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Diminishing expectations: a quick guide to achieving your 2018 goals

Today, you have the choice. The choice to either raise your expectations or lower them.

Each year, around this time, we tell ourselves we are going to change. The gyms are packed, book sales go up, you start hearing calls from people you haven’t heard from in a while. Then, week after week, people go back to the people they were.

But not this year, right? This year is different. This year you’re going to stick with it!

The thing is, you can’t stick with something if you don’t know why you are doing it. It’s even harder to press on when you haven’t created a plan for when things don’t go your way.

Make this year special. Make 2018 your year. 60 minutes of your day today may make the difference for the rest of your year, and potentially, your life. Here’s what you do:

1) Have a vision. Write down the person you see yourself being 1 year from now. 5 years from now. Even 10 years from now. What do you have? What are you doing? What does your life look like if you knew you couldn’t fail? Be specific.

2) Set 3-5 goals for 2018. Massive goals. Goals so big that if you accomplished them, you would literally astound yourself. Really think about them. Make them relevant to your vision.

3) Focus on your habits. Now that you have those 3-5 massive goals written down, who do you need to become in order to achieve them? What habits do you need to develop? Write down at least 20 habits to either build or extinguish in order to become that type of person.

4) Create a system. Knowing what habits are important isn’t enough. What actionable steps do you need to make to build them? Is it your morning routine? Write down your ideal morning routine, then. Is it how you react to stressful situations? Write down some strategies you’ll need to learn to deal with them. Your habits are now your priorities. Work them into your day. They define who you are, and they will either make or break your 2018 goals.

5) Automate your routine. Use technology. Set reminders. Make your habits automatic and, thereby, making your goals automatic.

Diminishing expectations only produce diminishing results. So expect more this year. Do more. Push yourself past your comfort zone. Because developing new habits is not only uncomfortable, but painful. Be ready for that. But keep the end in mind. Know that with each time you persist and proceed, you are becoming the type of person you have always dreamed of. No more settling for easy-to-achieve goals. No more hesitating to make the tough changes. Focus on where you want to go, create a system to achieve that vision, then stop thinking about it, instead, make it part of who you are.