Get Out of Your Own Way
Welcome to 2023! During our first 6 months, over 3,600 TwentyPercenters joined the battle against average and we’re just getting started. We have a lot more to share with you this year. Who do you know that needs to be reading this weekly missive? Hit “forward” and spread the word!
“Usually when we have a problem that is circumstantial, we are facing the reality of life. When we have a problem that is chronic, we are facing the reality of ourselves.”— Brianna Wiest
I hope you’re kicking off your year by building the #1 habit I recommend. I want to continue that theme this week. Here’s a fact: the team that wins the championship and the team that slumps into last place shared the same goal. They both wanted to win every game. They both set out to win it all. But one succeeded and one failed. What do champions do that others don’t? They focus on building habits and systems that naturally lead to their goal.
Think of it this way. Your goals serve a vital purpose. They clearly identify your target and when you want to get there. But you still need a system (or a plan) for achieving them. And ultimately, to live the best possible life, you want to fortify that system with habits so you can just do the things that optimize your life without much thought or effort. Your habits lay the foundation for the results you regularly get. Some pick you up. Some hold you back. Nothing will determine your destiny more than the actions you habitually take.
Most of us are succeeding in spite of poor habits we ignore or tolerate. To get out of our own way, we must flip our foundation and build better habits.
Most people set “outcome goals” like being “#1 in sales for my office.” Outcome goals fail to identify HOW you will achieve your goal. They skip to the end without providing a plan. This is where systems come in. It would be ludicrous to time block “#1 in sales for my office” every day from 8am to 12am on your calendar. What would that even look like? Standing next to the water cooler drinking out of a trophy?
However, you can time block your system for achieving this outcome. For example, you might time block “Connect with 20 people in my database,” which gives your goal structured activity that can get you there. Over time you build the habit of showing up every day and knocking out your 20 connections. Once you have the habit, tweaking the system is no big deal. If 20 connections a day doesn’t yield your goal, you can build it up to 25 or 30 connections over time.
A few years ago, I got to spend an afternoon with Atomic Habits author James Clear. We were talking about fitness goals and he said something that stuck with me. “Rather than setting a goal to do 100 pushups or run a marathon, I focus on being the kind of person that goes to the gym every day and works out. When I become that person, those goals are never far away.” Rather than focusing on what you want to achieve, focus on who you must become to make those things possible. Create a system that helps you act the way that person acts, and one day, you’ll be that person – and it will feel natural. This may be the ultimate success hack.
One question to ponder in your thinking time: Who do you intend to become on the way to your goals?
Make an Impact!