Only 8% of people fulfil their new year’s resolutions by the end of the year. If you want to be among those who crush it and kill it in 2019, you’ve got to do things differently.
Most people get excited when the new year is around the corner. They plan, dream and strategise. Doing that is good, but you also want to ensure that you are smashing it not only in the first few months of the year (especially when everyone’s starting fresh), but throughout the entire year.
Here are 19 things you must carry out in order to have an unprecedented 2019.
1. Eat your fears for breakfast.
Do what you are afraid of. Fear is an indicator of the things you must do.
Whether it’s the cold call, cold shower, cold visit, networking, talking to strangers, speaking in public, pitching in front of investors, asking for a pay raise, challenging an idea, asking pointed questions, pushing boundaries, initiating a tough conversation or going against the grain, do it.
Your fears are only as scary as you allow them to be and the only way to overcome them is to face them and do what you’re scared of.
2. Don’t listen to those who don’t have their shit together.
That unemployed uncle who tells you to not start your own business? Tell him to shut the heck up.
Be open to ideas, feedback and suggestions, but only take advice from those who know what they are talking about and those who have been there and done that.
Don’t take fitness advice from a fat person. Don’t take financial advice from a broke person. Don’t take career advice from the unemployed. Don’t take relationship advice from those who are single.
3. Always make the first move, again and again and again.
The guy who is proactive and takes initiative always wins.
He might get knocked down, pushed over and punched in the face, but he will always find a way forward.
4. Collect haters, naysayers, failures and rejections.
There’s nothing to be ashamed about when you encounter your fair share of hate, naysaying, failures and rejections. In fact, if you aren’t experiencing them, you are most likely not pressing hard enough on your goals.
See them as a badge of honour and like battle scars. If you can handle and are prepared for failure and all the associated nasties, you can handle success.
5. Think about what the 90 year old version of yourself would do.
It’s so easy for us to sweat the small stuff and lose perspective when things get crazy.
When you are stuck and are unsure about a particular choice, consider what the 90 year old version of yourself would do.
Scared to go overseas for a study exchange – does the fear matter at the end of the day? Worried about what others might think of your idea – would their criticisms really matter at the end of the day?
The greatest pain in life is the pain of regret. Live life without regrets.
6. Go for more. More of anything is usually a good thing.
Stretch and train your mind to think abundantly.
Apart from wastage and inefficiencies, more is usually a good thing.
More money can help build schools in third world countries. More opportunities can help people. More ideas can help solve problems in society. Having more connections would benefit your career. Having more passion and commitment will help your relationships. Having more grit will help in trying times.
7. Talk to strangers.
Strangers have everything you want. And your network determines your net worth. You don’t expand your network by just keeping to your friends and the people you know.
Strangers have access to the money, resources, ideas, skills, talent, connections and opportunities that you are looking for.
8. Blow your own trumpet.
I find it weird and inconsistent that people who encourage others to build up their personal brands frown when some try to blow their own trumpets. What the heck?!
If you want to impact and influence others, you need to make yourself – your ideas, skills, talent, experience, work – known. How are people going to be impacted and transformed when they don’t even know you exist?
Stop flying under the radar.
9. Punch above your own weight.
Pursue projects out of your league. Do things which make you really uncomfortable. Be the dumbest person in the room. Speak to people who are leaps and bounds ahead of you. Set goals and expect outcomes which you have never imagined was possible.
10. Commit first and figure the rest out later.
Don’t wait until you feel ready before you launch. Launch and then get (more) ready along the way.
Commit to a cause, project, goal or an objective, even if you haven’t figured out the entire process, and then do it as you go along.
Do wait for the perfect moment; make the moment perfect.
11. Create unreasonable and unattainable goals. Screw SMART goals.
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based) goals are good. But what I dislike about it is the attainable and realistic parts.
Who defines what is attainable and realistic? And why should you limit yourself to aspirations that are merely realistic?
Be unreasonable and chase after unattainable goals. If your goals are reachable and they don’t scare you, you aren’t dreaming big enough.
12. When faced with a choice, always do the tougher and scarier thing.
It’s in our nature to tend to shrink back to our comfort zones, pursuing endeavours and making choices that seem relatively easier, more comfortable and more familiar.
But if you are at a crossroads and have to make a choice, always do the tougher and scarier thing. This is one of the best ways for you to build up your mental toughness and resilience.
Keep quiet or put up your hand in the meeting to ask that burning question? Put your hand up! To start the business or not? Just launch the damn thing! Should I go for an overseas work placement or should I wait for a better time? Just sign up already! Should you wait for the customer to call you or not? Pick up the damn phone and start calling him!
13. Don’t wait for good luck. Create your own luck.
Don’t wait for the stars to align or read into your supposed star sign; just go out there and be the star. Don’t hope for a great day/outcome/project/partnership/etc; go out there and make it great.
Fortune favours the bold. The more you take massive action, face your fears, do whatever it takes and put yourself out there, the better your outcome will be. Sure, pray hard, but work harder.
14. Prove yourself.
“Hey, Dominic, we love you just the way you are. There’s no need to prove yourself.”
That statement is very reassuring but it doesn’t really help to prepare one for the real world.
To be offered a job, you need to prove yourself. To be considered for a promotion, you need to prove yourself. To have your business proposal accepted, you need to prove yourself. To be known as the go-to person in your industry, you need to prove yourself.
15. Hold yourself and others accountable.
Hold yourself and others to their word. Be serious when you make a commitment and when others do likewise.
Ask the hard and tough questions when things aren’t delivered. “Is there a reason why we are falling behind in the product launch schedule?” “May I know why the targets aren’t met?” “Why do I drag my feet to work? What’s wrong? What do I need to fix?”
16. If excuses are a people group, you need to carry out a genocide.
If you want to live a life of greatness and meaning, you need to shoot your excuses in the face and leave none of them alive. Conduct a mass public execution if you have to. And take no prisoners.
Do not tolerate the taking or making of excuses. You can come up with the best 1000 excuses in the world and nothing much will change. But all you need is one reason to do something and when you do it, things change.
17. Double the intensity especially when you feel like giving up.
Successful people don’t stop when they feel tired. They stop when they are done.
When you feel like giving up, I want to challenge you to double down on your goals. The natural human tendency is to shrink back when faced with adversity. I want you to stand your ground and learn how to punch back.
Feel like you’ve hit the wall after making 20 calls? Then aim for 40. Feel like this month’s target is overwhelming? Triple it. Feel like it’s impossible to finish your tasks by the end of the day? Then aim to finish them by lunchtime.
18. Be grateful but never complacent.
When you rest on your laurels, you rest in peace.
Be grateful and thankful for all you achieved and for how far you’ve come. Count your blessings, celebrate, enjoy the moment. But never, ever, be complacent. Never take things for granted. Never assume yesterday’s wins will secure/guarantee tomorrow’s victories. Never underestimate what it will take and cost to get to the next level.
19. If you fail, fail on your own terms.
Take full ownership and responsibility over your individual situation – even your failures. If you’re going to make a mistake, at least make it on your own terms – not out of fear, insecurity or neglect – and make it a lesson you’ll never forget.
If you messed up the client presentation, take initiative to clear the mess and apologise, and start devising your next steps. If you get a speeding ticket, at least get it because you were intentionally rushing to your destination, not because you forgot to go easy on the gas pedal.
There you go. The rest is up to you.
Remember, success is your duty and your service to the world and the people around you. You need to be successful so that you can better serve and impact others.
Dream big, go big and do big things. The sky’s no longer the limit because there are footprints on the moon!