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Human curiosities: Why we avoid our #1 priority

I love areas of life where everyone nods along, saying “Yeah! Duh, that’s so obvious”…but then doesn’t actually do it.

I gotta admit, I’ve talked a big game about things being important to me…but I didn’t actually DO ANYTHING about it. For example, I used to talk about wanting to stop being so skinny, but I didn’t actually work out.

I used to talk about growing my business, but I did everything EXCEPT the one thing that would help me really grow it: learn how to manage people.

It was almost as if talking about it was all I needed to do. “I want it…isn’t that enough??”

“No, dumbass.” I wish someone had said that to me. (Tweet this)

Follow Ramit Sethi on Twitter for self improvement adviceFollow me on Twitter for more business advice

In fact, once I started working out, I thought I was done. Where are my muscles?? I didn’t actually change my diet — FOR YEARS. God, I hate myself.

How I went from being a skinny Indian kid to lifting a lot of weight - self improvementFollow me on Instagram

I’ve been thinking about how most of us have ONE AREA OF LIFE that we desperately want to improve.

Just one. You know what it is for you.

Maybe it’s your job, or your relationship. Maybe it’s being overweight. Or going bald.

We know it. We think about it every single day of our lives. Yet few of us take the steps to do anything about it. Is it too scary to start?

For example, one of my friends is a woman in her mid-30s who wants a serious relationship. So I set her up with a great guy I know. They both liked each other’s photos and were texting all week. Boom! Ramit the Matchmaker! The guy planned dinner for Saturday night with her.

She flaked 3 hours before dinner!!!!!

Hey, maybe something came up. Whatever. The date doesn’t matter…but if this happens 2 or 3 times — if you cancel, or you’re “too busy” — what does that say about how serious you really are?

In fact, if you’re really serious about being in a relationship, shouldn’t it be one of your top priorities?

To take it even further, if your #1 goal is to be in a serious relationship, how much time should you be spending each week? 2 hours? 5 hours? 20 hours?

This makes people really uncomfortable because a lot of us have been raised to want things to “just happen” — not to do the work to get them.

This isn’t just about relationships. It’s about the thing you find yourself talking about, complaining about, but you can’t seem to make real progress towards.

Bonus: Want to start a business but don’t have an idea? We’ve created a massive list of 30 successful online business ideas that you could start this weekend. Get your copy now.

Here’s my take on what making something a TOP PRIORITY looks like:

  • You’re spending 5 hours/week (minimum) on it. For top performers, up to 50+ hours/week.
  • You’re making progress every week. You might not be getting RESULTS every week, but you’re moving forward.
  • You’re actively turning down other opportunities so you can focus on this. (For example, I spoke to a group of guys in a high-level mastermind. They plan their vacations around their bi-monthly calls so they never miss one.)

Me and Chase Jarvis - self improvementWatch the 1:19:20 video on psychology, time management, and life

You can tell if something’s a priority by looking at your CALENDAR and your SPENDING. (Tweet this)

If you’re spending TIME and (optionally) MONEY on something, it just might be a priority. If you’re not, forget about it.

Let me show you 2 examples from my life:

Example 1: I want more opportunities for I Will Teach to be in the press, so I schedule at least 2 coffee meetings with journalists, every week.

How I manage my calendar to prioritize meeting with journalists - self improvement

Example 2: I made the strategic decision to focus on GrowthLab, our new site on launching and growing your business. To do this, we closed one of my favorite programs, Ramit’s Brain Trust. This decision cost us millions of dollars, but it was the right thing to do.

Simplifying and prioritizing allows you to focus on what’s most important to you - self improvement

(Btw, I’m writing an in-depth look at the decision to close this million dollar product. Look out for it in a couple weeks.)

Notice the resistance that instantly flares up in our mind. “Well Ramit, just because I don’t have 50 hours a week, or millions of dollars to throw away, doesn’t mean I’m not serious! It’s easy for you — you have a successful business!”

Nobody’s saying you have to spend 100 hours/week on some priority.

The real psychology here is that MOST OF US WANT RESULTS TO “JUST HAPPEN” to us.

Some dude wants a 6-pack in theory, but doesn’t actually want to change his workouts/diets to achieve it.

People want a great relationship to just fall out of the sky. Multiple generations have been raised on Disney movies to expect the love of their life to simply “find them” instead of putting in the work to improve themselves. It doesn’t feel as “natural” if you had to work for it — putting time on your calendar or actively going out to meet people. Better to just wait until the right person comes along!

Real talk: You have one area in life that needs your full attention.

Maybe it’s saving/investing money, maybe it’s finding a job, maybe it’s losing 50lbs, or starting a business, or finding a girlfriend/boyfriend, or learning to be more socially skilled.

Let’s all get honest about what that one thing is. Let’s acknowledge it’s going to take work and put time on our calendars.

Spend the time and money to solve it. If you make it a priority, you can achieve magical results in less than one year.

My question for you: What are you making a priority this year? How are you spending time and money to make it happen?

Tell me in the comments below.

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Something I observed with myself with why I never reached my big goals in the past: Overthinking/Overestimating what would happen when I reached them.

E.g. “If my product is too good and too successful, I’m going to ship hundreds of packages and that sounds like a pain in the ass. So I’m not going to make it.”

As you would say, “You should be so lucky to get that many orders”

This year, two priorities:

1. My Relationship – Building my business ate up so much time and affected my relationship. I made it a point to put my relationship with my gf high on my list. We schedule dates now on google calendar, and I’ve created a sub-savings account JUST for dates.

2. My fitness – Working on my business took a toll of my health too. I now have gym time scheduled everyday so I don’t have to think about if I need to go to the gym or not. I also have accountability partners and track my progress through photos and Apple health app.

Dude, I’m right there with you. It’s so easy to let those things slip. My better half and I also started scheduling a weekly lunch date/checkin time to keep us a priority. Sounds cheesy but it’s great. :)

Awesome Sara! I agree, at first it sounds weird to schedule dates with your partner. But what’s the alternative? Forgetting and ruining your relationship!

Jonathan Vaudreuil

My online business, which I put off until recently because I felt pained knowing I was going to make a huge shift. New site, new url, different content approach, everything. I did next to NOTHING for 2-3 months! Now I’ve dedicated certain hours during the week to research, content, and outreach, then time every Sunday for bigger things that need my dedicated attention and focus to get done. It’s only been a few weeks so far, since I’ve stuck to it I’m on a roll I and don’t want to stop.

Personal life – I’ve refocused my fitness goals. I’ve carved out time for meditation and flexibility training. I decide what I’m going to adjust, change, add and/or subtract one month in advance and then make sure I figure out how to do that before the next month begins. Seeing results keeps me excited about doing it, even when I wake up in the morning and think “oh I don’t want to do that again”.

What have I given up? Dedicated focus on improving at guitar. This is a HUGE thing for me to give up, I spent a bit of time in 2016 getting better. I still play a few times a week, however I can’t dedicate time to it every day and still get everything done in terms of business and fitness. I know as long as I keep up playing a few times per week that when I can dedicate more time to it I won’t have regressed and I should be able to improve rapidly.

