15 things I say out loud every morning

The hardest part about setting out to accomplish something truly meaningful is keeping at it day after day. It’s easy to lose track of what you originally set your sights on and start pretending it wasn’t what you really wanted after all. Writing your goals down and saying them to yourself out loud each day is an incredibly powerful way to stay the course and realize dramatic change.

In September of 2009, before starting IFTTT, I got rid of my car and TV and moved into a small one bedroom apartment in San Francisco. After unpacking, my first order of business was to tape these two sheets of paper just inside of my closet. Every morning while buttoning my shirt, I read these 15+ things aloud to myself and I’ve kept at it for over 7 years.

Yes, that is blood on the first page and no I don’t remember how it got there.

I started with:

“If this is my last day, would I do what I am about to do now?” (the Steve Jobs classic)

Long Term:

  1. Build my own successful and profitable company with all of my friends.
  2. Travel the world at a young age (≦ 35).
  3. Make enough money to never worry about money again.
  4. Become a leader and a listener

Short Term:

  1. Become the best at whatever it is I take on.
  2. Build lasting and meaningful relationships with new people.
  3. Assume 100% responsibility for everything in my life.
  4. Surround myself with the people, places, and things that bring me the most happiness.

Day 2 Day:

  1. Always Learning.
  2. Caring and thoughtful of others at all times.
  3. Build self confidence and self worth.
  4. Detach myself from what other people think about me.
  5. Be 100% honest with myself and others.
  6. Wake up Excited!! (was: ‘Snoozing is not an option’. Snoozing is just too damn good to give up)

These daily reminders have guided me through some of the most rewarding and challenging of times. They have influenced IFTTT’s culture and created massive change in how I live my life.

This weekend I took them down and revamped them quite a bit. Over the years I did, in fact, learn that some of what I originally wanted has changed or aren’t as meaningful as it once seemed. Still others are as important to me as ever and I’ve discovered that they aren’t “Goals” after all but things I will never stop doing or striving for.

I’d encourage everyone interested in accomplishing something meaningful in your life to remind yourself of what matters each day out loud. It is truly powerful stuff!