My Facebook in the last few weeks of 2016 was flooded with people whining and complaining about what a terrible year 2016 was.
I don’t know what all the fuss is about — 2016 was an incredible year for me and I plan to make 2017 even better.
I hope you also had a great year, but if you didn’t, it’s okay. 2017 is going to be one for the ages. But before we get into that, let’s take a moment to reflect.
What I Learned in 2016
In 2016 I expanded my knowledge and improved my skills more than I have in any single year in the last decade.
I could feel myself improving month by month, and I could see it in the way people treated me.
I leveled up and it’s an incredible feeling.
I’m not saying that to brag — I want you to know what you can also experience in one short year.
That improvement paid off.
I more than doubled my income from client work and made my clients a shit ton of money for their businesses this year.
HMP readership grew to an all-time high, despite months of absence from the blog. (See #2 below) Thank you!
Most importantly, I fine-tuned my vision and further aligned with my true self. More on that later — right now, I want to share a few things I learned.
1. You’re capable of more than you think
You’ve probably noticed I talked a lot about hard work in my posts from 2016. That’s because that was my reality.
I’ve always worked hard. I enjoy it. But this year I pushed myself even harder and I plan to up the ante even more in 2017.
There were times when I had so many client projects going at once that I wasn’t sure if I could handle it. Yet, those were the times when I was most productive because I had to be.
Hard work forces you to level up your game faster. It forces you to get sharper because there isn’t time to make mistakes.
In 2017, take on more than you normally would and embrace the challenge.
You’ll come out smarter, stronger, and better than you were before.
2. Focus is oxygen
In the last several years, my attention has been all over the place.
I started random businesses that I didn’t care about because I saw an opportunity to make money, I tried to take on clients for a wide variety of services, and I scattered my attention across too many interests for things that I would write about on HMP.
The problem with that approach is that I never gave any one thing enough attention to thrive.
When you focus on a project, relationship, or any endeavor, you give it life — you breathe oxygen into it.
Focus is oxygen, so you have to be picky about what you focus on.
In 2016, I dialed in. It was all about HMP and my clients.
I got rid of clients that drained my energy and only took on clients that were a good fit. I turned down way more clients than I took on because I narrowed my services to a select few that I’m best at.
For HMP, I took a break early on to focus all of my time and energy on creating Hacking Your Habits.
By the second half of the year, I realized I wouldn’t be able to give you enough content if I kept publishing the in-depth 2,000 to 3,000-word articles I had been.
I shifted my focus to sharing as much information as possible, even if it meant that information was less detailed. In November I published more articles than I ever have in a single month. The content from October through December is probably the best I’ve created so far.
Your focus is powerful but limited. Be thoughtful about where you invest it.
3. Optimism is the ultimate energy source
I’ve always been an optimist, but circumstances in life made me more of a cynic for a few years.
I guess I thought cynicism was smarter than optimism.
In 2016, I realized I was holding myself back by limiting my optimism from its previous levels. As I allowed my optimism to return, my life flourished more. I remembered why I was so stubbornly optimistic in the past — it works.
Optimism gives you an abundance of energy, while pessimism drains you of energy.
Is it possible to be too optimistic? Of course. But I’ve learned to leverage optimism as a tool for energy than a compass for direction, and that seems to have made a tremendous difference.
Perhaps you’ve noticed a shift in my writing since I first started HMP in the summer of 2014. You can expect to see even more optimism in 2017.
But that doesn’t mean I’m going to bullshit you. I never have and I never will.
I’m still going to give you the real deal, I’m just going to remind you of why the seemingly “bad” things are actually “good” things in disguise.
- Intention is Overrated
- Winners Can’t Sympathize With Losers
- The Adaptation Mindset (How to Find Leverage in Unwanted Situations)
Looking Forward to 2017
Two years ago, I said 2015 is Not Your Year. You might not have realized it at the time, but I was challenging you to build a system for improvement, rather than focusing on one simple resolution or goal.
“Forget about making 2015 my year and start worrying about my life. 2015 is the first year of the rest of your life.
You don’t have to change everything in your life in one year. For some people, that’s just too much.
Instead, think of the big picture.
What can you do this year that will improve the rest of your life?
What if, instead of trying to make $1 million dollars this year, you decide to create habits that build a person capable of making $1 million every year?
What if, instead of trying to lose 30 lbs, you decide to create a lifestyle that keeps you healthy and fit forever?”
In 2014, I focused on creating daily routines that would allow me to be more successful. I learned that the foundation of any routine is habits.
In 2015, I immersed myself in the process of creating and breaking habits. That year changed my life. I created the habit system that would propel me in 2016 and beyond.
In 2016, I released Hacking Your Habits to share that with you. Many of you bought it and started controlling the habits in your life — thank you for your support and congratulations for doing what most won’t.
Before releasing that system, I offered A Personal Development Growth Plan for 2016. Just like in 2015, I was talking to you as much as I was talking to me.
“The biggest mistake I made in 2015 was spreading myself too thin between multiple projects.
I learned a lot and I got a lot done, but each individual project didn’t make as much progress as I wanted. This year, my primary focus is on Health Mind Power.
I still have to dedicate time to my marketing services, because that’s how I pay the bills. But I’m willing to make less money if it means growing this website and creating more value for you in 2016.
What’s the most important thing for you to accomplish this year?
It could be starting a business, losing 50 lbs of fat, changing careers, graduating from school, etc.
Whatever it is, figure it out and write it down. DO NOT let yourself get distracted or off-track until you have accomplished your big goal.
Results transpire from areas where you give the most energy. Give your big goal an obsessive focus.”
After publishing that post, my “one big goal” changed to developing my skill sets as much as possible, as I mentioned earlier in this post.
In 2017, I’m going to put those refined skills to better use. This brings me to my call to action for you in 2017.
Think Bigger in 2017
This is the year to think bigger and take bold action.
Economic optimism is surging.
Opportunities are more abundant than ever before.
Everything you need to learn to accomplish anything is a Google search away.
There are no more excuses.
That business you want to create — do it!
That body you’ve always wanted to have — get it!
No more small-time thinking.
There’s never been a better time in the history of the world to be alive.
In 2017, don’t waste time observing the lives of other people on social media you wish you had. Go live that life yourself.
There will be other times in the future where everything aligns, but the current golden era of opportunity is peaking and the window will start to close. Why wait for the next golden era when 2017 is prime for the taking?
If you’ve followed along for the last two years, you have your habits in check and you’re ready to become whoever you need to be to accomplish what you want.
Normally I don’t ever make definite statements about a particular time period, but right now I am — 2017 is the year to think bigger, push harder, and go all-in on your vision.
99 Habits For Those Who Want it All
This FREE guide includes 99 action steps to get in shape, feel excited to start the day, and accomplish more in less time!
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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