Last updated on May 13, 2022 - My Free Marketing newsletter 👀
How many times have you been asked, “What are your resolutions for the new year?”
A few of my personal favorite replies:
Why didn’t we start these habits or desired outcomes at the time we wanted that change to happen?
What’s different? No clue.
But I have noticed 2 key things about creating positive changes in life:
1- The Process, not the outcome, helps you throughout life.
A few years back, at AppSumo our goal was to get 3,333 members to join our previous course How to Make a $1,000 a month business. In January of 2013 it seemed like an extremely daunting goal. When we finally reached it in October, I got a bit confused and saddened about what to do next. When I reflect on it, the hardest times accomplishing the goal were the most
rewarding, not the
anti-climactic part of finally reaching the goal.
2- Knowing your destination helps.
The first night of my trip to Goa, India I tried to scooter home but had no idea how to get there. It took me 45 minutes. The next day I looked up my destination and plotted a way to get there. It took me only took me 15 minutes. That’s a 3x improvement, 300%.
These two points seem to conflict...and they do...but they also play together nicely.
Setting goals is always a good thing. They help you to have something to look forward to. But it’s the journey / process / in-between or “the liminal” that is rewarding. It’s a 2 for 1 special.
The start of the New Year is a nice separator of time for us to think about what we’ve been doing and where we want to be.
Instead of putting pressure on yourself to lose weight, get more money, etc., really focus on building processes / habits that you can work on for 2014 and beyond.
This year I wanted to focus on developing a process to help me create resolutions with ease every year. 🙂
Here’s is my process (you can print/fill out this ghetto worksheet and follow along):
1- Write out Health, Wealth, Love.
Write out NO MORE THAN 3 GOALS in each category.
Then I picked 1 thing that mattered per category. You can still do your other ones but keep it simple to make it more likely to accomplish.
2- Write 3 words you want to describe yourself this year.
Mine are: Open-minded, Simplicity and Having Fun. If you write too many things to do and can’t remember them, you’ve committed too many.
3- What would you be scared to do next year (ht Adam)?
For me this is making a rap song. Tried once already 🙂
4- What if this were your last year on Earth?
When people ask, "What would you do if you had 1 day to live?" it feels too short and it's hard to take it seriously (aka rob a bank or have Roman orgies). But a year is ample amount of time to do almost anything. This year I’d like to fly on a private jet (anyone else???).
(Here's how I did with my 2013 goals)
* * *
So what do I want to do in 2014? Here’s my process written out:
Simplified 2014 goals:
1- Look for a life partner (Love)
2- Get new in-house product to generate 1,000,000,000 pageviews and $1 million this year (Wealth)
3- Weigh less than 160 pounds and have more defined arms (Health)
* * *
Now that the hype of New Year's Resolutions has passed. Here are a few steps to take to build lasting, realistic goals for yourself.
1- SIMPLIFY. I met a guy once who had a ton of goals for how he lived his life. I asked him to tell me them and he could only remember a few. The point is to pick less, so you’ll remember and really do the ones you want to accomplish.
2- Reinforcement. Print this out and put it in a place you are CONSTANTLY seeing it. I put mine on my sticky notes on my computer and see it almost every day I work.
3- Visualize. Add the activities tentatively to your calendar. Easier to start visualizing the things / processes you want to happen.
Ultimately as you go through life choose the actions that give you the best story!
If this year was your last, what’s one thing you want to do? Leave a comment on Okdork.
For 1 commenter, I’ll work with you to help make it a reality 🙂 BIG Congrats to Nathan Scott—the lucky commenter! We're going to work to make his cartoon/comic a reality!
P.S. Here's a ghetto worksheet here for you to print/fill out your own 2014 goals.
Very useful practical tips with your blog posts.
Setting mine for 2015 !
Travel around the world with a motorbike experience the world mile by mile, similar to what the two boys did in the documentaries Long Way Down and Long Way Around. In my opinion, this is one of the easiest ways to achieve the nomadic lifestyle. 🙂
Listen man, if you want leaner arms, you just have to be motherfuckin stronger. There is no other way. Just training and eating well wont help. This Noah is not strong enough for Lean Arms Noah. So what is the solution?
1. Get up your testosterone by anaerobic training thrice a week
2. Eat high protein Tacos and get 9 hours of Sleep
3. Fuck at least thrice a week.
Email me, I'll give you simple short cuts to overcome habitual barriers and sort your shit out. This is not a sales pitch. I'm your customer.
anyone else besides me having trouble sticking to their processes?
