Why I Stopped Making Long-Term Goals

mountain goals

Almost everyone bases their lives off of a script.

These are often cultural checkpoints of what you should be doing at certain ages. Sadly, most of us mindlessly squeeze ourselves into these one-size-fits-all, culturally conditioned life scripts.

There are even massive disadvantages with creating your own long-term script. In doing so, you’re assuming that you know what is best for your future self based upon your limited perspective right now. That’s a dangerous assumption.

A caterpillar cannot even imagine what it is capable of as a butterfly. (Well, that’s if caterpillars even imagine in the first place.) If you’re continuously learning and growing, your present self can hardly imagine what your perspective will be in the future.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to have an idea of their life purpose. However, you step into your true potential when you focus on the daily process of it and allow your journey to change as you change.

The Perspective Discrepancy

We gain more experience and perspective as you go through life. Well, hopefully. If you’re not continuously learning and growing, what are you doing with your life?

You will be able to see from a wider perspective as you accumulate knowledge and experience. So why make rigid long-term plans from your limited perspective right now?

Focus on climbing the mountain in front of you, then from the panoramic view on top, choose your next mountain to climb. Don’t make self-binding decisions from the valley.

Most people do this with their careers. Think about it; the 19 year old you made a decision (choosing a college major) that you think you’re bound to for the rest of your life. Many people find themselves unfulfilled and in a mid-life crisis saying “I majored in Accounting and I can’t change that now. So here I am.” You always have the ability to change, especially with careers in the modern western world. Give yourself permission to change or be relegated to the purgatory of self-imposed monotony. Again, career is an obvious example, but this applies to absolutely every aspect of life.

If I set rigid life goals when I was 19, they would’ve been very different from what I would want now. I had a limited perspective then, with little real world experience, little self-awareness and I was completely possessed by my own ego and fears. Sticking to a long-term life plan I made then would be like making a fixed commitment to meet a friend for a cup of coffee at Uncommon Grounds in Saratoga Springs, New York on February 4th of next year at exactly 2:00PM. Who knows if we’ll be in the same place then? Who knows if I’ll like coffee then? Who knows if we’ll even be friends then?

Staying Open to Opportunity

Give yourself the flexibility to recalibrate what you want to do.

Stay open and things will unfold serendipitously in ways you never would’ve calculated. Opportunities will pop up that you never would’ve expected. Give yourself some flexibility to change as new possibilities present themselves.

If you stubbornly hold yourself to a rigid plan or goal, you’re cutting off possibility. Move in the direction you wish to travel in, yet be aware of the doors that unexpectedly open along the way.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
– Joseph Campbell

Create Shorter Term Goals

Make your goals actionable and for the near-future (within a year or two).

However, don’t focus on your goals on a daily basis… Focus on the process or system! I can’t stress this enough. Set goals but focus on the daily habits that bring you in that direction. Most people never achieve goals (even easily accomplishable ones) because they don’t implement an actionable daily practice.

For example, let’s say you want to write a book (something a lot of people say they want to do). You don’t have to commit to being a lifelong author to do this. What most people do is say that they have a book idea and never do anything about it (like with most goals). The result is being paralyzed with inaction because they think of a goal yet have no tangible way of implementing it. There is no action to take right now, so it gets ignored indefinitely. Instead of this, focus on a system to bring you towards the goal. This could be writing for 30 minutes every day. Anyone can write a book in 6 months or less if they create a habit of writing for just 30 minutes each and every day.

With this systems approach, each daily practice becomes a mini-step, meaning you can reassess everything continuously. Then after you achieve what you want, you can focus on the process to bring you towards another short/medium-term goal.

After you achieve a short/medium-term goal, you’ll be a new and improved person. From this higher perspective, you can set new goals and recalibrate your direction.

Learn to love the process of life. Be open, flexible, flowing and willing to change along the way.

Enjoy the journey. Revel in the mysterious serendipity of it all.

Much Love.

– Stevie P!
 

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How to Overcome Perfectionism

kid painting

Perfectionism is a trap.

