2016 Goals Post

New goals for 2016? Nope.

2016 Goals Post

As the new year begins to get underway, I thought it might be fitting to write the ‘customary New Year’s post’. While in one sense, I don’t like jumping on the bandwagon by writing about goals & resolutions, in another sense, it’s nice to harness some of the collective energy out there to start building (or maintaining) your momentum.

This is also the time that you typically see a swarm of Income Reports or Goals & Motivation for the New Year posted on blogs of all types, and I didn’t want to disappoint. But since this blog has only just begun, I don’t have much to report on those fronts.

Instead, I want to focus on the mechanics of how I set and achieve my goals. First, let me clear the air..

I Don’t Believe in New Year’s Resolutions

As I hinted at in the title, I strongly dislike the concept that we should begin moving toward new objectives on January 1st. It should be an ongoing process.

In the same way you usually don’t feel older/wiser on your birthday, but that new insights and instances of personal growth are felt at random intervals based on your experiences & revelations within certain situations.

Why I still make “New Year’s Resolutions” notepad and coffee

Not to contradict everything I’ve just stated, but I do make some plans & set new goals around the new year. It’s one of those rare times that you can tell those around you about your goals, and have them be encouraging & supportive.

Also, since I regularly set goals and evaluate my progress, I’ll use just about any excuse to pause and re-evaluate my situation.

What’s WAY better than resolutions?

In my opinion, resolutions are typically made in the “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” fashion. In reality, the majority of them aren’t kept through the month of January, let alone the entire year.

To make things worse, I often hear people mention new goals in October & November, but say that they’ll wait until January to get started on them.

So What’s My System? set and reach goals

I’m currently using a system that is ongoing, and doesn’t rely on a single date on the calendar to start & stop. It is a combination of a long-term plan (updated annually), coupled with shorter sprints, which are then broken down even further into daily actions.

Long-Term (5-years)

This might seem a bit complicated, but it’s really quite simple once you get into it. It starts with a 1,3, & 5 year plan. This covers different areas of your life – Income, Lifestyle, Accomplishments, etc.

Something important to remember:

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#goals” remove_twitter_handles=”true”]People often overestimate what they can accomplish in 1 year & underestimate what they can achieve in 5 years.[/tweetthis]

It isn’t too in depth. Just a sentence or two for each area of life, and 1-2 specific accomplishments I’d like to see in those areas.

Short-Term (90-days)

So once you have this big bird’s eye view of your ideal 1/3/5 year vision, you can break it down into smaller, actionable tasks. This is the part where we break it down into 90 day sprints.

This is a technique I learned from Jack Canfield’s Success Principles (Principle #8: Chunk It Down).

Now it’s time for a 90-day sheet where I list the smaller objectives & benchmarks that will help me accomplish the long term goals. These are broken down into: Active & Passive Income, Personal Development, Leisure, and Life Events/Milestones.

Again, this is just a brief outline. 2-3 objectives in each area is sufficient.

Weeklycomputer and journal

So now that our lofty 5-year goals have been broken down into what we intend to accomplish in the next 90 days, we can begin to break those down into weekly objectives.

I’ve found that having 3 important objectives of the week is more than enough to accomplish most/all of your goals. All it takes is 15 minutes before each week starts.

Once this has been done, you can get to work on your daily action plans.

Daily

Now it’s time to break them down even further. Each evening before I go to sleep, I choose the 3 tasks for the next day that will best move me forward. These tasks move me towards my weekly objectives, which in turn move me towards the 90 day and beyond time frames.

[tweetthis remove_url=”true”]A successful life is created 1 day at a time. Make each day a success, and you can’t help but create a successful life.[/tweetthis]

I realize that this system may seem a bit complex and time consuming, but it’s rather easy to implement. Here’s about how long I spend at each step:

  • 1/3/5 Year Planning – about an hour
  • 90-day sprints – another hour
  • Weekly – 15 minutes to plan it out, and another 15 minutes midweek to check on my progress
  • Daily – usually only 5 minutes

If that seems like a bit much, consider this: If you won’t take a few hours to plan for success, you won’t put it the time & focus needed to be successful. Period.

What Now?The 65 25 10 Formula

With all of this planning & goal setting, I’m sure you’re wondering how I these plans into action. I use something called The 65-25-10 Formula. In two weeks, I’ll be dedicating an entire post to that topic.

Until then, set some goals, and I’ll see you in the next post.

Peace,

Patrick

The Slight Edge Book Review

The Slight Edge – Book Review

The Slight Edge Book Review

Ongoing Book Review Series

This post is another edition of my Book Review Series (every 2nd Friday of the month) in which I share a book that has had a big impact in my life.

For this month’s book review, I’ve chosen to highlight a book that I read back in 2007, while it was still being spread by word of mouth. It hit the mainstream around 2011, and has grown in popularity ever since, with a new updated edition coming out last year.

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success by Jeff OlsonSlight Edge Book Review

This book helped me to really double down on my efforts at personal growth. It is also one of the few books that I’ve revisited and read more than 1 time.

The Basic Premise

The simple idea that Jeff puts forth here is that small actions, habits, and disciplines will compound over time, and lead to big results, either positive or negative.

This principle applies to all areas of your life including: Business, Personal Development, Relationships, Religion/Spirituality, Health/Fitness, and so on..

The Opposite of a”Get Rich Quick” mentality

While many ‘get rich quick’ strategies actually work, the mindset of expecting instant results usually won’t help you in the long run.

This mentality will likely hurt you in many areas too, since you’ll be expecting to undo the negative results quickly; results that have likely been compounding from small negative choices made over the course of many years..

