Archives For The 10x 100

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Foreword by Adam Jelic

Growing up I had always dreamed of doing something extraordinary with my life, my choice of escape throughout my teenage years was to fulfil a child hood dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Now in order to fulfil that dream I began to explore different tools and techniques that would excel my growth and allow me to fulfil my full potential. That search led me to the practice of Goal setting, the more I read about successful individuals across sport, business and in other parts of life the more I would read and hear them talk about the power of Goals. It was clear to me that if I wanted to turn my dreams into reality then I needed to be clear and specific about what it is I want to achieve, and then develop a plan of action to turn those dreams into reality.

Today goal setting is a big part of my life, I even started a business based around it www.migoals.com and here’s the key thing for me about goal setting. Just because you set your goals it doesn’t mean that success is guaranteed, but what it does guarantee is that your odds of success are improved dramatically and for that reason I keep setting and taking action on my goals.

– Adam Jelic, Founder at MiGoals

Introduction

It was two years ago at a dinner where the gentleman sitting next to me, turned towards me and said, “Kym, did you know that only 4% of the world population sets goals?” I recall being shocked. Didn’t everybody set goals? Naively I took this behaviour for granted, and now see that goal setting is the exception rather than the rule. This is something that I would like to change.

As a person that has always set goals, it is with interest when I reflect on my goal-setting journey so-to-speak. When I first started setting goals, there wasn’t structure or understanding why I was setting a goal. I just did what I believed most people did: sit and make a list of what I want to achieve for the year; which mostly coincided with the new year. All I knew, at the time, was that once I had written down the goals, come 12 months later most of them would have been achieved.

So are you a cardholding member of the population’s 4% that set goals? If not, let’s fix that! You probably have dreams and ambitions that you want to materialise in this lifetime. Some of these ambitions, if you put thought and effort into them, are goals that you can turn into a reality. These goals, once achieved, can give you a sense of fulfilment and can result in greater things in your life. I’d love to share with you some of the tools, structures and frameworks that help me systemically achieve my goals at an accelerated rate.

Once I started applying these tools and frameworks, I started seeing a shift in myself. It’s an incredibly powerful feeling knowing that I am the captain of my own ship and that I can steer the ship in any direction that I choose. And not only that, but I can also steer it with intention and I can get to my destination a lot faster.

Step 1: Have vision and clarity for what your ideal life will be like in 10 years

A dear friend of mine, Steve McLeod, Non-Executive Chairman and Owner of Fire & Safety Australia, author of Courage for Profit: Using Courageous Decisions to Drive Business Success and Director of Courage for Profit, was instrumental in teaching me that I need to ask the right questions, which are essential to goal-setting.

The first time I was asked what my 10-year-goals were, I was taken back. In fact, I started laughing and sheepishly muttered, “I don’t know what I’m doing in 4 hours let alone 10 years.” I recall thinking at that time, “10 years is an awfully long time away. A lot can happen in 10 years. How on earth do you plan for 10 years? 10 years ago I was watching Power Rangers.”

But I kept an open mind and listened. Perhaps there was something more here that warranted further enquiry. This simple question sparked a process of osmosis for me, as I absorbed the behaviours and questions that were considered the norm with the people that surrounded me.

What I have learned is that when one has clarity and vision of what their 10-year-goals are, the person that they want to be and the life that they want to live, and if they break down that process into 5 years, 3 years and 1 year, the achievement of 10 years occurs in 5, the achievement of 5 years occurs in 3, the achievement of 3 years occurs in 1 and so forth. This accelerated rate of goal achievement is powerful. In other words, it becomes possible to systematically achieve goals at an incredibly accelerated rate. This concept completely blew my mind.

I applied it to myself and I found how effective the method is. That is why I am sharing this with you, so that you, too, can 10x your life.

Materials needed:

  1. Notepad
  2. Pen and paper
  3. The right questions!

NB: I personally avoid using a computer during this step as I find that there is something more powerful when I use pen and paper.

Step 1: Find a quiet place outside your normal office and home environment. For me, this place is on a beach, by the ocean, or in a park or garden where the skies are expanse. This takes me out of my normal day-to-day, forces me to change my habitual thinking patterns, and allows my mind to be free and wander.

Step 2: Write at the top of the page – In 10 years, it will be 20xx and I will be x-years-old. What things that must have happened in my life for me to say that the past 10 years have been the best 10 years of my life?

NB: I find inserting a year and age a bit confronting as it highlights my own mortality. Time is shorter than we think.

NB 2: To find out if a certain goal is a correct goal, I use a litmus test: If I achieve this goal, will it make me want to jump up on a table and start dancing? This emotional barometer has proved helpful for me to ascertain whether or not a goal is important to me.

Questions to answer:

  1. What does my home look like?
  2. What are the sounds do I hear around me?
  3. What can I smell?
  4. Who are the people that surround me?
  5. How do I spend my time?
  6. What do my family and friends say about me when I am not in the room?
  7. What must I have achieved in 10 years, for me to jump up on the table and dance?
  8. If I have a business: What does the press say about me?
  9. If I have a business: What do the employees talk about when they’re around the water cooler?

