Have you tried the traditional New Year’s resolution for the past four or five decades of your life without success? If the answer is yes, let’s try something different. Why are we so afraid of change? Why are we so afraid of trying something when someone like me is telling you it works? I don’t get paid if you go buy the book Think and Grow Rich but I believe in the possibility of human transformation and I believe you can transform too.
Follow the steps I share here for 2024 and see what happens.
#1. Determine what you want to accomplish
What do you want to achieve? Determine what your desire is, determine it. And you must be so specific that you know when you have achieved it.
For example, if someone says in 2024 I want to lose some weight and at the end of 2024 they lost two pounds, well guess what? You said your desire was to lose weight – you lost two pounds – you lost weight. But then you’re like, “no no, that’s not what I meant. I meant I wanted to lose 60 lbs.” Well then say you want to lose 60 pounds.
Someone says, “I want to be sober this year,” and 100 of the days of the year they’re sober, 265 of it, they’re relapsing and they say that’s not what they wanted. Well say “I want to be sober 365 days this year.”
Somebody says “I want more money this year.” At the end of the year they got $2 more in their pocket and well you asked, “you got $2 more in your pocket,” you’re like “no man, I wanted $30,000 more in my pocket.” Be specific with it.
Somebody says “I want to be in a relationship this year,” and at the end of the year they’re in a relationship with someone that’s toxic, abusive, dismissive and they say that’s not what I wanted. Well say “I want to be in a relationship with someone that’s loving, kind, compassionate.”
Someone says, “I want to go back to school this year,” and they go back to school and take one class. Like “no no, I wanted to finish a whole semester.” Well, don’t say “I want to go back to school.” Say “I want to finish a semester of school.”
It is important that you’re emotionally engaged with that goal.
Here’s the reason why. Life is going to go in different directions all day long, all week long, all month long, all year long. If you are not emotionally connected to what it is you want to accomplish when life takes you in different directions you will eject, you will jump ship, you will abort, you will just jump off, you’ll get over it. The more you’re emotionally invested in it the more chances you have to withhold the craziness that you will endure and experience in your life. So your desire for the end result must be strong enough to motivate you to do what you know you need to do even when you don’t want to do it. Be specific. People are so scared of being specific because they always think what if I don’t make it? What if I fail? If you’re not specific you’re not going to make it anyways so at least be specific.
#2. What are you willing or need to give up for that desire?
What are you willing and need to give up for your stated desire? Here’s the thing my friends. Nothing worthwhile comes without a price. Nothing worthwhile comes without a price. The prices in life are things like your time, you might have to pay some time, and you might have to pay a little bit of money, you might have to change habit, change your lifestyle, so then you say what changes in my life do I need to make in order to achieve my desired goal?
So if you say I want to lose 50 pounds this year, a pound a week, you must say I am willing to give up the foods I’ve been eating except for maybe one day a week. You must be willing to learn about calories and macronutrients and you must be willing to learn about the impact that these things have on the body, you must be willing to change the way that you move your body on a daily basis. And some people might say “well I just want to lose the weight but I don’t know if I want to do all that,” then you’re not going to lose the weight.
Some people say “this year I want to make $20,000 more,” but they’re not willing to give up their Amazon, they’re not willing to give up their morning Starbucks, they’re not willing to give up the convenience store energy drinks. I don’t know what you’re willing to give up but the fastest way to give yourself a raise is to stop spending. The best way to save money is to save money before you spend money, not spend money and then save what’s left over.
Some people might say, “this year I want to be sober,” but they’re not willing to give up going to the bar to watch the game, or they’re not willing to give up friends that use substances.
Some people say they want to be in a loving, safe, nurturing relationship but they’re not willing to give up the toxic ex, they’re not willing to give up the people that treat them like dirt.
I don’t know what you’re willing or not willing to give up, it’s none of my business, but I’m telling you step two of making your 2024 good is first identifying what it is you want and being specific with it.
In life if you continue doing what you are doing you will continue getting what it is you’re getting.
So sit back and look at it. If you don’t like what you’re getting you got to change what you’re doing, you got to change how you’re doing it, you got to be willing to make sacrifices, you got to be willing to pay something, to give something to get something. You might have to give your time, you might have to wake up two hours earlier. Are you willing to? Are you willing to wake up when the alarm clock says wake up? Or are you going to snooze the ____ out of that thing, and just say “I was too tired man, it was too cold.” Are you willing to give up something to get something? Some people are, some people aren’t. I don’t know why, I don’t even care, but that’s the truth.
