The title of this post may piss you off.
What it should do, though, is act as a wake-up call. Some of us have wasted much of 2023. Or we’ve achieved less than our potential. The point isn’t to feel shame but to use the last 90 days to catch up.
The year isn’t over, and 90 days can create decent results.
Here are some ideas to use to play catch up on 2023 and finish on a high before it’s time to say bye to another year.
Accept fewer meetings, and schedule more deep work
When my life gets out of control it’s often because of meetings.
I get before, present, and post-meeting stress.
Each meeting hijacks my day. They’re supposed to run for a set time, but they always go over, because 90% of the time the person on the other end can’t get to the point and be concise.
What produces results is deep work.
Work without distractions and shiny objects to take our attention toward some dopamine activity, like eating chocolate cake or doomscrolling X. Just start removing meetings.
Don’t even bother to send your apologies. Most people won’t notice.
Take a vacation without giving a fudge
This article may look like hustle culture.
It’s not. Hustle culture is the reason why many people have let 2023 get away from them. If 2023 hasn’t been a productive year, it’s tempting to think it’s time to rise and grind, bro. Nope. That’s going to make the problem worse.
To get more done in the next 90 days, take some time off.
Why? It boosts your creativity and allows your mind to reset. I just came back from The Great Barrier Reef. While jetting around in submarines and snorkeling with turtles, I had multiple creative breakthroughs.
Since I’ve come home from holidays, I’ve made more money than I did in the first 9 months of this year.
More creativity = more money
Stop saying yes to stuff that pisses you off
There are a lot of things that trigger us.
When I read about a certain writing platform, for example, I get triggered. I get emotional. “It’s not fair” I say. Meanwhile the gurus in charge don’t give two hoots about what I think.
So I’ve stopped saying yes to these annoying triggers.
And I’ve proactively done my best to remove them. My virtual assistant is now the only person to log in and go near the platform. All emails that may trigger me are either deleted or put where I can’t read them.
It sounds crazy but it’s what must be done. Letting life trigger you makes you one upset little human. And it robs you of your personal power needed to conquer the rest of 2023 with a smile on your dial.
Start an exercise habit (even if you’re not athletic like me)
The Instagram gym buffs want you to get big.
They’ll shame you for not eating enough protein and getting jacked off creatine. I don’t buy all this nonsense.
Big muscles require excess consumption of calories. And the higher your caloric intake the fewer years you’ll live.
Are big guns really worth it? I don’t think so.
The point of exercise is to be healthy and have excess energy to direct toward your 2023 goals. The rest is a clown show.
So … start an exercise habit. To make it easier, just do 10–15 mins a day to get some momentum. Then extend the workout session as the habit forms and the activity feels too easy.
Say “nah brah” to big arms. Say yes to newfound energy.
Write a daily appreciation journal
This may sound a little woo-woo. Hear me out.
One thing I realized is many people think their 2023 is a disaster because they’ve lost all sense of gratitude. They have simply deluded themselves to want and expect too much.
A daily appreciation journal is where you log all the things you do have and appreciate. I’ve been doing this and noticed I have way more than I realized. Therefore, my 2023 has been more successful than I thought.
I have a baby and a tiny house that I work in. That’s a huge upgrade from prior years. The hustlers will tell me to go harder and buy a Lambo, but the appreciation journal tells me that’s not what is meaningful to me. Free time with my daughter is what matters.
Reframe what’s important. Focus on what you do have.
Take the money you spend on fast fashion and invest it in self-education
In the last 14 days, I’ve spoken to a lot of strangers about money as part of a new project.
What shocks me is just how bad people are with money. They’ll gladly buy new clothes every 90 days to keep up with fast fashion trends and escape reality by going to a shopping mall, but they won’t invest in themselves.
They see education as an expense rather than an investment with an ROI.
Everyone should learn at least one new skill every year, otherwise you’re going backwards
Skill Stack = Net Worth
Join a mastermind you can’t google
I’m convinced masterminds are the thing that’s been missing from my life.
In the current internet culture we have all these gurus and influencer-types. They use social media apps like Instagram to shout at us with their platitudes and arrogant points of view.
A mastermind is the opposite of this.
An influential person may create the group, but the power is in the sum of all the members’ minds added together. Solving problems by yourself is bloody hard work and lonely.
Solving problems inside a group full of clever people with similar life goals is smarter. Five years of progress happens in a year.
Find a mastermind and join it.
Start a boring paid newsletter
I spoke to this dude Scott the other day.
He started a paid newsletter after selling his startup to Salesforce for a big chunk of change. He knows two people with boring jobs who make over $1M a year on the side from their paid newsletters.
$1M may not be the norm, but more and more I’m hearing stories of people making decent money with their newsletters. And using the skills from their job to channel into a newsletter that can set them free in the future.
Everyone in 2023 and beyond should have a paid newsletter focused on the topic(s) they care about the most. If nothing else, it’s a way to join the dots in your head between all the ideas you have and consume.
Take a risk
This one may seem out of place. A little generic, perhaps.
But it’s important. Many people have had what feels like an unproductive or unsuccessful 2023. It’s likely not hard work that is to blame.
Many of us go through life stuck in an invisible comfort zone. So, we don’t take enough risks and our progress stalls.
Without risks we don’t feel alive.
We feel like we’re playing it too safe and end up having regrets. The simple solution is to take a few more calculated risks in the next 90 days. The worst-case scenario often never happens.
And even if a risk blows up in your pretty little face, you’ll feel better for trying than you ever will sitting there wondering and overthinking.
Hire a Tim Ferriss VA to do your admin work
Tim Ferriss became a Silicon Valley bro with his book “4-Hour Workweek.”
In case you haven’t noticed, he’s not the 4-hour work guy anymore. Recently, though, he did a podcast with entrepreneur Sam Corcos. They spoke for 3 hours about virtual assistants.
I used to think you needed to spend thousands of dollars every month and be a privileged white guy to have one. Then I learned from the podcast you can have a VA for much less than that.
As the VA helps you unlock more personal leverage, you make more money, and therefore have more money to invest in more VA hours.
The practice that leads to this outcome is to record your workday at a computer with a screen-record tool like Loom. Then send the video to a potential VA and see if they can do some of the tasks for you.
Our inner perfectionism tells us only we can do these hard, complicated things. But what I’ve learned is that’s nonsense. A VA can probably do 80% of what you do every day so you don’t have to.
Unlock personal leverage with a VA.
Write out a transition plan to go from a job to your own thing
A career is a video game.
- Level 1 = 9–5 job
- Level 2 = Freelancer, consultant, coach, contractor, solopreneur
- Level 3 = Entrepreneur with a team of employees
Staying on level one your entire life is a waste of potential. Everyone should try at least level two. But you shouldn’t just jump off the deep end into a pool full of crocodiles and get eaten alive.
It pays to have a plan and experiment with a few side hustles/businesses. Then once one has a tiny bit of traction you can slowly transition.
Write this escape plan in the next 90 days.