The year is coming to an end. You’re browsing through your computer and find a document called “yearly goals”. You open it and think to yourself… “Damn, I totally forgot about my goals again. Why does this happen to me all the time?”. And then, feeling a bit frustrated, you draft the goals up for the next year. This time will be different. But as the year goes on, the document gets lost on your computer and you slowly forget about your goals.
I know how you feel, it has happened to me many times before. I would set a ton of goals, whether they are yearly, monthly, weekly… Only to give up on them when things got a bit tougher, or to simply forget about them.
A year ago I was sitting down and planning my goals for 2013. 2012 was a great year from me, and it was hard for me to expect to repeat the results in 2013. But I did it. And I crushed some of the goals in ways that I didn’t dare to imagine beforehand.
But how do you do that? How do you make sure that the goals that you set for 2014 won’t be just another new year’s resolution that you forget about by Jan 7th?
Today I will share with you some strategies that I used which worked very well for me in 2013.
Setting Yearly Goals, Not New Year’s Resolutions
First of all, why the hell are we setting goals NOW and not on the 1st of January? Well, because around that time, it’s so easy to get lost within all the other BS new year’s resolutions and “trying harder”. Another reason is that if you want to be up and running in 2014, you’ll need to make some preparations first.
The key with setting yearly goals is to make them big, exciting and even unrealistic? Why? Because if the goal is big and exciting, it’s much more likely that you will reach it, even if it is slightly unrealistic. On the other hand, if the goal doesn’t excite you, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s realistic or not, as you won’t reach it anyway.
Another thing that people often forget to do is set up a system to actually review these goals frequently and evaluate your progress towards them. I mean, how many times have you set goals in the past only to forget about them after 2 days and focus on something else?
This system doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as setting up a monthly calendar reminder in Google Calendar every 1st Monday of the month.
Now let’s put this into action – you can do this NOW, in 5 easy steps.
- Write down 10 BIG things that would really excite you in 2014
- Select the top 3 of those things that are the MOST EXCITING and make them your yearly goals
- Set up a Google Calendar event on the first Monday of 2014, at whatever time works for you (it’s 1pm for me)
- Copy the yearly goals in the event description
- Set the event to repeat 12 times, on every first Monday of the month.
Thinking DIFFERENTLY And Taking Massive Action
So, how did I actually manage to crush my goals from 2013? Was it simply by using the approaches from 2012 and putting in a lot more hours? Sadly no, it’s not that simple. Just “trying harder” didn’t work.
Instead, I was always on the look-out for new strategies that I could experiment with, and whenever I learned something new I would instantly implement it. Don’t believe me? Look at one of the comments on a mastermind group that I’m in – it’s from my friend Jarrett who I met last week in San Francisco:
And I want YOU to be the next person who snaps out of the reading mode and takes immediate action. If you haven’t done the action steps above yet, do them now. They will only take you a couple of minutes. If you don’t want to do them, or think you will “do them later”, the truth is that you most likely won’t. Later, you will find another e-mail to read and you will forget about this post. And then, you will again see no progress at all.
Once you’re done with those action steps, let’s move on to the new ones (yes, I’ll get you to do a lot of work today. But you want to improve, don’t you?)
- Identify ONE thing that you wanted to do recently but just never got around to doing it. It can be a new exercise plan. A productivity technique. Or setting up a party for your friends.
- Take 1 minute to break down this thing into smaller, actionable steps. What do you need to do to get going?
- Take a small, quick step towards finishing that thing NOW. You want to host a party? Call your friend if he wants to co-host it. Want to start doing a new exercise plan? Print it out.
The cool thing about taking action is that it gives you momentum. Even taking small steps can translate into soon taking bigger and bigger steps, which eventually lead to massive changes in your life.
There is also a big mistake that many people make when it comes to taking action. Many people say to themselves that “this won’t work for them” in advance. So they don’t even try to implement something new. Or, they try but give up after a few minutes when they don’t see the results immediately.
In order to overcome this issue, you need to shift your thought process from “I’m not sure if I can do this” or “I’m not sure if this will work for me” to “I’ll try it out and to my best to MAKE it work for me”.
Something that worked for someone else might not work for you immediately, but with a few adjustments you can quite easily implement almost any system in your life.
