By: Tim Denning
A new year is an opportunity to take your regrets and turn them around. When you take action it creates automated motivation. Here are some simple upgrades you can try in 2022.
Look at 2020 and 2021 in a new light
The last two years have been difficult thanks to coroni-macaroni.
You might be exhausted. You might have F’d up some goals. You might feel lazy. You might be shaming yourself.
If you’re still here and showing up each day after 2020 and 2021, you’re unstoppable. You survived one of the most difficult times in human history, so you’re stronger, not weaker.
Difficult times build mental toughness.
Export Kindle highlights
Books are great. They can teach you a lot.
I recently discovered you can finally export all the highlights you make with a Kindle eReader or the Kindle App.
In the top right-hand corner of each book is a share button. All you do is tap “share via email” and all your highlights are downloadable.
There’s even a website (see here) that contains every Kindle highlight you’ve ever made. How does this upgrade your life? Simple.
Books don’t change lives. Sentences do.
Become a collector of sentences in 2022. Play with them. Tweet them. Rewrite them. Add your own thoughts to them.
Sentences lead to life-changing ideas.
Ask more times
I just landed a major deal after messaging the CEO 15 times with no answer.
Instead of assuming they’d get upset, I assumed they were busy.
Being shameless pays — Ryan Breslow
The life you want comes from a handful of asks.
So you better get good in 2022 at asking. An ask is simply a question. Don’t expect an answer and you won’t find yourself getting pissed off so much.
The key isn’t to ask more. The key is to ask in different ways.
What I do when a major ask gets no reply is to leave a gap of blank space. I will ask the person again in a few months. Recently I asked a famous author a question after trying for the last 5 years.
They finally responded. I found the right balance between their selfish interests and my future vision for online writing.
Most people don’t ask enough times. Make asking a daily habit.
Remove this poison from your system
There’s a bunch of internet bros running around. They teach hustle. They call themselves night owls. They believe morning routines are stupid because not everyone is a morning person.
Let me squash their tiny brains into jelly.
John Constas taught me that all supposed night owls have done is poison themselves with blue light.
When you’re exposed to too much blue light from tablets, computers and phones, your brain can’t work out if it’s nighttime anymore. I use Apple’s nighttime filter once the sun goes down to reduce the effects of blue light.
Relook at your exposure to blue light.
Break the dopamine cycle
Writer Sean Kernan forced me to rethink motivation.
When your body’s dopamine levels are constantly spiked and crashed by your daily habits, it leaves you demotivated. The pool of dopamine your body has access to becomes less.
This causes your baseline levels of motivation to decrease. So it takes more effort to reach the same levels of motivation you had before you started spiking your dopamine levels with a new unconscious habit.
Social media stats are the worst offender. They mess with your internal reward system. You start wanting more, more, more when you let dopamine spikes run your life.
Sean says, “Checking your social media upvotes only causes a dopamine hit and crash, which leaves you less motivated and more addicted to Facebook.”
Do a dopamine detox to reset your dopamine levels and recalibrate your motivation levels.
Use this simple excuse to exercise more
Two years of no gym, thanks to the global health crisis, has been tough.
Going back is hard when you’re not used to it. I was born a couch potato so it’s even harder for me. There’s a simple hack. Find an excuse to exercise. I’ve chosen external gym motivation for 2022.
I go to the gym to look good for my wife.
Since my return to the gym I find that some days I don’t want to go. Then I learned an important lesson.
The days you don’t want to workout are the days you must. Off days make the good days better.
Get a powerful notes app
The internet has overloaded our brains with too much information.
As a result our memories are struggling to keep up. The answer is a second brain: a note-taking app. If you’re not already, get yourself a powerful notes app and use it. Don’t just write boring to-do lists in 2022.
Write your goals down. Write your vision for your life. Write what you’re grateful for.
The biggest one is this: Start a new note where you record all of your own personal stories. The big events of your life are forgotten if you don’t write them down. Even if you remember some of them the tiny details get lost.
On the day of my wedding, for example, I wrote down how nervous I was and described the tiny butterflies in my stomach. I want to make sure 2030 Tim doesn’t act like GI Joe when describing the day again.
The best notes app I’ve found is Roam Research. There’s no hierarchy of notes so you don’t need to do any sorting. And for the first time, AI helps to join together unrelated ideas so you can experience idea breeding.
Start to co-build
Many goals never happen because we try to do them alone.
For years I wanted to start an online academy. I didn’t have the complete skill stack to make it work. I launched three different times and failed every time. Even with an email list full of tens of thousands of subscribers, I couldn’t make one course sale.
What changes is when you co-build.
Yes, the pie of results you get must be divided up.
But 100% of nothing is nothing.
Collaboration is the key, especially if you want to make money online. Choose a goal in 2022 and then build it with another person.
Learn to lose so you can learn to win
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take — Wayne Gretzky
If you want more results in 2022 then you must learn to lose more. Take more shots. Perfection teaches you nothing. It holds you back.
Beat this person on the treadmill of life
The goal in 2022 isn’t to beat your co-workers, neighbors, fellow content creators, or family. Trying to beat people only leads you to become a jealous, envious, competitive little a-hole.
Solution: Beat who you were exactly 12 months ago.
That’s a game you can win. That will make you feel good. That will give you realistic motivation that can change your life.
Remember this harsh truth I’ve forgotten many times
My biggest lesson of 2021 came from a sudden tragedy. It’s led to a major life upgrade. Here it is.
You can lose it all. So enjoy the process more than the outcome.