My life changed when I took a few minutes to make a simple list, and this is the story of how it can drastically change yours today for free.
Every new year marks a new beginning, and I bet you have a few new resolutions or commitments in mind…
So what are some of yours?
Do they include commitments to lose weight and improve your health?
Maybe to quit or cut back on your consumption of substances like sugar, alcohol, or tobacco?
What about new commitments to study harder, or invest in yourself more?
Or perhaps to hit the road and travel or conquer a fear?
Are your commitments more financial, like to save money or to earn more?
Regardless of your commitments, they all seem to follow a simple underlying concept:
We seek to change old unhealthy habits or patterns that no longer serve us and create new ones that are better suited to our ideal selves…
However, a few years ago I began asking myself what my ideal self looks like.
“How can I live an outstanding life?”
The answer is quite simple…
You see, one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of my dreams was the fact that my day to day routines and goals were not in line with the scale of my actual dreams.
My calendar (or in some years, lack of calendar) was in line with what was possible in my current path and did not reflect some of the “impossible” dreams I actually wanted to achieve.
This list isn’t a bucket list of items I hoped could one day happen to me…
It’s a list of challenges I would MAKE happen for me!
There is a difference between hoping and doing; between running a marathon without a finish line, and knowing where the checkpoints are along the way and running with a road map…
So let me ask you a simple question: What kind of runner are you?
Have you taken the time to write your Impossible List?
Still not convinced?
Here are 3 tips and reasons to get you started:
#1 – Writing It Down Creates Clarity
If there is one thing I have learned over the years of walking this earth, it is that the clearer I am on any vision, the more likely I am to achieve any particular mission I set forth to achieve.
However, I also read an interesting study once that showed how writing your goals down makes you far more likely to achieve them. In the study, psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews of California’s Dominican University in California looked at goal-setting with 267 participants. She discovered that writing your goals down makes you 42% more likely to achieve them.
Now I am no scientist, and I bet arguments can be made on both sides of this coin, but let’s be real: How much more likely are you to forget the milk if you walk into the grocery store without a list in hand?
Making an Impossible List does just that.
It forces you to get clear on some of the missions you want to adopt in different categories of your life!
So why not plays the odds? Why not realize that waiting is getting you nowhere and that if your missions are to manifest then it is going to take a little bit more than “the secret” to make them happen?
I’ll be the first to say that through intentions we are the architects of the universe, but I also believe that, just like with architects in real life, we also need to engineer our success through the most powerful tool humans have: our cognitive attention and focus.
#2 – Clarity Without Focus Doesn’t Start a Fire
If you’re anything like me, when you write down your goals you start feeling a fire inside — almost a feeling of anxiousness that makes you want to jump into them right away.
However, making our dreams ignite isn’t too different from starting a fire with a magnifying glass.
Your vision and brain are physiologically designed be able to do something quite remarkable: focus. Not just on your basic needs, but also your our aspirations. In fact it is our ability to critically think that makes humans so special, but it also serves as our biggest distraction.
Just as your focus can be represented by a magnifying glass, so too can your clarity be seen as the light needed to make a fire possible.
Keyword: A fire.
You see, trying to start multiple fires all at the same time is exactly like trying to start numerous fires by moving your magnifying glass.
The truth is that the best way to start 10, 20, or even 1,000 fires is to start one and carry a torch from one to the next.
So what’s the best way to achieve your impossible list? Well, beyond writing it down, the next step is to focus on one or two items and begin scheduling them into your calendar.
#3 – Knowledge is NOT Enough
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Okay great! Let’s do this!” but I do think you need one key element…
Whether or not you choose to commit to a new mission today and regardless of how laser-like your focus is, the truth is, the number one reason why most people fail at their new years resolutions (or other goal setting) is because they lack accountability.
Look, we ALL want six-pack abs, right? Funny enough, we also ALL know what it takes to get them.
I won’t argue which diet or exercise is more effective, but I bet if you eat less sugar, eat more kale, and exercise every day, over time you’ll get there!
The answers are always simpler than our monkey brains make them, but if that’s the case, then why are so many smart people still suffering?
Gandhi told it best when he said, “Action expresses priority.” There simply is no shortcut to the “impossible” items on our list. If there is, it’s because those dreams don’t belong on your impossible list.
Speaking of resolutions, let me paint a quick picture.
Two people walk into a gym on January 1st to sign up.
The first signs up and “commits” by signing a year long contract to the gym for 1 full year at $50 a month.
The second signs up to the same gym and commits not only to a year long pass to the gym but also to a personal trainer to work with them twice a week every week for an entire year for $500 a month.
Both signed binding contracts irrespective of how many times they show up.
So who do you bet has a six-pack by December 31st? Heck, who do you bet is still going to the gym come March?
Better yet, who are you?
So what was different? Well, although their potential was the same, the level of accountability their commitment demanded was quite different.
There is a reason every single Olympian, big time entrepreneur, successful artist, and even fictional comic book superhero has a team of mentors, advisors, coaches, or consultants around them.
What do you think makes you any different?
Remember that commitment you thought about when you first started reading this?
How much are you willing to work and put on the line to achieve your dreams?
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend $6,000 a year guaranteeing myself the results that improve my life than $600 a year for something I’m statistically likely to fail at.
Regardless of your commitments, if your goal is to build one hell of a massive fire and light up the whole world with possibilities stemming from you, then what are you waiting for?
Having trouble losing excess weight? This could be one of the biggest reasons why.
We know so much about food now yet much of the population is overweight and unhealthy because of the quality of our food and our perception about food.
Luckily there's a quiz that you can take to find out where you stand on food addiction. You can take it here.
After you will get results and specific information based on your score. Try the quiz!