Though it may seem like perfectionism has your best interest in mind, it plays out much differently in the unfoldment of life.

Perfectionism can be stifling. Though the drive for perfection can sometimes push you towards your goals, it most often creates delusional expectations, paralyzing procrastination and harsh self-criticism (as well as external criticism).

We all know (on some level) that perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, so there is an inherent chasm of doubt whenever we chase perfection. The chasm of doubt and subtle anxieties of cognitive dissonance put us on the operating system of fear, where fear becomes the dominant motivating force. This is how perfectionism can make us hyper-critical (to both ourselves and others) as well as prevent us from even starting things (because of the fear that it won’t be perfect).

Nature is imperfect, yet the imperfection of nature is what makes it beautiful, unique and ever-changing. Perfection is stagnation. Perfection is static. Perfection is permanence, which defies the very nature of our impermanent Universe. The only constant is change (in this reality at least), so you might as well embrace the paradoxical perfection of ever-changing imperfection. Imperfection is a gift, as it allows for uniqueness and the potential for perpetual improvement. Forgo the pursuit of perfection, accept where you are in each moment and strive for continual improvement.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
~ Gerard Way

 
Overcoming Perfectionism Through Belief Transmutation

One way to overcome perfectionism is to replace limiting beliefs with new, more empowering beliefs. This is the alchemical art of transmutation.

Examples of limiting beliefs regarding perfection:

  • I have to be perfect in order to be worthy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for me to be happy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for (insert any hope or dream you want to come to fruition).
  • I’m afraid of doing this because it might not turn out perfectly.
  • I want to achieve perfection now.
  • Substitute those old, limiting beliefs for new, more empowering beliefs.

    Examples of more empowering beliefs:

  • Perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, but I achieve excellence.
  • I’m continuously improving and fueled by self-love.
  • I accept where I am in each moment, while always moving forward.
  • Imperfection allows for uniqueness and continuous improvement. I embrace my uniqueness and I’m endlessly evolving.
  • I always try my best and leave the rest up to the Universe/The Process of Life/God.
  • I’ll start now. I can always change, refine and improve things later because nothing is permanent.
  • I embrace the journey and find joy in continuous improvement.
  • Listen closely to your self-talk regarding perfection. Be particularly aware of your self-talk when the urge to procrastinate arises. What beliefs are you holding? What are more empowering beliefs to replace them with? A belief is simply a pattern of thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your beliefs.

    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Action

    If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
    ~ Margaret Atwood

     
    Perfectionism has a component of fear to it, particularly the fear of not being perfect. And since nothing in this reality is perfect, the perfectionist often chooses inaction over the possibility of trying and not achieving perfection. This creates an incapacitating state of constant procrastination, which is an insidious byproduct of perfectionism. Building a habit of taking consistent action deprograms the perfectionist mindset.

    The unachievable expectations of perfectionism can be paralyzing, preventing you from even starting things. But taking action overcomes the rigid inertia of perfectionism and starts a snowball effect of empowering momentum. By flexing your action muscles, you break through the chains of perfectionism like the incredible hulk ripping through a shirt (except you probably won’t be angry).

    When you build a habit of consistent action-taking, procrastination becomes a distant memory. You’ll learn to find fulfillment in the process. Perfectionism will be re-programmed into the mindset of embracing the journey of life.

    A strategy often discussed in entrepreneurial circles is that of releasing something, or taking action, before you’re fully ready. This idea is not about releasing an unfinished or half-assed product/service, but in accepting imperfection and building the habit of taking action. Remember, nothing is permanent and you can always tweak things later.

    Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
    ~ Napoleon Hill

     
    In the book The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard discusses defeating your personal demons. One of these demons is called “Defiance,” whose sole purpose is to delay your actions. How do you defeat this demon? You defeat Defiance by transforming delay with action. Decisive action, in the face of fear “sets off an internal tidal wave of power that subjugates our meeker impulses,” according to Burchard.

    I’ve also touched on the topic of overcoming doubt, defiance and delay in the article 8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt into Faith.”