#3. Set a specific date for when you want to achieve that goal
Why is that important? If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do some stuff you’ve never done. And that’s what people don’t want to do. They don’t want to do the new stuff but they want the new stuff. It’s like how delusional are we? How can you get something you don’t have by doing something you ain’t doing? So also you want to set a timeline to work with you as you develop your plan.
Why are timelines important? Because we do well when there are deadlines, timelines.
Everything we accomplish in life needs some type of date and people say, “well, if I put the date it causes too much pressure.” I think without the date it causes no pressure. Too much pressure is better than no pressure at all. With no pressure you know what we do? We sit back and take our comfort zone to the limit. When there is no time, no date, no nothing, no set timeline, what do we do? We just coast. Nobody’s ever coasted to the top of the mountain – you got to climb. You got to have a deadline, you gotta have dates. Set a New Year’s resolution for yourself and set an unrealistic one with an unrealistic timeline and get discouraged and disappointed because you’re not going to meet your goals. Feel free to be realistic. Set a realistic time. A goal is a dream with a deadline. We got a dream but you got to put deadlines on it. We show up differently when there’s a time crunch. I mean there’s a quote that says, “Thank God for the last minute because without it I’d never get anything done.” We do good with that stuff. Human beings do well under pressure, we really do, but we don’t like giving ourselves pressure because we’re scared of it.
People overestimate what they can do in a day or a month, and severely underestimate what they can do in a year or a decade.
We think “oh we’re gonna get to it, I’ll get to it, I’ll be all right,” and then a week, a day goes by, a month goes by, they’re not anywhere near it. But if they would have continued consistently for another few months or a year they’ll not only accomplish what it is they were striving for or wanting to accomplish, they’ll exceed it. Don’t underestimate what you can do in a year or a decade, my friends – it’s transformative, it’s powerful and yes, the goal my friends, must be manageable and timely. It must be something you can manage and handle and it must have a time requirement on it.
#4. Start developing your plan and begin at once
Whether you’re ready or not! Most human beings say I’m gonna start tomorrow. They subscribe to something called the just-for-tomorrow program and when tomorrow comes what do they do is they say “ah I’ll get to it tomorrow,” and the tomorrow comes and they say “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” Tomorrow never comes. The only time to take action in life is today. Today is all we got. In the program when it comes with people with recovery and trying to abstain from drugs and alcohol we live this thing called the Just-For-Today program. It has nothing to do with recovery, my friends – it’s about life. Just for today I will do X Y and Z and when tomorrow comes, you do just for today I’m going to do it. Just for today, that just for tomorrow program is for people that don’t accomplish anything. That just for today program is for the people that not only accomplish their goals but by consistently doing just for today they accomplish beyond their wildest dreams, beyond anything they can conceptualize.
Please do not wait for everything to be perfect to start. It’s never going to be perfect. There is no such thing. People that do things do it despite their circumstances. People that do things do it despite their readiness. People that do things do it because they want to do it, they have a desire to do it, they have a clear understanding of what it is.
My perfectionism really got in the way growing up. I mean, my nickname as a child was Mr Perfect. My nickname as a child was Mr Perfect so if I couldn’t do something perfectly I was like “I’m not even going to do this thing,” and it was a copout. It was a way for me to give up on my goals and dreams and ambitions. But then I learned something in this book called The Spirituality of Imperfection –
Perfect is the enemy of good enough and sometimes in life, good enough is good enough.
Perfect is the enemy of good enough. Stop trying to be perfect and just do things good enough. Good enough will get you to where you need to get to and you can and will make adjustments to the plan as you move forward. Nothing’s perfect – you might come up with a plan and all of a sudden life hits you a curveball, like I got hit this year, my family got hit this year. You lose somebody unexpectedly. You go through life challenges. Do you just give up and say, “well, you know it was too hard?” No man, you adjust, you set the sails. Remember in previous talks I told you guys that direction is more important than speed? See when you’re out on a sailboat, what do you have no control over? You have no control over the wind, the direction of the wind, where it comes from, how it comes, where it goes, but you know what you have control over? The set of the sails, the direction you set your sails. It gives you the opportunity to get to where you’re trying to get to in life.
