The start of each new year is the time when people care about personal development the most.
Gyms are overflowing with new people.
Books focused on self-improvement are flying off the shelves.
And people are motivated to get shit done.
Personally, I love it. I love seeing people fired up to make something happen.
Sure, the crowded gym is a little annoying, but it fades quickly.
Every year, without fail, it fades. I’m not going to hate on all those that give up on themselves after a month or two — what’s the point?
I’m going to focus on the few that actually want to put in the work required to accomplish your goals.
In 2015, I said it’s not your year. I told you not to have ridiculous expectations of a dramatic transformation in 1 year. A lot can be accomplished in a year, but you have to build up to those explosive growth years.
Instead, I suggested you focus on developing habits and becoming a person that can accomplish great things. We’re focusing on the big picture, not just 1 measly year.
This past year I made tremendous progress in the areas of productivity, habit-building, and developing a routine for success.
I also made several mistakes, such as focusing my efforts in too many areas. This caused me to neglect this website, my baby, for months at a time.
Fortunately, you never left my mind. All year I was experimenting, testing, and learning about things that are going to change your life for the better.
This year I’ll be sharing those findings with you.
And I’ll be quietly working on something special for 2017.
Let’s Talk About Personal Growth
As each year passes and I reflect on the previous year, it amazes me how much I’ve grown. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. I’ll remember something I said or did and wonder what was I thinking?!
I get immense satisfaction from growth and development. The day I stop growing as a person I’ll just go ahead and kill myself, because I won’t feel alive.
I think you feel that way too and I like that about you.
One of the problems we often face is trying to accomplish so many things that we end up putting our personal growth on the back burner. But you have to remind yourself, your success in all endeavors is forever limited by… you.
You are the common denominator in all of your successes and failures. For this reason, personal development needs to be your #1 priority.
Plan For Growth
I don’t personally care for long-term plans. Never have.
They limit you from seizing unforeseen opportunities and remove spontaneity from your life.
However, I do like to plan ahead. Rather than creating a strict personal development plan for the year, I’m going to share some guidelines to follow.
Apply them to your life how you see fit.
#1. Be Present With Others
In 2015 I made a point to ignore my phone when I was hanging out with friends, eating or having a conversation with my girlfriend, spending time with family, and when I was traveling. Aside from putting my phone away, I also cleared my mind of distractions.
And I had plenty to be distracted with.
You have no idea how hypnotized we are by our phones until you put your own phone away in public.
By doing this I was able to have a deeper connection with people and I was able to fully absorb my surroundings.
I don’t see my close friends a lot. We all have our businesses and careers that we’re focused on, some are building families, and we’re spread out across the country now. I want to make the most of our time together.
Time with others goes by slower when you’re in the moment. It’s a great feeling.
Here are 2 easy tips to bring yourself in the present instantly:
- Look at the color of each person’s eyes that you interact with
- Touch your surroundings (Is the device you’re reading this on plastic or metal?)
In the last year, some of my best ideas and insights came to me when I was completely present with friends or while traveling.
Life happens in the moment.
#2. Set Challenges For Yourself
Instead of having goals for the end of the year, I find it’s more productive to give myself monthly challenges. For example, last year I wanted to wake up earlier than usual and challenged myself to wake up at 4:30 am and head straight to the gym each morning for a month.
I typically don’t have an issue waking up early, as long as the first number on the clock is at least 5. So waking up at 4:30 was painful.
But I adjusted quickly and in that time period I was able to push myself to handle the highest workload I can remember doing. Eventually I went back to my normal waking time.
You don’t know what you’re capable of until you push yourself to your limits.
How many times have you looked back in regret because you know you didn’t put in the effort you could have?
Instead of trying to convince yourself that you’re going to go balls to the wall 24/7/365 — take a more practical approach this year.
Come up with challenges that force personal growth, career improvement, and/or spiritual growth. It has to be challenging enough to hurt, but not so challenging that you can’t stick with it.
As you beat each challenge, add something new or up the difficulty.
Think of it like working out. You don’t walk in the gym and squat 405 lbs on your first attempt. You build up to it.
#3. Focus On ONE Big Goal
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.
I’m not saying you can’t have other small goals on the side. You definitely can. You just have to be diligent about not letting those interfere with your one big goal.
To sum things up:
- Put the fucking phone down
- Make a habit of pushing yourself
- Focus on one primary objective
This plan is simple by design. It’s flexible to whatever is going on in your life and provides ample room for you to add anything you want.
Most importantly, it’s a plan you can undoubtedly stick to for the entire year.
Until next time,
P.S. If you have any suggestions for what kind of topics you’d like me to cover, what you’d like to see from HMP, or how I can help in any way — I want to know! Comment below or send me an email.
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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