The Last 100

There are 100 days left in 2022.

What’s one thing you can accomplish between now and the end of the year that will make your year?

Maybe it’s something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but somehow you never found the time? Or something new that you’re excited to start? Maybe this is the time to do something that will change everything…

You already know the answer. Now’s the time to commit and make it happen.

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One small step

Last week we asked what’s on your one line bucket list.

One thing that would make your life more meaningful, fulfilling, or just fun.

This week’s Quality Question is about pushing forward on your dreams and taking action.

What’s holding you back from actually doing it?

If you had nothing else to do but work on this exciting goal, what would the next step be?

Maybe its signing up for a class, booking the trip, or telling a loved one about your plan.

It can be scary to turn dreams into concrete steps. We fear that we won’t be good enough, that other people will try to stop us, or the reality won’t live up to the fantasy.

Let go of those fears for just a moment and take one concrete step in pursuit of your dream.


Begin Again

It’s that time of year…

The middle of February.

Which means that, if you’re like most people, your New Year’s resolutions are fading out of sight in the rearview mirror as you go back to life as usual.

We’ve all experienced this at one time or another.

You start a new habit like going to the gym, eating healthy, or writing 200 words per day. And then, something happens.

You slip. You miss a day, maybe two. You start to lose faith.

And then that little voice in your head starts talking:

“I failed again. I’m never gonna be able to do this.”

Maybe you even give up on the thing you know you should be doing.

Whenever this happens, just ask yourself:

How can I begin again?

That simple question can unlock many new paths, for example…

You can begin again with a simpler habit (try 1 minute of meditation instead of 10).

You can begin again by letting go of self-judgment (forgive yourself and just start writing again).

You can begin again by reminding yourself why you set this goal in the first place. Write a list of why this habit or goal matters and post it on the wall.

You can begin again by taking a lesson from your first attempt and applying it to your next attempt (going forward, I’ll have a friend meet me at the gym so we can keep each other accountable).

Don’t wait for another new year.

Every day you get the opportunity to begin again.


Making Friends with Fear 😱

This is the final question in the Quality Questions series on setting and achieving meaningful goals. We saved this question for last because it’s both the most important and the most difficult one for most people to face.

Our process for setting and achieving meaningful goals is as follows:

That’s it. If you can follow those four steps over and over again, you can accomplish anything. There’s only one thing that can stop you…


Ask yourself: What goal or habit are you most afraid of pursuing?

Perhaps it’s one of the three you already wrote. Or maybe it’s one you thought of, but were too afraid to even write down.

If you hide from your fear, you’ll end up running around in circles accomplishing goals that seem nice on the surface, but don’t actually get you closer to what you really want.

When it comes to goals, our fears are like a compass, pointing to what really matters to us. Once you figure out which goal or habit scares you the most, make that your top priority!

If your goal is to become a great public speaker, but the idea of a going live on social media terrifies you, then lean into that fear! It’s because this is something important to you that you feel fear at the potential failure.

Pick your top goal based on fear and train yourself to lean in. This is the true path to mastery and becoming the best version of yourself.


From Goals to Reality 🔑

Over the past four weeks, we’ve spent time figuring out what we don’t want, which helped us get clear on what we do want.

Then we identified the kind of person we need to become to get what we want, and set some goals to help us become that kind of person.

You should now have three clear, achievable goals that you are going to accomplish in the next three months (if you haven’t set those yet, you can do it now — we’ve linked to the previous questions above).

The next step is to ask yourself: What daily habits do I need to adopt to accomplish my goals? Your habits are the key for turning your vision into reality. Without supportive habits, even the most exciting goals are just hopeful fantasies.

Here’s an example of how a big vision can translate into a daily habit:

What do I want? To be invited to speak at important conferences and be seen as a thought leader in my field.

Who I need to become? A great communicator, comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, and able to explain big ideas in a short timeslot.

Three month goal? Give a 15-minute TED Talk-style presentation in public.

What habit do I need to adopt? Go live on social media for a minute or two everyday for a month to get used to speaking in public.

Choose and commit to a daily habit for each of the goals you set.


How to Become the New and Improved You 🆕

We began the new year by asking ourselves: Who do I have to become to get what I want?

We answered this question by writing a description of that person, including their behaviors, habits, and thought patterns.

Take a few minutes every day review this description. Do this now, and make it a habit.

