Have you ever set off to achieve a new goal only to find yourself off track a few weeks later?

When I made a decision to take full responsibility for my health, there were 3 key factors that contributed to my total body transformation of losing 70 pounds. I’ve attempted to take control in the past and did have some success in losing weight, but it always seemed to find its way back. I was stuck on the roller coaster weight-loss ride that so many of us get stuck on, until I discovered the missing pieces. These 3 keys can be applied in any context to help you achieve your next level.

1. Find a mentor

You’ll need to find a mentor or coach that has already achieved what you want to achieve. This can either be an industry leader you hire or even a friend that just has more experience than you. They’ll help you map out a gameplan that will show you the path to success. They will be a resource for you to utilize whenever you have a question or ever get stuck during your journey.

2. Find accountability partners

Accountability partners are a critical piece to keeping you on track. These are people that are riding the same struggle bus with you and are striving to achieve similar goals. Not only do they keep you on track, but you’re there to encourage and support them as well.

3. Want it bad enough

This is the biggest key that will determine your success. You can have all the mentors in the world and the greatest accountability partners, but that will mean nothing if you don’t have the ambition and drive to achieve your goal. When you want it bad enough, that’s when all of the other pieces fall into place like consistency, habit development, persistence and motivation to push past any self-limiting beliefs.

[easy-tweet tweet=”When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. ~Eric Thomas” user=”NLAchievers”]

With these 3 keys in place, you’ve set yourself up for massive success. Now it’s time for you to execute!

At the University of Texas 2014 Graduation, Admiral William H. McRaven delivered a powerful commencement address that highlighted key concepts and mindset strategies that one will need  in order to impact the world in a positive way. He illustrates ten lessons with a story from his Navy SEAL training days which have inspired over millions of people.

There was one huge lesson that has made a profound impact on my own life, and it’s the very first lesson he teaches. If you want to change the world, start by making your bed. As ridiculous as it sounds, it is one of the most powerful. If you can start your day off by completing a simple task, it will set you up to complete another task. Now you’ve begun to build momentum for the rest of the day!

And if it happens that you weren’t able to keep this momentum going and the day has slipped away, you will come home to a bed that is made. How you start your day will affect how you end your day, and how you end your day will set you up for the next one. By coming home to a bed that is made, you will have encouragement to tackle the next day.

Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. And if you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.

~Admiral William H. McRaven

To learn about the other nine lessons, check out the video below. Leave a comment below to share with us which lesson left the biggest impact on you. Don’t forget to also share this post with those who may need to start making their bed!

How often do you find yourself saying, “I should workout today”, “I should make that sales call”, “I should get a salad instead of a burger tonight”, or “I should hold this elevator door open for that person that I see running towards me right now”? But instead of doing what you should do, you don’t. We already know in our heads what we should be doing, but our actions don’t always reflect our thoughts. But why do we do this to ourselves?

Jim Rohn calls it the Law of Diminishing Intent.

The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.

~John C. Maxwell

If in that moment when an idea comes up to do something and we delay, then the desire to do it fades away. This usually only occurs when we’re thinking of doing something that isn’t comfortable or isn’t immediately rewarding. And the motivation of why we should do it is based either on expectations from others or because it’s in line with our personal values.

So how do we actually stop should-ing ourselves?

1Gain Clarity

You have to get absolutely clear on WHY you should take that action. Is my reason for my decision in my best interest or is it in someone else’s best interest? What would happen if I don’t take this action? Am I doing what’s easy or am I doing what’s right? Awareness is crucial to determining what your true motivating factors.

2Change ‘Should’ to ‘Must’

Change your language to change your thinking. Use words that are more empowering or urgent to spur you into action. If this action means a lot to you, then you MUST do it.

3Implement the 5 Second Rule

Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule can get you to quickly take action before your brain gets a chance to start coming up with excuses and reasons why to not do something. Our brains are wired to keep us safe from things that are uncomfortable and avoid trouble or risk. If you can start advancing towards your idea as soon as it pops into your head, you don’t have to get into that internal debate of whether or not you should do something.

I bet even as you’re reading this, you’re thinking of something you should do. And if you’re not thinking of anything right now, then you should share this post with someone so we can all flush down the habits of procrastination.

Chess is a game that’s been played through the centuries and is popular among many successful high performers and entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel and James Altucher. Known for the massive amounts of strategy and brain power needed to be skilled at the game, it can teach many lessons that are applicable to your journey to your next level in life. I’ve played and competed in multiple chess tournaments for many years, and here are the key takeaways that I’ve learned from the game.

