#28 Plan in years, act daily – Goals to Actions workshop

  • Why everything you’ve been taught about SMART goals is wrong.
  • How to change your life, without making huge changes
  • How to think in years, but act daily regardless of motivation.
😍 Something I'm grateful for this week

Setting grand goals won't change your life. The secret to making big changes in your life is taking tiny steps every day. Here's how...

I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you…
but setting grand goals won’t change your life.

I don’t care what you’ve been told, it doesn’t matter how specific you make those targets,
or how big you make those numbers.

Nothing will change.

In fact, the bigger your goals,
the less likely you are to take action on them.
The secret to making big changes is not big actions;
it’s taking tiny steps in the right direction every day.

I realized this today when I was jotting notes from a call when I turned the page to find something that surprised me..
The scrap of paper I was scribbling over a note from years ago. It contained my old goals for that year,

3 years my goal was to get just 1 new client every month so I could quit my full-time job.
That goal seems laughably small now.
But at the time it was a big stretch.

For over 10 years I struggled to turn my side hustle into a full-time income.
Things only changed when I stopped setting grand goals,
and started building simple systems instead.

Goals really get me going.
Especially when you make them specific.
I get pumped up about taking them on.
but its not long till the enthusiasm wears off,
then I lose enthusiasm,
Then I feel crap for not meeting my goals.

Systems won’t get my heart pumping,
but they keep me plodding on day after day,
Consistently chipping away
Until everyday actions compound into exceptional results.

That’s how you win.
You just outlast your willpower.

You change by building systems for consistency
By focusing on doing instead of outcomes.
By doing the same stuff every day,
long after others have given up.

Goals are good for setting a direction, but Systems are good for making progress.”
James Clear

I’m going to show you how to move away from goals to a simpler, easier way to change your life without relying on sheer willpower, and subscribers will get access to the full “Goals to Actions” masterclass…

highlights unstick yourself masterclass 1

My system to help you turn big goals into tiny actions you can do every day.

Subscribe for my masterclass on how to take daily actions on important tasks without relying on willpower..

0:00 🎯 Design your life goals
1:20 ▶️ Break down Grand Goals to Daily Actions
2:20 ✅ Habit Tracking
3:40 🧑🏻 Case Study: build a new website
4:30 📦 Timeboxing – Parkinson’s law
5:00 💥 Cut 80% of the work using 80/20 Rule
6:30 👌🏻 Done is better than perfect
7:00 ⌚ Just in Time method
7:50 🧠 Build a second brain
8:30 🔥 Avoid burnout and overwhelm
9:20 🪝 Let yourself off the hook
9:40 🩹 Weekly Todo Triage
11:40 🗑️ Braindumping

The problem with goal setting…

So you’ve figured out what you want in life,
and now you want to jump right into designing your ideal lifestyle!

The Gurus will tell you to set SMART goals, with tangible targets etc.

I see a lot of “listicle” posts that make it sound so easy:
Learn a valuable skill, find a niche, build an offer, earn £1M, and retire early.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy 🍋😅

But everything you’ve been told about goals is wrong.
This is a recipe for unhappiness:

The problem is that the goals are always too damn BIG.
Each of those steps has, like, a dozen steps to EACH part.

So I would regurgitate grand goals some guru had told me I should do,
and set impossibly ambitious targets (usually monetary) with numbers attached.
It felt great. Now I have a plan! except…

then days go by,
then weeks,
then months…

and still, I fail to take action.
Then I feel like it’s my fault for not trying hard enough
and maybe I just don’t have what it takes….

Setting grand, unrealistic goals won’t help you change your life,
in fact, it will only make you feel like more of a failure for not having the life you want.

