24 Ways to Crush 2024 

24 ways to crush 2024
January 5, 2024

Happy New Year!  No this is not an article on New Year’s Resolutions, I quit those years ago as a New Year’s Resolution.  Probably the only resolution I’ve kept up with!

This is a list of 24 ways for you to Crush 2024, habits and values I use to improve my life that are easy, meaningful, and reliable.

  1. Self-Talk – You are amazing!  It doesn’t matter if you have no High School Diploma, or if you have a PHD, it doesn’t matter if you are overweight or in the best shape of your life, nor does it matter if you work part time, or you live at work…..you are amazing.  Each of those references are subjective and different for everyone, there are hundreds of millions of happy uneducated hardworking people.  There are slightly less well educated financially successful people that look amazing but are miserable.  Self-Talk is the difference in the quality of life that each and every one of us experiences.
  2. Intake – Choose what you input into your mind and body.  Our senses are relentlessly inundated with content that honestly has no feelings for how it affects us.  The news isn’t reporting news to share current events, they are reporting what they believe will make them the most money.  Movies, sitcoms, talk shows, and even cartoons send messages that we have no control over.  Last year I started controlling what I read, heard, and felt.  For me that meant turning off the 24-hour news cycle and finding resources that I could read, and trust would help me grow.  Some of those resources are news, which I admittedly must triage for truth and context, but I find it much easier to do absent the physiology of a news caster.  I read positive quotes, I learn about things I’m interested in, and I enjoy diving deeper into what I do allow in from the outside.  ( I note that I still struggle with what to choose to put into my body, but I’m comfortable that it’s my choice)
  3. Journaling – Ok admittedly I hate journaling, but I was watching a 21-year-old on a YouTube sailing show who disclosed that he too hates journaling, an admission delivered while writing in his journal seemingly packed with content.  So, he motivated me to give it a shot.  This article is my first attempt at journaling and believe it or not, it’s not as difficult or painful as I’d thought it might be.  I read that the best way to start is by “writing out what you feel about your life right now focusing on eight core areas: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Financial, Career/Business, Physical, Social, and Educational. Identify the keywords that continue to come up for you within each area. Circle them. That is your soul inviting you to pay attention to what is seemingly a crumb of thought.”  The author, Simon Bailey, goes on to suggest spending 15 minutes a day to release your thoughts.  If necessary, just start by writing down words, and follow by asking yourself why you feel that way.
  4. Define What Works and Change What Doesn’t – Regularly evaluate YOU, your habits, routines, and circumstances to sort out those things that lift you up and remove those that tear you down. This continual process of introspection and adjustment will help you focus on strategies that enhance your life and discard those that hinder your progress.  I was watching a movie recently in which a character quoted someone that said “there are people that fill your life with good, and people that tear your life apart, and you tear me apart”. I forgot the movie, but not the phrase.  The character who was on the receiving end of this quote vowed never to tear anyone apart again.
  5. Embrace Change – Change is inevitable, it is coming, good change, and bad change.  But the uplifting part is that you’ve already experienced change, repeatedly, throughout your life.  You can do it, you’ve already shown that by getting to this moment reading this article.   Change leads to growth and new opportunities, change leads to happiness and self-awareness, and change helps break free of old habits, opening yourself to new experiences and perspectives.
  6. Be You – Yes, be you!  We’ve already determined that YOU are amazing, so embrace it.  There is only one you in this world, just like there is only one of all those people that society is endlessly trying to emulate.  I’m not saying that having a mentor isn’t a great thing, for me it has been life changing, but adapt new talents, strategies, or beliefs within your unique framework.  Yes, find the person that is the absolute best at what you want to learn, and emulate the sh** out of them.  Just realize that they have an entire suitcase full of negative emotions, sadness, anger, resentment, and struggles, just like you do.  In fact, we all have those, that is entirely normal.
