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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

My 2 biggest lessons from 2020.

Yesterday, I went through a personal review of 2020.

Big wins. Lows. Strengths. Weaknesses.

Here are my two biggest takeaways from the most transformative year of my life:

1) 1% better.

In other words, “No hurry; no pause.”

You don’t really have to do anything extraordinary to live a productive and fulfilling life. If instead you just focus on sticking to good habits each and every day…you’ll look back a year from now and realize how far you’ve come.

Want to get in great shape? Don’t fool yourself in thinking that you’ll start to go to the gym 5 times a week in 2021. Just start with once a week. Then build up.

Want to get more work done? Don’t plan on ‘grinding’ or ‘hustling’ through 10-hour work days. Simply remove distractions from your workspace to make your 3 or 4 hours of deep work easier.

Want stronger relationships? There’s no need to schedule calls or quality time with every single person you care about every single day. Just reach out to them more and plan times in your week where you talk to friends or family.

Little things. Don’t worry about getting 10 times better. Just focus on getting 1% better today or this week. It’s like fingernails growing.

You don’t notice how much your fingernails grow in a day. But if you let them go for a year, you’ll look down and go, “oh fuck, look how far these have come.”

A gross analogy, but you get the point.

2) Systems over goals.

Here’s something you hear a lot in the personal development world. It took me years to actually understand what it meant.

We always hear about how useful it is to set goals, and it is…to a point.

It’s great to be working toward something. Accomplishments are lovely. But they come with some serious drawbacks.

I’ll explain this with a personal example of the most impactful change of my life this year: becoming a life coach.

I didn’t sit down when I started this new gig with a number of goals or milestones I wanted to hit. I just started coaching.

I remember the first time someone paid me for a session. It was like magic. It was euphoric. It was one of the best feelings of my life…for about 15 minutes.

When you obsess over reaching a goal, then you hit that goal, soon enough you will look around and realize that life hasn’t stopped moving. The inevitable question appears: now what?

Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing. But it can be damaging if you put all of your self-worth in your ability to reach goals you set for yourself. So what’s the alternative? What the hell does a system even mean?

It’s something that is ongoing. Instead of, “What can I accomplish with this thing I love?” it’s, “How can I continue to do this thing I love?”

Again, getting my first paid session was great, but it wasn’t the gold for me. The real gold is being able to wake up in the morning, look at my calendar, and see that I have 6 sessions this week. It’s seeing the people I work with take consistent action toward their work, their relationships, their lives…

There’s no goal to set for any of that. I just have to keep showing up, improving my skills, and offer as much value as I can.

Putting the two together.

I could sit down today and write out a bunch of awesome 2021 goals.

But I’m 100% certain that if I just keep doing what I’m doing–putting effort into the things that matter most–I will hit each one of those would-be goals organically.

You don’t have to sprint. Just don’t stop moving.

The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground. Chögyam Trungpa

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