Set a direction for your life, not a destination

THIS is the problem with goal setting.
Without a way to take action, goals are just wishful thinking.
Life doesn’t go according to a neat plan or target.
In Derren Brown’s “A little Happier” he describes how
Although it’s tempting to tie up a neat story of how we came to where we are in our life,
Our lives are not a straight line nor are they a neat story.
Often the tiniest of things can influence the job we take, the people we meet and marry, and the place we live.
So our lives end up as the average between where we think we are going (ie our goals and plans)
and what we actually end up doing because of chance.
Our lives are the resulting diagonal of these two forces.

image

We tend to overestimate how quickly we can achieve our goals,
largely because we are bombarded daily with overnight success stories on social media which skews our vision of reality on this.
But we also underestimate just how much change we can make with small actions over a longer time period:

Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years.
– Bill Gates

This is why goals by themselves are a waste of time.
Things change.

It’s much safer, less stressful, and more productive to set a rough direction for your life,
and reverse engineer daily actions you can take to maintain that direction.

Focus on doing not results
This is the only way to keep your life consistently moving in the right direction, long term without burnout.

The Turning point

For 10 years I struggled to turn my side hustle into a full-time income.

Things really changed for me when I stopped setting goals,
and started focussing on my daily schedule instead.

You see daily actions, repeated every day = your life.

Small daily actions will have a far bigger impact on your progress and your lifestyle.
But first, you have to figure out what the right actions are to steer your life in the right direction.

Breaking goals into daily actions

When starting any task,
the first step is always the hardest.
If you set out to “redesign your life” you’ll never take action.
It’s too big.
Bigger tasks require smaller actions.

This is the secret
You don’t change your whole life in one go.

It’s like trying to eat a massive burger that’s too big for your face.
Sure, you can smoosh that thing in there, get your face all covered in ketchup, and probably get heartburn.
Or you can just take smaller bites. much easier.

You make small, changes to steer your life in the right direction over time.
You bake those actions into your daily routine.

I’m showing subscribers the system I use to break unmanageable life goals into tangible actions you can take every day.

highlights unstick yourself masterclass 1

My system to help you turn big goals into tiny actions you can do every day.

Subscribe for my masterclass on how to take daily actions on important tasks without relying on willpower..

0:00 🎯 Design your life goals
1:20 ▶️ Break down Grand Goals to Daily Actions
2:20 ✅ Habit Tracking
3:40 🧑🏻 Case Study: build a new website
4:30 📦 Timeboxing – Parkinson’s law
5:00 💥 Cut 80% of the work using 80/20 Rule
6:30 👌🏻 Done is better than perfect
7:00 ⌚ Just in Time method
7:50 🧠 Build a second brain
8:30 🔥 Avoid burnout and overwhelm
9:20 🪝 Let yourself off the hook
9:40 🩹 Weekly Todo Triage
11:40 🗑️ Braindumping

Life Goals

I said before goals without action is wishful thinking.

So here’s how I take action:

  • goals ▶️ plan ▶️ steps ▶️ daily routine.

Speaking of breaking things down into micro-steps, Here’s how to do it:

  1. I write down my broad goals for different areas of my life,
  2. I triage my fulfillment in those areas, creating goals for areas that need attention & record these in my Second Brain
  3. I then reverse-engineer those goals into daily actions I can plug into my daily schedule.

So each goal is broken down into

  • target
  • method
  • daily actions

I cover these areas of my life.

  • 💪🏻 Health
  • 🧑🏻‍🦰 Personal Projects
  • 💗 Relationships
  • 💼 Work
  • 💵 Financial
  • 🎮 Leisure

Example of goals to actions

image

My system to help you turn big goals into tiny actions you can do every day.
subscribe for instant access.

💡 Key Insights for solopreneurs

Goals are great for figuring out where you want to be,
but not so great for getting there.
If you want to get there you need to start designing your schedule with daily actions that move you in the right direction,
otherwise you’ll never take action on your goals because they are too big to stomach

🛎️ Daily reminder for solopreneurs

your goals and plans mean NOTHING.
the only thing that counts, is what you DO each day.

💥 How to take action in the next 5 mins

  1. Take x1 goal.
  2. Write down the big steps required.
  3. Break that down into a task you can repeat every day, or week, or month.
  4. Stick to the schedule

Picture of Nicholas Robb

Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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