Monday, January 2, 2017

My Thoughts on Why I believe the Life Upgrades Method will work

A big part of why I've created this system for the New Year is that a lot of people are hoping the willpower they have on December 31st of this year will compel them all the way through next year. Knowing this, there are a couple of factors here that I hope will actually make this method more compelling and manageable. Some of this comes from personal experience, while also incorporating what many experts state about acquiring new habits.

  1. Giving Future You a Break - If you've ever packed your gym bag and climbed into your cozy warm bed, only to discover that the morning version of you has zero intention of actually getting out of said bed to workout, you've experienced the crux of resolutions. You're making plans for a future version of yourself to do things that current you doesn't really want to do long term. By giving yourself a cut off date for each weekly task, and enough variety that they can wiggle out of it without much guilt, you're frontloading some willpower that future you will appreciate.
  2. Leveling Up - As the saying goes, an object in motion stays in motion. That is, until we enter the workforce. I believe that given the first 20+ years of our life were about leveling up through education, height (I can now get on that ride!), finances, etc. we still have a strong desire to level up in life, which is why the fitness and self-help industry are always booming. By creating a system like this, you are leveling up weekly, while learning a lot about yourself. Authors like Tim Ferriss have documented their forays into Self-Experimentation, testing the boundaries of their physical and mental capabilities. I have done a few 30 day fitness challenges, and they make the day more fun and rewarding. Who doesn't want that?
  3. One Task at a Time - Many people set a lot of New Year's Resolutions that they attempt to tackle at the same time. But with just getting back to work, winter weather and travel, post-holiday finances, and post-holiday blues (no vacations until Summertime!!), trying to muster willpower out of thin, dry, cold air is pretty difficult. Since you only need to do one task each week, and can save a more difficult or daunting task for later in the year, you can build your tasks around when life is more accommodating.
  4. Adding, not Abstaining - A lot of Resolutions end up being about abstaining from things - food, alcohol, etc. Starting off the year with all the things you aren't supposed to do is just pointing you in the wrong direction. You're focused on Past You and what they did that you want to avoid, rather than what Present You wants to accomplish. There's something great in thinking about all the Life Upgrades you'll gain in the coming year, rather than all the resolutions you didn't stick to. You can literally Upgrade Your Life any week of the year, rather than waiting for January 1st.
  5. Systems, not Goals - You may have noticed that nowhere in this process did you set a goal or endpoint for any area of life or task. This was one of the key takeaways I gained from Scott Adams' writing, and given his understanding of human behavior, I'm confident he's correct in this. I deliberately avoided the word "goal" to insure that you are never heading for a destination that you will or will not get to. Think of this system as opting to fly First Class rather than Coach. You're still going the same direction, but your experience will be calmer, more comfortable, more fulfilling. This is the journey of life, and you get to decide how you get there. 

I'll be posting how this process goes for me and would love to hear from you as well. Thank you for reading and wishing you much success in your journey!

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