  7. Learning – Invest in becoming a better you, whether through education or diving deeper into a hobby.  Learning stimulates our brains, and has an amazing byproduct called confidence.  It’s not really about what you choose to learn as much as it is about who you become in the process.  I’ve always wanted to speak a second language ( beyond curse words which I have mastered in multiple languages), but I’ve never pulled the trigger to do it, that’s ok, I’m not stuck on that.  Right now, I am learning as much as I can about sailing, I want to get my Master Captains license, for no other reason than I enjoy the ocean.  But who knows, maybe someday I will be captaining your yacht when you achieve your financial goals.  The point is there are questions in all our lives, take a moment to discover what your biggest questions are, and go learn about that.
  8. Commitment – You are in a good mood right now, you are excited to make some changes, but somewhere down this evolving timeline your mood and excitement are going to diminish, and the only thing left will be whether you are committed.  This is a great, recycled, quote from Shearson Lehman/American Express: “Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions, and the actions that speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of, the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.”  Wow, I want to be committed!
  9. Fail Fast or Fail Forward – I love this saying and try my best to live it.  Failure is quite possibly the most powerful tool to learning known to mankind.  I have failed a lot, way more than necessary, but all that failure in my life translated to a balanced successful human that loves others and myself.  Wo Wait….No I am nowhere near perfect, but I have perfected failing enough that I am eager to try new things, with the knowledge that I am going to succeed either way.  I’ll either learn how not to do something, or revel in the joy of a positive accomplishment.  Yes, failure hurts.  The point of Fail Fast or Fail Forward is to avoid languishing in failure, if it’s not working, set an end point, and stick to it.  It is important to note that everyone fails, and I believe we all fail equally, the difference is whether others see us fail, which usually means we aren’t failing quite fast enough.
  10. Let Go of Perfection – “Perfect is the enemy of Great”.  I recently read a story about a high diver that stormed on to the international diving scene only to fizzle out a short time later.  He recounted that he believed his issue was that of perfection.  He spent so much time trying to perfect the little things, like foot placement and takeoff, that he never made time to learn new dives and increase the difficulty of the dives he was good at.  The lesson is to shift your focus from striving for perfection to embracing progress and learning from the journey. Accept that imperfection is part of being human and that much of personal growth comes from overcoming challenges and learning from mistakes.
  11. Thrive – I take this one from one my favorite authors Simon Bailey.  THRIVE = “Tell the truth. Have fun. Read the room. Inspire everyone. Visit others virtually or in person. Expect great things to happen in you and for you.”.  The true definition of Thrive is simply to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.  This article is from my handbook for thriving in a world that is nothing less than difficult.  Thrive is above survive, thrive is smiling, laughing, loving, and embracing the life we have despite the world.
  12. Nurture – Actively work on building and maintaining meaningful relationships, they are foundational to emotional well-being and happiness. Invest time and energy in those who bring joy and support into your life, and as importantly, be that person for others as well.  Don’t wait, take the first step to reach out and say hello.  Beyond relationships, nurture your ideas, your positive desires, and your inner growth.  It takes time and effort which deliver immeasurable results.
  13. Healthy Habits – I was feeling short on energy, unmotivated to get off my butt, and sluggish when it was time to do anything other than relax.  Did you know that most everything you do on a regular basis is related to a habit, the good and the bad.  Feeling unmotivated and sluggish can easily be a habit, especially if you don’t catch it quickly and put a stop to it.  Developing and maintaining habits that promote your physical, mental, and emotional health, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep is the key to setting yourself up for crushing 2024 and beyond. These habits form the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, leading to improved overall well-being and vitality, restoring the necessary energy to create other new habits.
  14. Empathy – Having empathy is one of the most important aspects of creating strong relationships. To feel connected to others is vitally important for our own wellbeing. Empathy is the foundation of human relationships and helps us to feel valued, loved, and cared for.  For me, I find that when it is hardest to empathize with someone is when I need to really dial it up and be aware of how I feel and how they feel.  As I’ve learned to be more empathetic, I’ve grown, become less stressed, and understand myself far more.  
