Why are New Year’s resolutions so popular? Because we always have hope that things can get better. It’s how we survive. The start of a new year can feel a lot like moving to a different city and starting over. Opportunities seem endless, and you can develop yourself into someone completely different. Unfortunately, most resolutions tend to fail unless they’re properly managed. It’s important to first understand that changing your life and acquiring new habits is more of a cyclical process – a constant back and forth. In our experience, we’ve found that there’s a few critical things you can do set yourself up to achieve your resolution goals.
In this episode we discuss our 2018 resolution – what we called “The Year of Content” at the beginning of the year, and break things down into four main takeaways:
- Have a big purpose, but make sure your resolution is actually an achievable goal
- Create systems of external accountability
- Create a process you can stick with so it’s not easy to quit
- Reward yourself and celebrate your wins to increase the chances of forming new habits that stick
We tie these concepts into the creation of The Mentors Podcast this year, and why we think we were able to make big progress towards our “year of content” goal this year. We also make parallels to other popular resolutions, like weight loss, and talk about how successful entrepreneurs like Scott Belsky of Behance (acquired by Adobe) get past potential points of failure/giving up when things seem very uncertain.
1:10 Today’s episode is about how to stick with your New Year’s Resolutions.
1:30 Every year is an opportunity to do something new or try and change yourself
1:50 We believe everyone has the power to change
2:10 1 year ago we launched this show, The Mentors. We conceived of it during the holidays of 2017.
2:35 Now 1 year later we can say we did stick with it and achieved our New Year’s Resolutions in 2018. And we wanted to share some of the things we learned along the way.
3:04 There are ways to approach this that increase the chances that you’ll succeed with sticking to it.
3:40 Some people say that New Year’s Resolutions are worthless, but we’re here to tell you that’s not true. You just need to tweak your approach.
3:50 This podcast for us was an example of something we set out to not give up on
3:59 The first thing you can do to increase your likelihood of sticking to something is:
4:00 Have a big grandiose vision that keeps you excited, but make sure that the resolution itself should is a specific, achievable goal
4:30 For us the big vision, because we’ve done some video work and a bit of acting, we have a dream of someday having our own TV show or Netflix show. If we immediately set out to accomplish that in 2018, we would have failed, so we started to think about how to get closer to that.
5:00 Then it was clear. In 2018 we had to focus on putting out more content. The goal was putting out at least one piece of content per week. We decided on podcasting as our medium.
5:42 As of today we released 75 episodes, so we actually surpassed our goal of have 52 episodes in 2018.
7:02 For Gary Vee his big audacious goal owning the Jets some day – that’s what gets him excited. But he focuses on executing day to day on his business to get there.
8:20 The next piece of advice is to find an external source of accountability.
8:40 That’s why they say, for example if you’re trying to lose weight, go to the gym with a friend who is also trying to do the same. You’ll make each other feel bad about missing days.
9:30 In the beginning it was just us being accountable to each other, but then we also asked Sergei’s girlfriend Jackie to help keep us to publishing weekly episodes.
10:40 We also scraped our entire email list and told them about our podcast, so that a bunch of people knew we were doing this.
11:30 Then finally, our audience became the best accountability since people are listening and our listenership is growing, we feel like we owe our audience the content we say we’re going to create
12:20 The next thing that will help you succeed in achieving your goal is creating a process that you can stick with.
13:00 For us, we had experience creating content, including videos, and we knew videos were not going to be sustainable for a weekly thing. But audio was. And we also discovered we were pretty good at it and it was relatively easy for us to produce good content since there’s 2 of us, and since we had access to good guests as well.
14:20 Make it easier for you to NOT give up. If something is really hard you have a higher chance of not sticking through it.
15:17 Start with what you can do and only then after a while can you know what to delegate to others who are better than you at certain things
15:57 The last two points are related and equally as important. One is creating an opportunity for wins along the way, and the other is to create a reward system for yourself.
16:59 In a recent interview on Tim Ferriss, founder of Behance, Scott Belsky talks about this as getting through the “Messy Middle”
18:00 For us for example, our reward was seeing our listener numbers go up.
18:46 The other small wins for us along the way were getting to write for different publications, and every few months leveling up to a better publication, like Forbes and HBR ultimately. That was super rewarding and keeps us going
19:29 Give yourself the opportunity to have those wins so you can have that validation.
20:34 Three books come to mind about the topic of achieving goals.
1) Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
2) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
3) Unlimited Power By Tony Robbins
21:26 But also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Creating habits is hard and is often a cyclical thing. It’s ok to lose track on your goals. Just try to course correct and start again.
22:30 If you’re listening to this and some of these things sound familiar, don’t discount the fact that it’s often the simplest things that should be the ones that you take into account and try. The simplest changes can have a big impact.