    The practical how-to aspect of action is simple. Take small actions consistently, preferably every day. Break big tasks or big goals into bite-sized chunks. Create a system to bring you in the direction of a goal and stick to the system. Taking small actions on a daily basis allows you to avoid being overwhelmed and strengthens your action muscles to the point where procrastination doesn’t stand a chance.

    How I Overcame Perfectionism

    Though I still have perfectionist tendencies from time-to-time, it no longer has me in its clutches. Changing my perfectionist beliefs and taking consistent action were invaluable solutions for me.

    My journey progressed based on those two strategies. Firstly, I realized (conceptually, at least) that perfectionism is not attainable in this reality. After some time I was able to accept, feel and deeply understand that truth. Viewing life as a video game greatly aided this understanding as well. From that point, I was able to transmute my perfectionist beliefs into more empowering beliefs (meditation and mindfulness helped with being able to notice limiting beliefs I was holding onto).

    Action was the ingredient that completed the recipe. The most predominate action-based habits I built were publishing blog posts and recording videos. Since I started Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great in September 2012, I’ve written a blog post every single week (with a few exceptions). Creating that commitment to action played a pivotal role in breaking out of the paralysis of perfectionism. If I had waited for myself to write the perfect blog post, I would’ve never released anything. It was in choosing to just put myself out there that catalyzed the process of becoming an exponentially better writer. By committing to continual action, I’ve practiced writing far more than I would have if I was stuck in the paralysis of perfectionism.

    More recently, on top of the weekly blog post habit, I’ve been releasing one video every day (on YouTube and Facebook). I record the videos in one take, and they’re unscripted except for jotting down a few bullet points beforehand. Executing the videos in such an impromptu fashion has improved my speaking ability, spontaneity, self-confidence, memory and mental clarity by leaps and bounds. Additionally, recording a video every day has “greased the groove” of my action-taking ability and has allowed the bright light of unconditional self-love to scatter away the shadowy phantoms of perfectionism.

    Dear Human: You’ve Got It All Wrong

    Dear Human. You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty Love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect, you already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And rising again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn’t need any adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks you to show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
    ~ Courtney A. Walsh

     
    Embrace imperfection, and accept where you are, while enjoying the journey. Live, learn and grow.

    You are worthy, no matter what.

    You are love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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    Change Your Life in 21 Breaths

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    How many times have you said that you wanted to start meditating but never followed through?

    Or have you started a meditation routine, only to stop after a few days?

    I’ve done both plenty of times.

    Meditation is both the easiest habit to implement and the easiest habit to skip.

    I always wanted to build a ritual of meditating as soon as I woke up every morning. But having a 15-20 minute meditation session hanging over my head, directly upon waking, was too daunting for me. Just the mere thought of it was too much for my lazy-half-asleep mind. So, like humans tend to do, I took the path of least resistance and skipped it most days.

    Alas, before all hope was lost, I came up with a solution! (Does using “alas” make me sound sophisticated?)

    In order to have a morning meditation practice that I could actually stick to, I developed the “21 Breath Salute.” And since the idea came to me, I’ve done it every single morning (#nodaysoff). It works for me because the idea of just taking 21 deep breaths isn’t intimidating at all. It’s easy to win that self-talk agreement (I know you do it too) when the task at hand seems easy. It plays out like, “Ok, I’m just gonna take 21 breaths and that’s it.”

    You don’t have time to meditate? I bet you can spare 21 breaths at some point during your overly-dramatized busy day.

    Don’t know how to meditate? Take 21 slow, deep breaths through your nose.

    Stressed? Take 21 slow, deep breaths through your nose.

    Feeling anxious or worried? Take 21 slow, deep breaths through your nose.

    If you’re a human and you’re still alive, I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you know how to breathe.

    The 21 Breath Salute is not time consuming at all and incredibly simple to do. It’s a meditation so accessible that everyone from those with no previous meditation experience to veteran meditators can perform it and reap the benefits.

