It all changed in a blink of an eye. After another tiresome day of university classes in 2017, I arrived home and hurled myself onto the bed. At a loss for energy, I fell back into the habit of aimlessly scrolling through Instagram – like most people when they don’t have anything better to do. This was the point of my life where I’d felt the most lost, but where the biggest change was about to occur.
After scrolling for 30 minutes, I came across a post which read: “CEO’s & successful people read an average of 30 books per year”. At 22 years of age, I hadn’t picked up a book since I read Harry Potter in primary school. Despite this, I felt a pull.
I ran downstairs to my dad’s bookshelf, which had hundreds of books. The first one that caught my eye was ‘Positivity’, by Barbara Friedrickson. I headed back upstairs and proceeded to start the book. One chapter turned into two, and in a little over an hour, I’d read nearly half the thing.
The lessons in ‘Positivity’ shifted my perspective on the power of positive thinking and lead me down a rabbit hole that I’m yet to come out of. This pinpointed moment was without a doubt, the transformational moment of my life.
Ever since that day, I have been passionate about growing myself as a person every single day. Committed to the process of getting better. Something my younger self would never have dared to do.
I always thought goal setting was a bunch of nonsense. My golf coaches, my parents, my teachers all told me that it was important, but I was too stubborn to listen. I knew I was capable of achieving awesome things, but my introverted nature refused to believe it – let alone be brave enough to tell it to other people about it.
Now, having seen the power of them in my own life, I will never stop setting goals towards my life’s vision. Just like I’ve found with an extraordinary number of things in my life, habits are the most important part of achieving any goal. And as they say, we don’t rise to our goals, we fall on our habits. With that being said, here are the 4 habits I’m committing to in 2021.
1. Time Blocking
Everyone says to work smarter, not harder. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to time blocking. In a nutshell, time blocking is the discipline of blocking out specified periods of time for certain tasks – in which they must be completed within the set timeframe. In my experience, this is the number one way to kill procrastination, increase focus and become 10x more productive. At the end of the day, if you can get as much work done in 4 hours as someone else does in 12, wouldn’t you want to spend more time enjoying the finer things in life?
2. Process Driven Goals
A lot of people say they want to make a million dollars this year. But, they have no actionable steps to get there. Now, despite being a believer in the law of attraction myself, I know first-hand that setting a big outcome goal with no process goals along the way will get you pretty much nowhere. If you’re not sure what a process goal is, a rule of thumb I follow is that can control the outcome. For example, making 100 cold calls every day this week. That way if your average close rate is 10%, you know that 1 in every 10 call you make will convert into a paying customer. In turn by focusing on and staying committed to the process, the outcome often will take care of itself.
What’s not tracked, can’t be measured. The biggest lesson I learned from one of my mentors, was to track everything. Since that day, simply building the habit of tracking every action in my business – cold messages, number of calls, number of closed deals and cash collected each day, has made a bigger impact on business growth than anything else. Tracking helps you pinpoint exactly what you need to be doing each day in order to reach the goals you set. When you know your numbers, it becomes a lot easier to hit them. If you don’t track your outflow and finances, start today.
4. Taking Time Off
This is perhaps the hardest one for me. I find it very hard to switch off, as I am passionate about what I do and love to give my 100%. The more I learn however, is how much more productive I can be after some quality time off. Like many other entrepreneurs, I battle with the feeling of guilt for taking time off. However, by reframing activities like time at the beach, golf course, out to dinner with friends, or extra time at the gym as healthy habits, I come to terms with them being essential to help me get where I want to go. At the end of the day, you have to take care of yourself first. Commit a little extra time this year to yourself. You won’t regret it.
As a self-proclaimed student of life, I am constantly learning and evolving into the next version of myself. Who knows, next year these 4 habits might look vastly different. The most important thing is committing to the habits that you know you must – and not letting anything get in your way of where you want to go.