Congrats for winning! That is one insane opportunity to shine: you'll be helped by none other than Noah! Good luck my friend 😀
If this year was my last, I would want for my younger brother to learn to be on his own. He's in his late 20's. :/
1) Go on that ecotourism trip I always talk about, connect w humanity abroad, create meaningful memories.
2)Show my art in a gallery, coffee bar, anywhere outside my fb album, aka safety bubble.
3)Find somebody to share my year of awesomeness with.
Lately I've been using the 5 Minute Journal that I got in one of Tim Ferriss's Quarterly packages. It helps you stay focused on your goals and reinforce your desired life every day. I've been doing it weekly now instead of daily, but it helps you program your life.
My last year on earth!?
Learn a new language (italian) by spending 2 months in Italy, I've been to lake como before and loved it. Would be amazing to spend my summer around there.The goal being to be able to spend a full weekend only speaking Italian.
Winter I would spend in Canada, have always wanted to go and I love to ski so that would be amazing. The goal being to be able to go down black runs with ease.
Im currently setting up a new business which should /will make me a recurring income of £4,000 a month. If I have that I can spend time with family and friends and visiting places I'd love to visit. The goal being to not have to work whilst I travel but also means that my family will have access to that monthly income when I pass away.
Lastly and possibly most importantly I'd get married to my g/f so we could share the adventure together!
Look forward to seeing everyone's responses.
Great post Noah. If this year were my last, one thing I would want to do would be to quit my job and travel around Australia with my family. Cheers!!
Hey Noah Like this simplified version, going to give it a crack. Love your goal of making a rap, are you a rap fan if so I would love to send you two albums from a New Zealand rapper, as thanks for pointing me to some great stuff, especially Adam at Mybodytutor. Is there a physical address I could send them to?
Hey Noah, first of all thanks for your openness and honesty in your posts!
Making some big choices in 2013 (leaving corporate job, leaving relationship), 2014 for me is about taking the next step in ‘wealth’ (growing business) and ‘love’ (more time with family and taking my dad to his motherland Indonesia for his first time in 40yrs).
Cheers from Amsterdam
If this year was my last, I'd travel around playing the country songs I've written, in as many old folk's homes as I could.
Last year on earth... I'd (I'll) save 100 lives.
If this was your last year, a business idea would be the last thing on my mind. I'd want to see all my family members and friends across the world and impact them with a message to kill their fear and strive for whomever and whatever they want to be...the time is very short. So yeah, lotsa trips and visiting.
Great post! If it were my last year I'd go to Italy, rent a Lamborghini and drive it all over the country for a week while eating the best food in the country, see the best beaches and drink the best coffee/espresso! Oh and Gelato too of course!
If this were my last year... I would hire a private yacht (skippered) and invite friends and family from my entire life to sail to different parts of the world. People could join the tour at different stages free of charge.
Last year: create something that helps others when I'm not around.
This would probably be a detailed account (maybe book of sorts?) of how I've overcome my personal limiting beliefs.
I'd choose to write about this because it's been the most empowering thing in my life that I can remember and a ton of my buddies are limiting their lives because they haven't been intentional about crafting a resourceful belief system.
If I have one more, I'd also hope to fall head over heals in love...cause that's the best and love is my #1 emotional need!
Learn to really hustle and sell effectively to grow my service business or freelance revenue to re-gain my location independence.
The big goal of this for 2014 is so I can meet up with my closest friends I made living in Argentina over in Brazil for the World Cup.
This may be cheating, since it's a a super-goal, but if this were my last year, I'd want to spend it leaving my mark. It's a super-goal because it means several smaller pieces of a whole coming together, such as make an impression on my kids so they remember me and live a good life, have my immediate family taken care of financially, and spend time with the family who is too far to see as often as I'd like. But, broken down into the three categories, I'd go with:
Health: Get closer to healthy weight (can't eat an elephant in one sitting), to have the time to spend with my family, and take part in other sports/activities I want to do that I currently can't safely, like hockey.
Wealth: Work on at least ONE of my side-project ideas, if only to get the wheels going, and drive motivation by watching it grow.
Love: Spend more adult time with my wife (i.e. not in "we've got two kids around us at all times") to get to know her even better, and appreciate her appropriately.
