Forget quick fixes for your goals — start with these small steps instead.
I don’t know how many times I’ve fallen for marketing ploys, promises, and the answer-to-your-prayers pots of gold. Even though I’m normally quite discerning, there are areas of my life where companies, marketers, or bloggers even, can sneak in and prey on specific concerns or weaknesses or vulnerabilities I have — small or large.
We are but human.
We all have these insecurities, and marketing is all about how that can be manipulated.
Just this week I was told about a leaflet for luxury cars that had been shoved through a friend’s door, with the bright, bold headline: “Make your neighbours jealous.”
Because we all need more of that in the world.
Unfortunately, the use of this tactic has no bounds.
…This one superfood will give you all the energy to do e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g you’ve ever dreamed of…
…This one tool will solve all your business woes…
…This is the exact set of A-B-C that made me X-Y-Z…
…This diet will help you drop that weight for good…
…This one shampoo will banish frizz forever…
(Thankfully, the shampoo worked.)
But under normal circumstances, I don’t really believe in magical solutions and miracle cures.
We are such complex creatures, and our problems are much the same.
That quick fix that we’re looking for, the ones we’re being promised and sold on — that’s just fool’s gold. And nobody really needs fool’s gold.
Nobody really needs another opt-in, freebie, expensive course, selfie app, diet plan, miracle fat burning pill — or a car that will make your neighbours jealous.
I know I don’t need a car that makes my neighbours jealous.
I need a car that gets me where I want to be — but that’s a whole different ball game.
That car that makes your neighbours jealous only really makes you feel better about yourself — until they get a car that makes you jealous. And then the cycle begins again.
These are all quick fixes for our ego — until the next thing comes along, another marketing campaign, another promise of a shiny gold object.
Aside from a recipe for vegan pancakes that I tried recently and I swear I could live on forever — our success, or our happiness, however, doesn’t come from one single place.
Despite the hype, it doesn't come from one magical cure.
I believe it comes from taking a series of small, in and of themselves seemingly inconsequential decisions, but applying them consistently so that, consequentially, you become the person who makes your neighbours jealous — not your car.
“It’s about the journey — not the destination.”
That’s the sweet spot.
That’s where people actually need the most help. To take the small, daily, boring steps.
It’s not sexy. It’s not about quick wins and overnight results.
It’s about repeatedly taking the small actions to work towards the result. There is so much truth in the adage, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
But somewhere along the way, we forgot about being in love with the process. We wanted to skip straight to the results.
But a mindset like this is going to get you in trouble — it’ll blind you to where you are, the results that you already have, and it’ll have you chasing your tail forever in search of bigger, better, shinier, fancier, thinner, smaller… Whatever it is.
Chasing that end result is the fool’s mission.
So what is the real goal if it’s not the result?
Funnily enough, the process itself is startlingly simple. It’s so simple, and it pretty much applies to whatever it is that you do want to achieve.
If you want to lose weight — drink plenty of water, have a balanced, healthy diet, cut down on sugar and processed foods. Get sleep and exercise.
If you want clearer skin — drink plenty of water, have a balanced, healthy diet, cut down on sugar and processed foods. Get sleep and exercise.
If you want more energy — drink plenty of water, have a balanced, healthy diet, cut down on sugar and processed foods. Get sleep and exercise.
If you want to be more focused at work — drink plenty of water, have a balanced, healthy diet, cut down on sugar and processed foods. Get sleep and exercise.
If you want to be more disciplined, or motivated, or for your business to be successful — drink plenty of water, have a balanced, healthy diet, cut down on sugar and processed foods. Get sleep and exercise.
There’s a pattern, right?
I’m not saying that’s all there is to achieving your goals — but if you can get this bit down, you’re much better placed to go after the bigger stuff.
You’ll be better placed to habit-stack.
I’m a huge proponent of self-discipline and good habits — but they’re not fancy solutions. People don’t want to hear it — they want to hear there’s a magic fomula, not more about the mundane — the stuff they know they should be doing already.
But that’s exactly the point. You do not get to skip ahead.
Following these simple lifestyle “hacks” — basically living a healthy lifestyle — that will do way more to support you on your way to your goals than any “quick fix” ever will.
Be stronger than the marketing guys.
This game is not about buying your way out of your bad habits.
It’s much more about cementing in the good habits that will lay a solid foundation for your success.
It’s something you can grow from and build on, sustainably, and easily— you’ve just got to nail the basics first.
Daily habits are the cornerstone of life.
Want some more simple steps? I’m a massive fan of journaling — check out more about that here.