New Year, New You in just 7 days (no  discipline required)

New Year, New You in just 7 days (no discipline required)

Every year you promise yourself you’ll do better

Every year you really mean it, too.
But it’s hard, isn’t it?
For some reason, all that early January motivation doesn’t last very long.
Here’s what usually happens:
  • Day 1 - Go as hard as you can
  • Day 2 - Try to keep going just as hard
  • Day 3 - Burn out and give up
But maybe you’re smarter than this. Maybe you’ve been learning about how to set up habits and you know you need to start small.
Here’s what happens next:
  • Day 1 - Start small
  • Day 2 - Increase intensity
  • Day 3 - Increase intensity
  • Day 4 - Fight through resistance
  • Day 5 - Burn out and give up
Eventually you start to believe you’re irreparably lazy, which makes it even harder to try again.

Are you going to waste another year?

It hurts to even think about this, doesn’t it?
  • Another year of junk food.
  • Another year without exercise.
  • Another year in a lazy haze of procrastination.
  • Another year without writing, painting, or getting shit done.
  • Another year without building a side hustle, a passive income or an audience.
 
Clearly there’s more to building sustainable habits than simply deciding you’re really going to do it. There’s a secret, and it’s not about pushing harder with grim determination.
 
There was this one moment when I was going to bed and I realized that my day had been pretty much perfect. I'd always imagined amazing days where a future better version of me (with amazing habits and routines) got a lot of shit done and went to bed feeling great. And it was crazy to realize that I was becoming that better version of me. nikiki_'s full comment on Reddit

The 7-day one-on-one program to build your habits

Building consistent habits requires mastering three qualities:
  • Flexibility - the ability to take the long view and adapt to changing circumstances
  • Self-compassion - the willingness to forgive yourself for past failures and try again
  • Overcoming resistance - the skill to work around mental and emotional obstacles
What it doesn’t require is relentlessly pushing through discomfort, laziness and lack of motivation for 30, 50 or 100 days.
It only takes 7 days to become a consistent and disciplined person who decides to do something and then FFing does it.
That is, if you have proper, daily, one-on-one guidance.

Who is this program for?

This program is for people who are serious about accomplishing their goals, but who have always been inconsistent and found it hard to stick to good habits.
It’s for people who are tired of consuming habit-building content and are ready to actually get shit done.
I’m not going to try to convince you why daily exercise, a good diet, reading, writing, working, sleeping well and basic self-care are good for you.
Instead I’m going to help you actually do it.

What does this program include?

60 minute live one-on-one planning session

We’ll start with a Zoom session.
We’ll talk about your individual style, your patterns, your history with building habits and your unique circumstances. We’ll cover any physical and mental health issues, your living arrangements, your support network and anything else that can stand in your way to healthy and sustainable habits.
We’ll also go through the list of habits you’d like to build, and prioritize them together.
Finally we’ll set a launch date (usually the following Monday).

7 daily e-mail check-ins to build your habits

The best habits are flexible enough to deal with changing moods, states of health and circumstances. We'll work with all of these to find a way that works for you consistently and with minimal effort.
I’ll send you an email every day and ask you how it’s going.
Together, we’ll work through every possible obstacle that can get in your way:
  • the gap between your expectations and abilities
  • your emotional, mental and physical resistance
  • unexpected demands on your time
  • your anxiety, depression or ADHD
  • the pull to procrastinate or distract yourself
  • your lack of motivation, lethargy or fatigue
  • your unhealthy sleep schedule
  • and more...
It takes 5-10 minutes a day to reflect on your habits and adjust your plans but the results are profound (see below for some testimonials).

