Charting Your Course for a Great Year Ahead

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A letter - nay, a call to adventure - addressed to you. Yes, you.
Set sail for a great year ahead by reflecting on what can help you unlock greater health and happiness.

Welcome to BestMe

You can make incredible changes to your life over the next year

As 2016 comes to a close, this is a great time to reflect on the year that's passed and to look forward to what's ahead in 2017, which is only a few days away.

A powerful way to jump-start the year ahead is to prioritize a few ways that you can be even happier, healthier and more fulfilled in 2017.

And therein lays the spirit of being your BestMe: embracing the power of possibility. To dare to do a little bit more, to dare to be great, even. And to realize that you can make incredible changes to your life through tiny tweaks that create big impact.

Jump start your year by taking a moment to reflect

Whether you're reading this on New Year's Eve or any other time of the year, know that you are at a moment of great possibility. Because no matter where you are in your life, you have an opportunity to reach out for greater joy, fulfillment and achievement in your life.

So we encourage you to ask yourself, with an open mind and a light heart (hold the stress, please!), a few questions to help you make some powerful tweaks to your life:

  • What would I like to achieve in the year ahead? Personally, professionally, socially?

  • What things are holding me back most from greater happiness?

  • What repeatable behaviors can I focus on as habits?

  • What sources of motivation can I use as my "why" to keep me going?

  • What approach can I take to help me achieve my goals more easily?

 

Want an even easier approach?

Take the BestMe Welcome Quiz!

What about me?

For me, in 2017 I am focusing on two key goals:

  1. Really get my morning routine (gratitude, glass of water, stretching, fitness, meditation) to be a habit.

  2. Help 100,000 people with their best self goals.

These are big goals, but I know they are possible if I stay focused and continue to come back to my motivation, which is that life is short, we tend to settle for less health and happiness than what is very much within our reach, and that we can get there by embracing a mindset of growth and helping each other along the way.

Having faced tough times myself over the years, including depression, social anxiety, challenges with my weight and emotional eating, bouts of procrastination, and high stress in my work life, it has been the ability to look inside of myself, and to reach out for the help of others, that has helped me get this far. And I couldn't be more excited to be dedicating myself to the path of continued personal and collective growth.

Following that mission, the BestMe team and I want to help you make the changes you know will help you unlock greater happiness in your life - faster, smarter and easier.

You are right where you need to be

No matter where you are in your journey, know that you are right where you need to be, and that you have a great year ahead of you.

If you'd like to share about where you are or your goals (big or small!), I'd love to hear from you and am here to chat with anyone that would like some support. Just reach out any time at hello@bestme.com.

And tomorrow we'll be following up with a quiz to help you structure this even more.

With lots of love!

Chris and the BestMe team

 

How to Make Any New Year’s Resolution Stick

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Only 8% of resolutions stick, primarily because we tend to set the wrong goals and take the wrong approach to achieving them. Get it right this year with three steps for lasting change.

A fresh approach to New Year's

You can upgrade your life forever this year

A new year means New Year’s resolutions. It also wading through hundreds of articles about how to achieve them. It can be overwhelming.  

It’s not easy to make time to research great tools to help you achieve your resolutions. It’s even harder to differentiate between the trustworthy information and the BS.

These challenges lead people to either quickly give up on their resolutions, or follow whatever company most aggressively marketed their solutions at you (whether or not their solution is best for you).

BestMe offers a better way.

By working together and leveraging the best quality information and tools out there, we can establish a new reality for the self improvement world. Separate from corruption and hollow promises of scammy marketers, we can have real and lasting change.

But for any change to work, it starts with you. No one else can make the change happen. You need to commit.

That doesn’t mean it needs to be hard. In fact, it can be a lot easier than you think if you take the right approach and leverage advice and tools from experts.

Here are three steps that will help you achieve any goal you want.

 

Three steps to lasting success

1) Set the goal of being healthy and happy, and work backward from there

You deserve to be happy. Full stop.

