My Best Newsletter So Far This Year
And here it is! The year everyone's been waiting for is finally around the corner.
Happy New Year.
If you spent some time disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of opinions, inputs, and stimuli like I encouraged you to last week - congratulations. You gave yourself some much-needed TLC, as my wife would say (tender, love, and care).
This means you are now ready for the next steps, which I will share with you today.
If you do them, they'll set you up for a year of growth & accomplishment - yes, high-achiever, I've got you covered.
But first things first...
If you read the sentence above and you're still here, I likely don't need to convince you that you need to grow in life to feel, well - alive.
However, in case you're thinking out loud - yeah but Alex I don't want anything - let me explain.
You are wired to grow and evolve. It's part of who you are, and of all things alive. The desire to evolve is the single greatest force in the universe. It's what has sustained life for billions of years.
Enjoying what you do comes from the innate satisfaction of getting better at it. It's natural for us to strive for new things, because, in the process of striving, we face obstacles, grow to overcome them, and contribute to the evolution of everything around us.
[if you want to re-read that sentence to the tune of 'The Circle of Life', I totally support that]
The things we chase are just bait to get us to evolve. It's evolution - not the reward you're individually seeking - that is the reward that truly matters (and makes the world go round).
As the big guy puts it - when you grow, you have something to give. So I'm going to assume hence-forth that you're with me on a path of growth and fulfillment (yes, we're going that far!).
Here's what you're going to do 1st...
After you're done reading this newsletter, do this Annual Life Review.
Now that you have a clear head (hopefully), you'll be able to approach this exercise with more objectivity. Be kind to yourself, but honest. You want to take a few hours (or more, if needed) to do this. I promise you, it's worth it.
[And you can keep 'The Circle of Life' playing in the background, of course]
As part of the exercise, you're going to determine your top 2-3 goals for the coming year. And this is where it gets important, so pay attention.
Your goals will likely get you nowhere.
It's harsh I know, but it's true. Most of us set goals, and hope we achieve them, but the science is clear that almost all of us fail miserably at accomplishing them.
Why? Because making progress in life is less about setting goals and more about setting up systems to consistently take action on your goals.
That's why your next task will be to...
Clearly outline the processes you need to adopt to achieve your goals.
Focusing on process, rather than outcome, allows you to forge a new identity - in alignment with your goals - simply by repetition. Your goal then becomes a natural by-product of your new identity.
Let me give you an example.
In 2020, I decided to grow a following on social media. I could have done the usual "I want 50,000 followers on social media" -goal, somehow pray it was going to work, "claim it", and occasionally or randomly posting.
But I added a process goal - an action I needed to accomplish for myself every day to have a shot at achieving my goal.
The process goal was the following: every day, I had to post twice on social media. That became my process goal. If I could stick to that, I knew I had a chance of achieving my outcome goal.
You see, you can't control the actual outcome of whether or not you get 50,000 followers. But you can control how much effort you put into achieving your goal.
I focused on the process, not the outcome.
As a result, I became a content creator. It became part of my identity, because every single day, I kept reinforcing that identity.
I massively blew past my outcome goal (to 243,000 followers) and I'm sure I can hit 1 million this year if I want by posting quality content. Because regularly posting great content is what content creators do.
That's how I encourage you to tackle your goals.
If you want to lose weight, don't focus on "I want to lose to X kilos or pounds". Instead, focus on:
- I need to run 30 min a day, 4 days a week
- I need to drink 3 liters of water
- I need to fast between 7 pm and 11 am
or whatever process you need to get you there (I'm not a fitness expert at all btw, these are just examples)
Choose a goal - a destination - yes, but focus on process goals. Embrace changing your identity so that it becomes a part of you, not a chore or temporary goal.
You don't want to run a marathon only to fall back to being a couch potato once it's done.
No, you want to become a runner. Runners run even after the marathon is over. They run every day, or every week, because it's part of who they are - not because it's a short term goal.
And I've never seen an overweight serious runner in my life.
Remember - all amazing results in life come from sustained, consistent action.
So, become a meditator, a runner, a creator, an entrepreneur, an investor, a yogi or a passionate and loving partner - or whatever identity has your goal as a side-effect.
Meditators meditate regularly. Passionate partners surprise, laugh, engage and love. Entrepreneurs build and sell. Creators create.
Don't just settle for short-term goals. Instead, change your identity by focusing on process goals.
That's why I'm about to embark on a 75-day Navy Seal Training Program. Not for any specific outcome, but to reinforce my identity as a) an athlete and b) someone who does difficult things, not by wishful thinking, but by enduring, consistent, sustained action.
(If you want to join me in doing the 75-day challenge, just reply to this email)
Happy new year everyone.
[BTW, If you're tired of my rants, my Rapid-fire Best Insights series will continue next week after you've set your process goals and reinforced your new identity.
If you haven't - then I must warn you. After two years of writing emails, I've acquired a very specific set of skills. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you write down your process goals now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, and I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, and I will find you. And I will make you write down your process goals].