4 weekly check-ins to make sure your habits stick

After 7 daily adjustments, your habits will start to feel natural and fit well with your life.
But in order to make sure we’ve covered every possible scenario we’ll keep checking in once a week.
The weekly emails will be a bit longer, cover more ground and prepare you to sustain your habits for a whole year and beyond. We’ll look at the broader context of your life, at your goals and aspirations and what usually trips you up in your pursuits.
Together we’ll clarify:
  • your true values and preferences
  • your higher goals that your habits will support
  • a vision of you as a disciplined yet spontaneous person
  • your path to finding a deeply rooted confidence
  • your deepest promises to yourself

What are we going to cover?

Planning your habits

  • How to frame a New Years Resolution you can stick to.
  • How books, articles and videos can be hurt your growth (hint: you get stuck in research mode).
  • Why it’s so hard to build sustainable habits (hint: you need both self-discipline and self-forgiveness and you can probably only do one of them well).
  • Why pushing harder only make things worse (and what to do instead).
  • How can truly lazy people stick to daily habits (hint: habitual behaviors requires very little effort).
  • Why it’s easiest to stick to a daily habit you sometimes skip than to a twice a week habit you’re religious about (hint: it has to do with your identity).

Doing your habits

  • How to never burn out on daily habits (hint: make them flexible).
  • How to make any habit stick for as long as you want (hint: it’s not through force of will).
  • How daily habits can increase your freedom and spontaneity.
  • A bullet proof method to remember your habits (hint: it’s not reminders on your phone).
  • What’s “discipline rebellion” and how to bounce back from it.

Overcoming obstacles

  • How to avoid the anxiety trap of new habits.
  • How to build self-care habits when suffering from depression.
  • How to build habits that require focus when you have ADHD.
  • How previous success can hurt your current attempts (hint: it’s your expectations).
  • How to get your family and friends to support you.
  • How to never procrastinate again (yet enjoy video games, social media and TV shows).
  • How to schedule healthy habits around a very demanding job.
  • How to fix your sleep schedule (hint: very gradually).
  • How to get started when you’re feeling overwhelmed by what you need to do.

What habits does this work for?

This program works for any daily or semi-daily habit you may want to build:
  • working out / walking / running
  • self-care / yoga / meditation / journaling
  • diet / healthy cooking / cleaning
  • working / studying / writing / creating
  • sleep schedule / morning & night routines
  • getting things done / productivity
  • reducing procrastination → can be reframed as building productivity
  • over-eating → can be reframed as cooking and eating healthy meals
  • going to sleep too late → can be reframed as a healthy night-time routine
We’ll focus on one or two habits for the first 7 days and then gently stack more as you gain confidence in your abilities.

What habits are out of scope?

Severe addictions require a more comprehensive approach and are out of scope for this program.
If you’re suffering from alcohol, tobacco, drugs or severe porn or sex addiction, please seek guidance from an appropriately trained professional.

Your habits, my guarantee

It’s difficult to promise success for something that depends so much on how you show up.
However:
  • if you reply to every email I send you
  • if you do your best to answer my questions deeply and honestly
  • if you try to implement what we plan together
I guarantee you’ll have fully formed and sustainable habits by the end of our work together.
You don’t have to already be a disciplined or consistent person (that would be a ridiculous thing to require).
You don’t have to succeed every day or even on most days.
You don’t even need to know what your goals are.
You just need to show up.
I’ve done this hundreds of times (see my profile on Reddit where I did this for over 6 months for free). I worked with 15-year-olds and 50-year-olds; with people from the US, Canada, India, Europe and Pakistan; with exercise, diet, productivity and every other imaginable habit.
I’ll pull you through.
And in the rare event this doesn’t work for you:
  • I’ll offer you another 7 days of daily accountability check-ins FOR FREE.
  • I’ll even offer you another 4 weeks of weekly reviews FOR FREE.
And if even this doesn’t help - I’ll give you a 100% refund.
Sound fair?

