Proven Ten Steps to Win at Life Right Here…
Type-A hyperactive overachievers love being productive. However, there’s a difference between “being busy” and “achieving your goals.”
The former leads to burnout because you’re running out of energy on the hamster wheel of forced overachievement. The second is a methodical way of achieving the things you set out to do without sacrificing your health and happiness.
The second one is way more fun wouldn’t you say? Thought so. Let’s talk about creating that process for you.
1. Create a BHAG
The first thing you should do is create a BHAG.
A BHAG is a Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goal.
It’s something way too ambitious and way too big. It should be something almost unreachable. However, it should also be something that make you think:
“If I really put in the work, maybe I’ll get there”.
It should also be such a big goal that even if you got halfway there, your life would be completely different.
Take a goal like “Make a Million Dollars.”
That’s very ambitious, but it’s not like people haven’t put in the work and become millionaires. And even if you only made $500,000 that’s a pretty good chunk of change that you should be proud of.
2. Write Your Goals Down
You can’t skip this step.
This is the most important step because if they’re not written down, they don’t exist in the real world.
They only exist in your thoughts.
These are the same thoughts that thought the floor was lava and that there used to be a particularly generous fairy with a tooth fetish that visited you in your sleep.
Neither of those thoughts are real, and your goals won’t be either unless you write them down.
3. Create Action Tasks Based on Your Goals
The downside of huge goals is that they look immediately unattainable and difficult.
How you overcome that obstacle is by breaking the goal into actionable steps you can take every day.
For instance, if your goal is to write a novel then figure out what actions you need to take, starting at the end.
I’ve touched on this before, but it bears repeating. A short novel is about 60,000 words. Let’s take Stephen King’s advice and assume that your first draft will be 10% longer. So you’ll have to write 66,000 words.
If you break it down then you could finish your novel in 66 days if you wrote 1,000 words per day. Even if you only committed to 500 words per day that novel would only take you 132 days to write.
That’s only 4.3 months!
Assume that editing, designing a cover and publishing your book takes an extra month and you can still publish your first novel in less than half a year.
That’s the thing about action tasks. They make the goal look easy to achieve.
4. Make It Your Most Important Thing Of the Day
However, taking action is also hard. The normal day will wear you down.
Other work and obligations will demand all of your time and at the end of the day you simply don’t have the energy to stick to your action task.
That’s why it’s best to make your action tasks the most important tasks of the day.
If you truly believe they are the most important, then you’ll make sure to do them first, before the world gets to you.
5. Make it a Habit
If you make your action tasks your most important tasks of the day and you stick to them, then sooner or later they’ll become a habit.
Do something often enough in a row and you’ll forget that you ever did things differently.
6. Create “If This Then That Statements”
Creating a habit is easier said than done, something Leo Babuta of Zen Habits has talked about before:
Triggers are a little-known key to forming a new habit (or breaking an old one). A trigger is an event that will kick off that automatic urge to do a habit. For example, smokers have a number of triggers — when they drink alcohol or coffee, many smokers will want to smoke. But this works for positive habits as well.
You want to create events that trigger your habit. That means every time you do a specific thing, another thing should naturally occur next.
The most basic form of this is:
Wake Up > Brush Teeth.
What you want to do is create events that make your habit the next logical thing to do.
The worst If This, Then That statement is Check Email > Put Out Fires.
There goes your whole morning.
Instead, try to make your trigger something more like this:
Sit at Computer > Do Most Important Task
If a computer is irrelevant towards reaching your goal then substitute it for something else.
For instance, if you want to write a song every day then your trigger could be:
Finish breakfast > Pick up instrument to write.
7. Use a Pomodoro Timer
I personally believe that the internet revolution has created a sense of ADD in everyone. The twitch to check your email is like a tick that never goes away. Your Facebook page is just a CMD + T + Face…. command away because your browser autocompletes your addiction for you.
The thing is, you waste so much valuable time being addicted to the internet that you risk your entire BHAG in the process.
I’m not advocating complete sobriety here. Let’s be real…..***nervous laughter***
I couldn’t go a day without checking my email and Facebook. I’m only advocating being a little more efficient about it.
Enter the Pomodoro Timer. I’ve talked about this in a past 10Weekly on my site, but it’s basically an app that counts down 25 minutes and then gives you a five minute break.
I’m using it right now. It just hit 8:55….54….53…whatever.
The point is, your addiction doesn’t take much time to soothe. Use the five minute break to check all the social media you need and take a quick peak at your email to make sure there aren’t any emergencies.
There weren’t any emergencies were there?
Do a couple 25 minute intense work sessions and you’ll be amazed at all the things you get done before noon.
8. Create Accountability
A couple years ago I made a goal of publishing eBooks about music and audio that following year.
To make me take myself a little more seriously I posted this on Facebook.
Although I doubt people would come egg my house if I didn’t reach my goal (weeeeell……maybe some…) it’s more of a mental motivator for myself than anything else.
However, that motivation worked. I’ve published five eBooks since then, most of them around 25,000 words: Get More Gigs and Step By Step Mixing on Amazon, and Drum Mix Toolkit, Better Mixes in Less Time and EQ Strategies as training courses with complementary videos.
Another way of keeping myself accountable are my weekly meetings with a few colleagues. We help keep each other on track and accountable for our actions.
I highly recommend finding someone you can bounce ideas off. It’s very rewarding to be able to talk about your successes and failures every week with likeminded people that understand what you’re going through as an entrepreneur.
9. Say No
A big part of reaching your goals is to say no to other people’s goals.
The downside of being so hyper-connected is that everyone has easy access to you. That means you get bombarded with other people’s issues all day that they feel you should take care of.
If you’re really serious about reaching your goals then other people’s issues shouldn’t be your priority. You can get to them when you get to them, but don’t let them zap the energy you need to get your most important task done.
You don’t have to say no all the time. Another way of saying no is to simply ignore everybody until your most important task is done. Then you can open up the floodgates of other people’s issues.
10. Stop and Research to Re-Energize
You’ll inevitably hit a wall.
It’s the place you feel stuck. Where you feel like everything you’ve done is useless and stupid.
You’ll look back at all your work and want to hit the delete button.
Before you’re overcome by the impulse to slash your paintings, break your instruments and CTRL + A — Delete your code just take a minute and do some research.
If you do any sort of creative work, chances are other people have been there before. Research other people’s success stories. Listen to podcasts about your industry. Read inspiring books that tell you how it’s a perfectly normal state to be in.
Then get back to work on your goal!
If you liked this article, give me some claps and please share it with others!
I’m an email marketing expert that helps you grow your email list, generate ideas for engaging content and drive sales with your email marketing.