“Ever see a guy who has muscles that are clearly too big for his bone structure?” Tell tale sign he is on the gear… Ramit! Dude, your face is puffy with fat, but you have bulging arms and traps? Doesn’t add up bro. Scam artist of the year award goes to…

“People can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves.” Guess it’ll be too incredible to anyone till they do something like what you have done and experienced a result that also seems too incredible to them…

Thank you for the compliment. I notice you went anonymous instead of using your real name. Interesting.

Try training with me for 1 hour and we’ll see how if you can keep up.

I’ll train with you for a week in the weight room plus give you free Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/grappling lessons.
Plane ticket from Melb, Aus on you though? :p

Ramit on the gear? Are you serious? He obviously knows how to eat for mass and lifts HEAVY weights to add the bulk. You’re not very good at spotting gear-heads if you think he is. Or are you just fake-trolling? That would make more sense 😉

Overcoming fatigue is my #1 goal. Without achieving this goal, I truly won’t get anything else done. Here are my two most important action steps:

1. Correcting my breathing. Whenever I’m at the computer, I play a breath timing track on my iPod to slow my breathing to a speed that generates energy through moving fluids through my body as though I were exercising. The premise here is that breathing can reduce the stagnating effects of a sedentary life. I’ve been working on breath training on and off for five years, so now it’s automatic enough that I can type this comment while maintaining slow breathing with the audio track. This week I’m focusing on remembering to play the track while sitting and working.

2. Integrating primitive reflexes. Every day I complete a series of exercises intended to keep my brain from losing the reflexes we integrate in the first years of life. The exercises are based on the premise that after age 40 we can lose that integration and over time return to the level of brain function of an infant. I’ve been working on this since September 2016.

I’ve been working on a third action step for the past two years: meditating with an audio track for twenty minutes twice a day. This has become a solid part of my routine.

Hey. Thank you for sharing your approach. I am really interested in point 1 and point 2. Can you tell me more about both? What audio track do you use for correcting breathing and what is the name of those exercises you have mentioned?

I always say I want to be a better artist. It’s something I’ve just said man, I want to do that. This year I am commuting to make regular drawing study a habit. Something that is part of my everyday life.

To do that, I’ve had to say no to something that has been a part of my whole life: video games. I could never find the time to draw, and yet, when a new game releases, I put in 20-30 hours a week. Huh? I used to justify it as relaxation time, but if I” honest, I was just running scared.

Great post Ramit, so true and I can totally back you up on this! I’m making getting an online business up and running a massive priority. I’ve wanted more freedom and flexibility in my life for a long time and I bought the ZTL course in April 2016 but didn’t make it a priority. That has changed. I have quit my full time (well paid) job and have taken a part-time job so that I can dedicate more time to completing the course. This was a huge decision for me but I knew that if I kept on with my job or took a similar one I’d never take the plunge and dedicate the time and effort that’s needed to change my life. This was a huge decision for me, I don’t have hundreds of thousands in the bank and I have a 2 year old son and partner to support. But sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take ten steps forward.

Jessica Feliciano

For me, it’s earning $10k-$20k on the side this year. I’ve been doing this with a combination of flipping items on eBay and growing my freelance business. (I’ve acquired three new clients so far and when I’m not working on client projects, I send upwork proposals every day).

I’ve also only been spending money on flipping items and saving the rest from my day job income.

It’s been busy for me, but it’ll be worth it in the long term.

From what I’ve been paid on so far (not including pending payments) I’m at $220 in sales already (I’m only focusing on top line revenue this year). I have a long way to go, but I’ve been picking up steam

I have three big goals:

1. finish getting out of credit card debt. I started this journey in April of 2014. I make regular calls to my credit cards and use your scripts to negotiate lower interest rates and other perks. I am on track to be out of credit card debt by the end of this calendar year!

2. really focus on my operatic singing career. I made a “2017 resolution” to stop self sabotaging. Part of my pact I made with myself includes at least 1 audition a month, at least 1 lesson a month with my teacher or meet 2 times in the month with my pianist. I made an “audition bag” that is a garment bag packed with a clean audition outfit, my audition binder of music for the pianist, a check book, audition shoes, a hairbrush and makeup bag, and a folder of current headshots and resumes. This way I am always ready for an audition (I have been late to auditions in the past looking for a shoe)– I’m not allowing something as simple as wardrobe to prevent me from performing my best in an audition.

3. This one is really scary and intimidating and embarrassing to admit– I am a hoarder. I’m not as bad as people on the tv shows, but it is something that affects my every day life, my ability to have the social life I want (I can’t have friends over without tons of notice), and I’m sure it affects my health as well. I have been going to therapy to work on myself and the issues that cause me to hoard for about two years now and I have started working on clearing out the hoard. When I try to tell people how hard this is, without fail everyone always says “doesn’t it feel great to get rid of things?!”. I want to scream at them that nothing about this feels great. Every little stupid thing that I throw away hurts– I get how irrational it is, but the truth is, it really really hurts. I know that it will continue to hurt, but I want this to be the year that I embrace the hurt and continue to do it any way because I know rationally its what I need to do to have the life I want.

Julie, I have a friend who is a hoarder. I avoid going to his house because I find it alarming. If I bug him enough about it, he will “churn” his things. That means he just moves things from side to side but it’s all still there. I am not sure, but I have a thought that he keeps things because he is lonely, and the things are substitutes for companionship. Of course who wants to visit a person who lives that way, so no wonder he is lonely. He takes care of the sanitation aspect of life, thank goodness, but an entire four bedroom house is wall to wall and floor to ceiling with his “valuable” possessions. His living space equals about 100 square feet, where he has alleyways from his bed to the bathroom to the kitchen sink. I’m not sure why I’m writing this since I try not to think about his revolting house. Thanks for reading.

Julie!
You have chosen three HUGE goals. Congratulations, as they all require emotional strength— sometimes by the minute. Hugs on the pain of parting with things in number 3 and the courage to include it here, … many will never understand. It is not the ‘rational’ part of your brain that causes this. Try removing ( 5? 8?) items a day out of your home….. every day. (more than what comes in.) It is incredibly similar to weight loss. Do it first thing and you are FREE the rest of the day. RECORD it in excell, so you can SEE it and CELEBRATE, your releasing that bit of pain. It is unhealthy (and usually unsustainable) to let go of 100 extra pounds in weight in three months, same for removing extra items you are holding onto too. Make it a habit to do it first and then let go of it to focus on your other goals. You can always increase the speed in six months or so, once doing 8 is ‘too painful’. You are right, it will likely not feel ‘great’ to let things go…but it can feel great to celebrate your actions. Hope this helps and not hurts.

Hey Julie I see you are a singer are you in the Zero to Launch FB group?

My goal has been to get my health in order. Every year, same goal. I haven’t been doing nearly enough, and barely 5 hours / week, perhaps on rare occasions. I allow myself to become bogged down by the mundane aspects of life, like shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning. When I do work on a goal, I almost always forget to reward myself, or just give myself a pat on the back for it.