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#productivity #hustle”]Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long term results.[/tweetthis]

The Impact

It’s hard to overstate the impact this book has had on my life. Let me share just a few examples of how I’ve implemented The Slight Edge in my life:

Health & Fitness

While I’ve never been overweight or ‘sickly’, I hadn’t made health or fitness priorities in my life. Around the time I first read this book, I began making small positive changes to both of these areas.

Over the course of nearly 3 years, these small changes eventually lead to my being in the best shape of my life (and I’m still improving). I both workout my entire body every day, and also make time to thoroughly stretch every muscle group.

I also slowly made the transition from an unhealthy diet (including lots of processed foods, meat & dairy, too many grains, and low quality produce) to a clean plant based diet filled with whole foods and (mostly) organic produce.

Personal Development

stack of booksAnother area this has positively impacted me is in my approach to personal development.

In the past, I had been a ‘binge learner’, often reading between 7-12 books simultaneously, while also listening to several audio courses each month, and then having periods of 2-3 months where I did little to learn & grow.

I realized that in the same way you can’t sleep once to recharge yourself for an entire month, or eat a massive meal to fuel you for the week, my studies needed to be a little smaller and a lot more consistent.

Now, I read for 30-60 minutes every day (fiction, current events, and the like don’t count), and try to limit myself to reding 3-5 books simultaneously.

I also carefully select my reading list in advance, and no longer hesitate to stop reading something that either doesn’t resonate with me, or that I’m not enjoying.

Business

Before applying The Slight Edge to my business, I would jump between having too many projects ongoing to pouring my entire focus into just one project.

I changed my outlook quite a bit here. I knew that over time, the results from any one project would probably be pretty insignificant, and that spreading my focus too thin over a plethora of projects would greatly reduce my forward momentum.

I shifted to a system where I plan out my year in 90 day blocks. I still focus on multiple projects, but allocate my time to reflect which projects are of a higher priority. (I’ll dedicate an entire upcoming post detailing this formula, which I’ve come to call The 65-25-10 Formula.)

The Slight Edge Explained

The Verdict

Those examples are just a few of the many changes I’ve made in my life since reading The Slight Edge, and the results over these last 8 years (and counting) have been astounding!

Obviously I wouldn’t waste your time telling you about a book that isn’t worth reading, but again, it’s hard to overstate the positive impact this simple philosophy can have on your life.

It’s definitely worth checking out. (View The Slight Edge on Amazon)

Until Next Week

Next Friday, I’ll finish up my short series on Digital Sharecropping. Until then..

Take Care,

Patrick

Book Review Featured Image

Free: The Future of a Radical Price – Book Review

Book Review Featured Image

New Monthly Blog Series

To start off my monthly series of book reviews (published the 2nd Friday of each month), I decided to start with one that really ignited my interest in the internet & online business in general, and helped me break free of the outdated view of the world impressed upon my by many of my peers, instructors, and elders.

The book is called “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” by Chris Anderson

(Wired magazine’s Editor-in-Chief for almost 12 years).

I first came across this book right after it was published in 2009, but immediately dismissed it as absurd. Free? More specifically, making a profit by pricing your product at $0? Nonsense.

It was a good year or two later when it landed on the recommended reading list of a blogger I followed at the time, so I decided to give it a second look..

Free Chris Anderson Book

The history of free

The book starts off by taking us back over a hundred years ago and explaining how the concept of ‘free’ in sales & marketing came about, and how over time it began to be seen (rightly so) as a bit of a scam.

Physical goods have an actual cost, so it isn’t entirely possible for something to actually be ‘free’. There always seemed to be a bait-and-switch or high pressure up-sell right around the corner.

The shift to digital

Before the digital age, ‘free’ was simply a Loss Leader. There always had to be a sale at some point down the line. Not so in the digital age. In fact, there are entire industries run on the ‘free’ business model.

Think of the Freemium model, where the majority of customers pay nothing, EVER, and without any hard up-sell. This is made possible by the few (often 5% or fewer) who subsidize them. They either want or need the additional features of the premium version, or perhaps simply wish to support the product/content creators.

[tweetthis]Setting the price to “FREE” can actually be quite profitable.[/tweetthis]

Now Chris doesn’t simply talk about the history & psychology of free, he also takes it into practical applications and where we are headed in the future. He covers far more ground in the book, but this is about as far as I want to take the actual review portion of this post..

The Impact

Book in LaptopThis book has had quite an impact on how I approach business online, and that impact has even extended to other areas as well.

It really turns the old ‘scarcity model’ of information on its head. It is no longer viable to hide information behind a “pay wall”. You first must offer something for free.

This is actually quite good for several reasons.

Why this is a good thing

First of all, it forces you to give potential customers a preview of your content. This lets customers get to know you a little before making a purchase, and likely lead to fewer returns, bad reviews, dissatisfaction, etc.

Next, you get to use all of your free content as a way to experiment. With a blog, for instance, you’ll soon discover which type of content receives more comments, social shares, and the like. This will help you find areas where you can profit.

Another reason that free content is good is that you needn’t worry too much about pleasing others. This content is also a way for personal growth, self discovery, and telling your story. You may feel the need to self-censor your work a bit if you are charging others to access it.

About this series

That wraps up this month’s book review. I’ll be reviewing a book or course each month (published the 2nd Friday of each month) and cover a variety of topics in the process. I typically read 2-3 books each month, often listen to an audio book or two, and usually complete some type of online video course.

Everything that I review will be one that has had a positive impact on my life and/or business in some way. So until next time, take care.

Cheers,

Patrick