The 2018 Action Plan To Give You A Meaningful Life (Or Even Deeper Meaning)
With the new year being literally today, many people may have a mixture of emotions. Especially around the talk of resolutions. Today I’d like to mitigate some of those uneasy feelings by putting together an action plan. We’ll be looking at some of the previous strategies that successful people do and why putting this all together will work and help you to have a more meaningful life in 2018 regardless of where you are at in your personal journey.
Today marks the first day of a new year and the beginning conversation of:
“So what’s your new years resolution?”
It’s a question that many people dread and I can imagine a lot of people don’t really have an answer. Whether that they don’t believe in new year resolutions or they claim they don’t work, I’d like you to reconsider.
At the very least reconsider yourself to actually set a specific type of goal this new years.
The goal of a meaningful life.
I understand resolutions is an excuse to set a goal, but in the spirit of the new year I’d encourage people to set actual realistic goals this new year. Goals that excite you and above all lead you to a more positive life.
After all, today I’ll be sharing a specific action plan.
It’s a structure of activities that the successful people of the world use every day. They built themselves up through this very strategy that I’ll share today to become who they are right now.
People with meaningful lives.
This strategy isn’t perfect or guaranteed success, however clearly people used this in the past. It’s gotten them very far and it’s worth mimicking this. After all it was Pablo Picasso who said:
“Good artists create, great artists steal.”
So let’s steal some of the ideas, use them and give our lives far more meaning in the new year.
The 2018 Strategy To A Meaningful Life
Your Foundation: Hold A Strict Schedule
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
Your foundation for everything is naturally important. Like a foundation, if it’s weak, you can’t build anything massive or grand, or the lifestyle you want for that matter. You could try all you like but in the end there’ll be a lot of problems and you’ll need to start all over again.
What some of the successful have to say about it is to hold a strict and precise schedule for yourself.
It was Ben Franklin who followed a specific 13 week self-improvement schedule focusing on one virtue per week and cycled through the plan four times a year.
He had a specific time block for everything whether it was working, getting ready for the day or reflecting.
If you want someone more recent, look at Elon Musk. He schedules his days in 5 minute blocks. But one thing is constant: depending on the day, he’s either working on SpaceX or Tesla. Fridays are the only time he juggles both of them and weekends he takes off.
The most important thing with a schedule is knowing what works best for you in the end. Those worked for Ben Franklin and Elon Musk because they trained themselves to that.
Having a schedule and knowing what you want to get out of each day is your foundation and needs to get done.
You could also take a page from Mark Zuckerberg and limit how many options you need to think about. Only buy clothing that has the same colour as the rest of your wardrobe (or close to it). Perhaps make yourself the same breakfast every day when you plan to work.
Another idea is having a plan around what Tai Lopez suggests: off of your own personality type.
There are four dominant personality types: Practical, Action, Social, or Emotional.
Practical has a tightly structured schedule.
Action prefers variety from day to day.
Social wants to be around a lot of people over the day.
Emotional prefers a lot of quiet time.
The big thing is finding a schedule that works best for you. It’ll take a lot of time to find one that’s a fit for you. Even I’m still figuring mine out.
Learning How To Build: Finding Your Why And Setting Habits
The next thing is to obviously fill up that schedule with habits that you want to develop.
But before we even get to those habits, the most important thing is to find a why.
Just like with any goal, when you lack a direction, you’ll become disconnected. In the book Smarter, Faster, Better, Charles Duhigg discovered that the US Marines bootcamp training was one of the best. He discovered that because he was explained what the soldiers had to go through and how many found meaning.
One of the elements was getting the soldiers to attach a why to their actions. Why were they going through this training? To become marines? To return to their family not as a citizen but as a marine?
Before we even start building the frame of our building, we need to learn why. Where do we want to stand in life and why there?
Finding that why is much like our foundation, it’s the reason to pursue something. It’ll determine what our building will actually look like.
This is important because every persons building is different. Some may want to make billions of dollars. Others might be comfortable pulling six or even five figures every year.
Either way you need to determine that before thinking about habits.
If you know your why, then start picking habits that compliment it.
You want these habits to be things that you’ll be doing during the day so you’ll want to fit them into your schedule. A few staple habits are things like reading, writing, and exercising.
Reading keeps you current and sharp.
It was Warren Buffett who read 600–1,000 pages per day when starting his investment career. Now he spends 80% of his day reading.
Bill Gates challenges himself to read 50 books every year. That’s about one book every week.
Those numbers do sound scary, however even reading a book every week is very doable. Make it part of your day to visit the local library and pick out a variety of books. It’s free as long as you return them on time.
Either way books will keep you sharp and learning something more directly. Furthermore you can tie it back into your own why.
Say you want to be an investor. Start picking out books that talk about money, money management and investing. Also delve into leadership, self-improvement, and general business books.
Get your books to compliment the lifestyle you want to lead.
Exercise to improve problem solving and be unstoppable.
The other staple is to exercise in the morning. It’s not something that takes up a massive part of your day. You have Mark Cuban who does cardio for an entire hour 6–7 days a week. Richard Branson takes up either swimming, kite surfing, or tennis and wakes up at 5 am to do that.
Either way devoting an hour each day to doing something like that can make an impact. If it’s hard for you to do that, start off small. Many people spend 15 minutes a day doing a series of exercises like Peter Voggd.
Ian Clark stated he drinks purified water as part of his morning routine along with a 20 minute exercising circuit. He’s also having a standard breakfast of two organic chicken eggs, fruits and veggies, amongst other things.
Either way many implement at the very least one hour of cardio every day into your life.
Stop taking the bus or driving your car to work and start walking to the office if you have to.
Actually Building: Developing A Positive Mindset
The last part is where everything all comes together. The essence of this plan in the end is to experiment and overall to be flexible. As much as the foundation is important, it’s also important to realize that once it’s set, we are allowed to change it.
Like buildings, we can tear them down and build new ones. The same is true with our lives.
By all means we want to have a rock solid plan. That fact above shouldn’t discount or warrant us to cut corners.
The plan is something we can follow through no matter what life throws at us.
But developing a positive and flexible mindset can compliment this plan. Think of it as plan B.
Steve Jobs famously said that every day he asked himself a question:
“If today was your last day, would you be doing what you plan to do today?”
If the answer was no far too many times, something needs to change.
Peter Thiel often times challenges people by asking “Why can’t you accomplish your 10-year-plan in the next six months?”
The point of the question is to suggest that our plans are simply experiments.
So don’t spend a lot of time planning everything out.
Yes it needs to be well structured, and that takes time, but plan as you go. The first plan isn’t going to be the final plan. I know this because I’ve gone through several plans already.
This one may be the one or it might not be. It’s hard to say. But you won’t know until you actually take action. So develop your mindset to be flexible when you are building your structure, whatever it is.
But do so with purpose.
Understand why you are doing this, why you want to do this.
Because deep and true meaning is understanding what exactly you want to do in your life.
Then back it up with having a series of activities that can lead you to it. Not only that, but developing a mindset that’s flexible, that’s willing to adjust your plan the more that you understand yourself.
That’s what meaning is all about, knowing what you want and how to get there.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon