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Happy New Year!

Always a good time to reflect on the past year’s actions and short comings and project a year of achievement and success. But there are varied ways to ensure that what you aim to achieve in the coming year actually gets done.

Resolutions don’t work. Habits and systems can.

For this very reason, base your action plan on forming habits that are going to eventually lead you to a more fulfilling life. You have to do the work, start now.

My personal habit creation focus for 2021 is going to be daily active journaling

having a record of what I experience will prove to be a priceless history for myself in the future.

Writing a daily muse of emotions, feelings and thoughts to track and recall your existence. Your commitment in life is reflected, 100%, by the results you’re currently getting. If you were committed to something else, you’d have different results.

What would happen if you FULLY OWNED what you truly want?

Commitment is rare, and thus, so is a genuine and powerful identity.

“Track every action that relates to the area of your life you want to improve. All winners are trackers.”

— Darren Hardy

When you are committed to a specific result you will track the actions that lead to that outcome.

Wisdom/What I'm Reading...

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

by Charles Duhigg

This is a great read, explicit in its explanation of how some companies and people get so much done whilst others lack.

Duhigg is an exceptional story teller.

He looks at the numerous ways that people can become more effective, whether in improving motivation, setting goals, making decisions or thinking creatively.

Smarter Faster Better tells deeply researched stories from professionals around the world to show you how to do what you're already doing in a better, more efficient way, by focusing on decisions, motivation and the way we set goals.

These tips and tricks, if cultivated in daily processes, will be sure to benefit your motivation to execute ambitious goals.

When we believe we are in control of our actions we push ourselves harder to achieve our goals. One sure way to ensure we are in control is to make positive decisions.

“Once people know how to make self-directed choices into a habit, motivation becomes more automatic.”

Firstly, label every action to remind you of the eventual goal or objective. This will keep you motivated even though the particular task may be mundane.

Set ambitious stretch goals that seem audacious, these will motivate you to reach greater heights.

Break these into SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

For example, If you want to run a marathon; start with running 2 miles, set up a weekly running schedule which will articulate your specific distances and frequency of runs culminating in peak performance before the actual race.

Building mental models on how our lives are going to unfold is extremely important. We all tell ourselves stories about what is going to happen, some of us are more illustrative than others and hence are able to design a more distinctive and meaningful life for the future.

Our imagination focuses our attention on our intention. Making good decisions is based on how well we envisage the future. The more clear our thinking the more accurate the reality.

Duhigg suggests that automation has a significant effect on our ability to focus. He explains that technology has become such a fundamental part of our lives and automation has become so ingrained that our subconscious decides what can be ignored and what we need to pay attention to. However, Duhigg explains that the more automation introduced into our lives, the more we risk our attention spans failing us.

”If you need to improve your focus and learn to avoid distractions, take a moment to visualise, with as much detail as possible, what you are about to do.

It is easier to know what’s ahead when there’s a well-rounded script inside your head.”

Key takeaways

  • You can’t rely on someone else to tell you what to do or to motivate you.

  • Motivation is a skill

  • In order to motivate yourself, you need to feel as if you are in control of your own life and your own actions.

  • Teams are incredibly important.

  • It doesn’t matter who is on the team, what matters is how the team works together.

  • It’s important that team members feel psychologically safe and that everyone understands their own individual role.

  • It’s really important to learn how to focus.

  • Unfortunately, automation can be a hindrance to our ability to focus.

  • Cognitive tunnelling occurs when you are focused on the immediate task at hand or something directly in front of you.

  • Reactive thinking is responsible for how we build habits.

  • Take time everyday to visualise the day ahead and what you plan to get done

  • Set stretch and SMART goals

  • Although good decision making relies on making forecasts about the future, it’s important to remember that forecasting is never certain, it’s not an exact science and is often imprecise.

  • In making these forecasts you need to acknowledge what you don’t know as well.

  • Living in a fast paced world, where everything seems to be accelerated, the need to innovate has become more significant than ever.

  • Use combinations, drawing on experience and distractions as ways to innovate.

A pleasure to read...[Charles] Duhigg's skill as a storyteller makes his book so engaging to read.

About the author

Charles Duhigg is an American born author. He was a student at both Yale and Harvard. Duhigg was an award-winning New York Times business reporter and worked there from 2006-2011. Duhigg became interested in the psychology and science of habit formation while in Baghdad. After some observation and discussions with a U.S Military Major who explained to Duhigg that understanding habits were the single most important things he learned during his time in the Military. Duhigg wrote his first book The Power of Habit as a result of his time in Baghdad then went on to write Smarter Faster Better, explaining the science behind productivity.

by Robin Sharma

Widget of the week...

Your journal for life.

The #1 app for journaling.

Tell your story (words optional) in pictures and links. Day One is your personal digital time machine.

Get inspired. Record your thoughts, ideas and life in a simple, flexible and enjoyable way.

Everything we feel, think, and experience is an opportunity for us to learn and grow — all we need to do is seize it.

Have an extremely memorable 2021!

See you next week...


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