Once you have completed this exercise, read through your answers and pick out the patterns to discover what is most important to you. Then consider your current actions and see if they take you closer or further away from your 10-year vision.

Important: Put this away and revisit it again in 1 week or 1 month. Do your answers change? What things jump out at you?

Optional: After I completed this exercise, I sent my 10-year goals to an artist so that they could draw up my vision of where I want to be in 10 years. This artwork is now framed and mounted on my bedroom wall, and I see it every night before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up.

Important note 1: Use the 10-year vision as your internal compass.

Decision making in your day-to-day will reference this compass and help you say yes/no to opportunities.

Once I had clarity in what my 10-year-vision was, I found that it made my day-to-day decision-making very simple. As a person that loves saying yes to everything, I found that this tool helped me say no and understand why I was saying yes/no.

The simple question I ask whenever an opportunity arises is: Does this take me closer or further away from my 10-year-goals? If it takes me closer, then yes. If it takes me further away, then no.

Important note 2: Once you know what it is you want, your subconscious will start looking for those opportunities

I previously did not understand why once written, my goals would be achieved. In fact, I thought it was some mystical force at play, and often had difficulty explaining this phenomenon to others. Now, I believe it to be the power of the subconscious; that when we write down our goals by using pen and paper, we commit to the achievement of those goals, and then as we go about our day-to-day lives, our subconscious starts looking for those opportunities to achieve those goals. In other words, I find that the act of writing down goals frees up the subconscious to help us in achieving those goals.

Step 2: Make SMART goals

Smart goals are.

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Time-bound

Examples of non-SMART goals:

  • I want to be fitter this year
  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to be better to my friends and my family

These are goals but they are not SMART goals. Think of your goals in terms of metrics. Making your goals as metrics-driven as possible makes it binary. And when it is binary, it is easy to track your progress and know if you have achieved or failed to achieve the goal. Rather than saying “I want to be fitter this year”, make it into “I will work out 3x each week”. Putting a number on it makes it very powerful and very specific, which I think is important in setting goals.

Using the SMART goals framework, reframing the above can turn into something like the goals below:

  • I want to run 15KM without stopping by July 1 this year.
  • I want to go from 95KG to 85KG by December 1 this year.
  • I want to have at least one one-on-one conversation with a family member or friend every month.

Example 1: One of my goals is to be more engaged with life. But to make it a SMART goal, I reframed it as this: Every month, have one moment with a friend or family member that takes my breath away.

Example 2: For my business, one of my goals is to “grow my company by x”. In order to do this, I need to remove myself operationally. To do this, I need to systematize the teams I oversee and as part of this, I need to either promote from within and appoint team managers and coach them so that they can manage the teams themselves and I don’t need to be there anymore or hire someone external.

Step 3: Work backwards from 10 years, 5 years, 3 years, and 1 year to ensure a focused and aligned strategy

In the past, I fell into the trap of having lots of goals without a clear strategy as to why I did them. Read: I achieved a lot of things, but the dials that mattered didn’t move or “busy without a significant outcome”.

The learning from this is that every goal that you set must intentionally get you closer to where you want to be in 10 years. When you have that over-arching goal – your long-term goal – break it down into smaller goals that must contribute to that bigger picture. That’s the key, that’s how you put strategy behind goal-setting.

10 years:

  • Goal #1
  • Goal #2
  • Goal #3
  • Goal #4
  • Goal #5

5 years:

  • Goal #1: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 10-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #2: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 10-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #3: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 10-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #4: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 10-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #5: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 10-year-goal achievable?

3 years:

  • Goal #1: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 5-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #2: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 5-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #3: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 5-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #4: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 5-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #5: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 5-year-goal achievable?

1 year:

  • Goal #1: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 3-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #2: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 3-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #3: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 3-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #4: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 3-year-goal achievable?
  • Goal #5: What must I achieve in 5 years, that will make my 3-year-goal achievable?

NB: This is where a spreadsheet helps. I have a spreadsheet that tracks my progress on each of the above, and I use a traffic light system (red not achieved, yellow in progress, green achieved). This spreadsheet is reviewed monthly.

Step 4: Against each of your goals, outline the next 3 actionable items that you can take, that will take you closer to achieving that goal

Outlining what you want is half the battle, but the next half is the execution or getting the ball rolling. What most people do is that they set where they want to be, but they are not good at setting the methodology how to get there.

To ensure that I get there, I like making things tactical, so I use the phrase “plan of attack”. But let’s make it easy-to-do, so we can similarly use the phrase “next actionable item”. With my Team Managers, I ask, “What is your plan of attack to achieve that?”

