Bet on Yourself

What if we all invested 100% in what we’re supposed to? What if you believed in your ability to start that business instead of leaning on that job you hate? Or gave your all to your marriage instead of sliding in someone’s DMs? Or worked out 4 days a week instead of just using “I’m 30 now” as an excuse to let your health deteriorate?

Bet on what you said you believe in. We are called to do more than we actually do and this is the year that I call you do do exactly what you’re called to. Let’s actually commit. Write that book. Apply for that EIN. Go for that promotion or that new job. Save that defined amount/percentage. Invest in your growth, don’t spend on your survival. Don’t be afraid to tell yourself that you’ll do it. You won’t disappoint yourself because, even in starting, you’ll be further than you are now.

 

Make making the jump a priority.

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Can Versus Will

This year isn’t about knowing you can. Those of us in developed countries with the foresight required to be reading professional development material all know that we can do anything we set our minds to. The question is “Will you do what you can do?”

I’m tired of seeing people who are less skilled, less competent, and less passionate than I doing better than me in the things I know I should be doing. So, this year, I’m knocking down doors to get where I need to be AND to get paid a fair amount in those spaces. Why? Not because I can but because I will. Will you?

And this isn’t just about your professional or entrepreneurial goals. In October, though I never had, I knew I could run 60+ miles but I didn’t know I would until I had 10 days remaining to run the last 35 miles. In college, though I never had, I knew I could graduate but it wasn’t until that fifth year that I knew I would. Make this stuff happen. This is your life. Put in the time. Ask for constructive criticism. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He called you by putting a fire in you to make something happen. That’s your calling. Step up to the plate. Now is the time. What are you going to do this year that you’ve never done?

 

Make knowing you will a priority.

Are Your Goals Actionable?

Before I begin, I want to thank you all for coming along on this ride. Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere (or at least I don’t plan to). I just wanted to announce that, as I write this, I have published exactly 1,400 posts to The Daniels Daily Reader (and hundreds more on those blogs that came before this one). So, as we come up on 2019, I’m going to put out some of my best young professional content to date and I expect you all to hold me to it. This is #TheRoadToPost1500. Let’s work.

I know, I know… We all say “New me, new you” is overused but let’s be for real. We’re just over a week from a new year and that year is a new benchmark (Obviously, this was written before Christmas but just work with me). We figure out what we set out to accomplish and examine what we did. We evaluate what we lost and what we learned. And then we move forward.

Last December, I wrote down a decent-sized list of objectives for 2018 and shared it with one of my accountability partners for feedback. This year, I am doing the same, and I’m adding a plan of action for all measurable goals this time. Steps. Timelines. Things that you can measure. Make the list actionable and malleable. If you find yourself ahead of schedule, stretch further. If you’re behind, adjust the action plan. Let’s make this year phenomenal. Let’s learn more about ourselves and how far our potential can take us than we ever thought we would.

 

Make making it make sense a priority.

Don’t Wait For a New Beginning

Don’t wait for a new beginning. Create a new beginning. Forget that the first of the week, month, or year exist. Make today the day that you start making moves on that new project. Right now, as you read this, write out a vision for your business. Set a date to take that grad school entrance exam. Outline your first (or second) book. Put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and make the commitment. Get a head start on next year. Imagine what a head start on this year could have meant for your 2018 goals.

Stop subscribing to the man-made schedules of when your success should begin and end. You’re capable of so much more than the world gives you credit for. Be more than capable, though. Take ownership over the time that you’ve been given. Your bosses don’t give you your time. Your clients don’t give you your time. Your professors don’t give you your time. It is a gift from the Most High. Take ownership of it and use your time as a tool on your journey toward your purpose.

Oh… And don’t just start. Finish.

 

Make starting now a priority.

Preparation is Key

We’re three weeks from 2019. WTH? This year has flown by. It could’ve been a little better or it could’ve been a lot worse.

As we get ready for Jan. 1, I implore you to really take an honest inventory of what 2018 looked like for you. What goals did you hit? Which ones did you miss? How far off are you? Can you still accomplish these goals in the next three weeks?

Now, as you plan for next year, adjust accordingly. If you didn’t finish something you still want to finish, reset the goal and give yourself a realistic time frame.

On this Monday, let’s start getting the vision for next year together. Sure, everything we plan for won’t happen the way we expect it to but we can at least prepare for what we can, right? Build that vision board. Set a defined list of goals and steps that will help you reach them along with a timeline. Schedule the difficult review or meeting now so that you know how to move going forward.