Think about this statement, and say it to yourself. It may seem cheesy, but if you don’t truly believe that you deserve happiness, it’s going to make your growth much more challenging. Realize that you can have a vibrant, successful life filled with love in which you feel great. It’s within your reach, no matter your life circumstances.

From here, take on a growth mindset. What areas do you want to improve, which can help you improve your life?

It could be your body, your mental health, your career, your relationships, your areas of passion. What would help you unlock more happiness?

 

2) Set some goals that you can boil down into realistic and repeatable behaviors

People often set goals for their personal development and New Years resolutions that are massive and unreasonable. People say they want to lose 50 pounds when they haven’t been in the gym all year. Or they want to practice a new instrument every day, when their guitar or keyboard has been sitting in their closet since high school.

Goals that are so massive are so far off from where you are today that they typically end in disappointment.

The key to achieving your goals is to focus on one repeatable behavior and to set yourself up to do this behavior on a daily basis, so that it becomes a habit. Go to the gym once a week. Practice for fifteen minutes three times a week.

And as you take action, celebrate your success along the way! Make the behavior enjoyable. If you don’t enjoy it (or decide to enjoy inevitable struggles of making your goals a reality), they won’t happen when life get’s tough.

 

3) Commit to a smart system to develop that behavior

Set yourself up for success by making your goals as easy as possible to achieve.  Consistently motivate yourself, create accountability, and create reminders so that you don’t forget.  

With good research, and using behavior science,  tools, and community support we can make it easier to achieve our personal development goals.

If you want to learn more about building new habits, you can read this article about the three key aspects of behavior change.

BestMe is on a mission to help you help yourself to be so much happier, every day. We would love for you to join us as we work together to become the people we know we can be - faster, smarter and easier than we thought possible.

How to Change Your Habits to Achieve Any Goal

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The things that we do are influenced by our habits - the way that we react to certain cues and situations. We can empower ourselves to achieve any goal by embracing habit science and designing for our desired action.

You are a creature… of habit

Habits are your autopilot responses

Every day, hundreds of actions you take are driven by habit.

If you haven’t purposefully cultivated your habits, there’s a good chance you’ve developed a number of bad habits keeping you from achieving your goals.

In this article we’re going to teach you how to develop good habits, but let’s take a step back.

Why do we even have habits? Do we need them?

Psychologists have shown that we only have the willpower to consciously make a set number of decisions each day. Our willpower is finite. (1)

It’s like a tank of gas. Every time we make a decision, we use up a little gas. If we spend all day making little decisions, our tank will empty out. And when the tank is empty, we make poor decisions. This is a big deal when the decisions we have to make are important (dealing with arguments, making business decisions, trying to get our butts to the gym).

To make sure we have the gas in our tank to make important decisions, we evolved to have habits. Habits are automatic processes that don’t use up any gas.

Our mornings - often cited by experts as the key forming ground of your are filled with habits. We wake up, we shower, we brush our teeth, we have breakfast. We get to the office and check our email. We have lunch at noon. Etc. etc. etc. We don’t think about any of these things, and thus we conserve our brainpower for the important things.

Could you imagine if you had to decide whether or not you were going to shower or brush your teeth every morning? If that’s your life, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of your day.

How to become a habit expert

The power of good habits

It turns out that tiny habits that drive daily decisions have a huge impact on our lives. Good habits help us be just a little bit better every day. If we have bad habits, that means we’re getting just a little bit worse.

Let’s look at an example.

If we’re in the habit of eating eggs, or fresh fruit or steel cut oats for breakfast, then we’re giving our body some solid fuel to start the day. If we’re in the habit of grabbing a pastry on the go, our body is getting a quick burst of fuel that spikes insulin, and then leaves us hungry and tired shortly thereafter. Over time this daily breakfast decision will have a significant impact on our lives (the quality of our work over time, our body weight over time, our attitude over time, etc).

