If you’re looking for a Gary V style rant about hustle, ya betta look elsewhere.
If you’re looking for the Lazy Man’s Cure to the New Year’s Resolution, or Goal Setting for Neurotic Underachievers Who Like Checklists…press on :)
January rolls around. It’s going to be a new year, so you get excited and make a list of goals.
This year I’ll…
- Get healthier
- Develop closer relationships with family and friends
- Focus on my love life
- Make more money
- Read Oz’s Hippiecritical newsletter
- Travel to a new country
Then next December rolls around and you wonder where the year has gone.
This has been my experience when I set too many goals.
Welcome to New Year’s Resolution Syndrome.
Spread yourself thin and achieve little.
I’m going to share with you another way to tackle that laundry list of goals.
Look at your goals through the lens of energy
If you’re like me, writing a checklist of everything you want to do feels good…when you’re writing it.
But as the list of my goals grows, the more I spread my energy.
Instead of a force for good, that well-intentioned goal setting energy dissipates into something unfocused and uninspiring.
That’s what happens when you turn your dreams into a to-do list.
Here’s the trick — prioritize by energy gains
I get the therapeutic power of organizing thoughts into checklists, spreadsheets and cells.
But the questions I often forget to ask myself in the process are…
- What is most exciting for me? Least?
- What makes me feel alive?
- What gives me energy?
The trick is to then look at your list and measure your goals by what gives you energy.
Be honest with yourself. Think less “I should do that” and more “that stirs my loins.”
If nothing on your initial list makes you excited, here’s a tip: add specificity and freedom.
Specificity: write more details about how you’d approach the goal
Freedom: allow yourself to make the goal fun for you rather than what you think you should do
Decide what gives you most energy.
Do this long enough and you’ll find your lead domino.
Lead domino: the thing that gives you more energy to do the other things.
If you create the space and intention for this one thing, it’ll create a virtuous cycle.
Personally, I identified the goal of writing every day about whatever the f*** I want as my lead domino.
Since I’ve started this goal, I’ve felt the aliveness of writing again, whereas I kinda killed the joy of it last year.
Now that I’m writing, I feel a sense of momentum from a creative practice that I enjoy. It’s given me sense of possibility about creating more podcasts, putting out more newsletters and exploring side hustles.
In the world of goals, I’ve forgotten that it’s a game of emotions.
We’re emotional creatures. Might as well use that to our advantage.
By seeing goals through the lens of energy, I find that when I’m excited about one thing, there’s a spillover effect.
The trick I’ve found for myself is to negotiate with my emotions to do something more exciting first, in order to build momentum to do other things.
So I pose you the question:
What excites you most?
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