I have decided to join a support group with a professional coach, but it’s mid february and I haven’t done it yet. Sigh…

sagar kumar sunny

MY #1 goal to this year.. don’t make any excuses and to earn $2000-5000/per month from my online business.
my only one problem was that i was not financially free to take step faster. but i have started a business offline to support my financial need and at least i have some money to invest in my online business.
i have spend $1200 dollar this year to learn digital marketing so that i can do my startup work by myself. i am spending only 10 hours/per week and not to much dedicated to my online business right now because i need to focus on my offline business for two to three month.
after that i will hire a manager to handle my business.
so that i can give 100% of my time to my business. maybe 40-50hr/per week
and i will spend on every thing no matter what is cost to me if it will help me to archive my target i will go for it.
i know i am different and my voice is also different. the way i talk is understandable for my friends easily.
i have helped my some friends about how they can start their own business. and some of them has already started.
but when it’s come to me i don’t know why i am not able to apply in my case.
maybe i am to scared to take risk ….
so i need someone how to be more confident first
second i know what to right and what would be my paid material but how to right and how will i earn ..i don’t know …so i will spend on it to learn faster
i will tell you the truth ramit….
i have been following you from October 10 2015 and if i wanted to start business i would be on another level
but if i am not started that is only my fault
i knew i was making excuses to avoid that i am the guilty if i am not doing anything…
so this year my #1 goal to stop making excuse and focus on what i wanted always

For the past four years I ‘ve found myself hoping from business to business and no w this 2017 I like to focus on my network marketing business.
My first priority.

My problem is that my loyalties are split. I still want to make a go out of the online vocal coaching business I’ve been wittering on about for so long, mostly so that once I’ve front-loaded the work, I’m not tied to a location or desk and can concentrate on my true passion, which is becoming a full time professional musician.

My first priority at the moment is to check out a full guide to MailChimp so I can set up mailing lists for both my coaching and my bands. I’m focusing on this first step because looking any further ahead gives me The Fear (especially WRT technology).

I’m spending time and money rehearsing and performing, and will hopefully be releasing at least two albums, possibly more, this year. I’ll also be spending time setting up my website, continuing to coach my 1:1 students, and recording training videos, among other things.

This sounds like a lot. It reminds me of students who try to take on too much and end up giving up on everything. I recommend you simplify it down, get clear on what you want, and start building the skill of saying No.

My #1 goal and priority this year is to change careers and get hired as a junior web developer. I’ve been putting off the required time and focus for well over 2 years where I ended up haphazardly taking courses and barely committed the time to actually code. I’ve had to re-evaluate what I am doing and have decided to spend my mornings and evenings coding during the week as well as dedicate a serious chunk of time on the weekends. It’s not easy to say no to other I want to do like improving my social skills or starting a YouTube channel but it’s a trade off I’m willing to do to in order to get great in ONE thing.

Goal-2017 is to create a stronger astrally empowered forces
of highly conscious and self-responsive humane humans,
who gives a damn what’s up about.

Having collected over 45K bright souls into a private Network already.
One gets accepted after extremely hard paid test only because we are
serious as a heart attack by disrupting any given malicious event to
transform it into one with a positive outcome instead.

Because we know how to stop all this bloody religious-political nonsense.

We got tired from the ignorance of our own politicians.
So, we are taking a real life actions from 2015 autumn.

1. employing an innocent symbol of a rose pig to #PigTerrorism–
because the rose color is proven making the life more optimistic.

2. trolling certain responsible govs to make them mad at
themselves and it start showing up our desired results.

3. spying after all probable kamikaze actions & updating local forces.

E.T.C–some actions are “muted” to avoid a hysteria of brainwashed males.
We need all of them to make them ride the rose pigs till our frontiers! Duh.
Pigs even were endorsed by our Universe!

Why?–because none European pig-eater will ever share their full
self-responsibility with rapeugees! Oust.

Whoever you are, feel free to return into your homeland to take care of ur own ass.
Yourself, you see what happens, when you, as the tax-payers missed to revolt
against your govs–it’s the best time to develop your self-responsibility now, folks!

And if no, it’s the same: none will ever take that responsibility for you at all.

Stay where you are, it’s your homeland and it’s exclusively
YOUR responsibility to stop all atrocities, as none else has nothing to do with.

Revise your education, as there’s no way around than to harvest what you seed.

The victory :v: is exclusively after us and the pigs,
because the rose pigs were even endorsed by Universe!
Basta.

And if our local govs ignore their tax-payers the following may & will happen:
1. closing our bank accounts.
2. zero taxes for 2016 will be paid.
3. middle finger salute to all and every anti-humanism.

Then we will see who will win.
Certainly none of those bloody brainwashed idiots!
Amen.

…like a lunatic indeed. I echo Ramit’s “best of luck to you” and amend — in not hurting anyone!

My number one focus this year is saving up an extra $10k on top of everything else to move to Colorado to be a ski bum in September.

Time: This year, I decided to make a 90 day plan. I put my big goals at the top (like my savings goal) and every week I write down what I want to accomplish that will support those goals. Then, I plan my calendar week around those tasks and activities. So far, it’s worked great and it helps me be realistic about what I can accomplish in a week. Like Ramit said in this post, it’s about progress and moving forward, even if you don’t see the results immediately.

Money: With freelancing, I gave myself a raise and have been able to put away around $1k a month for the last few months on top of my other expenses. I had to cut down on some stuff (RIP my Hulu account) and negotiate some of my bills (thank you IWT) to be able to do that.

Other goal (to support my $10k goal): Selling my first product through the blog I started when I took ZTL last year. On top of my freelance work, I dedicate 90 minutes a day to my blog and then a significant chunk of time to write and create content on the weekend.

My number one priority for this year is to REGULARLY produce meaningful content on a personal blog that will help people in their daily lives. I set up a blog using BlueHost and WordPress in November, wrote an article, and then let it sit there. I want to lay the groundwork for an online business, so I spent the last half of 2016 getting out of another business that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing anymore because my heart wasn’t in it. With this newly created space, I’m going to set myself up on a calendar for at least 1 hour per day (to start) devoted to working on my blog so I don’t just write an article here and there and lose momentum. Starting with some bite-sized pieces that will be manageable for now…..

Purchased ZTL at the end of 2015, JLD course with great info on podcasts and video formats, now I have space to start digesting the info and taking baby steps into creating an online business :)

My #1 goal this year is to have a side business that generates a minimum of $1000 a month in income. If I look deeper behind the goal, my REAL goal is to have the freedom that comes along with making more money. (Not being as stressed about bills, etc)

First… Health! Spending *money* on a weight loss program that promotes long term habit changes, a trainer for strength exercise, yoga studio classes, occasional meal prep service and massages. Spending *time* exercising, cooking and creating a weekly plan for these things!

Second… career! *Money* spent on career coaching and Ramit’s how to talk to anyone course. *Time* spent every week informational interviewing, researching companies, attending tech bootcamps, talking to lots and lots of people.

Third… getting out of my comfort zone. Scheduling and following through on a new activity every month.

Essentially paying for expert help, seeking lots of quality advice and making the time to achieve the things I want. So far it’s really paying off. :)))

Excellent. You can always spot a top performer by how much they’re willing to invest in themselves. Not just money, but time and commitment. Well done.

My priority this year is growing my business into a profitable entity through my new website, I Have A Dream Board, which teaches you how to Achieve your Personal and Professional Goals through creating Dream Boards.

This month, I will grow my email list to 100 subscribers by February 28, with a target of 1000 subscribers by December 1, 2017. I spend time each day reaching out to friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers in strategic ways to garner their interest. As I continue performing research on my avatar customer, I will develop products and services to address their needs and wants.

