Start 2021 Strong – Advice for a better year

I’m sure a lot of you have got some new year’s resolutions, I’m sure some of you don’t really care, and some of you have got some new goals; but deep down with all can achieve bigger and better things, and this is the truth. Without progress, what is life in general? Without progress in any area, things can get quite boring quite quickly…

Why bother?

Say you started a job recently or you learnt a new skill, and you said to yourself “this is as skilful as you’ll ever be in this area or job”, you probably wouldn’t want to do it for much longer. It wouldn’t be very motivating at all. So progress and challenge, ironically, is one of the roots of happiness, fulfilment, joy and success.

But I want to give you my three biggest tips, pointers, pieces of advice, tools if you will; that will help you succeed in 2021 and beyond. They’ve helped me, but more importantly they’ve helped numerous hundreds of thousands of successful people too – and when I say success, as always I define that in a holistic way of it’s not just monetary, I’m talking about health, relationships, and all round well-being success.

So my biggest three tips for all of you, here they come. But be aware, you may have to tailor your own path, but if a formula is available you do not have to try and reinvent the wheel – use what’s tried and tested.

Journalling

The first thing to do is get yourself one of these suckers. A journal. Nice and simple. You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. I’ve done a vlog on the Best Self Journal, and that’s the story of how I got started with that and over time I’ve tailored it to make it my own.

They’re cheap, they’re effective, you can get them from Office Works, you can get them anywhere around the world – hell even cheap stationery shops, just use a notepad or whatever you can get your hands on! Have a plan. Okay. Have a plan. Set goals and set goals daily – small actionable tasks in the form of the three most important tasks you need to do to achieve your goal(s) for that day. 

Take action on, and it take action on it daily. Make sure it’s in front of you or on you, or somewhere that you’re gonna be able to see and read it every single day.

To elaborate on the journal, what do you want to do is you want to have your main goals specified, and then break them down into smaller, more managable chunks. So, for example, you’ll have your really big goals and it might be over a year or over 12 weeks, and then you break it down into weekly and daily goals to help you move the needle toward success. You start with the end in mind, and then reverse engineer the problem. Yes you may have heard it before, but it works – that’s why.

A lot of you will be resistant, you’ll procrastinate, you’ll have disbelief (as I did), but if you stick to, it it will work I’m telling you. You might end up being quite surprised at how much progress you see and how well it works once you implement the tactics. Have a little bit of belief, have a bit of faith, and then apply it and take action on it. Then you’ll get more adherence, and more belief, and the more results you will ultimately see. So I do this daily. 

The way I set my day up is:

At the end of the day:

Give it a try, as I say, you might be quite surprised.

Get up early

The second thing, is get up early. Bit of a caveat to, this everyone’s slightly different. I’ve mentioned the book Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker, a couple of times throughout my vlogs and various content, and I’m really adamant about the book, because it essentially explains the importance of sleep and with a factual evidence based background and use real-life examples as well.

We are chronologically all different, so some of us just naturally are not early birds. Some of us prefer to stay up a little into the night, regardless, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has a morning, whether that is 5am or 6am, 8am or 12noon. Find out what your chronotype is, aka what are you more suited to – whether that be really early, semi-early (like most people) or whether you’re an evening owl, which is quite rare but does exist and hovers around 10am-12pm wake up time. But that first six hours of the day is when you have the most focus and the most clarity – it’s your hours of power. 

You see this illustrated with many successful entrepreneurs and business owners, the first 6 hours at the day is where they get the most important things done and there’s a reason for that. This is because you do have a finite amount of willpower, this has been proven, this is why people like Steve Jobs and a lot of intelligent people knew that they wanted make less decisions and choose the least path of resistance – even if that was by chosing to wear the same outfit every day. It’s these routines and habits, structures and systems, that help us streamline a process to success, and make the most of our morning spurt of energy. 

Getting up early, winning the morning, getting into those tasks, don’t prolong them, don’t put them off, get straight into them and get what you need to do, done. The more the day goes on, the less energy and the less brainpower you have, the more complacent you become and you end up not doing those tasks. It’s also quite refreshing when you complete those tasks, because it means whatever happens for the rest of the day is just cream on top – if you get more things completed then great you’ve achieved even more, if not then no worries you’ve already got your essentials covered. 

Be selfish in those first 6 hours and make the most of that time. 

Alex sleeping

Read Daily

The third and final point is to read daily. If you would have said to me when I was younger that I would be someone who reads a lot of books, I would have laughed. Now? I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘bookworm’ but I read a lot, a lot of books based around the knowledge of knowledge, other people who inspire me, biographies, self help books, and everything in-between. I take them all with a grain of salt, but once again: read.

It will improve your vocabulary, it will improve your communication skills, your ability to process thoughts, it will open your mind and you will also learn a lot of valuable knowledge. Books are the source of a lot of knowledge, most things have been done and they’re already written down – it’s just a matter of finding it…One I’m reading at the time of preparing this is Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss –  a lot of you go-getters will recognise the name.

Ferriss is very much on the forefront of progress in the entrepreneurship space and in this book it talks about all the tactics, routines, habits and behaviors of successful people. If you were to read it you’ll see a lot of things in there that will resonate with some of the things I’ve said here, but also about what successful people do, you’ll notice trends, etc. But it’s important to note that not everything is going to work for you. It’s not about trying to apply everything but you’ll end up getting nowhere. It’s about taking the things that actually work – the foundations, the framework, and then filling it out and make it more bespoke to your lifestyle, your habits, your behaviours and your preferences.

Read as much as you. 30 minutes to an hour per day ideally, but start with five minutes a day…hell start with a page per day. Dedicate that time. Do some in the morning, do some in the evening. I like to do both just before I go to bed – it’s a nice way to relax and wide down without the devices, whilst enjoying more heavy educational reading in the first part of the day.

So read daily. Constantly be re-educating yourself, upskilling and filling your brain with sound knowledge. Take what works forget the rest, continue, rinse, repeat, recycle. 

Final Points

So in 2021 if you want to succeed, if you want to get better, it’s not a quick fix – it starts now. It’ll be 2022 soon, so the best time is always now.