There are plenty of other habits: how often we check Facebook, how we react when people upset us, what we do when we first wake up, how often we hit the gym, and more.

What is important for us as people who want to make our lives better, and not worse (or staying the same… boooo for doing nothing), is becoming conscious of our habits. When we become aware of the automatic processes that drive our lives, we can then begin another process of actively deciding which ones we want, which ones we need to chuck, and which ones we need to build.

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

The good news is if you have a bad habit that you want to replace with a good one, the process is actually quite simple (though not easy).

How to build a new habit

When building habits, the approach you take is crucial.

Even the most motivated person will fail to break an old habit or build a new one if they don’t have a structure approach.

We all have habits we’ve tried to get rid of, and new ones we’ve tried to build. When we feel a surge of motivation we tell ourselves that, “this time is it. I’m never doing [biting my nails, smoking, playing video games] again!” And we are serious, we are ready to do the damn thing.  

Typically it goes well for a week or two. We feel like we’re crushing it. It’s in the bag. We’re on cruise control...

Until week three. Without fail, a few days go by without doing the habit, but we don’t even notice. We’ve been biting our nails / hitting snooze / skipping the gym / eating more carbs etc. on autopilot just like before.

The mistake here was relying on willpower. It’s not enough to rely on that voice in your head that tells you “Hey! Stop doing these things that are bad for you! We need to start doing this good thing! It’s good!” We need to build a system.

A model to design our behavior

There's a lot more to life than willpower

Although we commonly are taught that our decisions are driven by willpower alone, the reality is that the things we do are influenced by our habits, our willpower, and the environment - or system - we are in.

You see, our habits exist as part of a system. They are the way that we are programmed to react to certain situations. We eat unhealthy food when we are hungry or stressed and see something tasty nearby. We go to the gym when we want to feel better about our bodies and we are encouraged to go by our friends.

This line of thinking - studying the systems that lead us to do various behaviors - is called behavior science. It is a hot field right now, especially as people are taking more of a keen interest in becoming healthier and happier, and focusing in on their behavior (instead of just taking a pill for any issue that arises).

The father of modern behavior science is a professor and PhD at Stanford University named BJ Fogg. He has developed a model which is incredibly useful for helping improve our behavior so that it becomes easier for us to do the things we actually want ourselves to do.

Dr. Fogg breaks down human behavior into three things that are needed to explain any behavior system or to develop a new habit: motivation, ability, and a trigger.

Step 1: Be motivated

We need to be motivated to change. If, at our core, we don’t want it to happen, then it won’t happen. So the first step is listening to that see if there is that voice telling us to “do good things!”.

There are three major motivational factors in our lives, according to Fogg:

  • Seeking pleasure / avoiding pain

  • Anticipation of hope / fear

  • Achieving belonging to a group / avoiding rejection

 

Step 2: Have the ability to make the changes happen

What this means is that we need to make the changes easy for us to do. If we want to start a meditation practice, deciding to meditate 20 minutes a day is beyond our ability. So we maybe start with one or two minutes a day, which is something we can all commit to, and over time get to 20 minutes.

 

Step 3: Set a trigger

And finally, so that we don’t get to week three and realize that we are forgetting that we’re supposed to building a habit, we need a trigger. Some type of reminder that tells us “Hey, you’re supposed to be improving your life right now. Get to it!”

When we combine these three elements, we are well on our way to building the healthy habits that we desire.

How to build a habit with the Fogg model?

Let’s walk through an example of building a new habit using the framework of motivation, ability, trigger.

Let’s say you want learn to meditate.

Motivation: Why do you want to meditate? When things get tough and you don’t want to meditate, what’s the motivation that’s going to make you stick to it. It might be that you have a lot of stress in your life, and you hope that meditation will help reduce that.

Ability: Are you making it easy for yourself to meditate? Do you have a comfortable place sit while you meditate? Are you starting off with a manageable amount of meditation (e.g., 3 minutes instead of 20 minutes)? Make it simple and your more able to make it.