I have a client and one of her goals is to move over to Los Angeles in California, USA to pursue her acting. She had this goal in mind but no clarity how to achieve this. What we did was, we put together a plan of attack through short-term goals. I asked her to:

  1. Talk to 3 of her friends who made the move, in order to understand the process and difficulties.
  2. Do some research, such as property or rental prices, so she can better prepare herself financially.
  3. Talk to her Australian representative to give her introductions to people there and set her for meetings that she can do once she gets there.
  4. Make a decision on the date to fly over there.

If you take a look at the examples above, notice how each action point will take her to her long-term goal. Apply this to your own goal-setting exercise. Once you have broken down your bigger goal into smaller and specific goals, it becomes palatable.

Step 5: Execute

Now that you have your next steps, all you need to do is execute.

I like to set monthly reviews to see how I am tracking. If I fall behind, I make sure the next month has added effort to catch up again. If I am on track, I ask myself how I can further accelerate for the coming month.

Important note 3: Avoid the common goal-setting pitfalls

Now that you know how to set your goals and you have the tools and pointers on how to do it effectively, take note of the common mistakes people make in goal-setting and get it right the first time.

Mistake 1: Vague goals
Keep your goals SMART.

Mistake 2: Setting goals that are easy to achieve
Only weak people give themselves targets they know they can achieve. It was Michelangelo that said, “What’s worse than having a big dream and not achieving it? There is nothing worse than having a small dream and achieving it.”

We grow the most when we’re uncomfortable. Rather than saying “I want to lose 5 kilos”, you could say “I want to lose 15 kilos”. You might think, “That goal of 15 kilos scares me. Is it impossible?” Whenever I get an emotional response like that when I list down my goals, it becomes my litmus test whether or not this goal pushes the boundary enough for me. Review your goals if they allow you to move out of your comfort zone. Refine them if you need to.

Mistake 3: Not consistently reviewing progress
A lot of people set goals and put it away in the cupboard, and forget about it. The people I’m surrounded with, they print out their goals and they laminate it and they put it in their cars or in front of them every day. Some people incorporated their goals or part of their goals into their daily habits checklist. You can do that, too, with the checklist that we’ve covered in the previous blog post. Then put your goals where you are able to see them every day.

Sometimes, people tend to do the mañana habit – stalling goal-setting at a later date or doing their plan of attack beyond the time frame they have come up with. If this is something that you think is a challenge for you, like falling off the bandwagon, you can avoid this pitfall through these two methods:

Method 1: Include your goals in your weekly and daily checklist. Make sure that you put your short-term goals or your plan of attack in your Habits.

Method 2: Set a date with yourself every month to review your goals. Personally, I set half an hour every month just on reviewing my goals (I sit at my local cafe, have breakfast and tea, and review my goals). I do not set meetings or other appointments on this schedule so that I can dedicate it to my goal-setting review. Once you get the habit of doing this, you become disciplined at evaluating and measuring the progress of your goals.

(Optional) Step 6: The need for accountability in goal-setting

Listing down your goals and following all the above-mentioned exercises are futile if you do not hold yourself accountable to those goals. People may have different behaviours and approaches when it comes to accountability, and it is helpful that you are able to identify in which group you belong so that you know what works best for you.

There are two types of people when it comes to handling accountability. Each type can take diverse methods for them to ensure they hold themselves accountable and committed to their goals.

The first type is those who are structured and are really good at keeping themselves accountable. The Excel framework I outlined earlier will allow you to keep track of how you are progressing with your goals – is something that this type of goal-setters can use. I review my tool every month and they are colour-coded. Most of the things I put in my spreadsheet have been achieved and those that I don’t, I carry them over to the next month or mark them as no longer valid.

The second type is the people who aren’t so good at keeping themselves accountable. They need a little bit of help and they can get this by having an accountability partner. If you fall into this category, have a few close friends know of your need, and then choose a partner you can pair up with to keep both of you accountable to your respective goals. Each month, walk through with your partner and check what is holding you back. Then, focus on the red flags, and verbalize and communicate what it is that’s blocking you.

(Optional) Step 7: The power of sharing your goals with others

In the past, I have always been internal about setting goals. I write them on a paper with usually just myself knowing about it. At the end of the year, no one else knows or cares if I have achieved my goals. In 2016, I decided to do something different. I thought, “What if I share this with my family, with my best friend, with my business partners?”

I mustered the courage to do it and I had a few realisations after:

1. Verbalising my goals is different than writing my goals. Doing that, I made my goals become more real.

2. It allowed me to refine and reword my goals. Saying it seems to make sense out of my goals. It gave me the space to rephrase my goals in a way that made it easier for others to understand.

3. The most profound shift occurred when other people understood and then wanted to help me achieve my goals. People brought to the table things and resources that I did not previously consider.

Sharing my goals with my inner circle has a huge impact on my life. My support system helps me see opportunities that could accelerate achieve those goals faster.

Summary + now it’s your turn

  1. Know what the end goal is (10-year goals) before breaking it down into 10 – 5 – 3- 1 years. Then create your next steps.
  2. Consistency is the key. Make a date with yourself, review your progress, and plot the necessary next steps. I do mine monthly.
  3. Don’t underestimate the impact of communicating your goals with people closest to you.

