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To many people, personal development is seen as weak, stupid, and unnecessary. Ironically, these are the same people who need it most.
So before we begin, take a minute to honor yourself for even being on the journey. Some people go through their whole lives without even taking the first step. So congratulations.
But here’s the thing… There’s a big difference between being on a path and being on the right path. Much like your physical fitness, personal development requires a strategy. Just like you can’t go to the gym and expect to bench press 315 your first time, you can’t jump into the world of personal development and expect to transform your life overnight. It takes patience and a commitment to working on the right things. After transforming my own life and then building a 7-figure business helping others do the same, I’ve come up with a few simple steps to optimize your personal growth. Let’s dive in…
1. Have a P.F.G. Before you begin your journey, you need to have a PFG or Plan for Growth. Just like you wouldn’t set out on a road trip without a map (or your Waze app installed) you shouldn’t set out on the journey of personal development without a clear roadmap for improvement. So before you get into anything else, I want you to create your PFG. Start by asking yourself the following questions. Where am I right now? (Be honest and look at the FACTS… What do you weigh, how much do you earn, what is your relationship like, etc.) Where do I want to be? (Get detailed… Don’t say “I want to earn more money”, clearly specify the number. E.g. “I will earn $20,000/month in 3 years as a freelance writer) What is NOT working in my life today? (What things are you doing that aren’t getting you the results you want. If your body is good but your bank account is dead, write down the patterns, beliefs, and systems you use that are not getting the results you want) What IS working? (If your health is great, what are you doing to make it that way? What actions, habits, and belief systems have led to success?) What changes MUST be made to get you from where you are to where you want to be? (Write down EVERYTHING you can think of. It doesn’t matter if it’s as small as drinking more water in the day or as big as quitting your job and starting your own business). This exercise should take you no less than an hour. More like 2–3 days if you want to really do it right. Take your time with this and really look at your life.
I don’t know the details about who you are or where you are so I cannot coach you directly. You must do the digging, ask the right questions, and figure out exactly 1) Where you are 2) Where you want to be 3) what is required to bridge that gap. Once you’ve done this, you’re going to go back to the items you listen in #5 and conduct an 80/20 analysis of the habits and routines you need to develop. For example, if you wrote out. Exercise 5x a week Clean up diet Wake up at 5 a.m. Journal Meditate Work on my side hustle for 3 hours a day Follow a budget Then you want to look at those items and ask yourself, “Which habit/action if successfully executed will have the BIGGEST net positive effect on my life?” In the above example, I’d argue that eating better foods and cleaning up your diet would be the #1 priority. If you are’t fueling your body properly, you won’t have the energy to exercise, your body will need more sleep making it difficult to wake up early, and you’ll be too fatigued to invest any time into a side hustle. This becomes your new #1 priority. Go through the list and number the items in ascending order (e.g. with #1 being your MOST valuable activity). Then you’re going to take the ONE item you’ve identified and commit to it. Don’t try and change more than one thing at a time. I know it’s tempting, but years of psychological and peak performance research have clearly shown that most people are unable to stick to more than one significant change at a time. Commit to that change for 30 days, get accountable to someone else (if you put money on the line, even better) and then do it. Continue in this manner, picking the most important activity, committing to it until it becomes a habit, and then moving onto the next activity… And you’ll be amazed by the results you get. Although there might be more important changes you need to address first, at some point in the near future, you’ll want to start creating powerful routines to begin and end your day… Which brings us to step #2. 2. Create an Evening Routine Morning routines are all the rage these days. And I get it —- They’re important. But I’ve found that even more than a morning routine, evening routines are the real “Secret Sauce” that will set you up for success. Simply put, winning your evening helps you win the following morning which helps you win the day. Luckily a bulletproof evening routine is pretty simple. While you’ll need to play around with things