There’s an old saying…
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”
And it’s true.
To make 2020 the best year of your life. To enjoy the freedom, fun, and success you desire… you must start by changing your way of being on a daily basis.
By doing different things than you’ve done in the past so you can achieve a different result in the future.
And while there are many habits that are worth adopting, there are a few “Keystone Habits” that will have a disproportionate return on your success and happiness.
These habits will create positive momentum in every area of your life and serve as the foundation for your future success.
If you get these right, your life will change in ways you never expected.
1. Create a “Straight Line Strategy” for Success by Implementing “MVP” Non-Negotiables
The trajectory of most people’s lives look like a page ripped out of a preschoolers coloring book.
They go around aimlessly in circles, trying strategy after strategy, hack after hack, and trick after trick. Never committing to consistency or creating a proven strategy for lasting results.
They’ll go to the gym 5 days a week for a month and then never set foot in it again until the New Year.
They’ll go on a few date nights with their spouse and then revert to their workaholic tendencies the second stress arises in their careers.
They’ll commit to waking up earlier and attacking their daily deep work until one night of crappy sleep convinces them to hit snooze ‘just once’ (and then becomes a month long pattern).
They’re not advancing towards our goals in a straight line – their path detours and wanders from side to side.
The key to achieving your big goals and dreams is to show up to the important commitments in life with a consistent cadence by developing what I call your “MVP (minimum viable product) Non-Negotiables”.
Most of you reading this are lifelong overachievers. You bite off more than you can chew and you’re proud of it (after all, it gave you that chiseled jawline, right?)
And, in specific contexts, there’s nothing wrong with this.
But on a global level, it’s important to create “minimum operating standards” that keep you on track toward your vision.
- Your goal might be to go to the gym 5 days a week. But with your chaotic schedule you know this isn’t always possible so you set the “MVP non-negotiable” that you will go to the gym at least 2 days a week NO MATTER WHAT.
- Your goal might be to wake up at 5 am every single morning. But you know that your sleep is haphazard and you’re often out late at night for work obligations so you set the MVP non-negotiable that you do NOT sleep past 6:30 am, no matter what.
- You and your spouse may want to go on two date nights every week, but you both travel and sometimes it isn’t possible. So instead, you can commit to the MVP non-negotiable of 3 date nights every month no matter what.
Effectively, these non-negotiables serve as a contingency plan to keep you on track when life gets in the way.
They allow you to make progress when you can’t achieve perfection and to maintain momentum even when you’re thrown off course.
Admittedly, this is more of a “meta habit” than a proper keystone habit, but it’s an essential component of success.
When you have a core set of habits and rituals you keep no matter what (and they’re actually doable), you’ll make more progress in the long run than if you tried to force yourself to be ‘perfect’ every week of the year.
Take some time right now to identify the most important MVP non-negotiables in your life and then get accountability to ensure you follow through.
2. Protect Your Time and Stay in Flow
The great equalizer of 2020 is that we’re ALL going to get 24 hours per day to work towards our goals – nobody has an advantage over the clock.
The only thing that matters more than the hours you dedicate towards those goals is the work you’re able to produce in the hours you work.
If you lose just five minutes out of every hour when you’re supposed to be working – whether it’s sorting through email, checking social media, rearranging your desk, or ‘getting ready’ to tackle the next task…
Those five minutes add up to over 166 hours that should have been dedicated to your goals for 2020 (assuming you work a forty-hour week).
As such, you must commit to the ruthless and strategic elimination of temptations and distractions.
Do whatever you need to do to eliminate the distractions from your work life. Turn your phone on airplane mode. Delete social media. Tell your family not to interrupt you unless it’s an emergency.
Protect your time like your life depends on it. Because it does.
There’s more, though…
That 166 hours statistic above gets WORSE if we factor in the focus we lose when we transition between tasks.
As such, a secondary habit that will help you eliminate dead time and dramatically increase your productivity is to “batch” tasks together and set up your schedule so you’re performing similar tasks at the same time
If your weekly agenda includes things like content creation (writing blogs or recording podcast episodes), working with clients, marketing or promoting your product…
Batch those things together so you don’t lose your sense of “Flow”.
Your brain will find it far easier to switch from focusing one coaching call with a client to another than it will to switching from a coaching call to recording a podcast episode, or writing a blog.
Remember, every five minutes that it takes you to get yourself in the right mental state to perform your work adds up FAST towards the amount of time that you’re able to dedicate towards your goals.
3. Schedule Time To Increase Your Net Worth…
No, I’m not talking about working on profit-producing activities (although you should definitely do that)
. I’m talking about your “Personal Net Worth” or the value of the skills and abilities you bring to the marketplace.
When it’s all said and done, your value (to the market) is dictated by the skils you have and the degree to which those skills have been developed.
Specifically, high-income skills (copywriting, sales, speaking, and coaching).
Your ability to improve upon those skills (quite literally) increases your Net Worth.
Just think about it…
If you’re a salesperson currently converting leads at 20%, how much more money could you make if you increase your skills to the point where you could convert 50% of the prospects you spoke with?
Or, if you’re a copywriter, how would your bank account change if you could consistently double the conversion rate of your client’s most important pieces of copy?
The greater your skills, the more valuable, useful, and significant you become to your industry.
As such, one of THE most important habits you can develop in 2020 is to devote at least 30-60 minutes a day to practice the skills that will increase your net worth.
If developing your chosen “high income” skill is not set in stone on a calendar, it won’t get done.
Identify the skills that increase your Net Worth, schedule time out every single week to practice and improve and deliver higher value…
And stick to that habit no matter what – by the end of 2020 you’ll find that when your Net Worth goes up because your skills improve, so will your level of achievement and success.
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