HOW I'VE ACHIEVED EVERY MAJOR GOAL OVER 10+ YEARS (2021 NEW YEARS RESOLUTION HACK)
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Hey guys, the new year is upon us and you’re probably telling yourself that, this time, it’s going to be different, this time “I will stick to my gym routine, I will learn that new skill, I will finally pull the trigger on my great business idea”, except,not really.
Let’s face reality, when have you ever achieved a resolution that you’ve set for yourself?
If you’re like most people, then, probably never. And that’s because new year’s resolutions epitomize literally everything that’s wrong with how we approach self-improvement, loosely defined goals with absolutely zero accountability and zero repercussions, that we’re going to start “tomorrow”, always tomorrow.
So in this post, we’ll explore the 3 primary reasons that resolutions never work and more importantly: 3 easy and actionable ways to actually achieve our resolutions, irregardless of how big they may be.
1. Don’t save for tomorrow what you can start on today
In “Zen in the Art of Archery”, Eugene Herrigel explains:
An expert archer sees his target, the bow bends, and the arrow flies, all in one fluid motion. He doesn’t decide to shoot and then take the shot. Rather, the goal and the follow-through are part of a single, intentional action.
I mean, just imagine if every time you ever had the idea to achieve a goal, imagine if you hadn’t waited for tomorrow, or the next week, or January 1st, but instead, you started immediately? How different would your life be?
The future isn’t real, it’s not an actual thing, for most of us, it’s just a very poorly formed hypothesis. Look at it this way, how often do we tell ourselves that we’re finally going to start that thing tomorrow only to not start that thing when tomorrow comes.
When the new year rolls around, it’s the exact same thing and for some reason, maybe because a full year is a good amount of time to completely forget how we always fail. We never look at one of the main reasons we fail, which is the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality.
One of the most important skills I’ve developed has been the ability to take immediate and decisive action when I know that I should, not in some entirely hypothetical “tomorrow” scenario.
Have a resolution you want to set for the new year? The worst thing you can do is wait for the new year to actually begin. If you have something you want to accomplish, start immediately, time waits for no one.
2. DON’T SET A YEAR-LONG RESOLUTION, INSTEAD SET MICRO-GOALS
Not only is there nothing wrong with starting small, it’s actually the smartest way to set goals, the bigger we make our goals, or the further we toss them out into the future, the further away we get from now, which is where we actually need to be focused.
One of my favorite philosophers, Alan Watts, has a great perspective on this, he says that
Here’s an example:
If we set a goal to stop eating junk food for 30 days, what we are essentially doing is giving the Devil that self-sabotaging part of ourselves, 30 full days of advanced notice to come and screw things up.
So, while it’s perfectly fine to set a long term goal, that should never be the focus, the focus should instead be on the individual steps that are required to get to that goal, so instead of focusing on the 30 days, just focus on the goal of getting through today and then the following day, do the same.
If we have a big goal we want to accomplish, we’re essentially going to war with ourselves, because we are the biggest threat to ourselves, and to win a war means winning a series of smaller battles, we can think of these smaller battles as micro goals.
For example: if we want to learn how to dance, rather than setting a resolution to commit to dancing for an hour every single day, 5 days a week, set a goal to spend 5 minutes of every day dancing, for one week and start right away, now, once you start dancing, it’s very likely that you’ll continue past the 5 minutes, but if for whatever reason, 5 minutes was all you could manage that day, at least you didn’t fail. This is important for building consistency, which in my opinion is the single most underrated aspect of self-improvement, but that’s a topic for another video.
If you struggle with the idea of smaller goals, try reframing your goals in the following way, think of your big goals like the north star that guides the general direction your ship, and your micro-goals as the land on the horizon, they’re never too far to where you can’t see them.
Seeing my goals in this way, where I’ve always got that north star that I’m working towards, but my focus remains on the day to day, has really been critical in me being able to achieve my long term goals.
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3. MAKE YOUR GOALS “INESCAPABLE”
The problem with most new year’s resolutions and most goals in general is that they’re too easily escapable. Oftentimes the goals that we set for ourselves have zero accountability and zero reprecrussions, think about how silly that is for a second, that we set goals for ourselves where if we fail, there’s no penalty.
If we were really intent on achieving our goals in the first place, then why are we only dipping a single foot into the water?
I own a business called AgentFire where we sell real estate websites to real estate agents, this year, I want to at least double or triple the size of my business, to do that, we’re going to need a lot of sales, to get those sales, we’re going to need a lot of leads, and talented salespeople who can close them. A few weeks ago, I reached out to Inman news, the leading news source for real estate agents and we’re going to spend $50,000 with them on a marketing package for January through March, I’ve already signed on the dotted line and sent payment, and in doing so, I’ve now created a situation where my goal has become inescapable.
I have about 45 days to hire and train new salespeople and prepare all of the marketing materials, which include lots of display advertisements, a 30 second commercial, as well as 2 webinars.
Failure is not an option, if I don’t do an amazing job here the result could be catastrophic. By committing such a large amount of money on such a tight deadline, I literally have no choice but to go all in.
And waking up every day knowing how important it is for me to execute on this is also spilling into other areas of my life. To actually have all the time and energy I need to work on these things, means that I need to eat healthy and get lots of exercise, prioritize meditation while minimizing stress and distractions, because of this goal, I am improving in all of my dimensions and as a result, because the absolute ‘best’ version of me is needed to be able to hit this thing out of the park.
If you have a goal to run a half marathon, don’t just set the goal, try to figure out how much time you’d need to prepare under the condition that you train as hard as you can, look up events and purchase your ticket immediately, if you need to travel to the event, purchase your travel tickets as well, go online and buy the sneakers and/or equipment that you need to train, let your friends and family know, use the same external validation that urges you to do or say things to impress others to now force you to do something that will actually benefit you instead.
Don’t just tell yourself that you’re going to go all in on your goals, do everything that you possibly can to make them inescapable, to make them inevitable. No matter what the goal is, don’t just dip your feet in the water, dive in head-first and with full confidence, because it’s there that we discover what we’re truly capable of.
Alright guys, let’s do a quick summary
1. Don’t save for tomorrow what you can start on today
As the old saying goes, “tomorrow never comes, there is only the now”. To execute on goals, it’s important to develop the ability taking immediate and decisive action now, not tomorrow. If you want to achieve your new year’s resolution, the worst thing you can do is wait for the new year to actually begin.
2. Don’t set a year-long resolution, instead set micro-goals
Don’t give the devil advanced notice, while it’s perfectly fine to set goals in the future, think of those goals as our “north star”, they guide our general direction and provide us with something challenging to strive towards, but it’s the consistent achievement of micro-goals that will actually get us there.
3. Make your goals “inescapable”
Oftentimes the goals that we set for ourselves have zero accountability and zero reprecrussions, instead, we should fully commit to our goals, buy the tickets, pay the price, announce to our friends and social networks, we should do whatever we can to create a situation where our goal becomes as inescapable as possible.
If you’re setting a resolution for yourself, don’t wait until January 1st to get started, start right now, set a micro-goal, and do everything that you possibly can to make your goal inescapable, so that it becomes inevitable.
Guys, If you want to see how I achieve my resolutions make sure to follow me on instagram @NelsonQuest.
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Ciao, cheers to the new year and cya in the next post!
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