emotional and physical resistance in the way of doing that thing. And a lot of the time, these rationalizations will say stuff like, "You're getting burnt out. You need to just take a break today." But in these particular situations, what you'll find is that almost 100% of the time, if you just do the thing anyways, you'll realize that those rationalizations were bullshit. If you're super tired, you're super stressed from work, and you have this voice in your head saying, "No, you're burnt out. Just take a break. Don't pick up those sneakers and go for a run." But you do it anyways. You just go and put on your sweat pants. You put on your running shoes, and you go for a run anyways. Pretty much 100% of the time, you'll say, "Wow, I'm so glad I didn't listen to that rationalization. I feel invigorated and proud of myself because I didn't fall for that." And on that topic of burnout or feeling lethargic or depressed, it's extremely hard to feel that way by consistently taking constructive action. Far more draining on your will and your existence is the slow creep of existential dread as you sit around and do nothing and let opportunities pass you by, That's far more draining on your existence than forcing yourself to go to the gym even though you're a little tired. So use your brain. I'm not saying punish yourself for messing up or make your feet bleed and call yourself a bitch if you don't run 10 miles and take cold showers in the morning or something stupid like that. Obviously you can take it too far, but it is healthy to force yourself past the resistance and the rationalizations holding you back from doing something that you already know is good for you.
And the final point I want to mention is that you can make the processes work for you. There is a way to make the processes genuinely more enjoyable, and there's a lot of methods that you can employ to make this happen. It's important to realize that you're on your own side. You don't want to punish yourself for messing up. You don't want participate in activities that you find absolutely unenjoyable to your core. There are ways to make these things that are good for you also feel good in the moment. A really good example of this is I wanted to start doing deadlifts, but I hate deadlifts. And I know that dead lifts are super good for you, and they're one of the most useful compound exercises you can implement. But I do not find any enjoyment in doing deadlifts whatsoever. I kind of have low back pain and allegedly deadlifts are supposed to help your low back pain 'cause you can strengthen your low back by doing them. But if your low back hurts so much that you can't do them anyways, I don't know. It's always just been a mess for me, but I recently discovered the hex bar. And even though the hex bar is kind of frowned upon with like powerlifting purists or whatever, who gives a shit? I tried it, and I found it so much more comfortable to do the lift. I could load up more weight on it. The weight was distributed to my hips and not to my low back off the initial pickup. And now hex bar deadlifts are a staple of my back day routine. It's something that I actually look forward to doing. Another example is reading books. Maybe you actually hate sitting down to read a book. So instead you might want to try audio books. This article is not sponsored by Audible, by the way. I've mentioned habit bunching on this channel. Maybe you want to implement a writing habit every single morning. Maybe you create a rule with yourself where you can't have your first sip of coffee unless you have written your first sentence of writing. And as you're writing, you get to enjoy this nice hot cup of coffee. Do not be afraid to modify your approach and modify the habit so that it is something that is more enjoyable to you. And if the process itself is something that you look forward to doing, then I guarantee you it'll be no problem sticking with that change for the longterm. So the bottom line is, if you want to substantially change your life in one year, take it one habit at a time. Figure out why you want to do that habit and what the end goal of that habit is. Then try to make that habit as enjoyable as possible for yourself. And once you do that, do it anyways. Regardless of what your rationalizations are, evaluate whether that thing was good for you after you do it, not before you do it. And you can start compounding this month after month. Once you have one habit locked in after one month, add a new habit the second month. And by the end of a year, you might have 12 new habits, which might be overkill at that point. You might only need a few cornerstone habits that will change your life forever. But honestly, over the course of one year, the sky is the limit. You can be in a substantially better place this time next year, if you implement this strategy, combined with your motivation and will to change.
So good luck to all of you guys, no matter whether it's New Year's or July, August, September or whatever. Whenever you're reading this article, this advice applies to you
Thank you so much for reading. Happy New Year, and we'll catch you in the next article.