If you didn’t finish writing a description of the person you want to become, or if you want to make any revisions, now is a great time to do that.

Once you have a clear vision of who you want to become, the next step is to figure out how to make it happen. That’s what we’re going to do now.

Setting arbitrary goals just to hit them is satisfying, but not lasting.

The best goals are well defined not in the material possessions you get once you achieve them, but intentionally set to help you form the habits, thoughts, relationships, and lifestyle that turn you into the person you want to be.

Your goals effectively stretch you to become someone you aren’t today. If you were the person who could get the things you wanted and have the life you dreamed of, you’d have them already.

Dr. Anthony Gustin

Our goals are not the ends, but rather the means. So, ask yourself:

What goals will help me to become the person I want to become?

Start by reviewing the description of the person you want to become and notice if there are any recurring themes that stand out.

Choose up to three themes to focus on for now. Then for each theme, set a goal for the next few months.

Choose goals that are achievable, but that will also force you to stretch beyond your current comfort level and abilities. Make sure you include both a deadline and specific success criteria for each goal.

For example:

If the person you want to become is a great communicator who gets invited to speak at important conferences and events, then one of your goals could be to give a 15 minute talk in public (or live on YouTube) by the end of next month.


Who Do You Need to Become? 🦋

Instead of starting the year with the usual vague goals and uninspiring resolutions, we’re doing something powerful and different…

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been preparing by asking ourselves:

What do I definitely not want? What would be the opposite of that?

These questions help us gain clarity about what we want in life. After all, the ultimate goal isn’t to achieve a one-off accomplishment and call it quits. The ultimate goal is to create a life that you love living.

Now, building on your answers to the previous questions, ask yourself: Who do I have to become to get what I want?

For example, let’s say you wrote that you “don’t want to spend weekends at home alone anymore.”

And then you defined the opposite of that as, “I want to have an active social life with lots of friends and fun events.”

What kind of person would live that life?

Think about the behaviors of that person, their habits, and thought patterns. How would you describe them?

Perhaps they are outgoing and talkative. Full of energy. They always have a kind word for everyone, and they linger an extra minute or two to chat with the barista instead of hurrying off in silence.

Maybe they make a special point of remembering people’s names, and go out of their way to introduce people they know to each other. They probably host lots of parties, and make sure that everyone is having a good time.

Answer the question above for each of the opposites you wrote last week. Then, compile the answers into concise a description of one person.

Become this person in 2022. That’s your true new year’s resolution!


The Magical Transformation ✨

Last week, we wrote:

As you prepare to set goals and make plans for the year ahead, ask yourself: What do I definitely not want?

Make a list of what you don’t want and keep it handy…

If you spent time working on this question, you probably noticed how much easier it is to list what you don’t want, rather than trying to come up with a list of goals, plans, etc.

(If you haven’t made a list of “don’t wants” yet, then do it now.)

✨ Here comes the magic…

Now take your list of “don’t wants” and for each item on the list, ask yourself: What would be the opposite of this?

For example, if you wrote: “I don’t want to work a 9-5 job anymore”

Then the opposite of that could be: “I want to set my own work hours”

You might find that writing down the opposites gives you some inspiration or drives you much closer to a clear vision of what you really want.

For example: “I want to have a career that I’m passionate about and control my own time and priorities.”

Or maybe even, “I want to start a travel blog for parents with toddlers.”

If that happens, great!

But don’t worry too much about the details for now, just write whatever comes to you that gets you inspired and excited.

Next week we are going to use this new list of opposites and give you one more powerful question to figure out how to make it all happen for you.


Anti-Resolutions for the New Year

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it’s easier to express what we don’t like or don’t want than what we do?

This happens with everything from food (“this dish is too salty” or “it needs something“) to design (“the placement of the logo looks weird”).

You can dismiss this tendency as complaining or you can call it inversion and put it to work on your behalf…

As you prepare to set goals and make plans for the year ahead, ask yourself: What do I definitely not want?

Try to focus on the things that you can control — like your habits and decisions. Here are some examples:

  • I don’t want to work in an office everyday
  • I don’t want to sit around watching Netflix every night
  • I don’t want to be alone
  • I don’t want to live in this city anymore
  • I don’t want to work for a company that doesn’t appreciate me
  • I don’t want to be in a toxic relationship
  • I don’t want to spend time with people who bring my energy down

Make a list of what you don’t want and keep it handy… We’ll use it as part of next week’s question.