Wish me luck! :-)

Good. I like the goal — but think bigger. Aim bigger than 1,000 by December. Depending on your traffic and the amount of time you spend, you should be aiming for 5,000 at a minimum. And possibly much higher.

I just love how to the bone you are with your comments. It’s very easy to get pulled into moaning about a problem (especially when you get caught up in it with friends – birds of a feather flock together and all that), rather than taking habitual action toward changing. Our body and mind is programmed for the route of least resistance, so growth and progress takes active effort – but then, there is no other way, you’re either growing, or your dying!

My main goal at this moment in time is to build the email list of my website http://www.curiouslyyou.com with people who will find the most value from the content. Each and every work day I am focused intently on taking steps to achieve this, sometimes I drift off during the day, but I shake myself up, and bring myself back again to this target – because this is what I need to do.

Thank you once again and as always for your great insights!

I have an awesome son of four years all and hi is the most importa all time.
My priority is to improve my English and start my own business.

Jason Manning

I’m working on Ramit’s ‘both/and’ strategy. I’m working on my side hustle (Earn 1K) 10 hours a week while working on a massive career change (Dream Job). 2017 is a huge adjustment of priorities, audited my time and realized that I was spending HOURS every week watching TV. Total waste of my time and time suck on my real priorities.

Thank you Ramit for your awesome article.
I have to thank you for having learned from you the all-round mentality of top performance, not just in one sector.
I was a real top performer at school and university, I held the speech for my year at the university degree ceremony, but low perfomer in social skills with big consequences on dating.
I improved little by little for years with trial and error, then finally buying books and asking for help. Now I teach personal growth at universities and firms for many years but I was not happy with my corporate job, my appearance, my dress style, my skinniness and the woman I was in relationship.
So I started asking women help to choose better clothes, I started attending salsa dancing glasses, shaving my balding hair, going out regularly.
I started studying yours contents and Altuchers’ and began my “freelance on the side” and accumulated savings, then 2 years ago I left the corporate job and my relationship.
Just after that I got ill, the doctor said it was a chronic condition with nothing to do, but I started studying the desease, I suspended my work for three months to concentrate on health, I spent 50+ hours studying, changed my diet and habits and started muscle training and eating more, like you suggested to bulk up.
When I discovered this health condition one year ago I would not imagine that after just one year I would have surprised my physician by showing lab tests of remission + bulk up 12 lbs + become member and co-owner of an international energy start up + dating life the best of my entire life.
Ramit and Altucher contents really work if you follow it with the psychology of top performance

Love it Ramit,
Actually I have my priorities written down. Top two are:

1) Fitness goals: 10 clean pushups, 5 handstand pushups, 5 one legged squats, reach 70kg or 18% bodyfat.
What I’m willing to put in: Going to the gym three times a week, eating healthy throughout the day (more or less), work on my habit to eat garbage in the evening (hardest part).

2) Busines goals: Launch two online courses this year and grow my business to >2000€/month (50-80% passive income)
What I’m willing to put in: 25 hours of focused and concentrated work each week, every course/programm that helps me get better and that I can afford.

My rule regarding programms that help me grow my business: If I can afford it I buy it.

I’m going to improve my social skills. I took an improv class and bought an online course so now I need to actually get out there and meet more people and make more social connections.

Good. Try to get more specific with your goals. For example, you’re going to talk to the barista every morning. What are you going to say? How are you going to make people feel?

Anamaria URUENA MELO

My goals for 2017 are to develop my location independent (online) business which I already started doing (not as fast as I thought I would) and losing weight/get in shape which I also started doing by eating healthier and exercising three times a week (for now). I’m pretty excited and I hope I can continue to doing this and see some real results by June/July. Btw, great post!!

Melanie Friedson-kotcher

I’m making it a priority this year to launch my business and do it in a SMART way. I’m not going to avoid the tough parts that feel uncomfortable, I’m going to dive in and embrace them so that I’m focusing on the right things to propel myself forward. This article reminds me of Eric Adams’ article on luck – maximizing chance opportunities and expecting good things to happen are top performing mindset attributes (rather than thinking all the hard work is a “waste of time” because nothing will pan out).

Great Post Ramit!

This is really an interesting topic and I see evidences everyday, that people are not putting enough (if any effort) to make their dreams reality. Actually, I frequently catch myself avoiding the most uncomfortable and usually the most necessary actions to achieve my main goal (which is btw escaping 9-5 routine to open and grow my own business). I already identified the reason why – THE FEAR (the sum of several fears I have)! Since the last year I’ve been working hard in order to change this unbearable situation, but I was punched in my stomach by following dilema: how to pursue my goal, while I still need to keep “normal” job in order o pay bills, I need to have a decent rest (at least 7h of sleep) and practice some sports in order to think clearly and most important, I do not want to abandon family (my wife and my kid) by concentrating only on myself and my goals and not spending quality time with them. Any advice? Most probably you’ve already face similar dilema…
Thanks,
Artur

You don’t need advice. I’ve been writing advice on this for 12 years.

You also should know that acknowledging the fear is good — but it’s not enough. Anyone can admit their problems. It’s up to you to fix it.

My main focus is relationships: work, personal, family, etc.

I’very joined several new classes/sports so I’m out meeting new people and making new friends. I’m trying to expand beyond my usual network to meet people who have similar interests: particularly those not fulfilled by my usual friend group (like sports).

I’m also investing in more networking opportunities for my career- as an artist I’ve put off film festivals or shows unless it’s something for ME. But the best time to meet people is when there’s nothing on the line and you can just enjoy yourself.

Great post Ramit. Not everyone will get it but those of us who see value in this will get it. For 2017, I am planning on increasing my income by asking for what I am worth. I am at the low end of the scale for my position and I am using your tips on getting more money. I have already scheduled a meeting with my Program manager to discuss my compensation. I am also working on growing my instagram followers and I am beta testing a Mastering Instagram course being taught by a successful instagrammer who liked my photos and decided to connect with me. I am going through the course and providing feedback on what is working and not working.

I’m making health and fitness a priority – specifically that by May 11th (my best friend’s bachelor party) I will show up at the beach with visible abs at a weight of below 195 lbs. To achieve this I have joined a crossfit gym ($100/mo) and scheduled classes 3x per week on my calendar. I have arranged with my boss to leave work early on Mondays and Wednesdays to make the 6pm classes on my way home. I also spend Saturday or Sunday afternoon planning and prepping low-carb, healthy meal options for the week ahead. Results so far: down from 221 lbs to 209 lbs since January 1st. Only two workouts missed so far. Not bad, and there’s room for improvement too.

Relationship/Dating.

Last year I met a girl who made me realize I really need to step up my game. I really recognize myself in your “Disney example” — since I didn’t to anything about my dating life.

Honestly I didn’t take any initiatives and went to zero dates for 2 years. I just waited for the right person to magically appear. Things didn’t work out between us and by reading blogs and books from Mark Manson, Tucker Max and Sarah Jones I realize I made a lot of mistakes.

This year I am getting more serious about dating and improving myself to become better a catch. I’ve bought my own apartment (instead of sharing with my brother), started working out more and bought new clothes/improved my style.

Without these lessons from you over the years (about investing in oneself) I don’t think I would have done it. But now I know better. So thank you!

