In this two part series, I’m going to share with you two techniques that greatly helped in completing my latest eBook, The Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
Most people struggle with attaining goals, often coasting through life without ever accomplishing what they really wanted to.
Ask any random person on the street, I guarantee they have goals. But the truth is, goals don’t have great success rates. All too often, goals become something to achieve when [insert excuse for not starting]. That’s the thing! Most people don’t even get started towards their goals, falling into comfortable complacency for the remainder of their days.
The good news is that there’s a stupid simple way to circumvent that…
Choose something to improve upon or progress in, and…
JUST DO SOMETHING, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, EVERY DAY.
I’m a big fan of systems, habits, and routines that build momentum in a desired direction. When all you have to do is accomplish something bite-sized today, it’s easy as pie (see that double food analogy?). Do this consistently, and you build confidence. Keep at it, and you’ll feel empowered and fulfilled. And before you know it, you’ll be amazed by the progress you’ve made just by doing something, no matter how small, every day. This is the foundation of success and personal development.
Embark on your journey. One step at a time, young jedi.
I read this great article by James Clear a few months ago. And what’s funny is that for everything I’ve made significant progress in, I subconsciously created a system/routine and consistently stuck to it. And this system/routine would result in mind-boggling progression over time.
So what does a system look like?
It’s basically a habit or routine that you consciously and consistently implement. It’s doing something continuously (usually every day), to make progress in the direction you wish to move in.
Do a little bit every day, even if it’s for the smallest amount of time.
Think about how consistent work compounds over weeks, months, or even years?
Elliott Hulse calls it “finding your heartbeat.” Making something such an intrinsic part of your lifestyle that it becomes second nature, like your heartbeat.
Another variation of a system is Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” technique (described in detail here). It’s basically doing something every day, and marking a big red X on a calendar each day you did it, creating a chain. The goal is to keep doing whatever you’re doing every day and, whatever you do, don’t break that chain.
“Consistency is what matters the most in triggering something important to your life.” -Abdul Rauf
What I did to write The Art of Not Giving a Fuck:
You guessed it… I focused on doing something every day, no matter how small. Some days I wrote pages upon pages. Other days I edited one sentence (yeah… really). I just focused on doing SOMETHING every day, and before I knew it, I had a finished product.
“…you can do what I quite often do when I am having an uninspired morning.
I get started anyway, despite the lack of motivation within.
I do so by taking a small step forward and by just focusing on taking that one step. I may for example tell myself that I will work on a new article or on editing a part of a new course for 3 minutes.”
–Henrik Edberg (The Positivity Blog)
Here’s another tip for when you’re not so motivating. Just focus on the smallest thing you can do to move in the right direction. For example, when I have the motivation of a stoned sloth and it’s workout time, I just focus on warming up. “C’mon, let’s just warm-up and see how it goes.” That’s it. And as I’m warming up I’m like “Ok, this isn’t so bad.” And then I focus on doing one set. “Let’s just get through this set.” Then I focus on the next set, and so on and so forth, until (voila) I finished the workout. And if you’re wondering, yes, I do motivational self-talks. It works.
The things we can accomplish when we take action consistently is literally mindblowing. It’s almost like a superpower.
“Daily, consistent, focused, faithful expectation raises the miracle power of achieving your dreams.” -John Di Lemme
This “system approach” can be applied to anything, and works best when it’s a daily habit. The only exception I can think of is something like working out, because you simply can’t lift heavy every day. You need to recover. So in this case, the system would be to work out something like 4 days per week, and make it a lifestyle.
Don’t worry about that six pack, just eat one healthy meal at a time.
Don’t worry about having a New York Times Best Seller, just focus on writing one sentence at a time.
Don’t worry about catching them all, just focus on catching one Pokemon at a time.
Don’t worry about getting as big as Ronnie Coleman, just focus on one rep at a time.
Stay consistent, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way.
In the next part, we’ll discuss how to calibrate your system to achieve specific goals. Stay tuned…
And, of course, stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.