Here’s the time, this time.
And this time it’s another stream of consciousness in planning for 2021 and outlining what my hopes for this coming year are.
You know – a lot of people are setting goals for themselves, their businesses and all…
And I’m realising I have no interest in setting goals.
I don’t find them to be so useful to me.
I think I’ll forget them, or if I do it’ll become ‘work’ to ‘keep looking at them’ and that it steps away from the day to day grind of what needs to be done.
Also they scare me half the time and place unnecessary pressure on me to do things I’ll do anyway (I’ll come to this)…
But COULD do in a much better state of mine.
I can see how all of that seems very counter to ambition (and even intuition), but I wanted to take a moment to explain why today, Jan 1st 2021, is broadly no different to any other day for me and why I think the way that I think…..
There is something that’s more important to cement for me that is immediate, impactful, informative and offers a means of achieving basically anything you want in life.
Habits…are much more important than goals.
It is habits that will set us free – NOT goals.
I’d love for you to take stock of your daily habits, and EXACTLY how you spend your time.
Who do you spend it with?
What value does that person add?
What you’re looking to ‘take’ as well as ‘give’ in your life
If you are ambitious – then these will be powerful questions in mind. If you are not – you should leave this blog now.
And with this in mind I’ll give you some goals I have for myself this year.
The first goal is that there are no goals – and that should remain a goal.
Sure there are things I’d like to accomplish (see my 2020 in review) but setting some kind of annual goal feels too far removed from my day to day life.
Just like trying to conceptualize living on Mars when so few men have been to the Moon.
It just seems too far away, too far out, redundant.
Instead, as per James Clear’s advice – what I want to do is maintain, and pick up – amazing habits.
One of the big takeaways I got from his book Atomic Habits – is that if you want to be world-class at absolutely anything – you must act, train and do as the world’s best do.
So what that means is – adopting the habits and rituals of high performers, and those at the top of their field.
How do they maintain? How do they grow? How did they get to where they got to?
What, and here’s the important part – WHAT do they do differently on a DAILY, micro-specific basis that others don’t do?
Oftentimes – that can translate into morning rituals, wakeup habits, how time is managed and allocated, reading books they’ve written or have been written about them to understand their mindset.
And consequently – becoming world-class will follow.
Maybe that seems vague and not very helpful – so here’s another way of looking at it –
To become a world-class marathon runner – you need to spend your days as marathon runners do – not just aim for a 3-hour marathon and build a training programme.
What else do these runners do outside of their plan? What do THEY DO on a day-to-day basis?
You need to run as they do, train as they do, eat and sleep as they do – and adjust the rest as appropriate.
If you’re able to maintain that approach and attitude over the long-term I truly believe you’ll outstrip most human beings when it comes to accomplishing your goals.
And again, you don’t need to start (or even finish like that). Keep it immediate, and keep it focussed.
What can you do everyday that will chip away at your BHAGs?
Anyway – I realise that this might be too esoteric to offer people any value so I’ll return to the more practical:
Waking up at 430am Mon-Fri
This is something I’ve been doing for around a year or something now (longer in fact).
I just want to maintain my consistency as it gives me up till 11am (potentially) before I need to worry about client calls or anything of the ilk.
That’s given me room to work on all of the stuff I enjoy and has ultimately made me a much happier and satisfied human being.
‘Audible’ 5x per week for 30 minutes
Given I tend to listen at 2-2.2x that means I’m getting in 20 days/20 hours of audio per month.
Given I tend to veer towards content I can take notes of and put into immediate practice – this would be a good goal for me
Take one premium course per month
There are a lot of great courses online to choose from.
Brain Dean, Nat Eliason, Brendon Burchard, Matthew Woodward. I’ve got these folks lined up in terms of sources of education to better myself.
