To reach your happiness and wealth potential, you need a daily planning ritual. Learn how the Y-Planner will help you
The only way to change your life is to take charge of the decisions you make today. But how many times do you forget to make the decisions you know you really need to?
That’s why everyone needs a daily planner–something to keep you accountable and consistent.
When you get in the habit of planning out every good decision you need to make in a day–from the career and fitness goals you’ll tackle, to habits like meditation and limiting distractions–that’s when you’ll start making each day better than the last. That’s when you’ll start loving life again.
I’ve created the Y-planner to help you love your life again.
Along with recurring daily habits for meditation, journaling, limiting technology, self-encouragement, the Y-planner includes slots for up to eight custom goals, as well as spaces for learning, creativity, and tackling a procrastination. These are all the things you need to feel on top of your game and in love with life.
Here’s what it looks like:
With the Y-planner, we’ve made your best day (and week, and month, and year!) easy
Each day, all you have to do is plan the top five to eight tasks that bring you closer to your goals for happiness and welath. To make that easier, we’ve crafted simple weekly and monthly planning pages that identify your top bigger-picture goals–many of which are pulled from your custom yearly goals questionnaire.
You refer to these weekly and monthly pages every morning when you plan your new day. That way you’re always connected to your greater purpose, and you’re never left feeling hopeless or without direction.
Your life with the Y-Planner
Every day you use the Y-planner, you will be connected to the long-range goals that, with consistent effort, will make your dreams a reality. You’ll never have to be stuck worrying about your next move, or how you should fill your mornings, or your afternoons, or your weekends, because you’ll have a plan.
That’s a big promise. But the Y-planner is so simple and effective that, if you use it every day, your results are guaranteed. No one can stop you but you.
So purchase our Y-planner. Learn the art of good living. Make each day better than the last. Put forth your best effort every day that ends in Y. And be confident in finally knowing that you are doing everything you need to be happy, healthy, and wealthy. Which is what we all really want.
If you could be fit, happy, and in control of your life today, then why the heck would you wait? That’s why New Year’s resolutions can politely screw themselves.
Because we’re never technically going to be ready for the big changes we want to make. We’ll always have some doubt, some fear. And there’s never going to be a certain date that prepares us any more than the other 364 days in a year. That’s why we’ve got to take responsibility for our dreams to-day.
If you have some resolutions you’re putting off till January first, screw—that. That’s what everyone else is doing. And guess what? Everyone else is going to fail. (Studies show that 93% of them will at least.) That’s because everyone who resolves to be the best version of themselves on the first are indulging in a fantasy—which is that January first will magically help us have discipline and resolve.
“This year’s really going to be the year I get out of this shit relationship!”…
“This is the year I’ll catabolize my muffin top and get back into my favorite jeans!”…
“This is the year I’ll stop trashing all of my dreams and make something of myself!”
Yeah-freaking-right!!! Because that year is today. And if you’re not practicing new-you resolve today, and this week, and the rest of this last month, 2018 will slip away just as infuriatingly as last year.
So I’ve got an alternative resolution for you
Today—to-day—I want you to write down three habits you can no longer tolerate. Could be drinking. Could be limitless social media. Could be eating garbage food—whatever’s holding you back. Just pick three.
Then write out three habits you absolutely want to start—things that build up your confidence and self worth. Could be walking two miles a day. Could be learning about the career you want to begin. Could be writing or drawing or playing music every day—whatever is aligned with your purpose and increases your confidence.
Then every day, starting to-day, I want you to plan out those to-dos and not-to-dos on a blank journal with a big fat checkbox next to it. Include an even bigger and fatter checkbox at the very bottom of the page that says, “Do your best!” Super simple.
If you repeat this every morning, and follow through with your intentions, and applaud each of your efforts, and check off each of those boxes (to include the “Do your best!” box at the end), by January first you will be approximately a billion light years ahead of the rest of the dreamers. You will have all the confidence and purpose they lack because you practiced the better you and took responsibility for today.
And I’ll be your biggest fan. –Seriously, write to me. I cheer on all of my readers.
Why only three things?
I’m only suggesting three habits to pick up and three habits to drop because I want you to focus on the most important things that bring you the greatest return for your effort. This is the Pareto Principle: eighty percent of your results depend on twenty percent of your efforts. That boils down to about three major focuses for most people.
