If This, Then That

Electric Inifity Sign

“You know what’s better than building things up in your imagination? Building things up in real life.” ― Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage

It’s a new year and opportunity is in abundance...

The sky clock has turned another season, and now is the time to act if you plan on growing something worthwhile.

This time of year, it’s common to breathe in the sense of new, yet somehow, many seem to lend their focus to the exhale of the old.

The New Year's Resolution (as a concept) inherently focuses on the old and drags that into the new as something that “… needs resolving”.

What if that’s not a proper way to render needed change?

Perhaps it’s not that something old needs to be resolved, ended, or defeated.

What if that old can find a place in the new?

Could you let that something old become something more?

Meditative Lift Off

The past is due it’s just attention, however, only to provide enough insight to shine a light on the next path to take. Otherwise, the past should not be dwelled upon.

Why do most New Year's Resolutions fail?

You know, the ones that we’ve all started and ended before we finish uttering their list into existence:

  • Diet and eat more healthy
  • Spend time in the gym
  • Lose weight
  • Save more and spend less
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take up a hobby
  • Quit smoking
  • Read more
  • Find a new job
  • Spend more time w/ family and friends

Why do these goals regularly go unmet, year after year, among ourselves, our friends, and our family?

Let’s be honest. Just looking at that list provokes anxiety.

We know these are probably goals we should act on, but many stumble and quit upon embarking on a single task.

That’s because we can see where we are, and understand where we want to be, but don’t yet have the discipline to carve the path between the two.

"Discipline equals freedom." -Jocko Willink

That discipline comes from growth-focused goal-setting.

Otherwise known as committing to taking action in your life.

Do or Do Not

Growth-focused goal-setting is essentially the practice of sitting down with yourself and embracing the difficult questions most of us actively avoid.

The are 4 key elements to growth-focused goal-setting

1. Growth Behind the Goal

What about yourself should you grow or change to get what you’re after?

What should you be focusing on?

What steps can you take, now, to start walking that path?

The largest part of achieving a goal is knowing it, completely.

To truly know your goal, you must understand what is required of the quest on which you are embarking.

2. Which skills should you learn?

Consider the qualities and abilities you should gather, grow, and develop.

Habit formation skills, or, learning how to program your subconscious to enact what you should be doing, are grand examples of this.

But how does one develop habit formation skills?

Those are derived by maintaining resilience, mental strength, discipline, and accountability.

With those tools, you can build habitual traits toward anything of your inclination.

It’s the growth that leads to the achievement of the goal, rather than the setting of the goal itself.

Intention alone, is nothing without action...

Let go of your fear of failure and embrace positive iteration with a firm grasp over a growth mindset.

Growth Mindset

3. Observation of Opportunities

Imagine each moment an opportunity to say yes to something and an opportunity to say no to something.

You are the master of your time and it is your will that determines how that time is spent.

Be clear with yourself, the criteria for each thing you say yes to, and each thing you say no to.

One of the largest reasons we don’t achieve our goals is that we say yes to too many nonpriority tasks and no to too many priority tasks.

Prioritization is key...

Consider most, the why over the how, as to that which you say yes and that which you say no to.

What are your non-negotiables?

What are things that you MUST do every day?

Consider this deeply.

Why would you say yes to something you normally wouldn’t do, and no to things you know you need to do?

Knowing when to say yes and when to say no can be a powerful tactic.

Knowing why to say yes and why to say no can be a powerful principal.

When you don’t clearly define your criteria, you get confused by your choices and can become overwhelmed.

Lack of clarity yields unmet goals.

Pilot your plane.

Set conscious rules so your default mind (subconscious) doesn’t run the show.

Conscious Action

4. Establishing an Action Plan

This is the HOW as to achieving your goal.

Imagine a ladder...

This process is creating each rung or step.

Each rung is an individual quality that must be worked on each hour by hour each day.

Note that this is a balanced ladder, and there will be rungs where you must stop, rest, and recharge to begin to climb further.

Keep asking yourself questions to gain answers so that you can turn to action items that build each rung of the ladder.

This may begin as a small stepladder built toward things you can do at this moment.

Consider each minor component by each minor component.

The goal is ultimately a sum of these parts.

Each being the what, when, how, and why you’re doing a thing.

Be focused and effective.

A Plan Coming Together

Derive an Overarching Theme

Make this year about something...

To do that, you must focus on these three things:

Learning something new allows for exploration of the mind. It indulges curiosity and intrigue.

Launching something provides space to make mistakes and engage in growth.

Loving something (what you’re taking care of) provides necessary consistency and stability.

Each of these practices fulfills separate parts of your mind that bring it balance; allowing you to better engage and progress in your growth.

Each of these practices communicates different energy.

Overlearning may drain focus and excitement.

Over-launching may drain stability.

Over-loving may cause boredom.

Balance is key, here.

luke balance

What are you learning? What are you launching? What are you loving?


This all seems like quite the task. However, this is time well spent. If you’re not spending your time on yourself, first, you’re just giving it away.

Take extreme ownership of your life.

Enact a positive feedback loop and ride its reverberating waves into the future.

I hope you can take these notes on growth, opportunity, action, learning, launching, and love and build on them into the most fulfilling and purposeful year.

Thanks for reading.


This post was inspired by Jay Shetty's podcast, On Purpose.