What are you passionate about?
The answer to that question is the key to motivation through good times and bad.
Since starting Willpowered, three things I'm deeply passionate about have reminded me why the exhaustion, doubt, and failure I've experienced over the years was worth it.
- Sharing useful scientific knowledge...
- Using technology to share it further and make it more useful...
- And seeing people use the information to achieve whatever greatness they seek.
Waking up every day with these three factors motivating me has helped me see even the darkest days as an opportunity, not an obligation.
But these factors would mean nothing if I didn't put them into action through...
THE FALSE PROMISE OF INTENSITY
Before 2013, my relationship with New Year's resolutions was fairly typical.
- Get excited by the promise of a New Year
- Set a plan to exercise regularly
- Eat healthy
- Read a book every day
- Save money by eating at home
- Take more time to "enjoy life"
I always started off great.
I'd stick with the routine for two or three weeks and feel confident this time I was going to make all of my new habits last.
But the burnout always came eventually...
I'd wake up exhausted, skip the gym, skip my diet, and be on the slippery slope toward skipping another year of progress...
This is the false promise of intensity.
In order to make a "real change," we need to completely overhaul our lives with maximum effort. But in the end, we usually end up right back where we started...or worse.
The willpower, determination, and belief that "this time" will be different that we all feel with the promise of a New Year are all valuable resources that will motivate you to reach your goals...
And focusing on intensity is a terrific way to squander them.
In 2013, I was tired of squandering the promise of a New Year.
That decision changed everything.
THE SMAC FORMULA
Almost every success I've had over the last 4 years traces back to my SMaC Formula:
- Wake up every weekday at 4 AM
- Plan my transportation ahead of time
- Follow my exercise plan
- Log the food I eat
- Log the cost of the food I eat
That's it. Just achieving these 5 points daily led to great habits to reach my goals.
Goal Progress %
Plus, I didn't achieve any of those 5 points perfectly — especially not at first.
I simply marked down "Achieved" or "Failed" at the end of the day.
By doing so, I killed 4 birds with one stone:
- I learned how to build new habits. The strategies in books like The Power of Habit are terrific. But the only way to truly learn something is through experience. Filling out my SMaC Formula every day taught me how to build every other great habit since.
I learned from failure with an objective perspective. i.e. Discovering that I skip the gym more at night because there are more distractions. Easy switch to the morning, and I don't have to feel "hopeless" or "lazy."'
- I achieved more than I thought was possible. Consistency creates a snowball. With every push, the results grow bigger and bigger. As long as you keep pushing, they grow beyond what you thought was possible at the beginning of the year.
I set new goals based on my progress, not my enthusiasm. We see our future selves as a superhero with more time, energy and willpower than Superman himself. So, we set unrealistic goals...and fail them. By tracking my progress, I overcame this flaw and set goals that I knew were possible.
After that, consistency became my "go to" strategy.
- I used it to reach the Top 10 of the Spartan Race
- I used it to build an audience of 30,000 Willpowered subscribers in 6 months
- I used it to write The Will of Heroes
- I used it to learn how to build WILSON
- I used it to achieve financial freedom
- And I will use it to achieve my ultimate purpose: to use science and technology to help every individual achieve whatever greatness they seek.
I'm not sharing these things to brag, I'm sharing them to do my best to convince you to resist the temptation of quick results this year.
The passion, ambition, and hope that you feel with the promise of a New Year are resources too precious to waste.
Overhauling your life through intense effort is THE FASTEST way to turn those resources into exhaustion, frustration, and hopelessness.
That's why this January, I'm launching The Consistency Challenge.
You will get to create your own SMaC Formula, track your own progress, and get access to the technology and course material that will help you reach your 2017 goals.
1) Enter up to 6 habits you can complete every day. Before the challenge, you will receive a personalized checklist and dashboard.
2) Make a pledge to yourself. You pay what you want to join the challenge.
3) Complete the list for 60 days in a row. If you fill out your checklist with "Achieved" / "Failed" / "N/A" for 60 days without breaking your streak, you will receive a refund!
4) Every day you miss, you will lose 20% of your remaining balance. The penalty is 20%, rather than a whole number, so you will always have a balance to work for.
I created this challenge because consistency means so much to me.
It has helped me handle uncertainty, overcome setbacks, achieve exponentially growing results, and stay in the game long enough to catch a break.
My goal is to do everything I can to help you create the habits that will help you achieve even better results in your life.
Then, hopefully, you'll look back on 2017 with the same gratitude I have for 2013.