​​How To Get Anything You Want In 2 Easy Steps

Instead of New Years resolutions, follow these steps

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

It’s the start of the new year, and your inbox is likely already inundated with “how to set New Year’s resolutions “or “make this your best year yet” emails.

Everyone will be chasing something better this year, and that’s probably a good thing; however, the average New Year’s resolution will fail within the first week. Why such a high failure rate? It’s because everyone is doing it wrong.

They over-complicate, buy too many online courses, and overthink it. They believe that simply maintaining a positive attitude can get them anything they want.

The secret to getting what you want, whether it’s money, a better career, love happiness- is a simple two-step equation: hard work plus consistency equals results.

But you already knew that. If you wanted to stop reading, you could probably stop right now. Why read any further when you can get started?

My goal in writing this post is for people to take action and try something new, so by all means, if you have already learned what you need, feel free to stop reading here. For those that need more convincing, keep reading.

For the most part, unless you have never had to work a day in your life, most people understand the concept of hard work, and hard work is synonymous with effort.

I know plenty of people who work hard but don’t put in the effort. They go through the motions, appear busy, and never have time for anyone or anything else. Still, year after year, resolution after resolution, they are always the same.

I should know, for the longest time, I was that person. My desire to work hard fades with time. My publication is named Occasionally Productive for a reason. I am a pro at putting in hours but not necessarily effort. I would constantly be spinning my wheels, never moving forward, and eventually getting bored and finding something more exciting to do. Does this sound familiar to you? It should; everyone does it, some more than others.

The secret is catching yourself in the moment when you are working but not necessarily putting in any effort. Effort should feel like what’s commonly referred as a “flow state” — where time seems to pass quickly when you feel connected to the task you are undertaking. It’s impossible to distract you, and the work utterly consumes you. That’s what effort should feel like

The second ingredient, consistency, is the one that most people will struggle with. Consistency, or lack thereof, is why most people fail at New Year’s resolutions.

They miss a workout day, have one too many cheat meals, smoke and drink when they shouldn’t, or hit the snooze button one too many times. They fail, hedge, make exceptions, and eventually, the inconsistencies add up. Finally, they tell themselves they’re not ready yet, and quit.

Many people fail to realize that consistency is not the same as perfection. Getting back up after you’ve been knocked down is the secret to all success. The only difference between you and someone more successful than you is the speed at which they recover after failure.

Still, we need to be consistent in our hard work but not so rigid that there’s no room for failure and recovery.

Years ago, Jerry Seinfeld was asked how he could consistently write jokes every day for over 30 years. His answer was simple: on his calendar, if he wrote that day, he would draw a big black ’x’, and again on the next day, and on the next, etc.

Eventually, Jerry would accumulate a “chain of Xs”. His goal was not to break the chain. Today, there’s even an app for that too.

Easy consistency is a habit that needs to be learned, but more important than that, resilience when you fail, is what you learn when you break the chain. When Jerry Seinfeld was asked what happens when you break the chain, he replied:

“No, I just wake up and start writing again the next day.” That is the definition of consistency.

Finally, I have seen a lot of complaining and talking about privilege lately. Regardless of where you start, consistency remain the skills that you need to develop. This year, let’s focus on making fewer resolutions and instead, developing these two skills.

Most people spend too much time planning, taking courses, and making lists. They never get what they want because they “feel” like they are working hard, but in reality, they are just avoiding the crucial steps that will actually move the needle on success:

Move from planning to doing.

Start developing the habit of consistency.

Stop reading books.

Stop taking courses.

Stop listening to podcasts.

Stop reading this post and get to work .

Hey, it’s me, Chris. Did you enjoy this post? You can read more by signing up for my subjectively awesome newsletter here.

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Chris Hudson

Weekly stories about personal development, life lessons, business, health, and everything that stresses me out.