It happens to all of us. Something kicks us up the bum and we realize we need to change. It could be a big event looming (for me it’s my engagement party) or it could just be a realization that we can’t keep going down this path.

So, we make the changes, make a plan, do it, and get results. Right? Of course not. It’s never that easy. Most of us struggle with making our goals a reality. It takes dedication, which doesn’t come easily, especially when life can get on top of you.

As a bit of a self-development junkie, I’ve been reading a lot about discipline, achieving goals, and being kinder to myself. You CAN achieve all of your goals, and it’s easier than you thought.

Stop putting in so much effort

One thing you need to remember is the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule. Essentially, it means that 80% of the effects have a 20% cause. For example, 80% of the world’s wealth is owned by 20% of the population. 80% profit comes from 20% of customers. Following this principle, 80% results must come from 20% effort.

Often we think that we need to put 100% effort into every area of our lives. This can leave us feeling burned out and with too many plates in the air. The opposite is true! The Kaizen method builds on this a little bit, in order to be your best self, you need to improve yourself by just 1% every day. For example, set yourself a small fitness goal today, and improve it by 1% tomorrow. Ten squats today becomes eleven tomorrow.

Get rid of decision fatigue

The more decisions you make in your daily life, the more tired your brain becomes. You probably spend a lot of time making decisions at work, and decisions about what meals to prep, what clothes to wear, which restaurant to go to. At a certain point, your brain will be pretty much incapable of making good decisions. You must have noticed that at a certain point in the day you’re like, “Whatever man, just pick something.”

To stop this, keep your life as SIMPLE as possible. You can’t eliminate the number of decisions you have to make at work, but you can simplify the ones you can control. That’s why improving by 1% every day is actually a much smarter way of succeeding. Doing something a tiny bit harder turns it into a chain. Imagine it, day one you’re doing one push up, by day thirty you’re doing thirty. You don’t want to stop that chain and miss day thirty-one do you?

Use your journal

Tim Ferris calls journaling ‘caging the monkey of the mind’. You need to do this if you want to make things happen. Writing down all the thoughts in your head will clear some valuable space in your head and help you get things done. Depending on your goal you’ll need to get a planner that supports you. If you want to get fit, get the Fit Is The Sh*t planner. If you prefer to work with a little more freedom, try The Master Plan.

You can even plan your days hour by hour with the Goals 2019 Year Diary. There’s a planner, notebook, or diary for every type of plan you need to create. You need to make sure you’re using it correctly, though. Which means, checking in with it every single day. Starting solidly and being realistic with your tasks and what you expect from yourself.


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Featured photo: Rupi Kaur