Out of all the goals you have set for this year I’m sure you’ve got one specific goal that’s been on the forefront of your mind.
A goal that you know has the greatest potential to change your life – Your most important goal for 2018.
But while you are motivated and generally hard working, most likely you are struggling with something most people are struggling with:
One week you’re on fire, working on whatever you need to work on everyday with great focus and energy.
Another week you kind of lose momentum, don’t get much done and procrastinate.
Making matters worse after a week of laziness it takes you another week to get back into productive mode.
Effectively losing 2 weeks that you could be getting closer towards achieving your goal.
Frustrating isn’t it?
Well, you’re in luck – in this article I’ll show you how to achieve your most important goal in 2018 using only 2 simple habits.
They are effective, easy to implement, and immediately applicable right after reading this article.
So let’s get right to it.
Habit #1: Pick the Low Hanging Fruit Everyday
Question: How do you stay consistent and work towards you goal almost 365 days of the year despite motivational slumps?
Answer: Find a task that…
- Can be completed in 5-10 minutes, yet effectively brings you closer towards achieving your goal
- Feels easy, low-effort and can be completed almost anytime, anywhere
- Exposes you to new learning material that will sharpen your approach towards achieving your goal
How to Pick the Low Hanging Fruit:
Here’s my favorite way to pick the low hanging fruit:
Read a book (related to your goal) on your phone every time you go the toilet
I know it might sound a bit weird.
But let’s be honest: You already go to the toilet and you are already addicted (‘scuse me) to your phone.
So what better way to kill two birds with one stone?
The result: You’ll be getting about 10 minutes of extra reading in everyday.
Let’s be pragmatic…
If you read 10 minutes per day you will read 3650 minutes extra in the year.
Divide that by 60 and you get about 61 hours of reading in this year.
Assuming it takes 6 hours to read a book (most self-help books take you less), then you’ll be able to read 10 books this year.
Let’s say your goal is to improve your fitness.
Reading 10 fitness books will teach you invaluable stuff about how to reach that goal.
Reading about fitness everyday will also make sure that fitness is on your mind 24/7. As a result you’ll learn faster and build unstoppable momentum.
Now let me be clear:
Of course your fitness (or any other goal for that matter) won’t improve JUST by reading.
Picking the low hanging fruit is just the base habit.
You need to stack Habit #2 on top to take action and achieve your most important goal in 2018.
Habit #2: Plan Tomorrow the Night Before
To achieve your goal you actually have to take action in the real world.
Not just once or twice…
… but consistently almost everyday.
There is tons of self-help advice out there trying to help you take action.
Stuff like morning rituals, to-do lists, waking up 3 hours early to work and so on and so forth.
Now, if any of those work for you – use them! You always want to keep what’s working.
Just apply Habit #1 in addition to taking action and you are good to go.
What I’ve found though is that a lot of self-help advice on planning in your practice/action time is too rigid.
Life gets in the way quickly. Grandma might make a spontaneous visit for a cup of coffee and interrupt your perfect practice plan. Your strategy has to take stuff like that into account.
On the flip side completely winging it without any kind of plan is not the answer either.
So to take action everyday towards your goal you need the right balance of flexibility and structure.
That’s where Habit #2 comes in.
How to Plan Tomorrow the Night Before
- Define the action/practice that will bring you most effectively towards achieving your goal
- Every night before going to sleep note down all the tasks you have to complete tomorrow. That includes your defined action, but also other stuff like grocery shopping, work, or friends visiting.
- Now give each task a rough start and end time
- Arrange and rearrange the schedule for tomorrow until it feels doable and convenient.
- The next day refer to your plan and if necessary adapt
Every night schedule in an activity for tomorrow that helps you achieve your most important goal for 2018.
If it’s fitness it might be working out.
If it’s blogging it might be writing.
If it’s getting As at Uni it might be studying.
The key is to be realistic and flexible. If you have other priorities for tomorrow accept it and just squeeze in 15 minutes of taking action towards your goal.
If the day is relatively free maybe get in 2 hours.
I’ve tried many productivity tactics and honestly planning the day ahead has been the most effective one for me personally. It provides just the right balance of flexibility and structure to make sure you take action every day.
Let’s recap the whole process
- Pick your most important goal for 2018
- Pick a book on a related topic and read it whenever you go to the loo
- Plan tomorrow the night before and schedule in an action that will help you achieve your goal over time
If you apply this simple framework Habit #1 will build momentum and accelerate your learning.
Habit #2 will make sure you work towards your goal everyday.
Weeks of procrastination will be a thing of the past. And when life gets in the way you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Instead you’ll have a system to deal with it and make consistent progress week by week.
Felix enjoys making complex self-development concepts simple and applicable. Check out his article “12 Ways to Accelerate Your Learning Now” and achieve your goals even faster.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.