Do the hard work now to help offset the additional amount of work next year will bring. Make 2019 your year by putting pen to paper in December of 2018. Let’s get it.

By the way, I’ve got some 🔥 coming next week to help you start 2019 off the right way. Follow @DanDailyReader on IG to be apart (and win some cool stuff).

Make proper planning a priority.

This Is the Year You Begin Experting

“The emerging picture… is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything. … No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time.” – Daniel Levitin, nuerologist.

Right now (December 29, 2017 at 9:31AM), I’m whizzing through Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. As engaging of a book as it is proving to be, I had to take a minute to write this post, which just hit me as a great way to start off 2018. So, I must ask you a few questions: What have you been made an expert at? What are you becoming an expert at? What are you making yourself an expert at? How do these answers help you achieve your dreams?

What have you been made an expert in?
Looking at the lead quote of this post and believing it to be true, I was forced to look back at my life and ask “What have I truly put 10,000 hours towards?” Now, being that I enjoy math, I decided to write it out (how often as adults do we take time to do that anymore?) and I came to a pretty solid conclusion: we’ve all become experts twice over at listening to teachers, assuming we’re in class 7-hours a day 5 days a week for 180 days each year between kindergarten and bachelor’s degree. Now, let’s say that, as an adult, you spend 40 hours a week on a job you don’t care about with 2 weeks of vacation time, 1 week of sick leave, and 1 week of holiday time each year. After five years in that position, you’ve become an expert (we’ll round up the 9,600 hours that takes by assuming you put in some OT over the years). Ok. So, by 30, the average person is likely an expert at being a student and working for someone else.

What are you becoming an expert in?
You work 40 hours each week. Cool story. I understand. I work at least 40 hours a week too. Sleep is important. I understand. I get between 5 and 8 hours per night too (closer to 8 during the winter). Assuming you spend 2 hours a day traveling, you still have 78 hours. 78 hours!? Even if you spend half of that time doing nonsense (which is necessary at times), you have a full work week’s worth of time to grind it out. So, while you’re spending your five years making a salary at a job you don’t really care about, you could be sleeping enough, exercising enough, praying/meditating and STILL have time to spend 40 hours a week on perfecting that which you really want to be awesome at. Or, you could cut that 5 year time frame in half and by properly allocating your free time. But, instead, we spend our time becoming experts at texting, purposeless Instagramming, and TV subscription services like Netflix or Hulu.

What are you making yourself an expert in?
You love writing. How many hours a week are you developing your writing skills? You enjoy art but are you creating art daily? You want to be a motivational speaker but you haven’t been honing your speaking skills in the shower every morning and listening to speakers in the gym every evening. You’re making yourself an expert at mediocrity and that, my friends, is not what you want to do. Being an expert at basketball doesn’t mean you’re playing basketball every second of the day. Yes, most of it is the practical work out but also means you’re studying your own film, discussing strategy, and objectively studying those who are better than you. The same is true of writing, creating music, or leading effectively. Being an expert isn’t found only in the action but also in the development. No violinist comes into greatness without learning to read music. The development of that skill is a part of his/her 10,000 hours. How are you developing yourself professionally/creatively?

How can these answers help you achieve your dreams?
Today, take a look at where you are. And ask yourself on this first day of 2018 where you want to be in 2023. Or 2021, if you maximize your time. If I could choose to A) unhappily make $500,000 a year for the next 20 years by working an exhausting 60 hours a week or B) unhappily make $80,000 a year by working 40 hours a week and putting 40 hours toward developing a skillset that will lead me to happily making $200,000 per year five years from now, I’m choosing B. The problem is, many of us aren’t willing to make that sacrifice. We take the right now as opposed to the long term. In both situations, you’re working a job a job that is unfulfilling but the question is how long will you be living an unfulfilled life and is the money really worth the emptiness that you will undoubtedly look to fill in unhealthy ways?

Today is the day that you decide what to become an expert at.

 

Make becoming an expert a priority.

Don’t Burn Out Already.

I’m writing this on the stationary bike in the gym this morning. It’s empty. Do you want to know why? Because people set themselves up for failure. They set lofty goals. And there is nothing wrong with a lofty goal that matches solid determination. But when you mix the former with inconsistency, you’re setting yourself up for an early exit. So, as you set goals going forward, know it is better to do something and work your way up to a lofty point than to start thinking you will change everything just because the date on the calendar changed. That takes more than a plan; it takes you taking an inventory of yourself and your own motivation.

It’s ok though. I look at every day (as opposed to every year) as an opportunity to improve on my ability to be consistent. You should too.

 
Make professional and personal development priorities.