Day #921:How to Have Your Best Year Ever

Hello!  And happy holidays!

This post is about making things happen. Putting your goals into practice. Getting the rubber on the road.

A couple of years ago I read a book called The Slight Edge and it changed the way I thought about my goals.
Before I would always make these big hurrahs to exercise, or push through on a project. It was all or nothing.

Afterward I started examining all the little decisions I made every day, and starting thinking smaller. How could I do one thing today, something that was easy to do, that would move me forward?

And this has been the greatest secret to my ability to write everyday for over 900 days now in my 1000 days of Inspiration project.

The Big Lesson
Success is a product of a lot of small decisions your make every single day. And making good decisions is what leads to favorable outcomes.

Just think about it – you won’t gain 10 pounds if you eat that cookie. However, if you decide to eat the cookie every day you will eat an extra 200 calories per cookie, which over 365 days is 73,000 calories; which adds up to about 21 lbs per year!  All from a simple daily cookie.
And now if you walked an extra 1000 steps, which would burn 100 more calories you could lose 36,500 calories, or 10+ lbs in one year.  It is pretty amazing how these things that are easy to do can lead to such big results when compounded over time.

And this analogy can be applied to all your goals:

  • Reading 10 to 20 pages in a good book (reading all those books in a year  will make you smarter)
  • Putting a little extra into your savings account each paycheck
  • Skipping a meeting you don’t need to attend and working on something that matters instead
  • Spending 15 minutes on one of your goals instead of watching TV or playing video games

Success and failure don’t happen overnight. Those outcomes don’t even happen in a few days or a couple of weeks. Your success and failure is determined by your consistency. What you do day in and day out over the next year. It is the compounding of all the little things.Success or failure does not happen overnight. Success is sending the email, making the phone call, writing the blog post, sending in that application. Failure is also the same. the lack of daily, actions no matter how small can have a catastrophic effect down the line.

How to Set Your Goals for 2016
To set clear and simple goals, It is helpful to think about goals falling into two buckets:

1) Concrete things you accomplish (i.e. finishing a book, traveling to China, completing a project)
2) Habits you want to stop/start/change (i.e. start working out, eating healthy, drinking more water, not biting your nails, getting up early, etc.)

The main idea for each area is to brainstorm for 5 minutes to generate a list of goals, then take 1 minute to assign a timeframe to each goal, (this time frame should be what time in the year would you like to achieve the goal and then choose one primary goal and write for 2 minutes about why it’s so important. to achieve it.

How does that affect your goals?
I want you to think small and I want you to think long term. For each of your goals for 2016, I want you to write them down no matter how silly, I want you to categorize them and then craft an action plan.  This way I know you will accomplish your goals next year.

More importantly, the moment you finish writing down your goal, make sure you take action towards it no matter how small. If one of your goals is to start a blog. Once you close your notepad, go on WordPress and open the blog. It doesn’t cost anything in case you are thinking about money. Write the first blog post. If your goal is to change jobs, pick up your resume, edit it, send it out to someone, a recruiter, former colleague or someone who can help you out. The most critical thing to keep in mind is taking action. Make sure you are taking action no matter how small everyday towards your goal. If it’s to write a book. Try and write a sentence. Never let a day go by without registering action on your goal.

Martin Luther King Jr. said: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

See you in 2016.

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