Running.
I’m running a marathon October 1st.
I started back in May and have been running ever since.
September I kicked up my dedication and ran every single day of that month.
Now I run 4 days a week and schedule long runs on the weekends.
When I travel I wear my running shoes and pack a shirt and shorts.
I’ve invested in gear for all weather. Cold no problem, snow no problem, wind, rain, sun, heat, again I’ve got them covered.

Bryan kaplan

This years focus is on starting my online business using ZTL. I’ve committed the funds for this (from savings), and my entire 5-week vacation I am currently on to get through a solid portion of the course material. Looking forward to reaping the benefits as I put the work in.

Well, you totally got me with the Calendar comment.
I am going through ZTL, but I should really be dedicating more time to my blogposts and marketing them!
My Big goal for this year is to grow my website so far that I have like 1000 Bucks a month on the side – so I can easily take a lot of time off when I become a father in July/August :)
Thanks Ramit for kicking my ass once again

What Ramit wrote resonates deeply, “a lot of us have been raised to want things to “just happen” — not to do the work to get them.” So its time to make the change and switch our thinking to be fully accountable to ourselves. We deserve it.
1. Focus on Self Care: Implement S.A.V.E.R.S. (a kick ass morning routine) from the book Morning Miracle to jump start the day. Create an evening routine (i.e. yoga, meditation) to fully relax.
2. Keep Reaching Small Goals: Break down big goals into bite sized ones by staying organized with a planner and calendar to stay on track with my ZTL and Etsy businesses.

Priority 1. Have my diet and training on point. When my mind and body are working beautifully I have the confidence, focus, determination, belief and energy I need to be able to succeed in any area of my life. What I also need to do is ensure that my training and diet are not all consuming, as per the past when I have been 100% committed to competition (it was an elite level and I was coming from behind, hence the need for an obsessive diet and training schedule) at the expense of everything else; money, relationships- you name it I neglected it.

Now it’s time to be committed to training AND my ZTL business.

I know that I have something really special to offer people and it’s time for me to stop hiding in the shadows of perfection (fear masked as I’m not good enough) and take consistent action on my online business.

Thank you Ramit, a piercing post that cuts straight through the crap and right to the truth. I love you for this. Thank you as ever for your expertise in psychology as well as your wisdom in business.

Respectfully,
Claudine

P.S. Tony Robbins says to never set a goal without taking immediate action- so I’m going to email your support team right now to sign up for Accelerator. I know it’s the accountability I need to take action consistently with ZTL and to make my online business a success.

Priority 1 – Health
I spent the last year unsuccessfully losing weight by putting on 10kgs. This has made it harder to complete but it is still very doable. I have the ultimate goal of completing a 100 mile ultramarathon which requires me to be in the best shape of my life. Currently my training is consistent, but my diet is not. A lot of my diet is healthy. Unfortunately there are enough bad decisions to impede my progress. For this year, I prioritize my health by going into work late so I can fit my morning workout in, or leaving work early so I can food prep for the upcoming days.

Priority 2 – Start a business and generate $10,000
I purchased ZTL and Earn1K last year, I began working on it, then I let fear and anxiety get the better of me which stopped me making any progress. Now I’m starting again from Module 1, ensuring I spent 30-60 minutes a day either working through the course, doing market research or creating content.

Good. Think about how you can make eating right the default instead of struggling to achieve it every day. Try to make it easier to do the RIGHT thing instead of the WRONG thing.

Definitely Zero to Launch and Earn1k this year. I invest 20 hours a week on these, along with my investments on myself. Books I read, training programs I’m experimenting with, etc. If it comes to it I’ll invest more in the Accelerator program when I get too stuck.

Hey Ramit,

I’ve followed your work for many years and it’s been very helpful, thank you. It’s great that you’ve got important things like habits covered (start by flossing one tooth) and barriers too (leave your gym kit by your bed).

But what if you had figured out how to help people generate the spark of *intrinsic* motivation? That get-up-and-GO motivation that means finding fifty hours week for my project is a no brainer even though I’m already working a sixty hour week (yada yada).

Wouldn’t this help flick the “on” switch for some of us who love the thinking about all this but grapple with the doing of it?

I have some experience of finding where I have this intrinsic motivation but it took me a REALLY LONG TIME to get here. I don’t have the answer to a structured solution to this but it just struck me – and correct me if I’m wrong – that this isn’t in your tool box. Wouldn’t it be awesome for you to have intrinsic motivation covered too?

And let me know if I can help too.

Best,
Jeremy

I like intrinsic motivation, but I believe:

– Motivation follows behavior, not the opposite. That’s why we focus so much on the right behaviors
– It’s difficult to turn a D student into an A student. True in the classroom, even more true outside it
– I’d rather work with people who are motivated, rather than convincing people to get motivated

Great question and thanks for reading

Thanks Ramit for taking the time to comment.

Completely agree it’s much easier to do business with people who are already motivated to act. It just seems like there’s a holy grail product which is the triggering of intrinsic motivation itself.

Perhaps the idea that there are people who are intrinsically motivated to find their intrinsic motivation is just an oxymoronic dead end :). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

I am going to make my online business a top priority. I have not put as much time into it as I should be. I have also let my health sit on the back burner.
I will give up computer games And television and concentrate on advertising as well as training my team.
I have already given up a lot of nonessential items and am ready to give up more.

While I’ve been busy working and improving some areas of my life there are a couple of ‘elephants in the room’ which I’ve been avoiding. I resolve to make these a priority:

1. Romantic relationship – I’ve been focusing on relationships with my kids, family and friends which has been great. However, I have been avoiding a romantic relationship while I was going through a separation and moving countries. I will make this a priority by taking advantage of opportunities where I can meet more people and continuing to self improve.

2. Online business – I’ve been focusing on my consulting business (which requires more face to face contact) so my online business has not advanced (and this will free up more of my time). I resolve to grow this business to the next level ($5000 in revenue per month) by working on my marketing and social media skills.

My 1 top personal projects this year – get my DREAM JOB in a new country:

I cleared my debt, moved to another country to be with my partner, and in the past year when I was in a transition while I waited for my visa to come through, I convinced my boss to let me work remotely. Now is the time to hunker down and do some REAL works as my visa with full work rights come through.

I’m excited, I have near-clarity of what I would love to do and would enjoy doing and I’m approaching people left, right and center to meet for coffee and find out about similar roles or companies I’m interested in. My target is to meet with 30 people – for connecting and for informational interviews. To do this I spend 2 hours every day looking at new contacts and emailing them to request for interviews.

I will work with a coach (whom I met through RBT!) who will keep me accountable and kick my ass if I’m not doing my level best. This will be a monthly commitment.

I’m also volunteering my time and freelancing with small businesses so I can keep my skills sharp and continue to provide value to people. I have weekly calls with 2 clients (1 paid, 1 free) for this.

Any comments on how I can ensure my strategies are specific enough and are contributing towards meeting my goals?

I’m making a priority of Casual Strides, the blog and podcast I launched with my cousin. I put money into a new laptop and a microphone to record podcasts, and I’ve been putting time in working on articles, podcast guest outreach, and marketing for 45-60 minutes before and after work most days, as well as on weekends.

Been “wanting” to start a business for some time and had decided to start focusing the attention and time toward that goal in 2017. Most effective change that I’ve made is identifying at least one small behavioral change per week to move me closer to my goals.

