Last week I published an article and a free workbook in which I outlined the step-by-step process I use to transform my well-meaning, but ever so vague, intentions for what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year.
If you haven’t yet downloaded the workbook and completed the steps, now is the time to do it! If you’re already a member of the Selfication community, you can find the workbook in the members section. If not, click here to join and get immediate access.
Today, I’ll be sharing my personal 2016 goals with you. This serves two purposes:
- It will provide you with some real-world examples of how to put this process to use. Hopefully, this will give you some extra inspiration to create your own goals.
- It will provide me with some well-needed external accountability. I’ve written many times before about the power of involving other people in your behavior change. Knowing that you guys are well aware of what I’m trying to accomplish this year will make me much more likely to actually follow through.
Let’s get to it! 🙂
Step 1: Uncover Your ‘Keystone Habits’ by Using the ‘Wheel of Life’
After going through all the categories listed in the wheel of life, I decided that the keystone habits I’d like to install in 2016 are rising early, meditation, exercise, reading and writing.
Step 2: Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals & Habits
Rising early – By December 31st, 2016, I regularly wake up at 6:30 on weekdays. To get there, I will start rising at no later than 6:30 Monday – Friday this week. (Ideally, I would’ve preferred to start at 8 am and then push back this time gradually by 15 minutes every week after but since Lisa gets up at 5:30, I might as well try to adapt to this as well.)
Meditation – By December 31st, 2016, I meditate for at least 20 minutes every day. To get there, I will start by meditating for at least 20 minutes on weekdays and at least 5 minutes on weekends.
Exercise – By December 31st, 2016, I will regularly complete 3 circuits of the 7-minute workout. To get there, I will start by doing 2 circuits first thing in the morning on weekdays.
Reading – By December 31st, 2016, I will have finished 52 books. To get there, I will start by listening to audiobooks at 2x speed at least 30 minutes every weekday. (I know, I know, this goal probably doesn’t deserve to be called ‘reading’. :))
Writing – By December 31st, 2016, I will have published 40 new articles on Selfication and self-published 5 books on Amazon Kindle. To get there, I will start by writing 500 words every weekday.
Step 3: Find Helpful Resources & Tools
Rising early – I’ll be using a couple of strategies from Leo Babauta’s Most Successful Techniques for Rising Early. The wake-up light me and Lisa got for Christmas will also be a big help here.
Exercise – The 7 Minute Workout.
Reading – Audible.
Step 4: Design Your Environment
Rising early – Having my journal next to my bed so I can start each day by writing down a couple of things I’m grateful for as well as what would make this day great. For more ideas on this, check out The 5 Minute Journal.
Meditation – I’ll have my meditation cushion (which is really just a sofa cushion) nearby. I’ll also make sure to store my earphones in a particular place and have my cell phone charged when it’s time to use the Headspace app.
Exercise – Workout clothes and yoga mat nearby and a music playlist to get me PUMPED!
Reading – For this one, I’ll move the Audible app to the primary screen on my phone and move or delete competing apps. I’ll also have a great book right next to my bed.
Writing – Setting Scrivener to automatically launch when I start my computer. Removing all distractions from my desktop. Using Inbox Pause to stop email and have my phone in ‘Do not disturb’ mode until 9 am when I’m finished writing for the day.
Step 5: Get Accountability
I’ll be using coach.me to track the progress on all of my habits. Every Friday, I’ll go through the stats for the past week in a weekly review and send all of my results to my accountability partner Niklas.
Step 6: Create Your Rewards & Consequences
Niklas and I are working on a plan for how to make each other pay for our failures. That is, if I don’t reach my goals for a given week, Niklas will have to do something unpleasant and vice versa. This is a very clever strategy I learned from Leo Babauta that I suspect will be even more powerful than committing to a consequence yourself. It’s one thing to have to pay for your own failure, but being the cause of someone else’s misfortune is so much worse. Let me know if you have any (moderately) sadistic ideas for this challenge and we might just put it to use. 🙂
As for rewards, I’m planning on putting together a ‘token economy system’. This is a pretty clever strategy I plan on writing about soon that is very similar to the gold stars you might have been getting in school when you did something good. The idea here is that I’ll be able to trade in these tokens for fun rewards. I’ll get back to you when I have this system completely nailed down.
Step 7: Schedule It All
Finally, I’ve put all of these habits into coach.me as well as my calendar. My days will look something roughly like this:
6 am — Wake up & do my morning routine (journaling, exercise, stretching, cold shower, meditation).
8 am — Write at least 500 words.
9 am — Coaching.
10 am — Business related tasks.
11 am — Lunch, reading and nap.
13 am — Study.
16 am — Errands.
Hopefully, this post has given you some practical ideas and inspiration to start working on some goals and habits of your own in 2016. If so, I highly recommend you join the Selfication community and download your free copy of The 2016 Goal Setting Workbook. There’s no better time to act then when the inspiration is high!
As a side note, I do realize that I have an unusual amount of freedom when it comes to deciding what to do with my time. This is something I’m very grateful for and that I’ve put in a lot of work to make happen. But even if your schedule is packed with much more obligations than mine, that doesn’t mean you can’t create some big change in your life this year.
If you only have time for one habit, that’s a perfectly fine place to start. Pick the number one habit you think will be most likely to spill over and create positive change in all areas of your life, start small, and focus on showing up every day. As Anthony Trollope once said:
“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.”
Create this small change now and in a year, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come!