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