Don’t Do Everything On Your Own
The third thing that made probably the biggest difference for me was connecting with other like-minded people. I joined some mastermind groups of people who were working on the same goals as I was. I’ve found myself new mentors and advisers. And I’ll show you how you can do this as well in a minute.
There were two main benefits from connecting with like-minded people – I would constantly get new inspirations and ideas for my projects from them, as well as a different point of view that would often solve my issues when I was stuck.
When you are reaching out to others, you should focus on reaching out to people who are at least a level above you in a certain skill, whether it’s working at a job, entrepreneurship, nutrition, exercising or productivity. I personally prefer to find people who are the best at what they do, but I know that this might be a bit hard to do at first.
One thing that you need to understand about reaching out to other people is that it’s not about you getting something from them. Of course this might eventually happen, but often you won’t get anything in return immediately. So instead of focusing what you can get from people, think about what you can give to them.
Luckily for you, one of the biggest value adds is in something that pretty much everybody is capable of doing – in implementing advice and thanking people for it. This is because so few people do this. I give out advice to many people, and the majority never implement it. Some implement it but don’t let me know about it. The people who implement it and do let me know about it are the ones that I will always happily help in case they get stuck because I know that they won’t waste my time by not implementing the new advice that I give them.
Let me give you a script that you can use right now to reach out to others. They can be busy people who are very successful, or people who are working on the same goals as you are. You need to be a bit careful with asking for help if you are talking to a super busy person like a very well known entrepreneur, but if you’re just talking to someone who has similar goals to you, you can generally ask for more, at least a short Skype call or a coffee. What the hell, I’ll make your life easier and just give you scripts for both.
SCRIPT – REACHING OUT TO A BUSY PERSON
My name is Primoz and I’m a productivity coach for entrepreneurs. I’ve followed your last couple of blog posts closely and implemented the concepts from them. The concept that I really liked and that made the biggest difference for me was X – I was very lost in those situations before, but since I’ve implemented your advice, I managed to achieve X, Y, Z.
Thank you so much for writing those blog posts, they made my life a ton easier!
I have a couple of questions on topic X – would you mind if I sent them your way to get some feedback on them?
Notice how I didn’t ask for anything committing in return yet. You’re dealing with a busy person here and their time is very valuable. So instead of sending them 10 questions right away, ask them if they would be willing to help out. If they say yes, you can send them the questions and I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll get a good answer back.
The next step after you get the reply is pretty simple – implement the hell out of the advice and let the person know about how it went. Do this for a while and you’ll pretty soon develop a good relationship, in fact you might even get a mentor out of it.
Let’s move on to the next script.
SCRIPT – REACHING OUT TO SOMEONE WITH SIMILAR GOALS AS YOU HAVE
My name is Primoz and I’m a productivity coach for entrepreneurs. I’ve followed your blog for a while and I really liked the posts on X, Y, Z. I actually implemented concept A from post X and got these results, so that really worked well for me!
Since you seem to be really good at A, would it be possible for us to set up a short 15 or 30 minute Skype call where I could ask you a couple of questions on this subject?
If you’re up for it, my Skype username is: *******, and I’m free at the following times:
Tomorrow (Saturday) at 4pm-8pm CET (use their timezone if you know it)
Sunday and Monday all day
Tomorrow at 5pm would work best for me.
Are you in?
Notice how I used a specific time and made it super easy for the other person to accept this invitation? And honestly, if you were in their place and someone sent you an e-mail like this, would you ever decline it? I don’t think so.
One thing that you can do (if the call goes well) afterwards to build the relationship is to keep scheduling Skype calls. I usually talk with my friends on a weekly basis and after we finish a call we immediately schedule another one (I use Google Calendar for this).
To get the most out of relationships like this, make sure that you are constantly adding value to the other person by actually implementing the advice that they give you, just like you did in the coach scenario.
Now that you have the scripts, it’s time to put them to some use.
- Brainstorm 3 people that you really admire and want to reach out to
- Send them the e-mails using the scripts above
And you’re done with action steps for today! How does that make you feel? If you actually completed all of them, pat yourself on the shoulder because you deserved it.
Today we’ve covered what you need to do to make sure that you crush your goals this year. If you want to build momentum and start working on your goals as soon as possible, check out my FREE 5-Day Success Bootcamp. In the Bootcamp, I share specific systems that will help you turn your dreams into a reality, including a framework that my friend Paula used to go from an idea to taking action and creating a yoga workshop.