I was listening to an Ed Mylett interview with Dr. Layne Norton the other day, and something Layne said hit me like a ton of bricks. They focused their conversation on nutrition and exercise, and at one point, Layne talked about our need to change habits to change our results. I am paraphrasing what he shared, but it went something like this… 

Think about an alcoholic. When they decide to break free from their addiction, they have to change everything:

  1. They have to change WHO they hang out with because most of those people are also alcoholics.
  2. They have to change WHERE they hang out because most of those places have alcohol readily available.
  3. They have to change WHEN they hang out because certain times are more likely to wake up their demons.
  4. They have to change WHAT they do for fun because some of those old activities fuel their addiction.

Across all areas, they need to make intentional, radical changes to their environment to create radical changes in their lives. It’s the only way to break their old habits, routines, and patterns. 

You and I are no different than that alcoholic. You might not like hearing that. We can argue that some of those tendencies can be genetic or passed on from other generations. That may be true, but here’s where we’re all more similar than we think. We all have patterns, behaviors, and routines that we are addicted to. Some are healthy, and some aren’t. Some are positive, and some are negative. Some are helping us achieve our goals, and some are creating obstacles and barriers.

As we’re setting our goals for the New Year, here’s the question we need to ask ourselves… What do I need to change in my life to create the results I want?

  • I want to lose twenty pounds. What needs to change?
  • I want to strengthen my relationships. What needs to change?
  • I want to grow my business or love my career again. What needs to change?
  • I want to get closer to God and my faith. What needs to change?

Look at your goal and define what needs to change with as much clarity as possible. What patterns and old habits do you need to break? What new routines do you need to start? What people or places do you need to distance yourself from? And most importantly, spend some time imagining what it will feel like to make those changes and achieve your goal. Use your imagination, envision it, and create as deep an emotional connection as possible to that feeling. 

Then, make the change. It’s the only way you will ever achieve anything you want. It will be uncomfortable at first. It always is. But, over time, it will become a new habit, and you will create new patterns… and eventually, you will reach your goals.

When I decided I wanted to regain my health and trek through Nepal, both required me to make some massive changes. Many mornings, my hill workouts were done at 5:00 AM in the dark, lit with only my headlamp. During my 75 Hard journey, the darkness was joined by bitter cold and below-zero temps. I had to change my relationship with getting out of bed early and becoming uncomfortable. Along the way, I had to change my diet and remove some things that I loved to eat but weren’t healthy for me. 

Some days, those changes sucked. Many days, I didn’t “feel” like making those changes. It would have been easier to stay in my old routines and patterns, where things felt safe and comfortable. The problem with that was this… My goals didn’t live on the comfortable side of my life. They were waiting for me on the other side, where the changes and the discomfort lived. 

That’s where I found the results I was seeking, and that’s where you’ll find your goals as well. 

Everything you want begins with one question… What needs to change?

The Takeaway

Answering that question is a big part of setting goals you’ll actually achieve – not the kind of resolutions that go to January to die. Here’s a quick link to my free 2023 Goal Planning Tool. It’s what I use and many of my clients use to set their goals, and I believe it will add massive value for you as well.

Ready for more?

Follow me here for more insights just like this one as you begin working on your goals! You can also listen in to my Grit Meets Growth podcast here or on your favorite podcast platforms. Episodes are also available on YouTube.