Trigger: What reminds you to meditate? Maybe you do it first thing in the morning, or right after you shower. Of maybe I set a reminder in my phone to tell me to meditate every day at 9am. Whatever it is, you need something that your brain associates with the act of meditation.

And that’s it! Every day that you complete the habit, your one day closer to making it automatic.

Armed with this knowledge, you are well on your way to making every day one where you get just a little bit better.

Habit Resources

If you’d some great tools to help you build new habits or break old ones, check out this list of curated resources:

BJ Fogg Tiny Habits Course [Free!]: BJ Fogg is one of the fathers of modern habit science. His behavior model shows us how human action and inaction are explained by our level of motivation, our level of has influenced companies.

Pavlok [$179.99]: One way to get rid of bad habits is to create negative associations between your brain and the action of doing the bad habit (most bad habits currently have positive associations, like stress reduction from biting nails or overeating). Pavlok creates this negative assocation by delivering a shock to your wrist when you do the bad habit. Serious, but lot’s of people have had success with this. The Pavlok System includes wearable device, and app and video courses that have helped many people curb unhealthy habits such as smoking, nail biting, overeating, online shopping and spending time on other distracting websites, and more applications.

Strides App [$3.99]: Strides helps you track all of your goals and habits in one flexible app. Strides features reminders to hold you accountable and charts to keep you motivated.The app just received an Apple Design Award for its outstanding user experience and is available for $3.99 through the App Store.

Zenhabits Sea Change Program [$29 / month, 1 week free trial]: Leo Babauta is one of the premier writers and coaches on the Internet helping people to improve their lives through habits and minimalism. His Sea Change program is designed to help overcome habit obstacles, create simple steps for change, and get you moving in the right direction by focusing on one habit at a time.

Coach.me [Free for habit tracking, $15+ for live coaching]: Coach.me is like a habit coach in your pocket. The Coach.me app (formerly known as LIFT), offers free unlimited usage of the Habit Tracker, which can be a useful tool to form new habits with its daily reminders, tracking and community support. Coach.me also provides access to hundreds of real coaches to provide live chat support, starting at $15/week.

 

1 Baumeister, et al. (1998). Ego depletion: Is the active self a limited resource? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(5), 1252–1265.

2 Baumeister, Roy F (2003), “The Psychology of Irrationality”, in Brocas, Isabelle; Carrillo, Juan D, The Psychology of Economic Decisions: Rationality and well-being, pp. 1–15

Why There’s No Site on the Internet Quite Like BestMe

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This website is here to flip the world of self improvement on its head. We are here to help you cut out the bull---t and get right to the info and tools that can help you thrive.

It's time for a change

(Most self improvement sucks)

According to a lot of stuff on the internet today, it’s easy to be your best self.

Just do these 95 things in the morning and success is yours.

Or you can read any of the thousands of articles from massive health websites that teach you how to eat healthy, how to lose weight, how to be more productive, how to be happy.

Although these websites have the best intentions, they’re unknowingly doing something kind of freaking evil.

In almost everything they produce, no matter how hard they try not to, they highlighting all of the ways in which you’re currently not enough.

Do these 5 things to lose that stubborn belly fat, or these 10 things to have the relationship of your dreams, of these 3 simple tricks to be more productive than Elon Musk.

They tell you all of the things that you can do to be someone different, without helping you understand who you are today.

They address the surface without acknowledging the root causes of why you have weight to lose in the first place (or why you want to lose weight if you don’t need to). They tell you how to be productive without giving you context to understand why you’re procrastinating in the first place.

Why is that?

Because addressing the root cause is really freaking hard.

You might be overweight because there are unresolved emotional issues you drown out through food. Or you might think you need to lose weight because your self-esteem is totally whacked from years of abuse from the media and a system that tells kids good job for simply participating.

Or you procrastinate not because you don’t know how to be productive, but because you honestly just hate your job. No amount of Getting Things Done will make you want to work more.

