The Ultimate Goal-Setting System | Dark Mode 2020
“We are over hyping the benefits of social media and way underplaying the negatives and the costs.” – Cal Newport
In the modern age, social media platforms and even self-help content are essentially mouse traps, we’re drawn in by the promise of some yummy food and before we know it, our fucking heads get snapped off.
Ok, that’s an extreme example, but I don’t think it’s too extreme, we all know that social media addiction is a thing and if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us are probably victims of it for the same reasons that many of us also fall victim to self-help addiction, it feels good. But over time, for the majority of those among us who aspire to something greater, these things are ruining our lives, because they have evolved into traps that are more focused on hijacking our attention and extracting money from us under the illusion that they’re meant to help us.
Well, as they say, “drastic times call for drastic measures”, which is exactly why I created Dark Mode, a simple system designed to help us essentially escape the matrix, where we can more easily develop positive life-long habits while achieving the sort of goals that give life profound meaning. Yes, even more profound than the quotes that instagram models copy and paste into their bikini photo captions.
OK!, so Dark Mode consists of 3 parts:
- one inescapable goal
- three one-minute habits
Ok, let’s dig in!
The Four Dimensions
I believe that we as humans have roughly “Four Dimensions”, Occupational, Mental, Physical and Expressive. Each of these dimensions is tied together, and to try to master one while neglecting the others creates imbalance, which is why Dark Mode is structured to develop all four dimensions in a balanced way.
You will choose one goal, which will naturally fall into one of those four dimensions. Then you will develop one habit for each of the remaining three.
A quick example of this would be, let’s say that your goal falls into the occupational dimension, you would then develop habits in your physical, mental and expressive dimensions. I’ll provide examples here in a second.
How to choose your one goal?
Napoleon Hill was a huge influence for me when I began my journey. His book “Think and Grow Rich” is actually the first self development book I ever read and it’s an absolute masterclass on the subject, in it, he outlined six steps that help to structure goals, including exactly how to actually achieve them. That last part is where most people screw up, which is why it’s a major focus within Dark Mode.
Here are the steps:
1. Set a single goal that is realistic to you
Don’t ask anyone if your goal “looks good” or “seems doable”, to ask others for opinions on goals that you set for yourself is just more dependence on the external. You know yourself better than anyone else, why would you think that someone else might be more of an authority to tell you what you are and aren’t capable of?
Your friends and family, for as much as they may love you, will project their own perceived limitations on you, that’s just how it is. It’s perfectly fine to talk about your goals with others, just remember that you should make the final decision.
2. Pair it with an action plan
This is the ¿How? part of setting a goal that is absolutely critical to making your goal a reality, your plan determines what you will execute on religiously throughout the duration of Dark Mode. To come up with a plan, ask yourself ¿How? until you get to an answer that you can take action on… and ideally one that you can also measure.
How do I start a business? Get clients. How do I get clients? Send cold emails to people that may be interested in your product or service.
How to make this actionable? Send cold emails every morning. How to make this measurable? Send 200 cold emails every morning.
How do I get in shape? Go to the gym and stop eating garbage food.
How to make this goal actionable and measurable? I will go to the gym every morning Monday through Friday, and I will get all my meals through a healthy food delivery service.
3. Set a deadline
I’ve found that the optimal duration for undertaking a goal is thirty (30) days. If you think you need more time than that, then revisit your goal and figure out how to make it smaller or break it up into a smaller part.
The only circumstance under which you should set a goal that is longer, is if you’re participating in some sort of planned event, or if your goal is inescapable, in which case it’s ok to go as far out as sixty (60) days. Which brings us to our next step.
4. Make it inescapable
“Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat.” – Napoleon Hill
Do everything that you possibly can to ensure that you have no choice but to follow through.
If you want to start that business, pay for a website, post about it on social, tell your friends and family about your new venture. If you need to lose weight, throw out all of the garbage food in your home, post your “before” photos online for friends and family to see, heck, tell your boss not to give you your weekly pay if you don’t hit certain targets, be as extreme as possible!
I recently started boxing, and when I set a goal to fight in a boxing match, I found an opponent and a location as quickly as possible. I announced it on social, and invited friends and family. There’s no escaping it.
You actually want to accomplish your goal right? So jump in head first, there is no such thing as too extreme here. Go all-in or don’t even bother setting the goal in the first place.
5. Summarize your goal in a single statement
Take your goal, your plan of action, and your deadline, and write down a concise statement that summarizes everything.