Remember, 4% of the population sets goals. If you set goals, you’ll be in the top 4%. But if you set SMART goals, you are in the top portion of that 4%. The ball is in your hands and you hold the key to how you can make your goals happen.

Call to action 

My goal is to help 1,000,000 people. My wish is to have these articles shared 1,000,000 times through the various social networks. For this reason, I provide this collection online for free and all I ask of you is this: If any of these articles have helped you in any way, please take a moment to share on social media, email to someone you think will find benefit, or print and leave it on the desk of someone whom you believe has the motivation, but lacks the tools to take themselves to the next level.

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Thank-you to those mentioned in this article

My learning (and by extension, this article) would not have been possible without your generosity, your time and your sharing.

Steve McLeod is the Non-Executive Chairman and Owner of Fire & Safety Australia, a leader in the provision of emergency response services and fire/safety/rescue training to the oil & gas, mining, construction, manufacturing, and defence industries. He is also the author of Courage for Profit: Using Courageous Decisions to Drive Business Success and Director of Courage for Profit, a business growth consulting and coaching company which is designed to help business owners to grow their business. He facilitates strategy days and complete business coaching/consulting for businesses wanting to dramatically grow their profits.

Adam Jelic is the Founder and Managing Director at MiGOALS, an entrepreneur, a visionary and motivational speaker with a passion to help others go from good to awesome. It all started when in October of 2010 with a goal to create a diary that could help others find their purpose and realise their dreams. From that single diary stocked in one bookstore in Melbourne, MiGoals products are now found at over 200 stores in Australia and New Zealand.

Foreword by Jeffrey Hodges

In yoga philosophy the concept of habits is vital to understanding ourselves. Yoga uses the term ‘samskara’ to describe and explain human habits. It is suggested that every thought, emotion or physical action creates an impression or imprint–a samskara–in the deeper structure of our mind, and these samskaras create tendencies to repeat that thought, emotion or action. Imagine one of the old vinyl records; each time the needle of behaviour runs over the record it scratches a groove in the record. The more a particular behaviour is undertaken the deeper the mental groove becomes, and hence easier to repeat again next time.

Obviously we want to encourage positive physical, emotional, and mental habits and discourage those that limit us or cause us to do destructive things, however any automatic behaviour, whether good or ill, is to a certain extent still limiting our capacity to act with conscious awareness in the moment. But good habits are better than bad ones, and if you can identify and replace a limiting habit of thought, emoting or acting early in 2017, what a great start to the year!

– Jeffrey Hodges B.Sc. M.Sc.(Hons) B.Ed., Director, Sportsmind Institute

Introduction

It’s 7:42 AM. I have slept in again. I feel tired because I stayed up until 2:30 AM last night working on chipping away at a never-ending task list. I grab whatever clothes comes easiest to hand in my half-awake stake, hastily pull them on, and run into the office, forgetting to have breakfast along the way.

Some of the thoughts that run through my mind as I arrive at the office in an adrenalin-fuelled panic include:

  • What do I need to do today?
  • Who do I need to talk to?
  • What client emailed me last night requesting individual attention?
  • Which team members do I need to loop in today for x project?
  • How many emails are there in my inbox again? Why can’t I get on top of my inbox? What’s wrong with me?

“Shoot!” I curse at myself. I just checked my calendar and realised that I have a morning meeting in 3 minutes that I haven’t prepared for, and a lunch meeting soon-after that I committed weeks ago. There goes my entire day alongside any hope of being productive with “my time”.

Oh, wait! There are also teammates that need to run ideas and proposals by me, and emergency fires that have popped up out of nowhere that all scream for my attention. My business partners are impatient and grumpy about some issue or other and they need a sounding board, someone to offload to or to escalate a task delivery time.

Before I know it, it’s 7 PM and I have yet to have lunch. I’m starving and the chocolate sitting on the Junior Developer’s desk entices me with its demonic allure. “Something is better than nothing…” I think to myself as I hastily devour it to satiate the hunger. Bye-bye eating healthy and well.

I feel like I’ve been at everyone else’s beck and call all day that I haven’t had the chance to look at one single thing on my task list. So to rectify this I stay late at the office when everyone else is gone, but all I can do is stare at the computer screen as my hand sits lifelessly on top of my mouse. I realise that I am physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and have 1% of battery life left in me. It’s times like this that I wish I could instantly transport into my bed because the thought of finding my way back home abhors me.

Does this sound familiar to you too?

When I reflect on what my life was like a few years ago, words and phrases that spring to my mind include “stress”, “anxiety”, “struggling-to-stay-afloat”, “drowning”, and “overwhelmed”. I’d tell myself that I couldn’t afford to be weak and that I needed to hold it together. So I would put on a happy face, and I’d muster what energy I could to keep pushing. Unfortunately, the constancy of this mode cumulated in a few things: Burning out, exhaustion, anxiety attacks, and finally sitting across the lunch table from one of my business partners–after the 3rd doctor appointment that week to try to find out what’s wrong with me (tip: exhaustion)–and verbalising, “I’m not doing too well. I’m tired.”

