Muscle atrophy is the wasting (thinning) or loss of muscle tissue.
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Oct 6, 2019.
What are you wasting? What is thinning? What skill is becoming weaker by you not using it? What gift is getting stifled by you not sharing it? What habit is degrading because you neglected to maintain it?
I’m guilty of this. Maybe you are too. And while I’d love to say to both of us “2022! New Year, New You!” I know that’s a lie*. But… BUT! I also know this crazy journey called life is about progress and not perfection.
I know—I KNOW—I can get a little better today than I was yesterday. I know that I can intentionally overwrite habits that aren’t serving me with ones that will. And you can too!
What habits would you like to improve this year? Is it your prospecting habits (I am a sales coach after all)? Or your health habits? Maybe your relationship habits? Or your money habits? Could you improve your habits around communication, or leadership, or recruiting? Do you need to shore up your habits around how you spend your time?
If your answer is “Yes!” then I encourage you to write out all of the habits you would like to improve. Brain-dump everything at which you want to be a little bit better. But don’t stop there because a confused mind says no; an overwhelmed mind won’t go.
So, pick one. Just pick one for now. Maybe it’s the keystone habit on which the other habits will be easier to execute. Maybe it’s the one that is the most painful right now. Maybe it’s the one that will have the biggest impact on your business, your marriage, your spiritual life, whatever. But pick one and only ONE.
Next, schedule it in your phone, Outlook, your Google calendar or your paper planner. Put it where you will see it. And, set an alarm if needed or strategically place a post-it note somewhere visible to remind you of your commitment. For bonus accountability tell someone, tell one person who you are closest to, or the person you know you won’t disappoint, or the person that you know will bust your chops if you don’t show up. But tell just that one person as some studies suggest that broadcasting our change short-circuits the work-component by delivering gratification immediately making us less likely to follow through.
Then start as soon as possible. Repeat as often as possible. If you wait too long (the basic premise of Mel Robin’s book The 5 Second Rule) or if you have too much loss of momentum in-between, the habit won’t catch. We need spaced repetition to grow our habits—and not-surprisingly, our muscles.
*The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell is a phenomenal read on this concept as is Atomic Habits by James Clear.