If your goal is to start a business, your statement should be: “I will start a business [your goal] by sending Two Hundred cold emails every morning [your plan of action] for thirty days [your deadline].”
If you want to get in shape, your statement should be: “I will get in shape by going to the gym every morning monday through friday, and by only eating healthy meals, for thirty days.”
My goal is to fight in a boxing match, so my statement is: “I will fight in a boxing match and train six times a week, two times per day for sixty days.”
6. Read your goal statement out loud every morning and evening
Napoleon Hill really emphasizes how visualization plays a key role in achieving your goal. He suggests reading your statement once when you wake up and once before you go to bed.
It’s also a way to remind yourself of the contract that you’ve entered. You start your day knowing what activities to prioritize, and at the end of the day, as you read your statement out loud again, you can reflect on your progress.
Now let’s talk about your habits. As I mentioned, your Dark Mode Goal will fall into one of your four dimensions, and your habits should fall into the other three.
So let’s say that you set an occupational goal like start a business. Your mental habit could be meditation, your physical habit could be going for a walk every morning and your expressive habit could be to practice your sales pitch every night in front of a mirror.
If you want more examples of ‘good’ habits that you can develop across your four dimensions, you can find them in the Dark Mode guide which you can grab for free.
Download the Dark Mode Guide Now
… and much more!
Now the most important quality of your habits, is that you commit to practicing them for at least one minute per day, at one minute, there should never be a day where you’re not able to practice the habit and consistency is the most important aspect of developing good habits.
I’m going to repeat that because it’s so important, as someone who can now develop any habit with relative ease, trust me when I say that consistency is the most important aspect of developing good habits.
If you’re like me, you’re probably pulling your hair out at the thought of running for one minute per day or meditating for 1 minute,but just trust me, the longer we commit to the habit, the more difficult it is to start the habit on any given day.
By committing to only one minute, we’re removing all of that friction and what will of course most likely happen once we get going, is that we’ll keep going for more than one minute.
Remember, one habit for each dimension except for your goal’s dimension, and you should only commit to one minute. If you just so happen to want to spend more time performing the habit, go for it.
Finally, once you’ve got your goal and habits selected, it’s time to look at the actual environment that you’re going to be operating in identify all distractions and things that are otherwise making it more difficult to accomplish your goals and disconnect from them.
It is so important to disconnect, because it is in the silence that we are actually free to reach our potential. The more connected we are, the more that we consume, and the more that we are consumed.
The greatest problem facing the current generation is over-consumption, every moment we spend consuming is a moment we’re not spending actually taking action or using our own brains. How many times have we said “just one more video” and then suddenly it’s like 3:00 a.m?
By disconnecting completely, we remove ourselves from the endless cycle of consumption. So this literally means deactivating social accounts, uninstalling every app on our phones where we waste time, selling (or temporarily giving away) game consoles, cancelling any TV or Netflix subscriptions, no YouTube, no Reddit, No going out with friends or family either, without good reason.
Treat these things like the fucking cancer they have evolved into and, with a surgeons precision, cut them out completely, I would even recommend avoiding books unless you have one in particular that you can read no more than a chapter at a time, and always immediately apply whatever you’ve learned.
By creating an environment where we have removed all distractions, we have much more time, energy and mental focus, that we can then laser-focus on our goals.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it is here, when you are working towards goals in an environment free from the tentacles of the consumption cycle, where very special things will happen.
So to end the video, here’s a quick and easy summary of Dark Mode:
First, set one goal that falls into your Occupational, Mental, Physical or Expressive dimension, make it realistic, plan out exactly how you’re going to accomplish it, set a deadline, do everything you can do make it inescapable and then summarize your goal into a single statement that you will read out loud every morning when you wake up, and every evening before you go to bed. Next, develop a total of three habits, one for each of the dimensions that are not your goal’s dimension and you will only commit one minute.
And finally, disconnect, eliminate everything that distracts you from your goal, do not consume any content that you can’t immediately apply, refuse any invitation, put your phone on silent. Everyone’s goals, habits, and methods of disconnection will of course be different, but if I can make one final recommendation be as extreme as you can with the inescapability of your goal, and your level of disconnection, while keeping your habits nice and simple.
If you want to see how I structure my own Dark Mode, you can check it out in the full guide and if you want more content like this subscribe to the YouTube channel, click the notification bell and get notified first when new videos are released.