This is the antidote for people who get bogged down in minutia. We write out twenty plus things that they can’t possibly keep track of or commit to en masse. Thing is, most of the smaller things in life will resolve themselves once you put the bigger pieces in place. It’s just like a puzzle—which almost completes itself when you have the biggest pieces in order.
That was the way it was for me.
I was a fully dissipated millennial who’d never done anything worthwhile just five years ago. But I decided to start three habits: writing every day, journaling every day, and doing daily affirmations. I also committed to not doing the biggest things that held me back: relationships, unlimited social media, and TV.
When I planned for those things every day and followed through, my self-improvement jumped to hyper speed. My confidence grew ten fold every week. I became accomplished in just three months because I didn’t have the biggest weights holding me back anymore. And it was easy…
I only had six things to focus on! Well, seven if you include a best effort. Fast forward two years and I was published on the best websites in the world and getting paid more than my college-graduated peers—and I was doing the things I loved most! All I had to do was drop the magical thinking that a magical day or person or event would change my life for me.
The formula is simple: Do more of what you love and less of what holds you back. If you resolve to do that to-day, and if you adopt the habit of daily planning, 2018 will bring everything you want and more. If you don’t…and if you decide to wait for January first…God help you. Because you won’t be helping yourself.
Need accountability and expert guidance? You know about my work. And if you want a free download of the daily routine and planning template that I reserve exclusively for coaching clients, email me. My Christmas gift to you.
Most relationships are founded on a curious fantasy: that you can be happy in a couple when you weren’t happy alone. It doesn’t add up, and it never works out. Instead of growing in happiness, we magnify each other’s insecurities.
The only solution is to become so secure in yourself that you don’t need another person to feel whole — then you can love unconditionally. Here’s how I did that while finding more success than I ever imagined possible.
Finding wholeness and success in a single year
The tray refused to spin. In my attempts to master this quirky restaurant skill, I’d chipped or broken nearly a dozen plastic serving trays over a month and was no closer to success than the day I started. Didn’t matter how fast I twirled the tray onto my finger, or how fastidious I was in keeping my finger perfectly in the center—the tray always teetered off or stalled out.
As someone who prides himself in his athletic abilities and hand-eye coordination, this was a particularly devastating third world problem.
After a month of no progress I quit. (Incredibly, I found something better to do.) But last evening I was just finishing dinner and washing off my dishes when I absentmindedly began to spin a tray.
“I didn’t know I could do that…”
These were Stephanie’s incredulous words when she was given permission to read fiction for the first time in a decade. This mother of four and solo entrepreneur had spent the last ten years in a whirlwind of diaper changes, homework sessions and professional photography, which left her very little time for anything else she loved – including Harry Potter.
I give Stephanie credit for being so devoted to her family and for being so selfless. But her martyr-strategy didn’t work out. Read on to learn the procrastination-busting strategy Stephanie used to turn it all around…
My best days used to drive me insane. One day I’d lose myself in the golden bliss of a perfection–nothing could phase me. Then the next I’d step on a tack straight from bed, bump my shin on the coffee table, spill coffee from said table on my groin, and curse and scream at minor inconveniences for the rest of the day. Like an r-tard.
If I could be high on gratitude and joy on any given day, what exactly was stopping me from doing it every day? After I asked this question, I started taking notes on all of my days to find out. And I began to see a pattern emerge:
Purpose, gratitude, meditation, fun and flow.
I entered my 25th year thinking I was a walking fiasco. My high school expelled me twice before I quit in eleventh grade, and I got canned from every menial job I ever had: from golf cart attendant to bagger and burger flipper. I was even rejected by the United States Army. The Army…where people scheme for years and still can’t get out!
The one thing I could do well was write.
I was always on the lookout for a good story or a character I could profile. Like second nature I archived my adventures and philosophical musings, and the most precious thing I owned was the notes section on my 2nd gen iPod touch. But I didn’t pursue my passion because I’d been conditioned to think I was an automatic failure.
I spent so much time bombing the things I couldn’t care less about that success as a writer seemed impossible. So I brushed that dream under the rug.
But after so many failures, I started getting old. Living with my parents got old. Sucking got old. By the time I turned 25 I realized that I’d never actually tried to succeed at anything; I’d only half-assed things I just didn’t care about. But I cared about the one thing I hadn’t tried…writing.