1. Plan Ahead

Good chess players will always look at the list of next possible moves and predict the consequences for each action. Great chess players will look at ALL possible moves, determine the potential consequences, and have his or her response to the opponent’s actions at the ready. The big difference in good and great players is knowing the number of possible paths that the game can take. Not only can they see 7 or 10+ moves ahead, but they can determine their options quickly and remember all of it. And when a mistake is made, a great player won’t react quickly or instantly give up, but will take a step back to analyze, adapt, and rethink all of the actions.

2. Patience & Delayed Gratification

We live in a world where everyone wants instant gratification for their actions; whether it’s wanting to lose weight from a week’s worth of workouts to building a 7-figure business in a month, we all want the payout and results right now. Amateur chess players often will capture the opponent’s piece if it looks like a free capture or if it’s a high value piece without considering the long-term consequences of their action. A lot of the time, capturing the opponent’s piece doesn’t even lead the player any closer to their main goal of winning the game. There are often times better options that could lead to a win if the player would take the time to look at the whole picture.

3. Understanding the Perspective of Others

Trying to understand my opponent’s thought process and play style to predict their moves and reactions has helped me significantly in playing chess. How quickly the player moves or hesitates in reaction to my previous move, facial expressions, eye movement, and other nonverbal cues can tell a lot about a person and what they’re thinking. Aside from the nonverbal cues and play-style, I’d often physically get up from my chair and walk to the other side of the board to see what it looks like from their end. Seeing the board from the other’s perspective allows me to understand how best to respond in the future.

4. Staying On Track

Too many amateur chess players make a move for the sake of making a move. Every move made should be some kind of action that is a step towards the goal of winning, whether it’s a move that opens up other potential moves, a move to disrupt or prevent the opponent from taking action, or a move to attack the opponent. As the saying goes, “being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive.”

5. Reflect With Your Support Team

At the end of all of my competitive chess matches whether a win or a loss, I would sit down with my coach, teammates, and sometimes even my opponent to go over the game and analyze it to see what alternative moves could have been made. Not only did I get multiple perspectives on what transpired, but it gave me ideas on how to improve to not make the same mistakes again. There are no bad experiences, only learning experiences.

Do you play chess or other games that require strategic thought? If you do, I’d love to get your insight on how you’ve been able to apply things that you’ve learned from the game in your life. Share your lessons with me in the comments below!

A mentor and his student take a walk through a forest together and stop in front of a small tree. The mentor tells the student, “Pull up that sapling.” The student goes towards the sapling and pulls it up with ease out of the dirt. The mentor says, “Now pull up that one” pointing to one that was knee high to the student. The student squats and yanks it up with some effort. Then he was instructed to pull up one that was as tall as he was, and so with all his weight and strength, he pulls up it up with beads of sweat dripping down his forehead.

“Now,” the mentor says, “pull that one.” The student looks into the direction in which the mentor was pointing and saw a mighty oak tree that was so tall the student could barely see the top. Knowing how much effort it took for the last one, the student says, “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

“My son, you have just discovered the power that habits have over your life!” the mentor exclaims. “The older they are, the bigger they get, the deeper the roots grow, and the harder they are to uproot. Some get so big, with roots so deep, you might hesitate to even try.”

 

Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect teaches the concept of how we are creatures of habit. Habits are created initially by doing one action over a period of time until it occurs without active awareness. Getting rid of a bad habit is just as challenging as creating a new one, but the first step is making the decision to stop the bad habit. Here are five tips from the book to help you get rid of your bad habits whether it’s eating junk food late at night or excessively drinking every weekend.

1. Identify Your Triggers

Figure out the “who”, “what”, “where”, and “when” that is the basis for these bad habits. For example, it could be the group of friends you hang out with on the weekends or what emotions trigger your desire to eat sweets. Becoming aware of what triggers your bad habit is a great start to getting rid of it.

2. Clean House

Literally, clean the house. Get rid of all the junk food in your house. Get rid of every single drop of alcohol. Uninstall whatever addicting app off of your phone. When you remove everything and don’t give yourself the option to indulge in your bad habits, it makes it a lot easier to break it.

3. Replace It

You can swap out your bad habit for a better one. For example, if you’re addicted to Diet Coke (I’m talking to you, mom), then instead of drinking Diet Coke, drink a sparkling water with lime. And then you can ease it into just plain water.