** CRUDE LANGUAGE WARNING ** Sorry, it's where my brain goes when fired up...
Ultimately, in three simple words? "
OneFucking successful guy". Crude, but to the point.
Thank you for this post and process. It definitely gave me food for though, and nourishment for action. Seriously. After reading this, I thought to myself "Fuck it. This is the year of fucking DOING shit, not TALKING about doing shit".
Create a new outlook on life by shifting my paradigm
Fail hard and fast to construct an epic learning experience
Learn from the two above to blaze a new trail
Market the hell out of my company's online products... so I can start my passion project of a Border Collie Hotel & Rescue Centre 🙂
I almost missed your ghetto worksheet
You always inspire me.
Be less passive in using my public image saving lives
Proactive and effective
Although I'm grateful for the countless lives I've been able to save, the possibility of saving just 1 life by reaching out is priceless.
If you end up making a difference in peoples lives be careful...
it can be heart-breaking, addictive, and fulfilling
Health: Learn wing chun as a way of actively meditating
Wealth: Start a blog about productivity/self realization and get to 5k€/month in revenue
Love: Spend 6 months in Brazil and make many Brazilian friends
Seriously if we had a year left we'd work?
Yoga every day.
Surf or cycle every day.
Lots of hugs.
Learn to tango.
With Kate, travel to: Patagonia, Scandanavia, Ireland, live in Italy and cycle.
Actually I'd make sure Kate had enough money to live off. Have at that, Noah!
To become conversationally fluent in spanish.
Noah, love this post, love your blog and truly value all that you put out into this world! 🙂 Your post reminded me of the concept of 'desire mapping' - something Danielle Laporte talks about in goal-setting... lead with the emotion of how you want to feel, and then create the process to achieve it. (http://www.daniellelaporte.com/thedesiremap/)
If this year was my last what would I do?... I'd want to find a partner in crime to share a year of adventures with! Life's more fun with someone to reflect with, laugh with and cheer you on so why not go out with a bang? If you want to help make this a reality, I'd consider you an angel!
If this was my last year, I would buy a storage container and convert it into a small shop and build myself a wooden boat.
If this was to be my last year, I'd want to finally sit down and revamp the Wishlist / Kris Kringle site I run. It would be a lasting gift to my family (who I created it for in the first place) and, if I got it to a good enough place, a gift to the wider community as well. I really have no excuse for not doing this already, except that it's a large and daunting task and I keep putting it off!
I will get my start up sailing charter business running full steam with an actionable plan to have it grow in my absence and fund my 6 year old daughters education through to when she wants to stop university. Then fund her start up! It will also fund my wife's lifestyle of leisure and teaching.
Noah... I may be able to help out make that 5 days on a boat goal happen.... bestsailcharters.com
My last year would be spent shipping my work, regardless of being complete or perfect. I have 4 key online projects I've been sitting on for too long as I waste too much time in fear and doubt. This would ideally earn me enough money to fly to the US and arrange to personally meet and thank my most influential mentors (Noah Kagan, Lewis Howes, Pat Flynn, Chalene Johnson and Michael Stelzner). I would make a movie/documentary video of this experience.
Thanks for the powerful post Noah!
This year, I'd like to inspire 1k people to make some change in their lives, even if it's as small as reading again.
I'm doing this by building my foundation through the Art of Change. I contribute:
1. 1+ blog post per week
2. 1 podcast interview per week
3. 1 motivational snapchat per day
Got the systems working. Now it's a matter of keeping them up and improving every day.
I'm not gonna lie, this post helped me a lot with goal setting. Why? Because it simplified the process. I realize that part of the problem is there are tons of things I want to accomplish but only so much I can do this year. By dividing up a finite number of things for things year, everything seems much more attainable and focused.
Play a round of golf at Augusta National Golf Club, which is verging on the impossible.
If this were my last year, I'd spend my savings on watching cricket in as many different countries as possible - going by the international cricket council's scheduling, I think I would be able to make at least four: Australia, South Africa, England and India. I love cricket.
My last year? Well at least you don't F around.
Even though I live in paradise I'd want to travel and see as much of the world as I could while trying to ensure that my family isn't left in the lurch monetarily when I was gone. In other words, I would need a location independent business.
I think that I am finally visualizing the process and will have it down on paper by 21 January so we can begin the action. I have stutter stopped a few times last year but this is the year. Thanks for all the help Noah. I still owe you a few tacos.
I want to create $3000/month income so I can go get lost for a few months in Europe.
