5 min read

42% closer to your dreams: The small habit that’ll change your life

Discover the transformative power of goal-setting, habits, and benchmarking with insights from an architect-turned-entrepreneur. Achieve your dreams with this small habit that will change your life.
42% closer to your dreams: The small habit that’ll change your life
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

From an immigrant architect new to New York City with $758 in my pocket.

To founding a successful 8-figure company at Best Self Co.

Life’s been quite a ride over the last decade. If you’d told me at the start of this journey where I’d end up I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.

This is the power of compounding tiny habits and daily improvements.

Want to go from where you are now to a completely unrecognizable person in a few years? Let me show you how.

The power of consistency

Let’s get this out of the way before anything else…

Consistency and discipline are your best friend if you want to change your life. Trust me.

A lot of people think there’s some secret formula or magic fairy dust to get the outcomes you want.

But the truth is – there’s no secret. You have to put in the work and stay disciplined to see results. That’s right, just showing up and putting in the work every day has made all the difference.

“Ordinary things, consistently done, produce extraordinary results.”

— Keith Cunningham

So take what you see below and yes, implement it in your own life. But don’t expect to see results tomorrow, or the next day.

All those overnight successes you see in the news? They put in years of hard work before they were in the spotlight to get where they are now.

Start today.

Time vs. problems – Understand the difference

One key concept is the importance of understanding the difference between short-term and long-term problems and their appropriate timeframes for solutions.

Let’s break it down:

    • Crisis problems are issues needing to be solved within hours or a few days, like a leaky roof or a broken website.
    • Lifestyle problems are behavior issues that require a lot of time to address, such as a fear of public speaking or being out of shape.

Where most people run into trouble is when they try to live their lives by addressing long-term problems with short-term thinking, or vice versa.

For example, you can’t solve obesity in a matter of days. Have you ever tried losing weight by getting on the latest fad diet and signing up for a gym membership – only for a few days later to feel frustrated at the lack of progress and then give up?

It happens much more often in our culture of immediate gratification than you’d think.

Instead, imagine how your fitness would improve if you committed to a 30-minute power walk a day. Then re-evaluating after 30, 60, and 90 days. Much easier to get the results you hope for, right?

So if you want to transform your life and become your best self, you have to commit to the long term and leverage the power of consistency.

Next time you’re facing a problem, ask yourself if it’s a crisis or a lifestyle problem. Then you can figure out the best way to fix it.

3 steps to set good goals: Focus, alignment & tracking

For 7+ years I ran a company on the back of effective goal setting and habit creation. In fact, I still use our Self Journal for all of my goal-setting and daily planning.

I know a thing or two about this stuff.

When it comes to setting and achieving your goals, there are three crucial elements you need to keep in mind:

    1. Focus — Figure out what your focus is and where you’re going.
    2. Alignment — Ensure your goals align with your values and motivations
    3. Tracking — Set up a system to keep yourself on track

A 2007 study found that participants who wrote down their goals and shared them with a friend were 1.4 times more likely to achieve them than those who did not write them down.

Another study showed you were 42% more likely to achieve your goal if you wrote it down. Anecdotal evidence, but every time I’ve done this I’ve achieved the goal I set, from launching our first Kickstarter to winning the Build a Business competition. It’s wild.

Conclusion: Write down your goals and share them with people you trust!

Habits & daily actions – The secret no one wants to talk about

There’s a huge difference between those who set goals and achieve them and those who don’t do either.

So what sets them apart?

Habits. Those who achieve their goals set daily and weekly habits that set them up for long-term success.

Hardly anything happens overnight. Success is the result of consistent small actions that move you closer to your goals. That’s why controlling your inputs or habits is so important.

To take baby steps toward your dreams, consider these questions:

    • What are the daily habits that will eventually build up to your big goals?
    • What does your goal look like on a micro-scale?

Some examples of habits that can lead to success include:

    • Overcoming fear of public speaking by doing weekly Instagram Lives
    • Improving your relationship with meaningful conversations (shoutout to Intimacy Deck)
    • Growing your business with daily marketing activities

Jerry Seinfeld credits his success to writing a joke a day and marking it on his calendar.

See? This stuff works!

Remember – Consistent small actions will produce extraordinary results over time.

Benchmark your life

Each area of your life bleeds into the others.

Here’s a tangible example: Let’s say you had a real shtty* day at work. You arrive at home with a bad attitude and hardly any energy. You already know your relationship will suffer because of your bad day.

So if you’re falling short in one area of your life, it will impact the others.

That’s why benchmarking is important. Measuring your life in all areas over time will help you identify those shortcomings and build daily habits to prevent them from worsening – way before they become a problem.

I use Best Self’s Benchmark tool to help me track these areas.

Your personalized action plan

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

    1. Reflect on your life — Take a moment to reflect on your life areas (e.g. relationships, health, finances, career, personal growth). Consider what’s working well and what areas need improvement.
    2. Set SMART goals — For each area that needs improvement, set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. And please for the love of god, make sure your goals align with your values. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.
    3. Break down your goals — Divide each goal into manageable tasks and habits. This will help you stay focused on what’s most important.
    4. Monitor your progress — Regularly track your progress using a system that works for you. I check in every day, week, and month. Celebrate small wins and adjust your plan as needed.

Consistency and patience. You won’t see big changes overnight.

Grab your Self Journal, set your goals, and start your journey to becoming the best version of yourself. I believe in you, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish.

Let me know if I can help in any way too. What’s the most important goal you’re setting right now?