As I’ve been doing the last 1-2 months – when I learn something very useful that I think my team/I can implement I’ll share that immediately with the team so the learning is shared and not kept to just myself
Run 100km each month
So I’ve got Strava, and have a small competition going with my siblings – and in honour of that I just want to maintain a monthly minimum
Write every day
This one probably speaks for itself – but it’s about writing content as often and regularly as I can.
And continuing in this fashion would be excellent for me.
These are some CURRENT habits I have, that I’d like to continue to solidify to make them muscle memory or to kind of ‘fade away’ into the background.
Interestingly though – it IS these habits that I consider to be the things I’d like to keep working upon that I believe will lead to excellence.
‘What About Stretch Goals?’
So here’s the interesting thing.
I don’t think me nor ANYONE needs to worry about ‘getting better’ UNLESS you are in a specific competitive discipline (e.g running a marathon) that requires you to break a very specific goal.
We have evolutionary biology working for us:
This means that as you track things, your subconscious mind will drive you to start trying to break your own records.
Because it’s human nature to compete for resources – and part of that also then involves competing with yourself.
So ‘books read’, ‘km run’, ‘revenue made’, ‘deals closed’ etc etc etc…well I just think they’re a natural outpouring of excellent habit formation.
As I do things – I want to keep measuring that which I do – because then you get a sense of where you’re at and therefore where you need to go.
Practically speaking – this means my Audible stats (daily/weekly and monthly).
This means my Strava stats (the same)
My Stripe stats for my business growth.
And so on and so forth in the pursuit of success.
Now let’s talk about some of the new habits I wish to instil into my daily routine.
When you feel inspired – just record content.
Don’t worry about the YouTube edit, exactly how it will come out, or the quality or anything else besides.
Record 1-YouTube Video Per Day
This is definitely something of a stretch habit for me – but it’s a habit I would absolutely LOVE to entrench into myself.
And yes, after I’ve written this piece of content, I’ll record a piece of content about this blog that I’ve just written.
Today is the first, so it stands to reason that I should try my absolute best to make sure that I get a video recorded.
I feel like this blog has come to its natural end, because I don’t want to talk of my company hitting ‘X revenue numbers’ or doing this or doing that.
That (for me anyway) puts more pressure upon myself to try and achieve something which ultimately doesn’t involve me doing anything different from what I’m already doing.
And perhaps this is the critical distinction.
To achieve e.g ‘X revenue number’ or ‘raise X million for Plant Sumo’ or ‘achieve X% body fat’…it doesn’t really involve doing things different from what I’m already doing in respect of my daily habits.
The reading provides ideas and actions almost everyday – apart from well yes…the days I don’t read.
Coaching provides hard-headed business advice often time.
And most importantly – the 430am – 11am slot Mon-Fri (and 7am – midday slot on weekends) offers 38+ hours per week for me to work upon hitting my goals and working on my businesses rather than in my businesses.
From 11am – 5pm it is about my clients and my team and making sure they have everything they need to succeed.
I’m thinking that this sh*t is super anti-climatic – as I’ve written a ‘goals 2021’ sheet with no actual goals in it lol.
It’s all about powerful routines that help drive world-class results.
And it’s really pretty simple in many ways – I just wake up earlier than most people – and that affords me time to work upon the things I’m most passionate about – or often time whatever takes my fancy.
So, on this day, as I look towards 2021 – I’m doing what makes me happiest.
I’m taking 95% of my time one day and one week at a time, and focussing upon being 0.1-1% better than I was the day yesterday, and hoping 3-months later I’m 2-5% better than I was 90 days ago.
And that’s it. Writing down goals doesn’t make you achieve big things. It’s the cultivation of world-class habits that will ultimately drive world-class results.
How does Elon Musk treat failure?
How does Richard Branson manage his businesses on an actual day to day business?
How does Tim Cook deal with pressure?
How does any US president start their day?
How does Stephen King setup his workstation when he writes
Learning answers to questions like this for me…is where the magic is 🙂
Enjoy your 2021.
It’s going to be a wild one!