Interestingly, by targeting single changes, I’ve been making progress on other areas as well in addition to the start-up. Once I’ve gotten out of the realm of “want-to” and focused on “action-toward”, I’m seeing more progress!

I am making the building of my online business to six figures top priority this year. The money I have invested in ZTL is representative of my commitment to doing this. I dive into the course material and assignments on a daily basis and I feel I am moving the dial in ways I never have before. This has got to pay off exponentially! I am excited beyond excited!

RELATIONSHIP
I am a very introvert person. It takes me awhile to talk to someone new. I am learning on how to get socially active by reading books and trying to meet people. The thought of meeting new people especially makes me cringe.

Gianni C Colbert

My Two Main Priorities all 2017:

1. Better Financial Management-including credit!
2. Achieving my Bachelors degree in Psychology.

My Priority
Actually I am enjoying my job right now. But I always dream to run my own business. Mainly in the media industry. So this year my priority will be to have my own business show. I am investing my time on it. And I am sure I can make it.

Tola bankole

This year I will launch my own online business in hopes to maximize my earnings.

Ghulam Akbar

Hi Ramit I have been following you since 2015, How I may stick on same goal or ? plan, because I have followed many blogs, they suggest different road maps of online business.

Hi Ramit,

I have two priorities this year. The first one is to start a full-time freelance business on content writing (copywriting and content marketing down the line, and I’m already studying about them from your blogs, emails and from elsewhere!) I’m planning to leave my job and take freelancing full time for 2-months (I’ll buy Danny Margulies’ Upwork FreelancetoWin course so I don’t think I’ll have much problem, rest is up to me.) I’m aiming to be…*ahem*

-a top copywriter some day (Call to Action course OR the Kopywriting Kourse)
-to get commended for my work one day by none other than Ramit Sethi himself (Yeah ok, wishful thinking but that’s the plan and I’ll aiming for nothing less. At least its a worthy aim :) )

The second priority is to get rid of shyness, social anxiety, (How to Talk To Anybody) get into a relationship within a couple of years and settle down.

Melissa Blakeman

Last year I was taking care of my sick grandma, working as a freelance hairdresser and trying to start up a side business. I got really overwhelmed and run down. Turns out I also had some minor health issues that I had been neglecting. This year I vowed to take better care of myself. I’ve been to my doctor and got treatment for my health problems and started a new diet and exercise regime. So far I have lost 20lbs just from reducing my carb intake and doubling my excerise. Hoping to lose another 10-15lbs before the summer. I am sleeping better, have tonnes more energy and finally have the motivation to sort my shit out. Next step is to increase my income and I finally feel that it’s possible now I don’t feel like a sack of crap all the time. Also melbious is my instagram, your picture definitely gave me a much needed kick in the ass that day! Thanks for the inspiration 😙

Peter Bedzrah

My goal for this year’s to
1. Migrate all my novels from draft stage to a book or movie stage.
2. Write five(5) letters every month to funding agencies and benevolent organization to help me start my business.
3. Get myself financially self educated.
4. Topple and build some hobbies.
5. Find a job.
in view of this, I’d decided to spend time on writing and writing skills, studying investment and many more. As for my money, apart from buying writing materials, buying financial books, there’s nothing more to do than to research.

This year I want to focus on the following:

Investment – Any form of saving/making money is welcomed I tried trading in 2016 it was a disaster I lost a lot of money which I didn’t have, was hoping to supplement the peanuts I call my salary.

Health – I want to quit a few bad habits I picked up when I was younger, I quit smoking 11 years ago, this year I want to kick the bottle and go back to the gym.

Relationship – I need a stable partner and stop these casual flings they prove to be very expensive they have tore a huge hole in my pocket

You now what? I open the email where you share this post to quit my subscription. I thought “It’s time” I never read his emails. And then, suddenly I started to read your email. And my mind just blow up! Man is just want I need to don’t give up. I think is not just and area to take care, but if we find the area to focus in, the others will change too. So, Ramit thanks a lot for share your experience and knowledge, your passion to help others to reach their dreams! Now I’m trying to focus on Artvising, one of those ideas rounding my head about how to help others to improve their online presence.

There are many facets of life we need to improve on you’re right. Just focus on the important/priorities, of life that will make you to move from step one to step two, Camilo you sound motivated and you have your target on what you want, whereas I don’t have zero idea of what I want to do but I see myself as an entrepreneur. I hope Ramit will help me with that part

One of my top areas to improve is my social area. I’m on my second year of university and still have no friends, so I decided to focused on it as such a situation affects me quite a bit. I set up strategies, I talk to people, say small comments at least, approach those the people that seem nice, make questions trying to begin a conversation, and even I try to be aware of how I look physically and how I portray myself as trying to look positive and open to people to interact with me or so in any case. I don’t know if I’m putting too much energy on it and it still devastates me or if I’m putting too little on it and is why when I talk with people it doesn’t work much anyway. My goal is to at least have one good friend this semester. Am I limiting myself too much or even being too positive?

My 2 main things are:
-to learn practical spanish
-build 40 pounds of muscle

1. Running
After various health issues, I am trying to become a runner and run my first 10k race this spring; finding out I have foot issues – seeing a podologue, getting inserts made, waking up at 0615 to run an hour 3x per week to reach goal. Plus other exercise to maintain overall conditioning.

2. Work
Already considered a top-performer in Fortune 500 company; aiming to maintain my rating and get 4th salary grade bump in 5 years by the end of 2017. Not all factors within my control due to department/region strategy and staffing, but maintaining an A-game to ensure that I will be considered for more responsibility when the opportunity arises.

3. Finance
More proactive approach to making money grow instead of whining about miserable returns in the stock market.

I would definitely try to gain some weight.. Like the 1st priority.. I really am expecting results without enough actions.. Well, u inspired me Sir! Thanks 😉

This is it–the year I get out of debt. My wife and I have medicals bills piled up from adding children to our family, and it’s time to clear the slate.

To find the time, I’ll be cutting computer gaming back to 1 night a week instead of 4-5.

I need to finish my freaking book! I’ve managed to double my income, star a blog, write for some large and well respected sites, add coaching clients and publish an eBook in the past 18-months. And yet I’ve had this book twirling in the back of my head for years. I start, then stop, then rinse and repeat. And it’s eating at me! I’m going to finish this book in 2017. Done.

Top on my list:

1. Master my habits: further learn and practice in building good ones, cutting bad ones and science behind that.
I lost more than 17 kilos (35 pounds) last year not by setting a goal and pushing myself into it, but by making small gentle behavior shifts almost every day (like bying a less and less junk food or taking a walk instead of public transport). And that’s before I started to educate myself on psychology behind that (James Clear’s site, Ramit’s Success Triggers and free habits guide, Tim Ferris’ books and so on).
When I look back, I’m proud.
But when I look forward, I am happy.
Because I have confidence that the good habits are now with me for life.
So since it worked so well – I apply it to goal 2 and 3.
First improvement for right now – start using google calendar.

2. Keep growing, nurturing and caring about relationships with my wife and family.
Those will be THE calls and meetings in my calendar, not that crap from job.

3. Start my business (and use ZTL dammit!)
Ok, I invested money into ZTL. I made at least 8 hours a week for this.
Time to book that into calendar, increasing amount every week.

