“Tell me where I’m going to die so I never go there.”
I can’t tell you what to do and predict how the outcome will go. I can guess and provide suggestions.
Success has many different variables to it, one of them being luck.
Here’s one thing I’m certain of. Your life would get a lot better if you just stopped fucking up as much.
Making mistakes, and making them repeatedly, drains you of energy and makes it harder to reach your goals. Figure out what not to do and avoid those things. You’re left with success.
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, try out one of these anti-resolutions.
- Stop chasing people who don’t want you: Romantic partners, customers, flaky friends. If you have to be someone you’re not to get them to like you, you don’t want them in your life.
- Stop death spiraling: Death spirals happen where you slip up on a goal and decide to make things even worse. You have one bad day diet-wise and start binge eating or skip one day at the gym and stop going altogether. Get good at calling mulligans. Don’t fail two days in a row. Speaking of diets…
- One little health tip that goes a long way: I’m not a huge dieter at all. But I don’t drink a bunch of calories. It’s a game-changer. Starting your day with a 700 calorie coffee that is essentially desert is not a recipe for health. Neither is drinking four cans of soda per day.
- Resist this temptation: Don’t pick a single fight with anyone, online or in person, about hot-button political topics. It’ll just make both of you mad and no one will change their mind anyway.
- Don’t make this a central piece of your life: Vote, keep yourself relatively informed, do your civic duty. But ditch any obsessive or compulsive political news consumption. They’re pulling your puppet strings.
- Stop saying yes to things you want to say no to: Time is your most valuable commodity. Protect it like you would your bank account. You don’t constantly lend people money. No need to constantly lend them your time if you don’t really want to.
- Stop saying no to things you want to say yes to: How many opportunities did you pass up in your life that were right there for the taking? You hesitated, doubted yourself, and let them fade away. Life hands you a few golden opportunities. Don’t squander them.
- Try not to do this too much: A lot of self-improvement advice preys on your insecurity. It’s tricky. On the one hand, you do need to show yourself tough love, but you also don’t want to pointlessly beat yourself up. Judge yourself on your activity and results, but don’t wallow in self-pity if you’re not where you want to be.
- Don’t do this too much either: A lot of self-care advice preys on your laziness. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking self-care means never judging yourself, never pushing yourself, and never enduring stress to get what you want. Some of the best pieces of self-care advice involve doing hard things.
- Stop finger-pointing: Better to assume everything that happens in your life is your responsibility, even if it doesn’t seem fair. It’s just a more efficient way to think and live. Finger-pointing, even if warranted, is almost always a waste of time.
- Stop half-assing: I read a story once about a woman who worked at Taco Bell and landed a top-tier corporate gig because a frequent customer who worked at the company noticed her work ethic. Disliking your job is no excuse to slack off. Get good at what you hate.
- Don’t do this in the morning: Stop hitting the snooze button. There’s just something that reeks of laziness about doing this. It reminds me of this quote “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” – Marcus Aurelis
- Stop breaking promises: If you say you’re going to do something and you don’t do it, you chip away at your integrity and confidence. Be careful with the promises you make, both to yourself and others. Don’t break your word.
- Don’t lower your standards: In the book The 10x Rule, the author says one of the biggest mistakes you can make is lowering your goals when things get hard. Instead, increase your activity.
- Never allow your mistakes to defeat you: Nassim Taleb once said, “my characterization of a loser is someone who, after making a mistake, doesn’t introspect, doesn’t exploit it, feels embarrassed and defensive rather than enriched with a new piece of information, and tries to explain why he made the mistake rather than moving on.” All that dwelling kills your future.
- Avoid this guilty pleasure: You get a perverse sense of satisfaction from self-sabotage. To avoid it, you have to identify the ‘payoff’ you get from doing it. I used to act out a lot and get into trouble because I wanted attention. I channeled that need for attention into creativity instead of self-destructive spectacles.
- Stop letting people take an inch: If you want to become more confident and command more respect, stop letting people cross your boundaries. This is the problem with being ‘nice.’ Often, nice people are pushovers who get taken advantage of. You give them an inch and they take a mile. Form a backbone.
- Stop saying low energy depressing sh**: I have a problem with this whole “OMG adulting is so hard, I’m always tired, lol wine o clock!” mentality. The words you use matter. Don’t speak negative, low energy thoughts into the universe because your thoughts become prophecy.
- Don’t let this get in your way of a better life: There’s that saying “Being bitter is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” People will screw you over. Life will deal you crap cards. In many ways society has duped you into a life you don’t want and it’s not all your fault. Crying over spilled milk won’t help, though. Don’t get bitter, get better.
- Never do this: Don’t expect other people to change. Assume that they are always going to be the way they are right now and deal with them based on that assumption instead of how you’d like them to be.
- Don’t blindly follow anyone: I have no credentials. I don’t have a writing degree, a psychology p.H.D., or a degree of any kind actually. I’m just a guy who loves to write about life. Always take my words with a grain of salt and do your own due diligence. It’s funny to me that people get upset at online writers as if readers are children who can’t make their own decisions that are under our spell. Are you five? Or are you a grown-up who ultimately knows what’s best for themselves?
- How to make your resolutions stick: People mistakenly set these huge and large sweeping goals right away and almost always fail. Don’t make grand proclamations this year. Start smaller. This isn’t lowering your standards. It’s setting yourself up for success. Don’t say you’re going to work out five times a week for all of 2022 because you know you’re not. You might need to start with 30 minute walks twice a week. Don’t say you’re going to start a million-dollar business. Try making a sale. Stop letting your ego get in the way of progress. Lower the bar where it needs to be for you to follow through.