I should have known that I was burning out and barely holding it together. After all, I was spending my evenings sitting for 3-4 hours in my bedroom in front of the heater during Melbourne winters, doing nothing but staring into space. Or that it wasn’t normal that I would be rational and calm during an end-of-day debrief with an overseas teammate yet have my face wet with tears, or that both my hands would shake when I tried to explain with my closest confidants what I was going through.

Today, that feeling of being rushed, anxious, and stressed is now replaced by a sense of flow. I wake up earlier (5:30 AM), my pace of work is less frantic, and oddly enough, I’m the most productive I have ever been in my life. The franticness has been replaced with a calmness, and the stress has been replaced with a stillness. I feel even-keel in my approach, and I walk into the office knowing exactly what needs to be done every day, every week and every month. It’s a feeling that is both incredible and powerful.

So what’s the secret? The truth is that there is no real big complicated secret. I take simple tools and apply them over and over and over again. And the best part is that anyone can do it. So get your pen and papers out because I will be sharing with everyone something that completely turned my life around, and a tool that had a profound impact on my life.

Habits

To achieve long-lasting and sustainable change requires constancy in the little things we do each and every day. This is why habits are the tool of choice I use in achieving my goals. The trick, however, lies in the implementation of habits, and the tools you use to hold yourself accountable.

“The Checklist” + Downloadable templates

To implement your habits I use a tool I call “The Checklist”. As the name implies, it’s a checklist that contains every single habit that must be completed every day, every week and every month, for you to live and perform at peak performance knowing that “everything you need to conceivably think about is covered”.

In putting together this tool, I use the template (available as a free download below) and any word processing program such as Microsoft Word; a program readily accessible to everyone.

When putting together my habits list, I use the following questions as a guideline to ensure that everything I need to think about during the month is given due attention and then broken down into manageable chunks so that the habits are spread evenly over the week.

  1. What needs to be covered every single week for me to go to sleep at night knowing that “every facet of my life is covered”?
  2. How can I break all these things down into days of the week (5 days), so that I know that at the end of the week, it’s looked after?
  3. What do I need to do every single day to ensure my life keeps rolling?
  4. What do I need to look at every single month to ensure that every aspect of my life admin is taken care of?

I provide for free below my downloadable checklist templates in addition to my own personal examples that can be used as a reference guide for when you fill out your own checklist:

  1. Free Download: BLANK Daily/Weekly/Monthly Habits Checklist
  2. Free Download: Daily/Weekly/Monthly Personal Habits Checklist
  3. Free Download: Daily/Weekly/Monthly Work Habits Checklist

Use “The Checklist” every day

How you choose to refer to your own “The Checklist” is up to you (for example, printing or referring to it electronically), but the critical factor in its implementation is that it must be used every single day.

I find it easiest to print my checklists in batches of five-at-a-time, and inserting them into a clipboard. This clipboard sits on my desk. As I complete the items, I tick off the checklist items.

When it’s online and I have to open it up in a browser, I don’t look at it for a variety of reasons (too many clicks, the page takes too long to load, the Internet isn’t working today, browser clutter etc.). By printing the checklists and having them on a clipboard in front of me, it’s always there, always easily accessible, and I’ll always look at it.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter how you refer to your checklists. If you are the type of person who wants it on an iPad, or a bookmark, or in your computer as a file placed on your desktop, that’s ultimately your decision. Just don’t forget to use it every day.

Important note #1, How to get results right away. Fast.

When I started using these tools, I saw results straight away. This is attributable to two things:

Execute step-by-step, line-by-line. The reason why I got results straight away is I tend to execute things exactly as I’m told. If I receive a set of instructions I will execute it down to the tee, line by line, step by step.

Trust in the process. Don’t skip the questions. Answer the question that is being asked, answer them in the order they are asked, and trust in the process.

Important note #2, Don’t over complicate

The art of thinking simply is really quite difficult.

People have a tendency to overcomplicate. I believe that if you want long-lasting change, and you want something which is sustainable, the tool, and the application of the tool, must be as simple as possible.

The following questions provide a good litmus test to determine if a tool or the application of the tool passes the simple test:

  1. If you give this checklist to someone else would they be able to replicate what you do? If yes, great. If it’s no, then it’s too complicated.
  2. Do you spend more than 5 minutes trying to understand the tool every time you look at it? If yes, then it’s too complicated. If no, great.
  3. Do you spend more time managing the tool, rather than getting the results that you seek? If yes, then it’s too complicated. If no, great.

