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(For reading in Chinese, please scroll down to the end of the English text.)

(For international readers, allow me to explain: I am an American but I have lived in China since 2004. My city of Chongqing, often abbreviated as CQ, is pronounced Chong Ching to rhyme with Wrong Ring. CQ is a megacity of 30 million people in south-central China, on the Yangtze River.)

Experts assure us that the most successful people are those who have clearly defined their goals. Yet, they also tell us that very few people have ever done that, despite the examples of the success of the few who do. So why do most people not set goals? Perhaps part of the reason is that selecting goals requires intense thinking; such thinking is difficult and uncomfortable. It is much easier to follow the crowd and do what everyone else does. 

Photo by Gabrielle cc

Therefore, in this article, I offer an interim solution. Instead of worrying about the challenge of setting lifetime goals, why not choose goals for only the next 100 days? Then, every 100 days, you can review, revise, renew, or replace – pardon the alliteration – your goals. You are not making a long-term commitment; it’s only for 100 days. This eliminates the pressure to choose your most important lifetime goals. Additionally, 100 days is a very discrete period. It is easy to visualize 100 days. 

By setting a 100-day limit for your goals, you can easily visualize what needs to be done and the steps that need to be completed to achieve that objective. However, 100 days is not such a long period that you have the luxury of too many deferrals before starting. With only 100 days, there is a sense of urgency.

Authorities also tell us that it’s very common to overestimate what you can do in one day or one week, but underestimate what can be accomplished in one year. 100 days, about three months, is in the middle of those two extremes. 100 days allows for many opportunities to complete small steps towards achieving the goals. Indeed, if we think of 24 hours a day for 100 days, we can see 2400 one-hour time blocks to work on our goals, step-by-step, one hour at a time. 

Photo by Gerd Altmann

But 100 days is also a short time. When things get tough, you remind yourself you made a commitment for only 100 days. All you have to do is follow your plan for 100 days – only 100, no more. You have the comforting reassurance that, if you wish, you can release yourself from the present commitment at the end of the 100 days. 

New habits are formed in 17 to 21 days – if you do them consistently*. Consequently, if you do something every day for 100 days, you will have firmly established a new habit – and you will see lots of progress in 100 days of baby steps!

As an adjunct to setting 100-day goals, let me offer an example of how some people simplify their life and create more free time, as well as reducing their decision-making process each morning. At the beginning of the 100 days, they carefully select 33 items of clothing – no more than 33 – to wear for the next 100 days. These 33 items will be their entire wardrobe for 100 days. The purpose of this exercise is to substantially reduce the time they spend thinking about clothes. 

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is famous for the gray T-shirts which he wears every day. For many years, Mark Zuckerberg has worn gray T-shirts each and every day. This was not a cute gimmick to be memorable. The reason is that Mark Zuckerberg spent absolutely no time each morning deciding what to wear for the day. He spent no time for shopping. He spent no time questioning what is fashionable and how he looks compared to others. He spent no time doing research on the best places to get the latest and greatest fashions. Instead, he wore a simple grey T-shirt every day. Every day, he was spared the time most people spend choosing their clothes for the day. No decisions, minimum dressing time, no shopping… and no thinking. That left him more time and energy for becoming a billionaire.

If you choose 33 items to wear for the next 100 days, you can emulate one of the richest people in the world by reducing the time you spend on the rather low-value activity of deciding which clothes to wear that day. This is one example of how a 100-day plan can produce immediate benefits by saving time, eliminating decisions, and reducing your tendency to focus on unimportant activities at the expense of high-value activities. 

Why not select only 33 items to wear for the next 100 days? 

Photo by Gerd Altmann

Then, while you are thinking and planning, you can also choose three goals for the next 100 days. These three goals are only for 100 days, no longer. What would they be? Put them in writing. For each goal, prepare a list of the many actions, mid-points, and deadlines to achieve those three goals. Then, like Mark Zuckerberg, you will be spared the time thinking about what you should be doing during the day.

The longest journey begins with the first step. Can you take 100 baby steps in 100 days toward your three goals? What would be your first steps? Is there a reason you cannot start today?

* For a very useful pfd file that will allow you to see how faithfully you are working daily to achieve your chosen goals, visit marcreklau.com, to download his free Habit Tracker form. When printed on paper and placed where you will see it throughout the day, it is a constant reminder of your goals and that you should be working on them every day.

P.S. Also from Marc Reclau are his thoughts concerning the Jim Rohn observation I referred to in a past article. In it, I wrote:

Remember the saying by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Choose your closest companions carefully. (Fortunately, this pool of candidates includes the billions of people available online.)

Photo by Gerd Altmann

I asked Marc if he felt that online relationships could be as deep and fulfilling as face-to-face interactions – assuming that you spent the same amount of time.

Marc’s response was:

I don’t know if online relationships are as powerful as the good old personal relationships from the good old days. Probably not. But I prefer an uplifting online relationship to a toxic personal relationship. 

 I had a couple of online masterminds and they lifted every single member of the group up. And I did a lot of online coaching that worked. Still nothing substitutes personal offline relationships.

What do you think? Certainly, the immense pool of potential online relationships is the answer to the age-old lament “No one understands me.” With literally billions of people within digital reach, it is a mathematical certainty that you can find others whose interests and activities match yours very, very closely. But… even if you spend lots of time with an online acquaintance, will this relationship be as deep and fulfilling as spending time with someone face to face, knee to knee?

Photo by Dean moriarty

Your thoughts are invited. Just write in the comments box below for everyone to see your ideas. 