#5. Write a clear and concise statement
This is where I believe a good portion of human beings that even buy this book fall off. You have to write a clear and concise statement – what is it you want, what are you willing to give up, what steps are you willing to take to achieve your plan, what is the timeline – you write it down on a 3×5 card or a 4×6 card. Write it out and then what? So you have it written on the card – why do you do this? So you can reference it until you have it memorized. I’m going to give you some examples.
I want to lose 50 pounds this year. I’m willing to give up some sleep so I can wake up in the morning and exercise. I’m willing to give up some of the poor caloric low nutrient foods, some of the habits that I have of eating on the couch at night, some of the habits that I have of just not eating all day and binging. And you know, two days good, two days bad, I’m willing to give up sodas, replacing it with water. I’m willing to give 365 days to this plan and I want you to know that I want to walk three days a week. I want to lift weights two days a week. I want to make sure that I’m spending time in my self-care, and maybe one day a week I want to indulge and allow myself to eat the things I want to eat. You write that card out.
Or you say, “This year I want to achieve 365 days of sobriety. I’m willing to give up the people, places and things that threaten my sobriety. I’m willing to give up going to my previous comfort zones and lifestyle habits. I’m willing to give up listening to my cravings and my triggers and talking to somebody about what I am going to do. I’m going to go to some meetings, I’m going to work some steps, I’m going to work with a therapist, I’m going to journal, I’m gonna pause when I’m agitated or doubtful, I’m not going to give my power to other people, I’m going to work through my resentments.
Or this year I want to make X amount of money. What am I willing to give up? I’m willing to give up my afternoons of binge watching Netflix and maybe getting a secondary part-time job in a place that I’m passionate about. I’m willing to stop spending $300 to $500 a month in convenience stores and energy drinks and all that kind of crap. I’m willing to give up X, Y and Z. You write it all out. You write it all out.
Maybe I want to have a loving relationship with someone who’s healthy and safe. I’m willing to give up toxic people, toxic exes. I’m willing to give up my codependency patterns. I’m willing to give up whatever the timeline I have is for the entire year. What else is it that I want? Maybe I’m gonna invest in myself, get to know myself, make peace with myself, love myself, so I can be the person that can attract the person I want in life.
#6. Stand in front of the mirror and read it to yourself
And so the last one is where I think everybody falls off. You want to know why? Because we want to look good and we don’t want to look bad and we don’t want to be embarrassed. Here’s what you’re supposed to do once you have that card written out and hopefully memorized. Twice a day, one time in the morning and one time at night, you stand in front of the mirror and you read it to yourself with intensity of emotion. You read it with yourself in a way that you believe it.
And what happens out of that is the following. You do it in the morning, you do it at night, you do it in the morning, you do it at night, you do it in the morning, and all of the sudden it becomes a part of your conscious mind. It goes from the subconscious to conscious – it becomes a guiding force that everything you do will lead to that destination. You must believe it in your mind – you have to see it. You have to visualize it, you have to see that success, that version of yourself that you want to be. You have to see it and the more crystallized that vision becomes the more tangible it becomes, the more real it becomes. You know those things that they talk about, the manifestation or the secret? Some of you might think that’s hocus pocus, that’s new age, that’s aggressive stuff. No, it’s not. It’s rooted in reality because people who do it succeed.
Jim Carrey, before he was Jim Carrey, wrote himself a check, an absurd amount of money on it and one day when he became who he became and he had that same check in his hand it wasn’t a surprise to him, because he already saw it. Now does seeing it by itself do it? No, you got to get up and do the work, you got to grind, but you got to repeat this over and over again and do it as often as you can, even if it’s a few minutes. So what happens in this whole scenario that I told you right now is the last part of writing a clear and concise statement and then reading it to yourselves.
Nobody does that – I always tell people to do it. You want to know why they don’t do it? They say it makes them feel goofy or they’re embarrassed to do it. If you’re embarrassed to read to yourself what it is you want to accomplish you’re not going to be able to accomplish it. If the feeling of embarrassment of a mirror in a bathroom overwhelms you and it’s too hard the steps you have to do to get there are just not even important, you’re not going to be able to do it. So if you’re willing to do that, my friends, maybe you will be able to accomplish some of your goals in 2024.
If you think you are beaten you are. If you think you dare not you don’t. If you like to win but you think you can’t it is almost certain you won’t. If you think you’ll lose you’re lost. For out in the world we find success begins with a fellow’s will. It’s all in the state of mind. If you think you’re outclassed you are. You’ve got to think high to rise. You’ve got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win a prize. Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.