    How to do the 21 Breath Salute

    1. Sit somewhere comfortable, with your spine straight (I sit on the edge of my bed).

    2. Close your eyes.

    3. Inhale deeply through your nose (for about 5 seconds). Inhale into your belly and let your belly expand as you inhale. Allow your back to straighten and your head to rise towards the sky.

    4. Pause for a second at the end of your inhale.

    5. Exhale through your nose (for about 5 seconds). Gently push the air of your belly. Allow your spine to slightly round forward and your head to move slightly downward.

    6. Pause for a second at the end of your exhale.

    7. Repeat for 21 breaths.

    8. After 21 breaths, place both of your hands over your heart and say “thank you” 3 times, feeling the gratitude in your heart as you say this.

    9. Jump back into the world renewed and refreshed.

    Here’s a video demonstration of it:

    The Finer Points

    • To get the most out of this practice, do it before you do anything else in the morning. You’ll be in that magical state between sleep and waking, which is very conducive to mediation. I recommend sitting up so you don’t fall back asleep.
    • Breathing through your nose is important. It warms the air before entering the lungs and filters air much more than breathing through the mouth. According to ancient Chinese and Indian practices (who seem to get most things right), breathing through the nose enables you to effectively process chi or prana (life force energy). This is why breathing through the nose (and especially deep breathing) is so invigorating; it builds life force energy as opposed to sapping it like shallow mouth breathing does.
    • Don’t obsess over counting your breaths. If you lose count, just continue from the closest number you lost count at. It’s more about cultivating a state of stillness than breathing exactly 21 breaths.
    • Observe your thoughts, without attachment. You are the sky and your thoughts are just clouds passing by. Allow them to pass. Objectively watch them without attachment or judgment. This state of peaceful watchfulness is what meditation is all about.
    • 21 long, deep breaths will take about 3-5 minutes. You’ll get a feel for the ideal length of inhales and exhales for yourself as you do it. That’s why I say about 5 seconds. Some people’s breaths will be shorter and some will be longer. (Inhale for about 5 seconds + 1 second pause + exhale for about 5 seconds + 1 second pause = 12 seconds X 21 breaths = around 252 seconds total)

    Often by the 8th or 9th breath, my mind is pretty clear, so it’s effective as well as being short.

    The 21 breath salute will, at the very least, calm your mind, no matter who you are. And I get to a place of complete, peaceful stillness most times. It’s a beautiful thing to start the day with a clear, undistracted mind. What you do when you wake up sets the momentum for the rest of the day. So start from a place of joyful tranquility, centeredness and presence and witness your day transform.

    Let’s do a little test to display the power of deep breathing…

    Stop reading right now, close your eyes and take 3 long, deep breaths through your nose.

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    Feel the difference?

    And the more you do, the more powerful breath-work becomes.

    Try out the 21 Breath Salute ASAP. It’s such a small commitment with tremendous benefits, so why not?

    Breathe into bliss.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P

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    The ‘Carpe Diem’ Morning Ritual

    alarm clock

    Do you enthusiastically jump out of bed every morning, ready to attack your day?

    If not, take a step back and think about why you’re taking a new day of life for granted…

    If you wake up, complaining about “another day,” get ready in a grumpy haze and rush to work, well, chances are the rest of your day won’t be too fun. What you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. That’s why it’s so important to start the day off in an empowered, inspired state of consciousness (if you want to live a happy, fulfilling and successful life). It’s no coincidence that the most successful people in any industry are avid advocates of morning rituals. It’s secret-weapon-level effective. What you do in the first hour of your day is the hinge point from which everything else swings. Here’s how to leverage it:

    This is exactly what I do every day, as soon as I wake up. It’s the by-product of a lot of research and self-experimentation, inspired by the highly effective techniques of several others. I call it “The ‘Carpe Diem’ Morning Ritual”:

    1. Reiki – As soon as I wake up, I practice reiki on myself for a few minutes. It makes me feel simply amazing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I discuss reiki in more depth in this post.