It’s not that you can’t be better. You can be (all of us can be).

It’s that most websites are incentivized not to help you deal with those root causes. They need to keep you coming back day after day, reading article after article about fitness tips and recipes and productivity and happiness...

… So that they can make money from ad impressions.

They stuff you full of sweet listicles giving you tips and tricks to lose weight or be more productive. These will never help you fully achieve your goal, so you’ll always be back. And they’ll keep making $$$.

Tapping into your motivation

A crucial question is often overlooked and under-appreciated

Being down with self-improvement is great. It’s one of the most important things we can do as humans.

Personal growth is vital to fulfillment and life satisfaction.

But it’s not OK to blindly pursue improving yourself if you have don’t really know what’s driving you to be better and deciding what will actually make your life better (by better, we mean meaningful and fulfilling). It’s crucial to have a why and a how.

If you want to lose more weight, why is that? Do you need to lose weight because your current weight is putting your health at risk or because you want to attempt a new physical activity that you can’t currently do? Or are you losing weight because when you look in the mirror, you get fucking sad and start hating yourself and you think being fit will make you happy. Both are valid, but in both cases when you achieve your goal of “fitness” how fulfilled you feel could be very different.

Having a baseline understanding of why you want what you want is so important to actually getting anything positive out of your efforts of self improvement.

How do you figure out your "why?"

You don’t need to go to therapy to figure it out (although it helps). Simply asking some surface questions will push you in the right direction.

Understanding your motivating factors will help you figure out if the goals you’re pursuing are being pursued for reasons you actually believe in, or if they’re for shitty reasons that don’t actually align with who you want to be

Sometimes you may find yourself stuck in such a rut that making any change, regardless of the reason, is good. It helps you get going. It motivates you.

Mark Manson calls this the do something principle, and it’s that simple action motivates you to make more change. But long term change almost always requires evaluation of your true motivations.

Being your Best Me

What does being your best self mean?

Now let’s deal with the idea of your best self, or what we call your best me.

If you think about the idea of your Best Me, what do you feel?  

It’s a nice idea right? Being the best version of yourself.

But what is the best version of you? How similar is that person to whom you are today?

If you’re like any normal human being living in today’s modern media culture, the person you want to be is vastly different than who you think you are now.

And that is an evil, insidious problem in today's world. It’s not natural.

The idea of your ideal self being better than who you are today is not inherent to the human condition, just inherent to the modern (aka Western) human condition.

We are bombarded by messages that tell us we can be better.

Buy this gum, and you’ll get a hot date!

Use this face wash, and you’ll be popular!

Drink this brand of beer, and, woooooo weee, is your life going to be awesome!

It’s not that you can’t be better, it’s just that no one product is going to change your life completely. You know this, and yet it rarely sinks in. What you need is a change in the way you think about and approach self improvement.

The crazy truth is that you are much closer to your “best me” than you probably give yourself credit for.

But since this idea has been so hidden from you, you chase phantoms instead.

You look for happiness in the numbers on a scale, or in your relationships, or in the size of your paycheck.

Being your best me is not about being some magical person who has all of these incredible qualities that you don’t have today. It’s not about doing everything the internet tells you to do to be better.

If I asked you to rattle off the top of your head what the best version of yourself did every week, you’d might say something along the lines of :

Eat super healthy, lots of veggies, limit red meat, workout 4 times a week, meditate, be focused at work, spend time with all of the important people in my life, etc.

But if I asked what the happy, fulfilled version of yourself would do every week, it would probably be something along the lines of:

Eat pretty healthy most of the time, but eat burgers and burritos when I wanted to. Work out consistently, but accept that sometimes other shit comes up or I’m just too tired. Meditate in the mornings, be focused but also not crazy because work is not my life. And yeah, I’ll spend time with family and friends, but I’ve only got so much time and I can’t please everyone.