Important note #3, Make it sustainable

At university, I hired a personal trainer to assist in the establishment of my fitness regime. What started out as 3 workouts per week turned into 5, an obscene amount of food ingestion requirements, and a monster cocktail of protein shakes and supplements that would make anyone think I was self-medicating. Any results I achieved were negated as I would burn out after 3 months. I would then take a 3-month break, and then “get back into the swing of things” again, and so the cycle would repeat. Any results that I gained were quickly lost, and the time, effort and money spent went down the drain.

My biggest learning from this experience is that anything that I do with my life now has to be integrated in a way which feels both “natural” and doesn’t require an incredible amount of effort (to the exclusion of everything else) so that it becomes sustainable over the long term.

Important note #4, Consistent application is King

The perfect tool will be rendered useless if not used consistently. I’d even go so far to say that an imperfect tool, used consistently, will still garner you with some results.

When I first introduced this to the Team Managers at WeTeachMe–The Go-To Place For Australia’s Best And Most Popular Classes–the biggest difficulty was ensuring that the Team Managers referred to it daily. However once this was done (it took roughly 1 month), I was able to “leave” the teams confident that as long as the Team Managers keep its application consistent, then I can sleep well at night as it ensures that the teams chug along like a well-oiled machine without much thinking involved.

Important note #5, The importance of establishing a direct link between your habits and the end-game

It was 2016 and I was at a retreat with Lydia Lassila–an Australian Olympic freestyle skier gold medalist who competed in the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Jeffrey Hodges–a sports psychologist who works exclusively with elite athletes and sports clubs to enhance individual and team performance (and author to the foreword in this article), and a smattering of entrepreneurs who wanted to take some time out of their insane lives to take a breather and learn. It was at this retreat that I learned the important secret of linking your daily habits to the end-goal. The decision to fly Jeff in to facilitate our learning seminars set the scene for a light-bulb moment in my life.

One of the sessions Jeff ran for us was the importance of habits. The realisation for me was as follows: A lot of people set habits like working out more or working out five times a week, eat healthy, waking up at seven o’clock every morning, but people lack the overarching reason why they set these habits. The second part of the questions should be: What is your end-game? Understand what your end-game is, and then establish the habits that you need to set that will take you to that goal.

When I returned back to the office, I set in concrete that my end-game in 2016 for WeTeachMe was to remove myself from the role of Success Team Manager, Sales Team Manager, Corporate Events Team Manager, and On-boarding Team Manager. I rooted this goal in the understanding that this was important because as my company grows, it is important that I remove myself in operational roles so that I am no longer the bottleneck.

The next step was asking myself what are the habits that I need to start practising on a daily basis so that I reach my end-game. To illustrate, some of the habits were as follows:

  • Daily: Delegate at least three tasks to someone so that I can practice the art of delegation. This was important so I could work more on the business rather than in the business. This one I found very difficult to do at first.
  • Daily: Delete 5 items from my to-do list so that I can remove the unnecessary fluff in my life. This was important because I found that I was busy but often questioned whether I was working on the things that mattered most. This was a lot easier to implement than the above.
  • Daily: Celebrate a win from one of the teammates that align with the company values. This was important so that the team started enforcing the company culture rather than the management enforcing the company culture. This was a lot of fun to do and created a great work environment.
  • Daily: Create or review two process documents. This was important to ensure that the business continued to be systemized and optimised so that I could remove myself eventually. This is an ongoing habit that I practice every single day, and encourage my Team Managers to practice every single day.

Making the link requires a little bit more thought, but I have found it empowering to knowing my end-game first, and then creating my habits surrounding that.

The benefits #1, No more decision-fatigue, Come to the office with your cup full

I used to wake up in the morning and feel anxious. I was anxious because I would overwhelm myself with the perceived number of tasks that needed to be completed, people I needed to talk to, and which fired needed to be extinguished. Then when eventually started working, there would be 50 emails in my inbox in addition to meetings that I had committed to. Mentally, I was fatigued, depleted and exhausted before the day had begun due to the minutiae of the day and the micro-decisions that I was making before starting.

This had to change, and I wanted to be able to leave home every morning and have that energy well full so that I can tackle on the most important matters in the office, and to reduce the decision-fatigue, I would need to reduce the number of decisions I needed to make during the day.

“The Checklist” achieves this for me and gives me the ability to just sit down and get on with it. “The Checklist” tells me every single day the things that I needed to do every single week, things that I needed to do every single month, and I know that if I do all these things consistently all the time, then at the end of the year it will be a perfectly well-oiled machine that has achieved everything that it needs to achieve without me even needing to think about it.

The benefits #2, Your capacity as a person increases 10x

I used to have anxiety managing 2 teams. Now I manage 4, on top of extra workloads, and with no sweat off my back. It’s like tapping into a secret grail of never-ending energy. For myself, increasing my capacity increased my ability to work on the projects that excited me. The reduction of stress also means I think with greater clarity, and generally a nicer person to be around.

