If you’re like most people, you have big goals for the year ahead.
This is the year when you get out of debt, lose that weight, and in general live an awesome and expansive life.
Those are all great things to pursue, but many people do not achieve those goals because they never devise ways to succeed. They don’t have methods and they don’t have systems to achieve those things.
The following are some methods that can help you succeed in a big way in this year and help you to achieve whatever it is you set out to do.
Most people will only implement one or two of these, so I recommend picking one and sticking with it until it becomes a fully entrenched habit.
1. Get over your fear of rejection
If you want to do anything major in life, it will involve some type of rejection. And guess what? Rejection happens to everyone.
Maybe the business loan you applied for didn’t go through, maybe the girl you asked out said “no”, maybe the job you thought you were a sure fit for went with another candidate. Whatever it is, you need to make sure you don’t take it personally and resolve to use it as “optimization data” to help you guide your further efforts.
Look at it as a chance to get better. How can you improve so it doesn’t happen again or less frequently?
Overcoming your fear of rejection will probably be one of the most impactful things you will ever do in your life, that’s why it’s number 1.
2. Create more “space” in your day
If you’re like many people, you are busy, busy, busy. But are you actually that busy or are you just seeming like it?
The “cult of busyness” is a modern phenomenon and more often than not, an excuse.
There is enough time to do the most important things in a day, but not everything. What you focus your attention on a majority of the time determines your life and shows your true priorities.
You can’t say “I want to be a millionaire” or “be super ripped” but you spend every last dollar you have and watch Netflix on the weekend. That’s incongruent behavior.
There is enough time in the day to help put on the path for goal achievement.
What if you got up earlier? What if you stopped checking social media for an hour a day? What if you cut down on TV?
All these seemingly little things add up.
At the end of a week, you may have 25 extra hours free up combined from all of your previous activities. At the end of a month, it’s 100. At the end of a year, it’s 1200. What would you do with 1200 extra hours?
That alone can change your life if invested in a good activity or set of activities.
3. Get over your (social) anxiety
Anxiety exists on a spectrum. There’s people who have almost zero anxiety where it is unnoticeable and there’s other people who can’t even leave the house, even on a good day.
There’s also social anxiety, a condition where some people can’t even talk to strangers or even friends.
Anxiety can be crippling. The best solution is to realize that some of the people that are seen as cultural demigods have anxiety. The difference between you and them is that they act in spite of it.
If you still find it difficult, talk to your doctor and ask them to put you on a low dose of an anti-anxiety medication as a temporary measure.
4. Expand your social network
Having someone you can call upon for a favor, some help, or guidance is essential. Most of the time, this will come from people not in your immediate circle of friends.
In her book The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay calls these people “weak ties”. Weak ties can help you find new job opportunities, introduce you to a potential romantic partner, or even help you reframe your thinking for a paradigm shift.
You may have recently moved to a new city where you know no one. The best solution is to start getting involved in the community in the form of meetups, volunteer opportunities, sports teams, anything that will put you in front of new people.
5. Decrease your Internet and social media use
The Internet is arguably the most revolutionary invention since the discovery of fire.
It has created a new type of relationship with each other and with our world in general.
Unfortunately, some people have taken this too far. Internet addiction is a serious problem and it is one that affects millions of people around the globe. Many teenagers and adolescents just can’t get off their phone because it is a lifeline for them and they fear that they’ll miss out on something big if they don’t have it.
Social media is a great tool but it is a terrible master. Make your time on social media very short and if you have to, get a “news feed eradicator”. There’s a wide world out there waiting for you.
6. Start reading more
Reading can open a wide door to a world of immense possibilities. Reading can make you aware of things you never knew about and it can also help you crystallize and clarify ideas.
Your reading should be a good mix of books, not strictly fiction or nonfiction. It should be something that can make you a well-versed “student of the world”.
7. Track your progress and focus on metrics
Many times, when we embark on a self-improvement undertaking, we don’t know if we are really making progress. It can get discouraging and we may end up quitting. The crazy part is, we could be “three feet from gold” when we decide to pack it up.
How do we prevent this from happening?
Track your progress.
You may not “always” go up, but you want to focus on gradually trending upwards. A good example is fitness. You may not always set a new personal strength record or lose a certain number of pounds, but over a period of months, you want your progress to show a trend line of growth. That’s how you ensure steady progress and keep from getting discouraged.
8. All of you, all in
As mentioned before, a lot of people are not congruent. This means their thoughts, words, and actions do not align, so their intentions are scattershot and they are unfocused.
A lot of people “kinda” want something. As Eric Thomas said, you need to want something more than you want to breathe.
If you want to achieve something, especially something big that is relatively uncommon, you’ve got to be all in. You cannot hesitate, you cannot deliberate, you need to pick something and stick to it.
Hesitation creates fear. Fear creates paralysis. Paralysis creates inaction.
You only have one life to live, you might as well go for the gold and launch boldly into whatever undertaking you have. Do whatever you can to make sure you succeed.
There are many more things you can do. You can start exercising, pick up a new hobby, anything really. The world is yours to explore. These are just a few things you can do starting today to help you start living a better life and not repeat last year’s events unconsciously.
What do you think about setting goals for the New Year? Let us know in the comments.
Sim Campbell has made it his mission to examine what it means to live an expansive and fulfilling life in the modern world as an emerging young man. He talks about this on Unstoppable Rise, a site dedicated to relentless personal development with a strong philosophical slant.
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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. 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.