It’s easy to admire the successful people who seem to have it and do it all. They always appear to have been tapped by the magic wand of the universe – lucky to be living a flawless, obstacle free life.
However, it is quite the opposite. When you study the most successful people in the world, and learn about what made them who they are, you find that no such magic wand exists. Sure, successful people contribute certain aspects of their fantastic lives to luck, but what shows itself is that these people have an entirely different definition of luck to begin with. They never discount the long hours, the necessity for unwavering focus, or the ongoing persistence that led them to where they are. Their definition of luck tends to be “when preparation meets opportunity” instead of “success brought by chance, not actions.”
It can easily be argued Kobe Bryant or JK Rowling are blessed with a special gift that is only unique to them. Yes, they are truly unique in their talent, but talent only brought them so far. No one becomes an overnight success – but it’s easy for us to overlook the tireless work that brought these people to a level of greatness others can’t achieve. So what’s their secret to success? How did they become “so lucky?”
It’s pretty simple (but not necessarily easy): they made time for their goals and dreams. Everyone on the planet, successful or not, has been blessed with 24 hours a day – no more, no less. How those 24 hours are used determines how one becomes great.
This begs the question: “How can I make a significant change in my life strategy in order to make time for my dreams and goals?”
There is no secret to answer the age-old question. What it requires is a massive transformation without any kind of warm up. It requires you to take a complete step forward, to relocate your entire self on a new wavelength of time management right from day one.
So, how do you implement this massive transformation without a warm up? Go on a “Time Fast”
Many of us have done some type of fasting in the past – we do it for weight loss, religion, charity, and in many cases, we do it for several days or weeks at a time. We quit food (or certain types of food) and remain disciplined about it from the very first moment we commit. Most people who start a fast and follow through to the end have a massive sense of accomplishment when it’s over, and usually, agree that the first few days are always the most challenging. It’s easy to be tempted to break the fast or give up early, but after the first few days, we tend to adapt and progress. We find our groove and feel positive about making it that far. And here’s the most impressive part: there is minimal preparation or “warm up” period to a fast. There is no testing the waters with your toe – you just jump into the deep end.
Using the same principles of a food fast and applying it to what and how you consume your time – going on a “time fast” – you can alter your life for the better.
Here’s the simple 4 step process to start your own 21 day “time fast”:
1.Record and document how you spend your time.
Stop saying “I don’t have time,” because saying you don’t have time is saying your dreams and goals are not worth achieving.
If something is worthwhile pursuing, it is worth your time. I understand there are bills to pay and other obligations, but that doesn’t mean you cannot commit to achieving your goals before and after work. Many spend an unaudited amount of time on things that really bring no value to their lives, which can cause a vicious cycle of dwelling and negativity, leading to hopelessness and excuses. The hard truth is that whenever you say you don’t have time, you’re saying you don’t prioritize your dreams.
So, start by revaluating how you spend your time. From when your alarm goes off in the morning to when you go to bed, document what you do, and how much time you spend doing it. This is one of the most revealing exercises you can do –it will show you that you’ve been wasting a lot of time, or putting your energy into things you don’t care so much about. After doing this audit, you may realize your supposed single hour of Netflix a night is really three, and your casual scroll through Instagram costs two hours a day.
2. Start the 21 time fast.
Eliminate the things that “waste” your time. This could be Netflix, social media, time spent with “friends,” routines that aren’t a requirement, etc. Here’s the hard part: be aggressive. Get rid of these time sinks and remove them utterly and completely for 21 days. This means there are no cheat days for those 21 days. The first few days are painful, sure, but you’ll also immediately be surprised by how much free time you have.
3. Fill your free time with a productive activity that will help you achieve your goals.
Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds or learn a language, fill your newly found free time with activities that will help with your goals. For example, you might have time to work out longer each day, contributing to a more healthy lifestyle and helping you rapidly achieve your goal of weight loss. Do this for the full 21 days.
4. Keep the habits.
After the 21 days, you will notice massive progress towards your goals. Here’s the best part: progress is addictive – even more addictive than Netflix and social media. Although some may relapse, most will keep their newly formed habits, and continue their progress.
The biggest benefit of using your time wisely isn’t just forming new, highly productive habits. This process will reveal those awful time sinks in your life, reprioritize your efforts, and, above all else, it will allow you to realize you’re capable of a lot more than what you may have thought before. Learning how to push your potential an addictive skillset to have, and it’s the one that will continually show you that you had luck’s magic wand in your pocket all along.