Do Less, Achieve More: The 4 Step System to Achieve the Miraculous In Your Life (And Health) in Half the Time
Nel, a 38 year old mother of 2 from Kansas sent me an email frustrated.
She said she was in one of my programs about a year ago, and somewhat embarrassingly said, “I’ve virtually done nothing. Haven’t watched the videos. Haven’t applied much, haven’t really done anything. It’s embarrassing but I’m so overwhelmed with my job, my kids, and trying to juggle everything at once. Where should I even begin again at this point? I’m so lost… there’s just too much I should be doing.”
How often have you felt insanely overwhelmed by all the stuff you could be doing to get healthier, feel better, and lose some weight?
The problem is that we often say “there’s too much I should be doing,” – but in reality it actually means I don’t know what I should be doing.
Believe it or not, the reason you’re overwhelmed is not because there are 15 things on your to-do list, it’s because you don’t know which ones are the most important, and thus you haven’t prioritized them.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a 4-step system to never feel stressed or overwhelmed again, and achieve the miraculous in a fraction of the time.
Achieving the Miraculous… Even if You’re Overwhelmed
I don’t know about you, but when I go to work, having a to-do list of 12 items is already too much to worry about (plus I almost NEVER cross everything off).
But when it comes to your health… it can be even more frustrating. And that’s because each thing can take an entire week to try out. It can take an entire MONTH to try and see results from one method. And if you have a dozen, you could potentially spend a year (or a LOT more) trying to figure out what actually works in the long run.
Not sure about you… but that doesn’t interest me. At all. And here’s the thing: most of it is crap!
So I want to propose something entirely new for you. Something that has produced life-changing results for my students, and in my own life.
And it all started with a fantastic book called The One Thing.
Step 1 – Go Extreme. Really Extreme.
Okay. Step 1. Go REALLY extreme.
And here’s what I mean:
You might be familiar with my suggestion to ruthlessly simplify your options for improving your health (or your life).
I regularly use the 80/20 principle, which states: only 20% of what you do accounts for 80% of your results. So just a TINY percentage of the things you do on a daily basis, actually result in the weight loss, health, happiness, marriage quality, etc. that you want.
The trick is to figure out which 20% (which few things) are giving you the best bang for your buck, and stop doing the other 20 things that aren’t.
So let’s say you start with a list of 25 things you could do to improve your health, that would sound something like this:
- Go to bed earlier
- Cook at home
- Eat out less
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Eat more veggies
- Drop the white flour
- Stop eating sugar
- Get your hormones checked
- Do a cleanse
And so on. Let’s say you have a list of 25 to keep it simple.
Now let’s simplify that. Use the 80/20 rule.
Let’s take 20% of those – 5 – the ones you think would get you the results you are looking for.
Would going to sleep by itself help you lose 20 pounds or flip your health upside down? Probably not. Cross it off.
What about cooking? Maybe. Hang on to that.
Doing a cleanse? Probably just short term, so cross it off.
What about eating more veggies? It might.
So now let’s take the top 5 – 20% of your original list – the ones you think would be the best:
- Cooking at home
- Eating more veggies
- Walking 10 minutes a day
- Removing carbs
So now you’ve taken 20% of your original list:
Now let’s simplify again, to just ONE thing: Take another 20% of 5 – which is just one thing. Of these five things, which ONE do you think would give you the results you’re looking for, and get you closest to the outcome you want?
Which one option makes all the other ones irrelevant, or includes them?
Let’s keep it simple and say cooking at home. Why? Because it ensures you won’t be eating fast food. It ensures you’ll probably eat more veggies. And it ensures you’ll most likely be eating a lot less sugar than if you ate out. In other words, it kills a bunch of birds with one stone.
You just went from having 25 options, to now one.
I bet you already feel 1000x better, right? It feels awesome only having one thing to do each day.
You’ve removed all the stuff you could be doing for your health, and you’ve set a very clear sense of priorities – just one thing you should do, that will produce maximal results in minimal time.
This now becomes your DOP or daily overriding purpose. More on that soon.
Step 2: Get Crazy Specific
Get insanely specific. In the 10,000+ emails I’ve received, they almost always say “I want to lose weight. Or I want to lose 20-30 pounds.” But people rarely give a deadline or a date. And when they do, it’s like this; “Hi Alex, I want to lose 25 pounds in the next 60 days for my wedding/beach season, how can I lose it as fast as possible?”