    2. Meditate – 5 minutes of meditation. I breath deeply, focusing on my breath until thoughts gradually stop popping up. Then I bask in the peaceful void of pure consciousness.

    3. Drink a full glass of water with lemon, apple cider vinegar and Himalayan pink salt – I squeeze half of a lemon, add about an ounce of apple cider vinegar and just a pinch of Himalayan pink salt into a glass of water. This cocktail provides a plethora of health benefits, including detoxification, stimulating metabolism, hydration (obviously), alkalinity, digestion, strengthening the immune system, enhancing skin health and much, much more. I personally use this water filter and Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.

    4. Vitamins C and D – I take these two with the water described above. Vitamin C helps with detoxing and vitamin D supplementation is crucial during the winter months of scarce sunlight. A quick Google search on vitamin D will leave you awe-struck regarding the sheer range of benefits it produces and how important it is for optimal health.

    5. Mobility/yoga – For about 5 minutes, I do some stretching, yoga and mobility exercises. This is done mostly intuitively, depending on what parts of my body are stiff. It breaks the bodily rigidity of sleep and gets the chi circulating.

    6. Walking – On weekdays, because I have less free time, I walk on the treadmill in my apartment building for 20 minutes. On weekends I like to walk outside more. These walks are always accompanied by podcasts or audiobooks so I can learn while walking. The benefits of walking in the morning are also far-reaching (especially in a fasted state). And another bonus is that walking stimulates a ton of creative inspiration. Many of the greatest writers and philosophers knew this and made a daily habit of walking.

    7. Cold shower – I start off with a warm shower. But for the last minute, I turn it as cold as possible. Doing this skyrockets my energy levels. Like every other step of this routine, cold showers have a whole host of benefits. These include increased alertness, better circulation, improved immunity, skin health, weight loss (through thermogenesis), muscle recovery, mitigation of stress, and relief from depression.

    8. Oil pulling – Usually as I’m getting ready, I’ll swish coconut oil in my mouth for a few minutes. You guessed it, oil pulling has a ton of benefits too, especially regarding oral health and immunity. There’s a reason why it’s been practiced in India for thousands of years. Read more about oil pulling here. Just remember not to swallow it, because it pulls all of the bacteria and viruses out of your mouth.

    Then I continue my day like a cross between Tony Robbins and Mace Windu.

    In doing this routine, I wake up ready to maximize my experience of a new day. I feel a sense of purpose and deep-seated empowerment. It is powerfully detoxifying and supercharges the immune system. My body becomes more supple, at ease and at the same time energized. The same goes for my mind, which begets a flood of creative ideas during and after this routine. I get more done throughout the day while retaining my sanity, operating from a place of peace and blissful gratitude.

    You don’t have to do all of that to get the majority of the benefits. I’m not going to tell you to go get attuned to reiki (though I highly recommend it) or buy everything that I personally use. But you can get started with a highly effective morning routine ASAP…

    The simple and easy “Quick Start Morning Ritual” that you can begin tomorrow and steer your life in the direction you choose:

    1. Upon waking, meditate for just 2 minutes. You can stay laying down or sit up, whatever is more comfortable. Breathe deeply into your belly, focus on your breath and simply observe and let go of your thoughts (without judgment) as they pop up. You are the sky, your thoughts are merely clouds passing by.

    2. Drink a glass of water with squeezed lemon, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt.

    3. Do Elliott Hulse’s Bio-Energizer Warm Up. It’s a good starting point for priming the body in the morning, as it’s relatively simple and feels awesome. He recommends doing each exercise for a minute, but you can get most of the benefits in as little as 20-30 seconds for each.

    4. Walk for at least 15 minutes. Either on a treadmill or outside. Listen to a podcast or audiobook while walking to learn while reaping the benefits. Don’t underestimate the importance of movement.

    5. Take a shower and make the last 30 seconds of it cold.

    Then get out there and make the most out of your finite time on planet Earth.

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Gandhi

    Carpe diem.

    – Stevie P!