And that’s the thing about your best me, it’s not all that different to who you are today. Your best me isn’t a different version of yourself. It’s just a person who is a little more focused on doing the right things on a daily basis, and a little more forgiving when you don’t do those things.

When is the best time to plant a tree?

So how do you get there? How do you figure this out?

Honestly, it’s not easy and it takes time.

Part of it is acknowledging that there’s almost never one thing that will turn your life around completely.

It’s a process of learning that who you want to be and who you are today are much closer to each other than you realize.

It’s about understanding the true motivations for why you want to change, not just the surface reasons you tell yourself.

It’s about getting comfortable with the idea that maybe your best self isn’t an end goal, but a reality that you can live each and every day.

It’s about realizing that you can’t do everything and you can’t be everything, so that self-improvement is in many ways more about choosing what not to improve and being very selective about what you do improve.

Part of it is acknowledging that life is a struggle and there will always be suffering, and we’re probably not ever going to live in a state of pure bliss. And that that is ok.

These things don’t happen in a day. They take time.

But as the saying goes: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

We aren’t saying that your mindset needs to be perfect before you start taking action to improve. Acknowledging the importance of mindset is a big step. But the mental game can be improved with the physical.

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How will BestMe help you with your goals?

We're dedicated to serving you, and we're transparent

The company BestMe makes money by selling products that can make your life better.

This may seem contradictory to what we are saying above, but hopefully you’ll understand why it’s not.

People who are in blind pursuit of self-improvement will be overwhelmed by this site because there are so many ways to “improve."

But when you get clear about what you really want, you’ll be able to browse this site and find the exact tools that will help you on your mission.

We see these tools as training wheels to help you get your journey started.

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This company is made up of people who care deeply about you. That seems like corporate BS, but it’s true.

You’re not just random data point on an analytics dashboard. You’re not a dollar sign. You’re here because you want to make yourself better, and we take that responsibility seriously (even if we make poop jokes sometimes).

We’ve lived through eating disorders, depression, anxiety, mania and more. We’ve lived through deaths of family members, layoffs, and illness.

The reality is we’re still living through some of those things.

And what we’ve learned, from our own experience and the experience of thousands of others, is that when we are doing things for the wrong reasons, things generally don’t turn out well.

We work really hard and get a massive promotion, or we buy a fitbit and lose twenty pounds. Yet we feel just as empty as before (and we of course always put those twenty pounds back on).

Since we never got our minds straight from the start, we were doomed for failure.

To use this site properly, you need to work on both your mental and physical game.

You need to understand which products will actually work for you, and which products are going to be a quicksand trap for your money (we can help you make these decisions if you’re willing to trust us).

You need to understand what is worth improving right now, what can wait, and what simply isn’t worth it.

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BestMe.com  is a website that makes its money recommending products. We have a store filled with books, wearables, programs, and services that can make your life better.

That doesn’t mean you need all of them.

It means that when you decide that you want to accomplish something, we’ve got some tools that we’ve researched the shit out of that we think can make your journey easier.

We hope that makes sense to you, but we’re happy to tell you more.

If you want to ask some questions, get in touch, or get some recommendations about some tools to help you on your journey, feel free to fill out the form below.

Tony Robbins on Motivation and Why We Do What We Do

What gets you up out of bed and into a flow state doing great work and living life to the fullest? The answer lays beneath the surface of what we do, to why we do it.

The Secret to Motivation

There is one three-letter word that underpins everything that we do.

It is the most powerful word that can lead us to wisdom, to success, and to mastery.

It is the difference between knowledge and understanding.

The word? Why.

Why is the driver of what we do and who we are as people.

It is the moral fiber that creates willpower - those of us who are highly motivated have a strong source of purpose and are able to connect our actions and circumstances to a higher cause and to frame our efforts in the context of a greater goal.

Why We Do What We Do

Tony Robbins, the world's preeminent life coach, gave a masterful talk about motivation and the invisible forces that motivate everyone's actions. Check out the talk below:

 
 

What do you think? Life changing? Make you think?