Finding my one thing
I made a promise to myself on the night I turned 25: I’m going to succeed at writing if it kills me. I couldn’t squabble with my little sisters about who was supposed to clean the bathroom this weekend. I couldn’t be broke and friendless anymore. I couldn’t live without going for my passion.
So I came up with some simple goals.
I decided to write for 1-2 hours every morning. I committed to one uninterrupted year of nightly journaling to mark my progress. And I spent time each day learning about writing. Simple, right?
I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew because I’d never done anything for a year. But I figured if I failed at what I loved, I just wasn’t cut out for the whole life thing. With nothing to lose, I went all in.
Committing to my passion came naturally
Within a month I gained enough courage to win my first writing job. I was sure I’d bomb the assignments, but I didn’t; I kept getting more. Three months later I’d been published on my first three websites: ActivistPost.com, Wakingtimes.com, and the GoodMenProject.com
This was the first time in my life that I’d ever had anything of my own to talk about. I’d always been jealous of my brothers and sisters who had it together. All the adult friends of the family would ask what my siblings were doing with their lives, and there was always plenty to be congratulated, plenty to be excited about. But those friends knew better than to ask me—I had nothing.
I found myself on fire for writing. As I wrote and learned more about my craft, I grew more passionate, more driven. I became more confident when I saw the results of my hard work. Getting published was like heroine. Getting paid was like heaven.
Six months after the beginning of my writing journey—that’s six months of writing for at least an hour every day—I landed my first full time writing gig. $750 a week. I had a system of folders to contain my ever-expanding volume of work. I grew a portfolio. I finally had something that’s mine, something no one could take away. When people asked me what I’m was up to, I couldn’t shut up about the projects I was tackling, the new sites I was writing for, and the topics I was passionate about. I did what I loved and I got better at it every day.
What’s your one thing?
In pursuing my passion I’ve found me. I’m not the failure I thought I was. I’m a writer. And I found that out by doing one thing every day, no matter what.
Three years of sticking with my writing habits, I’m a success story. I contribute for sites like Entrepreneur and Fast Company and Fitbit. I get paid a buck a word to do what I’d gladly do for free. And now I get paid even more as a coach, helping others keep accountable in becoming experts at their one thing.
No one thought I could do it. I didn’t even think I could do it at first. But I knew I had to, or I couldn’t live with myself.
If you’ve struggled with low self-esteem and a lack of success, you have hope. Doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 45—you will find success when you focus on one thing for one year. It helps if you’re passionate about it.
So what’s your one thing? What’s the thing you couldn’t live knowing you didn’t try? Write it down. Then write down promises to yourself to commit to it for an entire year. Every — single — day. Pick up a habit of daily goal-setting that includes checkboxes for your one thing, and for the fun/fitness/social activities that keep you balanced and motivated. Last, get someone to keep you accountable. We all need help on the path to our dreams.
I was out on a walk in the desert arroyo when I found myself throwing stones at a target 60 yards away. No matter how hard I tried, or how many times I switched my stance, I couldn’t get the (goddamn!!!) stones to hit. But then I looked at the target again, and I asked myself, “Are you really looking at the target?” And I realized that I had been taking my eyes off the target for a fraction of a second as I was releasing the stone. Barely even noticeable.
So I tried the target again with three smooth stones. And I committed my mind and my eyes to the target from address to release. I was that target. And when I slung the first stone, I felt the target the whole arc of my swing. And unlike the 30 stones prior, this one rattled into the drainage ditch halfway up the dried up creek bed. And the next one hit as well. And the next. And it was all because I focused my whole being on that target from start to finish.
What a difference a little focus can make.
Now I’m reflecting on my life and my journey. And I’m realizing that every single failure was a result of broken focus. I took my eye off the target, even if only for a day or a week, and that was enough to derail me from the results I wanted. I wasn’t fully in charge of my mind.
And now I’m reflecting on my success as a writer and a coach. I’m realizing just how focused I am. I wake up and visualize my success, and pray for the resources I need to hit my target. Then I work towards my goals. And then I meditate on my career in the middle of the day, visualizing some more. Then I work some more. Then before bed I reflect on what I did to reach my goals, and what I could have done better. I am 100% focused. All day. And when I throw myself into a day, just like the rocks this morning, I’m hurling all of that effort precisely at my target, because that’s where my eyes are. That’s where I am. I am nowhere else.