Free download, “The Checklist” templates

I provide for FREE below downloadable checklist templates (and my own personal examples) that can be used as a guide when you fill out your own checklist

  1. Free Download: BLANK Daily/Weekly/Monthly Habits Checklist
  2. Free Download: Daily/Weekly/Monthly Personal Habits Checklist
  3. Free Download: Daily/Weekly/Monthly Work Habits Checklist

Learnings #1, Optimise to 80% and leave the remaining 20% for things you cannot predict

If you imagine your bandwidth as 100 points, what I had done with my first implementation of “The Checklist” was optimise my days to 95 points.

When fires came about (as they inevitably do), assuming that the fire requires 20 points, I found myself not having enough bandwidth to manage my day + the fires. Que stressed, tired and exhausted.

After repeated occurrences, I learned that I needed to optimise my days to 80, leaving the extra 20 points to deal with life’s unforeseeable events and fires.

This was a very hard lesson learned last year but in the wise words of one of my business partners, “Sometimes you need to feel the pain, to find a better way.”

Learnings #2, Have 2 versions of the checklist. One for when you’re unstoppable, and one where you’re not feeling so great.

I realized how important it is to keep my cup full and my energy full. I realize if I don’t have my energy level full then I can’t produce, and I can’t be effective. (Read: I’ll just sit there and stare at the computer screen.)

Every week I rate my energy level out of 10, and if I’m below a 6, I’ll do an abridged version of “The Checklist”. Being OK with doing this took a bit of work, but my mental health thanks me.

Learning #3, The tool will be constantly tweaked. What works today won’t work tomorrow.

“The Checklist” is a tool that grows with you. I constantly tweak mine. Some of the tweaks I do include reordering where the habits appear because I think that they should be on natural flow to the things that you go through.

What I know for sure is that you can only set habit based on the information that you know at the time. When you learn more information (through experience, through learning, through mentors), then you have more information to set better habits and create better checklists. Sometimes you will realize that some habits that worked really well for you last month don’t serve a purpose anymore. Give yourself permission to change, add, edit and remove things.

I tell my Team Managers at WeTeachMe to review their checklists regularly so that it still works for them. The simple test I use is, “If you are not using it every single day it means the tool is not working for you and you need to change it.”

Summary + now it’s your turn

1. When WeTeachMe first started, I had a yearning to upskill myself and learn the tools that I would need to get to where I wanted to get to. I remember going to business seminars, conferences, and startup events. What I realized was that in a room of a thousand people only maybe two or three will actually implement the tools that were taught; most opting instead to talk, attend the next conference, read the next book and be an “armchair entrepreneur”. I eventually decided to ban myself from startup events because I needed to start executing. Please don’t be an armchair entrepreneur. Make the decision to execute.

2. In regard to setting habits, the key takeaway is that you have to be smart about setting your habits. To be smart, find out what your end-game is first (the overarching goal), and then set the supporting habits underneath that will take you there.

3. Then execute it every day. Hold yourself to the highest standards of consistency.

4. Finally, habits are going to change as you learn more and as you grow more. What works for you today won’t work for you tomorrow.

Why I share my personal playbook + what success looks like to me

Our success is not solely due to our own efforts but to the cumulative efforts of all those that have come before us, who have made what we personally achieve possible. Therefore I believe that as we go through life and learn, it is important that we also give back. I consider myself incredibly fortunate and lucky to be surrounded by people who have been generous with their time, generous with sharing their own experiences and wisdom, and generous with mentoring me through life’s intricate nuances, and my way of honouring this is to share the lessons that I have learned along the way, just the same way those before me, shared with me.

A lot of these tools are tools that I created or adapted for my business WeTeachMe–The Go-To-Place For Australia’s Best And Most Popular Classes; which in 2016 became the biggest school in Australia. Whilst I initially started these tools for my business, I quickly discovered that it could be applied to every facet of my life. The impact has been life-changing on so many levels. I would love it if readers walk away from this article being able to immediately implement their habits, and to start seeing the results immediately (because they do happen!). I want to hear the stories of how this tool has impacted your life and moving forward, I look forward to seeing you explore how much more you can achieve with the subsequent articles in this collection.

Call to action

My goal is to help 1,000,000 people. My wish is to have these articles shared 1,000,000 times through the various social networks. For this reason, I provide this collection online for free and all I ask of you is this: If any of these articles have helped you in any way, please take a moment to share on social media, email to someone you think will find benefit, or print and leave it on the desk of someone whom you believe has the motivation, but lacks the tools to take themselves to the next level.

New articles will be released every fortnight. Don’t want to miss out on any new articles? Subscribe via email using the form at the bottom of this post and I’ll have the articles delivered straight to your inbox. Alternatively, you can also follow me on my various social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Thank-you to those mentioned in this article

My learning (and by extension, this article) would not have been possible without your generosity, your time and your sharing.

