The two photos below were taken 20 years apart… to the week.
The one on the left was the very first photo in the very first version of my very first Lifebook. It has been in my Health and Fitness chapter for 20 years. I’ve branded that image on my mind… It’s my vision of WHO I AM in the area of Health and Fitness.
Missy took the second one the week of my 49th birthday. Two decades is a long time, but not much has changed… I am at the same weight, same waist size, and same body fat percentage as I was 20 years earlier.
So, just for fun, I sent both pictures to my accountability partners with a short note that said, “Hey guys, check this out! You two better stop loafing and get your lazy asses in gear!”
They responded with an unexpected question…
“Hey Jon, guess what? This is a truly extraordinary win. Would you mind sharing how you did it with the rest of the class?”
Hmm… I wasn’t expecting that. Okay… So how DID I do it?
Well, one thing’s for sure. I didn’t achieve it by “going on a diet” or “joining a gym.”
Of course, I’d set goals along the way, but this extraordinary win clearly couldn’t be attributed to goal setting alone… I never set a GOAL to be in better shape at 49 than I was in my 20’s…
So how did it happen?
Well, I studied health and fitness and figured out what a health plate of food looks like for my body type. I ate that way regularly for 20 years… Maybe not perfectly, mind you, but pretty consistently.
I’d also learned a lot about exercise… both cardio and resistance training. I worked out 6 days a week for 20 years. I didn’t have to think about it every day… I enjoyed it and it just became part of my lifestyle.
I was simply in the habit of eating right and exercising every day.
So… Could it be that a high level of health and fitness, maintained over a period of decades, is NOTHING MORE than a series of simple habits?
In my case, the answer was clearly YES.
This was a very interesting thought… I wonder if it applies to the other 11 categories?
I decided to test that idea out.
Ask anyone who really knows me to name the best thing about my life, and they’ll tell you it’s my relationship with Missy. We’re in our 3rd decade together and we’re totally in love, as passionate as ever… just crazy about each other.
So how did THAT happen?
As I examined it, I was surprised to discover that, just like with health and fitness, it’s the things we do HABITUALLY that created our love affair and keep it going strong…
We’re in the habit of an overnight date without the kids every week, no matter where we are in the world… something we’ve done for over 20 years.
We’re in the habit of taking long walks around our garden every evening, connecting with each other, talking about the challenges and opportunities of the day.
Our romantic life has a rhythm… Thursday and Sunday afternoons are dedicated to us… it’s a HABIT.
We’re in the habit of talking to and looking at each other with love and admiration.
We’re in the habit of overlooking the small things and giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Not just sometimes, ALL the time.
I tell Missy I love her everyday. I tell her she’s beautiful everyday. These are not GOALS. They’re HABITS…
So… Could it be that a fantastic, passionate love affair, maintained over a period of DECADES, is NOTHING MORE than a series of simple habits?
In my case, the answer was clearly YES.
Hmm… This theory is picking up some steam.
I looked at our intellectual life and realized we have strong habits in that category too… And one habit in particular stood out…
We’re in the habit of listening to educational programs and books while we work out. We’ve literally done hundreds of audio programs this way over the last 20+ years. It’s built into our lifestyle.
Think about the impact that ONE habit can have on someone’s life! Hundreds of books and audio programs… That is a life-changing habit!
We don’t set a goal to do it… it’s not something we write down and seek to accomplish, get done, and then cross it off our to-do list.
It’s a HABIT, which means it takes no extra work, extra energy, planning or thinking. It happens automatically, with no effort.
“It’s time to go running… Let’s grab the iPod and listen to a great program!” And our expertise and intelligence expands automatically as a result.
As I examined the life that Missy and I built together, I realized it was the same with EVERY SINGLE CATEGORY…
When it comes to our truly extraordinary wins, it’s our habits that have gotten us there… and habits that KEEP us there.
So here’s the BIG THOUGHT:
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a highly successful, totally fulfilling life that runs on autopilot?
To exercise, eat healthy get your most important work done, watch your net worth grow, and enjoy a passionate, sexy relationship…
Wouldn’t it be great if everything just took on an automatic, effortless quality?
That’s where you want to be in every area of your life. And that is what the RIGHT habits will do for you!
In week 6 of Lifebook’s VIP Bootcamp, I’ll share my favorite personal-development technique EVER…
It’s called habit-setting, and it makes it easy, automatic and almost effortless to step into your Life Vision.
I truly believe that this one technique, applied correctly, will do more for you than any other strategy you’ll ever encounter.
So fasten your seat belt, because week 6 of the VIP Bootcamp will be a game-changer!