  15. Kindness – Forbes Magazine reports Kindness as the ultimate value for success!  I ask myself why it is so difficult to find kindness when being kind is so easy.  Being genuinely concerned about others is how we build relationships.  Serving others always leads to more happiness in our own lives.  Kindness requires almost no effort or investment and is inspiring both us and everyone around us.  Kindness changes lives, builds good will, and leads to loyalty.  As a bonus round to kindness, try “Random Acts of Kindness”.  Do something for someone else anonymously, egoless giving provides an amazing burst of Oxytocin.
  16. Forgiveness – Forgiving ourselves and others gives us freedom to move on.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean returning to a time or relationship that hurt you in the past.  Forgiveness is simply accepting that the past can’t be changed.  Forgiveness elevates our mood, enhances optimism, and guards against anger, stress, anxiety, and depression.  
  17. Generosity – A generous heart isn’t just good for the soul; it’s the secret to achieving greatness in life.  Generosity isn’t just a feel-good notion and doesn’t necessarily equate to dollars and cents.  The most valuable and available asset you can be generous with is your time.  Sharing our time benefits us just as much as the intended benefactor, it develops our leadership skills and improves our reputation.
  18. Boldness – The only time we are actually growing is when we are uncomfortable.  There are endless examples of this, “Muscles don’t strengthen unless they’re burning”, or “steel is strengthened by bending”.  The point is that stepping out of your comfort zone helps us become more creative and resilient.  Discomfort breaks us down and humbles our spirit, it can be difficult, but it forces us to stretch and adapt.  We develop new perspectives and acquire new skills, in fact learning to be comfortable with discomfort is one of the most important skills for living a truly fulfilling life.
  19. Reverse Engineering – Entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, scientists, artists, practically every success story starts with reverse engineering.  Imagine that transformation happens inside a silo, there is a beginning, a middle and an end.  Write yourself a letter clearly identifying what you want to accomplish this year, be as specific as possible.  Start at the end, December 2024, and move backwards throughout the year to today.  There are a few practical steps, first identify the goal, second determine who does it the best, and third is to spot the difference that makes them the best.  Emulating success is the fastest track to experiencing success.
  20. Confidence – Self Confidence is linked to almost every element involved in a happy and fulfilling life.  The more confident we become, the more we’re able to calm the voice inside us that says, “I can’t do it.” We’ll be able to disconnect from your negative thoughts and act in line with our values.  We will have less fear and anxiety, and greater motivation.  Confidence gives us the skills to handle setbacks and failures, it makes us more resilient.  Self-confidence helps us to be more authentic, accepting our weaknesses and celebrate our strengths.  The best way I’ve found to become confident is by identifying if my self-awareness is based on measuring myself to others or measuring myself to my own values.
  21. Awareness – We cannot change what we don’t accept, and we can’t accept what we’re unaware of.  Self-awareness is the ability to tune in to our own feelings, thoughts, and actions.  When we are self-aware, we understand our strengths and weaknesses and know what helps us thrive. We also understand that how we see ourelves may be different from how others see us.  Harvard researchers suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative.  We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively.  It is vital that we be honest with ourselves to be self-aware.
  22. Adaptability – Know when it’s time to shift or make a change.  Change is allowed, because sometimes that’s what it takes to be balanced.   Cultivate adaptability by learning to navigate life’s changes and challenges. Being adaptable allows you to respond effectively to unexpected situations and turn potential obstacles into opportunities.  Embrace change!
  23. Disconnect – The best way I’ve found to sustain the habits and values I’ve shared above is to disconnect.  Disconnect from phones, computers, televisions, and anything else that distracts my ability to connect to the physical world, nature, and myself.  Disconnecting reduces stress, improves concentration, and allows self-reflection.  This is different for each of us, my disconnect place is on the water, or by the firepit in evening after a long day.  Find your best place to disconnect, a place that connects you to nature and visit that feeling frequently.

Love – The most powerful tool on the planet is love. And it’s free.  LOVE MORE! Love yourself more, love others more, love your circumstance.  Find gratitude for each and every day, for each and every person.  Love conquers all things and balances the world.  Love is a powerful motivator, it helps us stay focused, work harder, a push ourselves to achieve our goals.  Love is inspiring and is the ultimate form of success.

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