You emailed the wrong guy. I don’t sell liposuction or diet pills :D.
Let’s get specific on the outcome you’re trying to achieve.
In The One Thing the author brings up some great points: most goals don’t work for three reasons.
Reason #1: It’s too vague.
We say “How can I lose weight?”
That’s like saying, “I want to get healthier.” If there’s no clear sense of direction, it’s impossible to take action.
Reason #2: There’s no timeline.
We say, “How can I lose 25 pounds?”
That’s fine… if you plan on waiting 5 or 10 years to get there. Truly successful people know that a deadline is necessary to take huge action.
Reason #3: Goals are too small.
We say, “How can I lose 5 pounds?”
Here’s the problem with a goal that’s too small: it encourages small action. What I mean by that is this: if you only want to lose 5 pounds, you try and convince yourself that you only need to change a little bit. “Oh I’m just going to stop eating fast food one day a week.”
And even though this is great from a habits perspective, if you know that one of your habits is destroying your health, why not try to gradually phase it out of your life, for good?
Awesome goals: The best types of goals are BIG, to inspire you to take huge action and flip your life upside down, SPECIFIC, so you know what you’re reaching for, and have a DEADLINE, to constantly remind yourself that you need to take action daily since you’re working on a schedule.
Step 3: Create Your “DOP” Secret Sauce
Daily overriding purpose.
So let’s recap.
So now you have:
- A crazy, big, specific goal with a timeline
- Your ONE thing you’re going to apply
- And now, your daily overriding purpose (DOP)
You’ve gone EXTREME – you are only applying ONE method. One thing you SHOULD do, among all the things you COULD do.
And now you are making it your daily overriding purpose.
So every single day, you’ve got only one thing to do. Your DOP.
Drink your green juice with breakfast.
Floss your teeth.
Do the 10 minute walk.
Read 10 pages of a great book to stay motivated and focused.
That’s it. And don’t do ANYTHING until you’ve accomplished your DOP for your health. Comprende? You don’t sleep until it’s done.
Only one thing to do every day. No more lists of 25 things. Just one. Easy, right?
Step 4: Engage Higher Level Thinking
There’s one last thing you need to be doing here.
It’s an exercise that I call “engaging higher level thinking.”
At the end of the day, you can work hard, but if you’re digging holes in the wrong place, you won’t find water no matter what.
In order to get to wherever you want to be, you need to have the right map.
At the end of each week, sit down for 5 minutes on a lazy Sunday morning and just review your process. Did you achieve your daily overriding purpose (DOP) every day or not?
If not, why not?
Get gritty and analyze it. What stopped you from reaching it? What do you need to change for next week?
It’s virtually impossible not to reach your goals if you combine these three steps, with a higher level thinking exercise each week. This is the kind of strategizing that helps you break through barriers, plateaus, and accelerates your results big time.
Leave a Comment Below:
Following this 4-step system is the way to go from overwhelmed, to achieving miraculous results in your life In a fraction of the time.
It starts with a crazy specific goal.
And then slicing down to one thing you SHOULD be doing (while avoiding all the stuff you could be doing on your 25 item to-do list).
And then making this one thing your daily overriding purpose (DOP).
And then applying higher level thinking each week to break through barriers and plateaus, and get fitter, look better, and feel amazing faster than you ever thought possible.
Thoughts on this?
Please tell me below – what’s ONE thing you could make your daily overriding purpose just for today to get you one step closer to your goals?
Share it below.
P.S. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of “the one thing” – the ideas here were all adapted from it, and it’ll help you ruthlessly focus on simplifying your life, and your health, to achieve lots more with a lot less stress: http://amzn.to/1ywfbzt
That’s a really interesting read and very inspiring exciting info, but on your eat more lose more program you say to stay away from wedding day syndrome, as it leads to feeling you’ve let yourself down and makes things unobtainable, which is kind of what this article is asking you to do, to make a goal matter and motivate yourself. Your previous advice was to work in making new habits alone. Maybe a bit of both is what you need? A combination somehow?
Hi Nic !
You’re right – it’s a delicate balance. On one end, you DO need a goal – even though you’re just going to be focusing on daily progress, making tiny changes, and not obsessing over the end point. But this sort of “just one thing per day” emphasis REALLY helps people stay focused on the day-to-day. Does that make sense?
Hey Alex great stuff