Whew! 2013 is already well behind us and now is the time to take 2014 by the jugular and hog tie it like a runaway pig at a rodeo.
At the beginning of every year I always write down the things I want to accomplish for the year and place it predominantly on my desk so I see it every day. My goal is to be able to cross everything off the list by the end of the year.
I didn’t cross everything off the list this year and to be honest that pisses me off. This year I’m going to get everything checked off and then some. I HIGHLY recommend trying the same so you always have that visual reminder so you don’t get sidetracked.
Now that you’ve written down what you want to get done this year (that was the easy part) the next logical step is to actually do it. But following through with things when procrastination and laziness are so tempting is going to be tough.
So let’s get down and dirty with some top notch strategies I use:
- Get started first thing in the morning. Once you wake up in the morning you’re going to have more willpower than you will for the rest of the day. Now is the time to get that one BIG thing checked off your to-do list. If your goal is to workout then wake up 30 minutes early and get it done. It’ll set the tone for the rest of the day.
- Focus on pain + pleasure. The whole reason why we do what we do is based on pain and pleasure. For example, if working out seems like torture to you then focus on how much pleasure you’re going to feel AFTER you’ve finished your workout. Also think about the PAIN you’re going to feel this summer when you look like a marshmallow on the beach. Woof.
- Plan it out the night before. I always write down my workouts and my to-do list the night before because I can think clearer and I won’t be tempted to write down nothing when I get busy or a little tired when tomorrow comes. Write it down before you go to sleep, and I’ve found this helps me clear my mind so I don’t have as much mumbo jumbo in my head talking me out of going to sleep.
- Use the calendar chain method. Believe it or not I learned this goal-attaining method from Jerry Seinfeld (“No soup for you!”). Use any standard wall calendar for this and every day you do something goal attaining you can cross out that day. The goal is to not break the chain of crosses. It’s shocking how well this actually works, and I find myself feeling a little prouder when I get cross out that day.
- Know desire trumps passion long-term. As humans it’s very hard for us to focus on the long-term results when we want instant gratification at all times. It’s just the way we’re wired. Just because you’re passionate right now at the beginning of the year to workout, eat clean and get fit doesn’t mean that passion is going to stay there even in a couple weeks from now. I learned from Thomas Keller that you can’t rely on passion long-term, and those who have strong desires are the ones who make it in the end.
There’s no doubt in my mind you’re going to make 2014 your best year yet. If you’ve had some hard times in 2013 have hope that 2014 is going to turn things around for you.
But it’s up to YOU to make it happen. Your parents, kids, teachers, boss, co-workers, friends, family, spouses can’t make it happen for you. In the end you have your future in your own hands.
Now go do something about it.