生活100,一次过100天

专家们向我们保证,最成功的人是那些明确界定自己目标的人。然而,他们还告诉我们,很少有人能做到这一点,尽管有少数人成功的例子。那么,为什么大多数人不制定目标呢?也许部分原因是,选择目标需要进行激烈的思考,这种思考是困难的,也是不舒服的。跟着人群走,做别人都做的事,要容易得多。

因此,在本文中,我提供了一个临时解决方案。与其担心制定终身目标的挑战,不如只选择未来100天的目标。然后,每隔100天,你就可以回顾、修改、更新或替换–请原谅我的重音–你的目标。你并没有做出长期的承诺,只是100天的承诺。这消除了选择你最重要的终身目标的压力。此外,100天是一个非常离散的时期。很容易想象出100天的样子。

通过为你的目标设定100天的限制,你可以很容易地想象出需要做什么,以及为实现这个目标需要完成的步骤。然而,100天并不是一个很长的期限,以至于你在开始之前可以奢侈地推迟太多时间。只有100天,就会有一种紧迫感。

权威人士还告诉我们,高估了一天或一周能做的事情,却低估了一年能完成的事情,这是非常常见的。100天,大约是三个月,处于这两个极端的中间。100天可以有很多机会完成实现目标的小步骤。的确,如果我们把每天24小时的时间想象成100天,我们可以看到2400个一小时的时间段,可以一步步地、一小时一小时地努力实现目标。

但100天也是一个短暂的时间。当遇到困难的时候,你要提醒自己,你只做了100天的承诺。你要做的就是按照你的计划进行100天–只有100天,不能再多了。你有一个令人欣慰的保证,如果你愿意,你可以在100天结束时解除自己目前的承诺。

新的习惯会在17到21天内形成–如果你坚持不懈地做*。因此,如果你在100天内每天都做一些事情,你就会牢固地建立起一个新的习惯–你会在100天的小步子中看到很多进步!

作为制定100天目标的辅助手段,让我提供一个例子,说明一些人如何简化生活,创造更多的自由时间,以及减少每天早上的决策过程。在100天开始时,他们精心挑选了33件衣服–不超过33件–在接下来的100天里穿。这33件衣服将是他们100天的全部衣柜。这个练习的目的是大幅减少他们思考衣服的时间。

Facebook的首席执行官马克-扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)因每天穿的灰色T恤而闻名。多年来,马克-扎克伯格每天都穿着灰色T恤。这不是一个可爱的噱头,让人记忆深刻。原因是,马克-扎克伯格每天早上完全没有花时间来决定今天穿什么衣服。他没有花时间用于购物。他没有花时间去质疑什么是时尚,什么是自己与别人相比的样子。他没有花时间去研究在什么地方可以买到最新最好的时装。相反,他每天都穿着一件简单的灰色T恤。每一天,他都免去了大多数人花在选择当天衣服上的时间。没有决定,最短的穿衣时间,没有购物……也没有思考。这给他留下了更多的时间和精力去成为亿万富翁。

如果你在未来100天里选择33件衣服,你就可以效仿世界上最富有的人之一,减少你花在决定当天穿哪件衣服这一相当低价值活动上的时间。这是一个例子,说明100天计划如何通过节省时间、消除决定、减少你专注于不重要的活动而牺牲高价值活动的倾向来产生立竿见影的效益。

为什么不选择未来100天只穿33件衣服呢?

然后,在你思考和规划的同时,你也可以为未来100天选择三个目标。这三个目标只有100天,没有更长的时间。它们会是什么呢?把它们写下来。对于每个目标,准备一份清单,列出实现这三个目标的诸多行动、中点和最后期限。然后,像马克-扎克伯格一样,你将免于思考白天应该做什么的时间。

最漫长的旅程是从第一步开始的。你能在100天内向你的三个目标迈出100个小步吗?你的第一步会是什么?你有什么理由不能从今天开始吗?

* 要想获得一个非常有用的pfd文件,让你看到你每天是如何忠实地努力实现你所选择的目标,请访问marcreklau.com,下载他的免费习惯追踪表。当打印在纸上并放置在你每天都能看到的地方时,它就会不断地提醒你的目标,你应该每天都为之努力。

P.S.Marc Reclau还对我在过去的一篇文章中提到的Jim Rohn的意见发表了看法。在它,我写道。

记住吉姆・罗恩说的一句话, “你是五个人的平均 你花最多的时间。” 仔细选择你最亲密的同伴。(幸运的是,这个候选者的池子里包括了网上的数十亿人)。

我问马克,他是否觉得网络关系可以像面对面的互动一样深刻和充实–假设你花同样的时间。

Marc的回答是

我不知道网络关系是否有以前好的个人关系那么强大。可能不会。但比起有毒的个人关系,我更喜欢振奋人心的网络关系。

 我有过几个网上高手,他们把小组的每个成员都提升了。而且我做了很多线上辅导,也很有效。但还是没有什么能代替个人的线下关系。

你怎么看?当然,巨大的潜在网络关系池是对 “没有人理解我 “这一古老哀叹的回答。随着数字范围内数十亿人,这是一个数学上的肯定,你可以找到其他人,他们的兴趣和活动与你非常非常接近。但是……即使你花了很多时间和网上的熟人在一起,这种关系会不会像和一个人面对面、促膝谈心那样深刻和充实呢?

请您发表您的看法。就写在下面的评论框里,让大家看到你的想法。

One Reply to “Living Your Life, 100 Days at a Time”

  1. I think the old face-to-face relationship is better than online relationship. Even though the society network is convenient nowadays, we feel more lonely than ever. Many friends just chat online, and we go to restaurant, most of us will play with our phone rather than speak to each other.
    Maybe we should just put down our phone and go outside to touch the nature and tree and flowers.

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