I stumbled across an idea this week that I wanted to share with you. I haven't been able to get it out of my head.
Commit to a goal for 10 years.
Easy, right? (And by easy I mean it sounds awful and stupidly difficult and a guaranteed path to failure).
However, when you stop measuring in days, weeks, months and even years, you end up getting laser focused. You put in your time. And after 10 years, well, you end up with 10 years of progress.
As I thought back I realized I've struggled with this a lot. I start goals and then fizzle.
Blogs, newsletters, products, companies. Reading books, writing books, building habits or routines or businesses. The pattern is always the same:
Day 1: Oo! I have a great idea! I'll get started right away.
Week 1: Wow, look at all my progress, it's so great.
Week 2: I'm still going…………I thought I'd have more success by now?
Week 4: Well, it's not like it's going anywhere anyways. I should probably spend my time on something more "productive".
Feel free to swap "week" with "day" or "month". Your personal cadence will vary but the pattern is the same: we start strong and give up when we don't see the progress we want.
So what do you do? You stop. You give up. Why waste time on something that's not working? It's more important to find the RIGHT opportunity and not to waste time on goals doomed for failure. Right?
But actually, no. WRONG.
More opportunity prevents you from making progress. Cut OUT opportunity, don't seek more. Limit your focus and you will achieve more.
By thinking on a 5 or 10 year horizon a lot of things change; it's no longer about increasing page views each week. It's not about hockey stick growth, or being a millionaire.
If you're in it for the long haul then that noise doesn't matter. All that matters is putting one foot in from of the other. Week after week, year after year. Just do your time.
Instead of worrying about your performance you focus on what you need to complete today. And the same for tomorrow, and the next day. Growth is no longer the point, nor is success. The point is you made a longass commitment, and you're going to stick to it, come what may.
Look back at your life; everything meaningful that you've done likely took time. My first startup took 4 years to build; I've spent 10+ years teaching myself how to program. The dozens of failed ideas and habits that I spent a few weeks or months working on? I don't even remember what they were. Everything that I've done that's worthwhile has taken years.
If at the end of 10 years you actually have something, great, more power to you. And if you "failed", at the very least you'll have self pride. And let's be real, you'll likely have pushed past your failures, because you were committed to the time, not the results.
So here I am, on a Saturday night, one week before my 29th birthday writing this newsletter and committing.
I am going to write 1 letter, every week, for 10 years.
It's scary to write it down, but that's part of the reason I'm telling you.
That's 520 newsletters. At 3 hours per article, that's 1,560 hours, or 65 days straight (24 hour days) of writing. Fuck.
But that's not what I'm focusing on–I just need to finish this one post.