Thank you for this. Your emails and message are really encouraging. I’m spinning many plates in the air at the moment and reading your messages helps me to find the focus I need.

For me it’s getting a new job. I had a contract job but that ended. Now I’m freelancing while I look for work. I want to build this as a side project and grow it. I’ve been using a career coach who has revolutionized how I look at and approach job hunting and I’ve already gotten a huge boost in traction.

My other goal is to really invest in our marriage. We got married in August.

Great article and great topic. I am making a goal of 199 (225 now) a priority and this reinforced daily action. Also going to make finding new organic business a daily action item. Thanks Ramit. Reading Tim Ferriss tools of Titans now. What book should I read next?

My priority:
– acquainted with 10 male friends

– understands the psychology of self-image and hypnosis well and practice it in real life (having studied over psycho-cybernetics, my voice will go with you, think and grow rich, how to win friends and influence people)

– to believe myself, my instinct

Goal: to get as far through my CPA as possible in 2017
Time: I’m already in one course, registration for the next course(s) is not available yet. I talked with my wife and we agreed that I would start studying at 8pm in the evening for an hour or so (this is a big deal, we have a 16 month old daughter and bought a new house…I can surely fill the time elsewhere!). So far it’s working ok, might have to adjust but only a tweak not back to the drawing board.
Money: we put $400 per month aside to pay for the courses, after looking at the cost to complete the whole program this will pay for it over two years

I hear you Ramit, it all makes so much sense. But what if our #1 priority doesn’t pay the bills, and we need to say yes to other opportunities and spend less ours on the priority to keep it going? I’m working on building my passion project into a business, in fact a scalable one, this is my priority#1. On the other hand, I need to invest so much time and effort for it to grow seeds and pay me that I can’t not have billable time. I can’t say no to other opportunities that offer a check, otherwise I won’t be able to work on my priority. How do you get out of this situation

Your #1 priority doesn’t have to pay your bills. A lot of people’s #1 priority is family. That’s awesome.

But you also do need to pay your bills. If you can’t, you have a problem. There aren’t any secret solutions here.

If you can’t pay your bills, you shouldn’t be running a business. You should get a job, get financially secure, then you earn the right to explore other options. Not until then.

P.S. Don’t let anyone tell you getting a job is “failing.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting a job. It’s great to work with amazing people, get financially stable, and build skills.

Jon Weisberg

Ramit, great article and this really hits home for me. I purchased ZTL in October and was hung ho the first 3 months. But then I let the stresses of work get in the way and haven’t touched ZTL in thd last month. I work 50+ hour weeks and come home exhausted. BTW, I’m actively looking for new work. I am sick of tired of making excuses. It’s time to once again dedicate myself to my business. But my first priority is using my free time to find a job I really enjoy and improve my sleep and health. In thd meantime commit at least 5 hours to building my online business.

Hey Jon,

You’re not the only one! I signed up for Earn1k then let it slip…no more excuses for either of us.

Try working on things in the morning, instead of after work. That way when you get home exhausted, you’ve already accomplished something for yourself.
If possible, do some kind of work during your commute.
Or don’t, up to you.

My dream Job and my eating healthier!
For some time I’ve been having Trouble figuring out what it is I really want to do professionally. I have a good Job in one of the top Consulting companies worldwide that pays well, so that on this regard, I can’t complain. But it just isn’t what I really want to do. I just don’t burn for it.
A couple of months back, I figured out which direction I wanted to go and realized, there are some skills I need to improve and others that I need to develop to achieve that. Since last year, I’ve been investing more in myself, attending online specialization courses and optimizing the job search. I actually had a very promising interview at the end of last year, however, due to my long notice period, they said, unfortunately they couldn’t wait that long…well, I’ll just Keep looking.

Regarding the eating healthier, after months of talking about it, my wife and I finally started a 30-day program, where you completely Change the way you eat and the main goal is a nutritional re-education. We’re now on day 15 and eventhough it’s sometimes hard, we’ve both already lost some weight and are really sticking to it. I must say, I’m really proud of us for going through with this.

Sahil Shafeeque

great article but I have one problem, as I was watching your interview with Chase Jarvis you talked about how if you want to start a new habit its better to start once a week rather that 3 times a week, I find it very difficult to buy into this idea because of how slow progress will be but at the same time if I do start a habit and schedule to do it, lets say 5 times a week, I don’t follow through. So is my problem just a lack of patience in establishing a consistent habit or something else? Maybe I’m bought into this stupid idea of get rich quick. I don’t even know..

Great post Ramit! Health, Wealth, Self are my three main goals.

Health: Mindfullness (meditation 10min / day), Diet (fruits, veggies, protein every day), Exercise (workout classes + yoga)
Wealth: main income, side hustle
Self: reconnecting with old friends and/or colleagues, forcing myself to meet one new person every time I go to an event, volunteering and giving back to the community on a monthly basis in time and money.
I’ve used your bucket strategy to save 10% of income in a separate savings account to reinvest in myself and make it part of the monthly budget and it’s very encouraging.

I have thought about this in the past. It seems to be quite a recurring issue with most people, from what I can see.

One of my best friends falls into this category, in fact, but if I take a look at my own case, I just might be there too, but it takes a big effort to really judge yourself.

I want to make my online business a priority too. Right now it’s on it’s early stages, but I’m going to see what I can do to make sure it’s not only a priority on THOUGHTS but also a priority on FACTS, and I will see when I can schedule time especially for working on it.

Thanks, surrogate Asian father.

I am going to swim laps for an hour a week.
Doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve been reading RS for awhile and have purchased a couple of smaller courses. I’ve internalized what I’ve read and used it to good results. In most cases, committing to 1X/week will get one to 5X/week faster than committing to 5X/week from the start.
I’ve thought about swimming for months. In December, I called our swim centers and chose where I would swim. Put it on my daily to-do to check out the place. Although I kept moving it to the following week, I still didn’t do it. Work commitments kept getting in the way. Mid-January, I decided to hold myself accountable to a friend. I told this friend my plan. Two weeks in a row, I reported back I hadn’t met the goal of checking out the aquatic center. The 3rd week, I checked out the aquatic center, and it’s a beautiful facility. I couldn’t wait to get started. Bought swim goggles and got my swim bag ready to go. The following week (this week), I swam laps and can’t wait for next week’s lap swim.
In my mind, I knew it would be a chore each week to get myself to the aquatic center and into the pool. What I’ve found, now that I finally got there, is the aquatic center is a joy to go to, I love the meditative mind-set of swimming laps, and after one lap-swim session, physically already I feel more in shape, and getting back into lap swimming was much easier than expected.
The take-aways: 1. Write it on your daily to-do list. 2. Make a commitment to someone else to hold yourself accountable. 3. If it helps, dry-run it first so your first “whatever you’re doing” is now familiar. 4. Get everything you need ready, so you only need to pick it up and go at the appointed hour. 5. Having done all this, it’s easier to “just do it.”
This is a small success. I have bigger, business goals. But having succeeded in this small goal and knowing it will be easy to continue makes it easier to start setting and following through on larger business goals using the same framework.