    Further Information:
    A great podcast discussing morning routines and productivity:
    http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/early-morning-routine/

    The One Simple Habit That Will Add Immeasurable Value to Your Life

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    These days, most of us go through life in a state of incessant ‘busyness’ and distraction. We’re hyper-stimulated and constantly absorbed in useless mental chatter.

    This keeps you from taking a step back and truly appreciating life. It blockades you from diving into deep contemplation and wonder. It distracts us from our higher purpose and robs us of meaning.

    What to do about it?

    Let your mind roam.

    That is the one simple habit that will add immeasurable value to your life.

    Every once in a while, take some time to slow down. Allow your mind to wander, without being preoccupied on what you have to do. Without being distracted by drama. Don’t obsess over the past or future. Don’t think about your job. Don’t get caught up in gossip. Don’t consume yourself with whether that cute girl (or guy) is going to text you back.

    Simply find some peaceful solitude. Bask in the moment. Set your mind free and see where it takes you.

    How to invoke blissful mind wanderings and add immeasurable value to your life:

    1. Ask questions. Get curious about the world around you. (‘Why’s and ‘What if’s work really well.)

    Why do people act so damn serious in business settings?
    What if our universe is a cell of another organism?
    Why is there perpetual war on planet Earth?
    Where does money come from?
    Are there things going on around me that I can’t sense?
    What if God was one all of us?

    2. Get out in nature. Hike, camp, get on a canoe or even just walk in a park. Simply being in nature stimulates deep thought and establishes an intrinsic connectedness with the world around you. It’s no coincidence that all the great thinkers spent time in nature. And so many top thinkers walked outside every single day.

    3. Read. Exercise your mind. Get absorbed in books. Fiction takes you into fantastic new lands, stimulating your imagination. Non-fiction provides you with raw material for new ideas. Reading is the fuel for a great mind.

    Let your mind roam free. But don’t identify with it. Be a witness. Observe the analytic magnificence of the mind from a place of inner peace and non-judgment. Play with new ideas. Entertain new concepts. Dance with new theories.

    As Elliott Hulse said, “The world is an idea playground.”

    Actively search for meaning. You just may find that the journey is, in fact, the destination.

    Go play.

    -Stevie P!

    Use This Strategy To Accomplish Anything (Part 1)

    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.

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    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?

    “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” -Bill Gates

    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.

    So…

    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.

    -Stevie P!

    The 5 Minute Technique For Getting Things Done

    We all put off doing things. We even put off things we know will enhance our lives. And sometimes this happens indefinitely. Going to the gym. Calling your grandma. Getting started on that great book idea you have. We all have things that we know would enhance our lives, yet we put them off.

    Why? Because we procrastinate. And why do we procrastinate? Because the task seems daunting. So let’s make everything a little less scary.

    Introducing… The 5 minute technique.

    Set a timer and give yourself 5 minutes to do something you want to do. You can even do it just by looking at the clock. Do this every day. Or whenever you want to do something that you would normally procrastinate doing.

    You can use this technique for anything. Writing, reading, working out, cleaning…etc. You can also apply it to a part of a task to make it even easier to get started. For example, writing the introduction for an essay, instead of focusing on the whole entire thing.

    The 5 minute technique makes it easy to get started. If you see something only as a 5 minute commitment, you’re way more likely to do it.

    Everyone has 5 minutes a day to commit to something. Don’t act like you don’t. Make a habit out of it and see where it goes from there.

    The hardest part of doing something is getting started. It’s all about overcoming inertia. Like pushing a boulder; the hardest part, by far, is actually putting it in motion.

    The 5 minute technique works so well because it’s such a small commitment. So small that you trick yourself into starting. Then once you start, everything after comes easier.

    Using the 5 minute technique makes taking action less scary and more manageable. It also prevents procrastination, which is a huge problem for most people. The 5 minute technique is an awesome tool for people to create an action-based life. Because things only get done through action. So start taking action, even if it’s in 5 minute chunks.

    Oh, and here’s the best part. I wasn’t able to actually finish this post until I did the 5 minute technique. Yup, that happened. It works. Just do it.