How To Finish 2016 Like A Rock Star (and have more momentum in 2017 than you know what to do with)
As you look at the rest of your 2016 (4.5 months = approximately 135 days), I challenge you to re-think 1) the entire process of how people change and 2) what’s possible.
How do human-beings actually change?
To what extent can you change?
How long does the process take?
How do you experience quantum leaps in your personal development?
How do you transcend internal-conflict and live in alignment with your values and ideals?
How can you consistently achieve your goals?
By the end of this article, you will have the answers to these questions.
Adaptation & Evolution: Human-Beings Are Fundamentally Different Than Animals
Animals are the direct product of their environment. They reactively evolve over-time based on external circumstances. The process of their evolution is slow and random.
Human-beings are the indirect product of their environment. Although the environment is the medium through which humans adapt and evolve, our choices determine our environments.
This is the fundamental difference.
We get to decide the course and intensity of our personal evolution by intelligently designing our environments. Mark my words, who you are and who you will become is the product of your environment. This one thing is indisputably certain.
Hence, you are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with.You are what you eat, think, and read. You are what you do. Your life can be measured in direct proportion to the size of problems you seek to solve. So choose wisely.
Psychological research has found that fearful anticipation is almost always worse than the actual experience.
I find it amusing when people say things like, “You have 3 foster kids, you’re doing a Ph.D. program, and everything else you’re doing. I could never do what you’re doing.”
Or “I could never make it through the death of a loved one.”
The fact is, yes they could. If these people had a loved one die, or had to do something hard (which we all do), they’d find new strength and resolve and would surprise themselves. Of course, life sometimes hurts like hell. But we get through it, stronger and hopefully wiser than we were before.
In his book, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D. says that most people say “I can’t,” when they should really be saying, “I won’t.”
It’s not that you couldn’t, it’s that you wouldn’t. Let’s just call it how it is. Once we can be honest with ourselves and everyone else (i.e., acceptance), we can actually start moving forward.
I recently met a woman with 17 kids — eight of her own and nine her and her husband fostered then adopted. This may seem ridiculous to you. But if you wanted to, you could do this as well. By the way, they are thriving as a family, not just surviving.
No matter the difficulty, we can adapt to anything. We can handle much more stress and strain than we think we can. So when it comes to goal-setting, we mid-as-well intentionally adapt to something grueling.
Although most people seek the path of least resistance and thus adapt to ease and idleness, you should seek challenge and difficulty. For example, trees that grow in windy and strenuous circumstances are forced to shoot forth deeper roots, making them impenetrable to their difficult environment.
As the poem by Douglas Malloch eloquently states:
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Call to Action:
Don’t avoid problems, embrace and seek them. The bigger the problems you’re required to deal with, the more you’ll personally grow to resolve those problems.
Take on and adapt to bigger challenges during the next 4.5 months than you feel comfortable with.
Here’s the strange reality. When most people think about their goals, they frame them based on the actions they’re willing to take. Said another way, most people plan their life around the behaviors they’re comfortable with.
The more appropriate way to set goals is to focus firstly on the outcomes you really want. And from there, you decide which activities/behaviors will be the most effective at getting you there, regardless of what you’re emotionally comfortable with.
You want to make $200,000 this year? What behaviors/activities will realistically get you there?
According to loads of research, there is an inverse-relationship between the amount of time you spend thinking and your probability of acting. If you spend even a few seconds thinking, you probably won’t act. The walls of emotional resistance will become too high, and you’ll avoid the action you need to take.
10X Thinking & Effort: How to Achieve Your Goals In 1/2 The Time
“How can you achieve your 10 year plan in the next 6 months?” — Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and Palantir
Take your main goal for Jan. 1, 2017 and re-schedule its completion for Oct. 15, 2016. This gives you 2 months rather than 4.5.
Parkinson’s law = the more time you give to complete a task, the less efficient you will use your time. Short-time lines make you focus more intensely. They make you think more creatively. They get your blood-pumping. Especially if you have someone to account to and those who depend on you to show up.
So, shorten the timeline. Instead of focusing on the behaviors you’re comfortable doing, what consequence or outcome do you really want? Once you’ve got that, and a shorted time-line to work with, then, and only then, decide the strategy.
Ready to get creative and bold?
Once you achieve your 4.5 month goal in 2 months, you’ll have created momentum evoking exponential or compounded progress. Getting to 10X is extremely possible.
Eat That Frog!
What is it you really need to do? Chances are, that’s the thing you’ve been resisting.
And that’s what you need to dedicate your time to first.
In his book, Spartan Up!, Joe De Sena explains that there are workouts, like squats, that most people simply don’t like doing. So they either avoid or procrastinate those things.
In order to get beyond them, Sena recommends walking directly at them. So, if you avoid squats, for example, first thing you do when you get to the gym is squats. Get them done immediately.
Brain Tracy refers to this idea as eating the frog, which he adapted from the quote by Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
So what’s the strategy as it relates to your business? For the first 90 minutes of your work day, do your “one thing,” for 90 days straight.
First 90 minutes.
90 days (or workdays) straight.
Prioritization & Execution
“Until my ONE thing is done, everything else is a distraction.” — Gary Keller
What is the one thing that if accomplished, would render everything else easier or unnecessary?
What is your one thing?
What is the one thing you will do for the first 90 minutes of the next 90 days?
“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” — Russian Proverb
Call to Action:
To build the habit, start with the 90–90–1 rule.
Embrace Detachment: Your Power to Transcend the Trivial
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” — Henry David Thoreau
I recently spent Christmas in Omaha Nebraska with my in-laws. I’m always inspired by their lives and character traits.
My father-in-law is incredibly intelligent and successful. He’s one of those people who can do anything he sets his mind to. He never gives up and always figures out how to do what he’s trying to do.
But what strikes me most about him is his utter disregard for what most people find valuable. Despite being a millionaire, he and his wife live in a small apartment. He doesn’t wear fancy clothes or drive nice cars.
Appearances don’t sway or concern him. Impressing other people is the last of his concerns. But you will never find a harder working and more genuine person. He finds joy in living his faith, being with his family, and working hard every day.
“Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.” ―Rhett Bulter in Gone with the Wind
Call to Action:
Detach yourself from the need to have more and more stuff. To save is almost always better than to spend.
Detach yourself from the concern of other people’s opinions.
“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” — F.M. Alexander
Most people start strong and finish weak.
How you finish says more about you than how you start something.
Most people quit premature.
They slow down, rather than speed up.
However, if you end 2016 with bad habits and no momentum, how will you start 2017?
If you end 2016 on an upswing, you’ll have forward momentum going into 2017.
How you end something directly impacts how you start the next thing.
How will you end 2016?
Ready to Upgrade?
I’ve created a cheat sheet for putting yourself into a PEAK-STATE, immediately. You follow this daily, your life will change very quickly.