So where are you? Are you 100% focused on your target, or are you not? What’s distracting you?
Figure that out. Then throw all of yourself into what you really want to do. Don’t even blink.
People pick up oodles of habits just to taste success. We wake up before God, start planning, adopt new routines—we even spend tens of thousands of dollars on seminars and personal coaching. But how much of it actually makes a difference?
In my experiments with lifestyle design, I’ve found that what I omit is tenfold more important than what I commit to. Because a person can say they’ll do x, y and z. But if their time and focus is wasted on bad habits, they’ll be hamstrung—and only feel worse for not sticking to what they know is best. I’ve been there.
Falling Back Into the Wrong Habits
Several months ago I was rolling in it. After a few whale clients, I was having fun making money and doing what I loved. I’d worked like a mule to enjoy the fruits of success, and I’d disciplined myself to stick with the right habits. But there was a small hitch about my latest gigs…
I had to check email every morning.
In order to reach any success, I had to cut out all reactive habits (like email and social media) so that my daily routines boosted my confidence and productivity. I’d made a career by refusing to check email. But, for the month of large projects, I was fine with breaking my routine. I still did work I was proud of; I still ended the day feeling accomplished and successful. But the bad part happened after that month ended.
Even though I had absolutely no need to check my email first thing, I kept doing it. And since I didn’t have an all-day project to jump in to, I’d check it again before I’d done any work…and again…and again. And after email checks got boring, I’d jazz it up with a little Facebook, and some Twitter. Doing the wrong thing just gets easier and easier.
Of course I rationalized it, feeling that I needed to respond to comments on my articles and posts. Then I’d progress naturally into texts. And finally, I’d resort to unabashed Internet surfing, thinking it was okay since the day was practically done anyway. And then the day was over. Poof. And then the week was over. Flash. And then half of the month was gone without my having done anything that could even come within a fathom of the term “accomplishment.”
I was crushed. A month before my confidence was at an all time high. Now? I’m no bigger than an amoeba on a wart on a frog on a log.
How I Got Out of My Rut In 10 Minutes
I started waking up in cold sweats at three am. I felt my grip on success slipping; and because my days were zipping by so fast, I started to panic. I just couldn’t get any traction. That all changed on a Sunday night.
Again, I found myself up in sweat-drenched anxiety during the witching hour. I tried reading to get back to bed, and meditation, and visualization. This problem wasn’t going away. I’d had the inchoate feeling that I needed a drastic change, but I wasn’t willing to part with the comfort of my new routine. Not until now.
So I grabbed my journal and I wrote down the thoughts I’d been feeling and ignoring: I am disappointed in myself. I’ve let myself down. I’ve stopped doing good things for myself–just the plain truth.
Then I reflected on the most important question: why?
And before I knew it, the answer was staring me back in the face. I’d abandoned all of my winning routines. And I’d slowly given a foothold—and then a stranglehold—to all the habits that defeated me.
The Habits I Gave Up to Be Successful
My two weeks of misery were over in an instant. At 3:30 in the morning, I made the split-decision to quit Facebook for a month; to check email only once a day after four hours of real work; and to limit my texting to one round in the evening.
These had all been my primary sources of comfort in the past week. But, paradoxically, they’d brought on the greatest anxiety and discomfort I’d felt in several years. So I sacrificed them without hesitation.
Working back into my normal creative routine wasn’t exactly easy. I had to deflect a thousand niggling thoughts like, “Ah, come on…one little email check couldn’t be the end of the world, could it?” But I persevered. And by the end of the day, I’d written my first real article in over two weeks and accomplished a dozen back-burner necessities that I’d abandoned in my hiatus. I went to bed that night feeling an overwhelming sense of pride. And that was a feeling I wanted to replicate.
Within the next week, I’d managed to secure $5,000+ in new business—which was double what I’d made in any week before. Good habits have made me successful. But I wouldn’t have room for the good if I hadn’t eliminated the bad.
So what’s holding you back from the results you want? It’s not a lack of good habits, I can tell you that. It’s the little things that you’ve probably made excuses for over the past weeks and months—like Facebook, or binge drinking on the weekends. You know you best. But when you do figure out that one or those several little things, plan against them. Write them down. Then make a decision to cut them out of your life over the next month. You will be amazed at your success.
And if you need help along the way, check out my coaching package.