4. Ease In/Out

This is most likely your best option for those deep-rooted habits. A clear bad habit, smoking cigarettes, is something that is very difficult to stop abruptly. Every week or two reduce your daily consumption by 1 until the habit is gone. If you’re still having a hard time kicking the habit, try and combine it with the replacement strategy with an alternative to cigarettes.

5. Jump In

Sometimes dipping your toes into the water won’t do you any good. Not too long ago, I made a firm decision to quit drinking alcohol for 90 days straight. Although my initial plans were only for 90 days, it has completely transformed me and now alcohol is no longer a part of my life. I know a few friends who said they wanted to stop drinking, but didn’t want to completely give it up. Occasionally, they would say, “Just one drink tonight, that’s it.” As soon as they had that one drink, it turned to one more, and one more, and one more. If you’re serious, give it all you’ve got and completely stop whatever bad habit you’re trying to get rid of.

Whatever the size of your tree, take action and begin uprooting that bad habit. Take it a step further by going out and getting your own copy of this book as well as buy a copy for someone else. What’s the point of attaining knowledge if you don’t take action or share it with others?

You might have seen the Youtube commercial with the guy talking about his Lamborghini, but more importantly he talks about his library in his garage. Tai Lopez is a multi-millionaire who came from humble beginnings. One of his endeavors is teaching other entrepreneurs how to reach the high level of success that many of us seek or the “good life” as he often calls it.

One of his tips is the law of 33%. I’m sure you’ve heard this quote from Jim Rohn,

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

The 33% rule is Tai’s advice to help you choose who you spend your time around. The first 33% should be time spent around people below you; these are the people who you mentor and help. Then spend the next 33% of your time around people that are at your level; these may be your friends or colleagues. The last 33% of your time should be spent with people above your level; these are people that have 10-20 years of experience, people you look up to and can mentor you. Having mentors is absolutely critical when pursuing that next level of success. If you want the life that they have, do what they did. It’s much easier to copy than to reinvent the wheel.

Most people spend almost all their time with others that are at or below their level which is why a lot of them are stuck in the same place. When I began my journey with my having my own business, I found myself spending much more time with my mentors, other successful business owners and CEOs. And yes when you start spending more time with a new group of people that means you’ll start spending less time with your previous group. It’s much easier to do and be successful at something when everyone around you is doing it. For example, if you want to eat healthier, hang around those that eat healthy instead of hanging around your friends who go out for drinks every weekend. It’s probably one of the easiest ways of changing something in your life.

Tai says that if you can’t find people to mentor you, look at another source of mentorship: books! There is so much personal development that can be done from reading books! I’ve read more books in the last couple of months than I have during my entire life. If you’re not a big reader, try audiobooks. We’ve partnered with Audible to bring you a free audiobooks! Changing who you spend your time with, even if it’s spending time with authors through their books, can make all the difference in changing the direction of your life.

Check out Tai’s TED Talk below!

With so many platforms out there from podcasts to webinars to live video streaming, it can be hard to choose which one to first tackle when establishing a personal brand. Here are five reasons why you should consider blogging.

1. Create healthier life habits

By posting new blogs every week, this will help you create new habits and become more consistent with daily or weekly activities. It’s going to make you a better thinker and create a platform where you can share the valuable knowledge that you have and will gain as you continue to grow yourself. Blogging is going to require your commitment, time, and discipline which will help you with your own personal growth.

2. Refine your writing skills

One of the best ways to get better at something is to practice and take action. “Why not take a writing workshop?”, you may ask? There’s a saying, “One hour in the field is worth more than ten hours in the classroom.” Not only will you become a better writer, but this will help me with overall communication and improve how I articulate my thoughts.

3. Introduce myself to the world

If you plan on entering the online space, you’ve got to get more comfortable with being known. It’s not just that people will know a name and a face, but they’ll have insight into how you think and see the world. If you’re sharing stories and experiences of your life, it will show your perspective and thought process of the decisions that you make. Stories are how people will be able to relate and connect with you. It’s one of the best ways to give value to others.

4. Improve your future by reflecting on your past

Blogging can be your online journal for yourself. It will document your thoughts and ideas, so that you can look back and see how your views and opinions have changed over time. This will keep track of your personal growth that you’ll be experiencing and allow yourself to reflect which will in turn help me improve my future.

5. Connect and inspire

You’ll always be finding inspiration and motivation from amazing mentors and other entrepreneurs. Instead of being just a consumer, you need to be a producer of inspiration and motivation. If you can connect with at least once person and make a positive impact on their life, it’ll all be worth it.

If you’re not blogging, I hope this has helped you with your decision to start a blog. If you already have a blog, I’d love to check it out!