I would launch my new business without fear of failure or "what-ifs": bring my creative (and fun) idea and product into the hands and on the bodies of those interested in living their lives more as their true selves.
GREAT goals Noah, I love them. I really like reading blog of uber successful people since they always push harder than 99% of people, it's really inspiring and it makes you realize that your goals are not hard enough.
I love the 30 sec handstand idea. Last year in July, one of my monthly challenge goal was to do a full 10 sec peacock pose (http://www.sarawhitney.net/images/intermediate/mayurasana.jpg) and having such a clear, fun, hard goal to look forward was really a great motivator for me to train (training to have muscle is really working for me).
For me, my goals for the years are amazing. This is the first time in my life that i do such a comprehensive, measurable and purely enjoyable goals and I'm thrilled about it (i had crazy goals last year but I didnt make them hard enough or geared toward my passions). So my most important goal for 2014 is:
- live the 4-Hour Workweek doing what i LOVE and make at least 10 000$ per month by December 31st
I used to think "it was too late to jump on board", which is a scarcity mentality. But last year, many many things clicked in my head and i decided that i was going to live that crazy lifestyle and ignore all "common sense". I also subscribed to your program "Make your first $" and I am doing amazing progress. My next step is "negotiate a coffee" and GOD IT'S HARD. Lol. The fear of being judged maybe? I'll do it this week since I can't wait to know what's coming next (oh, and by the way i loved the 100 pushups challenge)
PS: "long distance bike ride" is not measurable 😉 Where will it be (Grand Canyon, Grece, etc), by when (before April 15th), and how many miles would you like to accomplish (150 miles)? How many subscribers do you have on Okdork? Can we keep you accountable? 😉
So thanks Noah for being such an inspiration and good luck!
Love this fucking article! If this was my last year to live, I'd travel the world and stop being so damn careful with my life: I'd take bigger risks, experiment (and I don't mean with drugs), and I'd stop guessing and start asking.
Health: Get over 165lbs.
Wealth: Launch an successful online fitness product.
Love: Find a significant other.
And as intended already, I'd go back after ten years to the land that claims to hide the real Arch with Moses'belongings, the land of King Solomon and Queen Sheba, the land of my husband and therefore, of my kids who never saw such a strange awesome spot on Earth.
No i wouldn't go help, I know them enough to understand how much me they can help me, mine and all the seekers 🙂
Hmmm if I had one year left to live...I think I'd teach other people to live as if they had the same condition, through my actions of course.
I'd talk (blog, post, all that fun stuff) about what I cared about, which in this case would be living this year like its your last year, if it wasn't maybe it would be about reforming education to focus on application and understanding personal passions, callings, and desires. People would listen, become enthralled and maybe even pay me for my ramblings because they would feel the passion and fire burning inside. It'd be contagious.
I'd jump in and learn everything I wanted to. I'd focus on quantity over quality in the sense that I'd enjoy every minute of it and want more, and I wouldn't worry about failing. I'd just be learning and creating.
And I'd focus on quality over quantity in my relationships. I'd enjoy the meetings of coffee with my friends, awkward encounters out at bars, and pranking my roommates. I'd say what I wanted to and not be worried about what others thought. And I'd give my most and be most present to my loved one that gave me the same in return. I'd cherish every moment I had with others, because they would be limited.
And hell I'd travel and surf (especially in Floripa Brazil), because well thats what makes me happy. And I wouldn't be scared of flying because well hell again, I'd be dying soon anyways so what would a couple days early matter.
And I'd go to this soccer tournament this weekend with all my old college teammates. Maybe I should start all this, this year, now, maybe this is my last year.
The one thing I would do would be to gather all my favorite bloggers and authors into one room, drink some whiskey and wine with them and enjoy hearing their stories about their lives and share my own on how they have helped change mine.
Seriously. I'm assuming that this is my last year ever (I hope that like most assumptions this is wrong, but more than 56 million people aren't gonna make it). #morbidbutmotivating
With that in mind, here's my list:
1 - Keep current on life insurance premiums 🙂
2 - Retire debt
3 - Build a recurring revenue business that my wife or kids could run from anywhere (joined HTMYFD last week)
4 - Set an example for my children by doing new and scary things each week and talking to them about it
5 - Take a memory-making family trip
6 - Spend meaningful time with each family member each week
Live or die, it will be quite a year.
Noah, I'd love your help with #3!
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