Bonus #1 - Lifetime license for the stress relief app Wuju

Building a disciplined and consistent life requires dealing effectively with negative emotions. A sudden burst of anger, fear, craving or hopelessness can throw you off, break your stride and leave you wondering what happened.
My unique stress-relief app Wuju can help you work through these emotions. Its quick 3-minute introspection process is easier than meditation and as profound as therapy.
When you buy this program, you'll also get:
  1. A free lifetime license for Wuju (which is currently free, but will become a monthly subscription service in the near future).
  1. A guide on how to use Wuju to build bullet-proof habits that can withstand any emotional turbulence.

Bonus #2 - Two powerful tools for conscious decision making

Modern life requires making multiple decisions every day. But some decisions require a lot more consideration than the seat-of-your-pants way we choose what to eat for lunch or watch on Netflix.
When you buy this program you'll also get two unique decision making tools for those challenging times when there’s no clear answer:
  1. A guide and template for choosing one option out of many. This is useful when you have an overwhelming list of things to do and need to choose just one to start with.
  1. A guide and template for choosing between two alternatives. Should you stay at your job or look for better employment? Should you settle down and get married or keep your options open? Should you buy this program or try to do it yourself one more time?
Both techniques give voice to your intellect, emotions and gut feelings and help you arrive at a balanced decision you will not regret making.

What people say about this program

There was this one moment when I was going to bed and I realized that my day had been pretty much perfect. I'd always imagined amazing days where a future better version of me (with amazing habits and routines) got a lot of shit done and went to bed feeling great. And it was crazy to realize that I was becoming that better version of me. nikiki_'s full comment on Reddit
Looking back, it is beyond me to think this was 7 days. The ebb and flow of resistance over the week has really opened my eyes to the turbulence I allow my emotions to do. I have a much greater awareness to why I do what I do and certain triggers. I can now identify my eating patterns much better and verbalize what is going so wrong or really right! itmos's full comment on Reddit
I surprised and delighted myself with my ability to actually get up early and put in focused work daily. I know I’ve said this every day (hopefully), so one final thank you for an incredible week. It has been extremely transformative! Seriously so. Thank you thank you thank you! dogstracted's full comment on Reddit
I felt very stuck with no motivation to galvanize myself into action but now I have a lot more energy. Time is more consistent and days haven’t been flowing into one another. My memory is also better the last week because of that. I had a reeeally rough day on Sunday like I did absolutely nothing just stayed in bed watching football and I was astounded this was my regular level of activity. Felt very weird even though it’s only been a week. prof_dumblewhore's full comment on Reddit
When I started I was basically entirely inactive at home. I have a history of starting and stopping exercise and diets. Now I have been dancing almost every day for at least 20 minutes, sometimes as long as an hour. No_Papaya_1931's full comment on Reddit
Studying was a very terrifying prospect but I have applied flexibility, and listened to my body re. anxiety around starting. I have written down/explored my fears (which lessened them), and have the Wuju app to use as a tool to melt away the resistance to starting. Overall feel much more positive about studying. keepgettingbackup01's full comment on Reddit

If you’re still not sure

If your circumstances are very unique, if you have questions I haven’t answered here, or if you’d like to ask for my advice on anything else - please reach our to me at eli@softdiscipline.com or @finereli on Twitter.

About me

I was born in Soviet Russia and my dad was (and still is) a very disciplined guy. He worked out like clockwork and did whatever he set out to do with minimal fuss or emotional discomfort. Unfortunately for the both of us, I was nothing like him.
Even spending 7 years in the military with a kind of rigid discipline that modern productivity gurus promote as the answer to all our problems did nothing to change my profoundly fickle nature.
It took me almost 40 years to figure out that I had powerful emotions and a tendency for depression that I couldn't suppress on command. Over the years I realized that I needed a completely different approach if I ever wanted to be successful.
Through therapy, life coaching, and an ungodly amount of introspection I eventually came up with a set of techniques that allow me to build consistent habits and take on large projects.
I now help other sensitive people like me find their own way to a rich and sustainable life.
I live with my wife and two kids in Nelson, BC, Canada.
 

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