Last updated on May 19, 2018
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???).
* * *
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!
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!