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The Best Way to Start 2024 Is with “Anti-Goals”

by | Jan 3, 2024 | Life Hacks

It’s the time of year when all the happy-go-lucky people set goals.

Many people set goals & never achieve them. It’s the story of human history. Just ask all the gyms that get an influx of new members in January who are keen to get fit, then within 4 weeks they haven’t even been to the gym.

Less is more. I choose to set anti-goals. These are things you’re purposely NOT going to do.

Here are my anti-goals as inspiration for yours.

It is remarkable how much long-term advantage we have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.

–Charlie Munger

Anti-Goal #1 — No more dealing with stupid companies

Every day there are what I call parasite companies.

They treat your time like it’s disposable. They’ll gladly waste 3 hours of your time to complete some stupid process and not care.

I deal with banks like this all the time. They force people like me to go in-person to bank branches. They also, regularly, close bank accounts of anyone who trades digital assets like crypto.

They’re dinosaurs.

They operate in a pre-internet world. They won’t let you buy digital assets but they will let you withdraw all your money in cash and gamble it at the casino. What’s worse is they gaslight the general public.

“We care about you. We want to keep you safe.”

Their social media feeds are full of virtue signaling. On the one hand, they appear to do good, while on the other hand, they do evil.

I used to put up with these stupid companies. Not anymore.

From now on I’m choosing every business I interact with based on intelligence and how digital they are. Even if the digital business is more expensive, I will use them every time.

Why?

I’ve learned the hard way that time is money. A cheaper service provider may cost less on paper, but if they piss your time up against the wall, it costs more in the long run.

Life is too short to put up with stupid business processes.

And we’re all sick of do-gooder companies pretending to care about society when all they do is lie, cheat, and steal.

Anti-Goal #2 — No admin before 9 a.m.

The start of the day is typically when my energy is the highest.

I often waste that time on boring admin. Tasks such as checking email or paying bills. Not anymore. In 2024 I’m going to spend the first 3 hours of the day on a creative activity that puts me in a flow state.

When you start the day with creativity you feel better. You feel more fulfilled.

As our energy depletes throughout the day, we’re better off using the low-energy phases, like 5 p.m., on boring tasks that make us frustrated.

More flow before 9 a.m.

Anti-Goal #3 — No more accepting negative people around me

I spend very little time with pessimists.

But this last year a few of them have crept their way back into my life. Rather than add more optimists, I’m finding it’s easier to regain wasted energy by removing negative people.

I’m going to do it quietly. I gradually reduce contact until I become a ghost who never responds. It’s not always the nicest thing to do, but I’ve found I have to protect my mental health above all.

If it means I lose a few people along the way, I’m cool with it.

I’ve even done it with customers & email subscribers. One lady accused me of labor exploitation for hiring a Canadian VA. She said I was paying them $2 an hour, which isn’t true. Rather than argue, I hit mute & moved on.

A $5000 a month customer is great, but if they’re destroying your mental peace, it’s costing you more in the long run.

Negative people have a huge mental health cost most of us overlook. Stop letting it slide. Say no.

Anti-Goal #4 — No meetings after 5 p.m.

If I don’t focus on my family, I’ve learned, I won’t have a family.

Meetings after 5 pm have caused me a lot of grief. This year I’m setting strict goals around meeting times.

My aim will be to continue with an almost zero meeting policy. And the meetings I do take will be limited to 30 mins to force a deadline and help people get to the point.

Stop letting meetings run your day. Set rules.

Anti-Goal #5 — Less complaining

It’s easy to fall into the death spiral of complaining.

I don’t care how positive you are or how much self-improvement you do — if you live in society then you’ll find yourself complaining. One of my biggest flaws was road rage.

I got this bad habit from my chauffeur driver days, where I was always in a hurry to get a customer to their location. I’d scream f-bombs at random drivers and go mental.

I’d even get out of the car in traffic and knock on car doors of anyone who broke my strict road rules. Then I got married and my wife picked up on it real fast. She told me to stop. Not for me, but for our 1 year old daughter.

I’ve since stopped this habit, and man, do I feel better.

I no longer care so much about getting everywhere fast or correcting people’s driving errors. I just chill and enjoy whatever Tim Ferriss or David Perell podcast I have pumping through the car speakers.

Complaining is a virus.

It deludes us into thinking we’re not making the same mistakes we’re critiquing others for making. Blame and complain less to have the best year of your life. The extra energy feels amazing.

Takeaway

Instead of dreaming of unicorns and 6-pack abs like traditional goal setters, try and become more badass by setting anti-goals.

Committing to what you’ll avoid is more powerful than knowing what you want.

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