Profound success is the result of small, smart choices completed consistently over time—and it applies to every area of your life, whether it’s your work, relationships, finances or your health. That’s the theory behind The Compound Effect, a book by my friend Darren Hardy, who’s also the publisher of SUCCESS magazine. Your success boils down to your choices and habits. Success, however, isn’t found on easy street. Sometimes, as Darren puts it, “the process is laborious, tedious and even boring.” Success comes from work, discipline and commitment. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, it’s a central principle needed to become healthy and fit, and one I talk about daily. Did you decide to make exercise a priority today? Did you make decisions about food that support your weight loss goals? Are you choosing to be positive? Do you prioritize your own health? Let’s a take a look at some of the great takeaways in The Compound Effect and how you can use those principles to achieve a healthier you.
Darren: “Write out a half dozen seemingly inconsequential steps you can take every day that can take your life in a completely new and positive direction.”
Depending on where you are right now, decide to start exercising or decide when you will exercise each day. Figure out how many cardio workouts you will do per week and how many strength training. How much water will you drink? How will you incorporate five servings of fruits and veggies into your daily diet? How can you get seven hours of sleep on most nights? Who will be your accountability partner? Will you weigh yourself? Could you make a smoothie for lunch and skip the fast food? You literally make dozens of decisions each day that have a direct impact on your health.
Darren: “Write out a few excuses you might be clinging to … Decide to make up in hard work and personal development to out-compete anyone—including yourself.”
One of the excuses I hear most often is … ‘I don’t have enough time.’ If you have time to watch TV, you have time to squeeze in a workout.
Darren: “Where in your life are you not taking 100 percent responsibility for the success or failure of your present condition?”
Are you blaming your excess weight on stress? Lack of time? The weather? A spouse who doesn’t want to exercise? Whenever you blame someone or something else, you aren’t taking 100 percent responsibility for your life. You have one life, one body and you are 100 percent responsible for the story your body tells about you.
Darren: “Start tracking at least one behavior in one area of your life you’d like to change and improve.”
Maybe it’s procrastination, avoidance, inconsistency or lack of motivation. Just select one behavior you think is holding you back and decide how you want to change.
Darren: “Identify three new habits you need to develop to put you on track toward your most important goal.”
You can track your weight. You can track your body composition—your ratio of fat vs. muscle. You can track the food you eat in a food journal or the workouts you do each week. You can track your goals, your progress and your results.
Darren: Identify your core motivation. “Discover what gets you fired up to achieve big results.”
This is a big one—and it’s your WHY. Why do you want to be healthy and fit? What motivates you? Everyone is motivated by different things. Maybe you want to live with vitality and energy as long as possible or look fabulous in a pair of jeans. Or maybe you are motivated by participating in an endurance event like a marathon. Whatever it is for you, plug into your why to find your motivation. I can’t help but share this information with you. Those of you who follow me know I preach smart choices when it comes to your health and fitness goals.
Reading Darren’s book gave me a renewed spirit to continue to spread the word. Darren has a slew of free resources to help you apply The Compound Effect to your life online; plus, you can pre-order his book. Once you begin applying the compound effect and change your daily habits, you will be amazed at the differences in your life. As Darren puts it, “The life we end up with is simply an accumulation of all the choices we make.”