My number one goal this year is to put my marriage first by scheduling 15-20 hours of dates with my husband. We have added 2 sub-categories to the budget to fund this: childcare and date night. We brainstormed a step by step plan to find childcare in different forms: Parents Night Out, babysitters, school, kids events, etc. As we find events/babysitters, we block out that time on our schedule. For instance, I googled all the churches and kids’ gyms in our area and looked to see if they hosted Parents Night Out. I then put those dates on my calendar as recurring appointments with a 2-week reminder. When the reminder pops up, all I have to do is click on the link in the appointment (because I copied all the pertinent info into the appointment) and sign up. Boom! We have multiple dates per month pre-scheduled on a recurring basis through this method.

Next step: the Great Babysitter Search (in progress).

Mind-opening insight! I just realized this sense of “subconscious entitlement”. Let’s say I’m working hard in one area (work), I still expect things to just happen in other areas (fitness, relationships etc.) naturally. My mind is conditioned to think I am a hard-working person and ignores the fact that I still have to lean in and do the work if it’s a new field.
Not the answer to your question, but felt I had to share and say thank you.

Probs sly too many goals but all under theme of improved mental physical and emotional wellbeing. One aspect of which us increasing freelance do not reliant on boss I don’t respect.
Finally faced that to spend the time I need without giving up so much sleep and sanity need to risk going part time-gulp losing 3/5 of my income. And learning to fly isn’t a priority (different goal) and takes too much time and money so can’t keep pretending I can fit that in too over health and giving self proper fair crack at own business 🙂
Now over fear of giving up income (there is no going back full time) biggest fear is that I won’t use the time wisely and just be ‘prepping’ or ‘resting’ and doing more with son and mum. nothing wrong with those last 2 totally reasonable but as avoidance…

Justin Rhodes

I’ve made starting a business my priority for this year. I finally joined Zero To Launch after years of letting self-doubt hold me back. I’ve already reached out to people I haven’t talked to in ages, in an attempt to find like-minded people. Their responses have been great, and they’ll either become part of my audience or just generally cheer me on. I’ve turned down several invites to go out (which ultimately is bad for an introvert like me), but I did so because that time had already been dedicated to ZTL-related stuff. I’m driven to succeed because my day job is my only meaningful source of income. But I don’t love or hate it. It just bores the shit out of me, and I consider this the worst possible scenario. So this year I’m making a concerted effort to generate an additional source of income so I can diversify “away” from a single income source. I’m still full of self-doubt but it’s becoming less and less powerful than the numbing apathy of my day job.

I have two main priorities this year that will facilitate achieving some other goals: make at least 65k this year and build a speaking platform. The first goal isn’t large but it means that my fledgling business hit a number that I’ve only hit once in the past. The second goal is something I’ve wanted to do for years but haven’t focused on doing. I’ve only spoken here and there at live events but never been paid to speak. That changes this year!

Cindy Nelson

I’m still looking for the answer to the question, “Why do we avoid what we most want?”

Love the Disney movie comment as it is right on the money…. In fact my daughter gets teased by her friends in high school because she has never seen a disney princess movie. At first this bothered her, but now she is proud of that fact :-)

Expanding and improving my social life.

I’ve struggled with some mental health issues and as a result, I lost a lot of friends over the years because I got really good at isolating myself leaving me with very few friends. With isolation came increased shyness and awkwardness which made it even harder to meet people.

I’ve been craving for a great social life to fall into my lap for a few years but of course, it hasn’t happened. It’s all I desired because with a social life and support system back in my life, I knew I’d have the foundation to go out and do other things like exploring men’s fashion, starting an online side business, getting fit, improving career skills etc..

In 2016, I graduated from school, moved back home and got my first full-time job. Since then, I’ve made my social life a much bigger priority and have invested in a group mindfulness course for social anxiety and Ramit’s How To Talk To Anybody course. I’ve also started messaging old friends that I haven’t talked to in a while to hang out after work and looking for events that happening around the city that I could go to.

While I’ve made some good progress so far, I want to keep going and start moving from 1:1 social interactions to group interactions and develop a new core circle of friends with people who actually share the same interests as me. A lot of my old friends were friends because of circumstance, not really because we shared similar interests.

SO much love for this post… It hit home and also, the proverbial nail on the head. 😉

My #1 priority this year {for all purposes} is my health. But when I look at my calendar AND my spending, I don’t see it happening.

Thank YOU for the insight and a-ha moment there.

On the other hand though, my #2 priority is doubling our income and for that, I can see my calendar AND my spending beautifully aligned.
I’ve invested both time and money in attending events later this year to uplevel my skills and meet our ideal clients.
I dedicate time every week on implementing marketing strategies and digging deep into the courses I’ve bought.
So, you’re spot on with the bit about one’s calendar and spending showing one’s priorities… Now to make this happen for my health 😉

Goncalo Hall

My top priority for this year to to launch my business, earn the first money online and move to a nomad lifestyle.

I decided to prioritise health and strength this year to take me to the next 43 years:

1. Fix my sleep apnea which was ruining my health – I learned that my teeth were not aligned well, so I got Invisalign. One of Ramit’s parents’ advice which he used to frequently cite in the early days – In one year, you will be one year older – helped me make the decision to get it, despite my age. The time investment is not that great, but I did need to learn different habits to incorporate the using aligners into my daily routine. After 6 weeks, I noticed a sea change in my energy levels. I can now wake up earlier to…

2. Run – 3 times a week. I also am working on the poor alignment in my body which hindered running as I would always get ankle and knee injuries. I also saw a podologue that explained some congenital issues with my gait, and finally caved in to spend big $ on running shoes (instead of stilettoes!).

3. Improve posture – I joined a circuit training class to up my muscle-building, improve posture and improve strength. This is helping with my shoulder and hip pains and I have the physique of a person 25 years younger. I still fit in my college jeans :)

4. Having more memorable experiences – last year was STUPping, this year will be wakeboarding for summer, and ski harder slopes in winter.

– R.

My top priority is to start a side business and earn $6K in the next 6 months to be able to take my (immediate) family abroad for a big family reunion.

My plan is:
1 – Spend at least 5 hours a week focused on E1K (Step: resume my old habit of pushing up my bedtime, waking up an hour earlier, relaxed routine of calisthenics, tai chi, and coffee, and a half hour of goal setting written down in my daily journal and reading)
2 – Review my journal at the end of each month to see if I am hitting my goals and if my goals are pointed in the right direction.

My two priorities right now are moving ahead in my career and my health. An essential mindset change that has helped me target these two is this: I decided that I could learn to do anything. I can learn to eat more whole foods and less processed, I can learn how to get active, and I can learn how to reduce stress. And with my career, thanks a lot to the resources here from Ramit, I’m learning how to work around my “limitations” (like career history and location) and instead, focus on what I can actually change.

Top priority = Build the website (immediate step) to build the business/ brand (broader scale focus)… Here we go!

In two weeks I’m taking my high school graduation external exams. I would like to get maths and English at least on 90%. I’m spending a great deal of my free time to it every day. However I think I can always do more. We’ll see how it goes.

Thank you for the reminder that
“a lot of us have been raised to want things to “just happen” — not to do the work to get them.”

It reminds me that I sometimes picture a future and may forget to really live at the moment and make effort to reach the future goals without getting disappointed if I do’nt see immediate results.

I will continue to work on my various goals and look at them as long term!

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