Lydia Lassila. Lydia Lassila is an Australian Olympic freestyle skier gold medalist who competed in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. She is the 2010 Olympic champion and the 2014 bronze medalist. On 20 October 2010, Lassila was awarded the prestigious ‘The Don” award by the Sports Australia Hall of Fame, which recognised her ability to inspire as well as her achievements during 2010, including her gold medal performance at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Jeffrey Hodges. Jeffrey Hodges is a performance consultant and educator who has worked extensively with students, teachers, corporate teams, and now specialises in working with top coaches, elite athletes and sports clubs to enhance individual and team performance. He is the author of the widely acclaimed “Sportsmind” and “Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings” books and Sportsmind audio programs; creator of the Sportsmind Mental Mastery performance enhancement workshops; Sportsmind Champion Performance personal success coaching systems; Sportsmind High Achievement and Peak Performance phone coaching systems; Coaching Excellence professional development program for sports coaches; and Director of the Sportsmind Institute for Human Performance Research.

Dear Internet,

I have moments in my life where my desire to do something overtakes my rationale, and I obsess, plan, obsess, write, obsess, create templates, obsess, create systems and processes, and then obsess a little more until at the end of the process, I have my idea, systems, processes, templates, overall strategy, and execution plan meticulously mapped out (including dotted i’s and crossed t’s). Up until this point, time seemingly suspend itself and I get caught up into this state of flow where thirst and hunger have no meaning, nothing else matters, and time is of no consequence.

Today was one of those times, and even now as I write this post, a million thoughts run through my mind. I have a sense of urgency to start executing, and I feel equal parts excited, determined, and impatient (with a dash of trepidation added in for good measure).

I strongly believe that as you go through the journey of life and learn, so you must also give. And my way of giving is to share the tools and learnings that has put me in good stead, and have served me so well; my own personal playbook if you will.

The idea is simple: Release a collection of articles filled with practical advice, how-to’s, ideas and tutorials to 10x your life. These are lessons I learned the hard way–in-the-trenches so-to-speak (or write!)–and lessons that served me well in co-founding and growing WeTeachMe–a tech startup that is the go-place for Australia’s best and most popular classes, and in 2016 officially became the largest school in Australia. These include skills and tools that made 2016 the best year of my life in 4 key areas: business, family, community and personal.

Everything that I share are things that I live on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis. This is important to me because I believe that what you teach, you must also live; and so I do my best to live what I teach.

The idea

1 — Each article will be practical and will be accompanied with worksheets and templates so that what I share can be immediately actioned. It is important to me that my articles aren’t your generic “10 ways to simplify your life”, but that they are infinitely useful and that you will see the benefits of implementing the tools immediately.

2 — Each article will be grounded in a story. This is important because stories are what enable people to connect with each other, and makes the core message easier to remember.

3 — All articles come from personal experience. I only write about things I have lived, because it is important to me that what I share is authentic.

4 — My goal is to help 1,000,000 people. My wish is to have these articles shared 1,000,000 times through the various social networks. For this reason, I provide this collection online for free and all I ask of you is this: If any of these articles have helped you in any way, please take a moment to share on social media, email to someone you think will find benefit, or print and leave it on the desk of someone whom you believe has the motivation, but lacks the tools to take themselves to the next level.

5 — I want to hear your stories. Did you benefit from this? Leave a comment below, or on the articles themselves, or even get in touch. I can’t wait to hear from you.

6 — I’m here to help. Questions? Need something clarified? Or perhaps you’re stuck? Leave a comment below, or on the articles themselves, or even get in touch. I’ll see what I can do.

7 — Each collection will consist of 10 articles of at least 100 words. Most likely more but never less.

8 — The articles and tools will be accessible to anyone who wants to read and use it. Therefore the style of communication will be simple to understand; plain English, and downloads are for free.

9 — New articles will be released every fortnight. Don’t want to miss out on any new articles? Subscribe via email using the form at the bottom of this post and I’ll have the articles delivered straight to your inbox.

10 — At the conclusion of this collection, I will announce the next collection. Is there an area of life that you feel particularly stuck with? Leave a comment below and I’ll keep track of what it is people want most of.

Draft table of contents

Take a look at the 10x 100 tools shared through this site outlined in this page. Links are provided for every tool that you can always return to when the need arises.

Final words

1 — One of the reasons 2016 was the best year of my life, is because I paid attention. A lot of attention. For I believe with absolute conviction that life is your greatest teacher. And because of this, I pay a lot of attention to my own life, and the lives of others around me. I pay attention to what others say, what they do, and to the tools they use in their own lives. These tools I then modify and incorporate into my own life to help me achieve my own goals. When I do this, I am at my very best.

2 — I want to write a book. One that is outside the one I penned for online gaming phenomenon Neopets anyway. But baby steps first. So let’s start with a collection of articles focused on practical advice, how-to’s, ideas and tutorials to 10x your life.

3 — I do now know where this leads. But I believe that when one does something with good intentions, one eventually attracts the same back.

So I invite you to come along this journey with me. Subscribe via email using the form at the bottom of this post and I’ll have the articles delivered straight to your inbox. Alternatively, I can also be followed on my various social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

With Warmth,

Kym