making success simple

I don’t know about you, but I’m much more effective when I keep things simple (and easy to remember). :^) 

In 2022, I’m using a 3-letter strategy to guide me. These three letters are something I can remember every day and serve as my North Star to handle any challenges I’m faced with and continue making progress toward my most important goals. Like the S.A.V.E.R.S, these three letters are easy to remember, stick to, and implement every single day.

Today, I’m excited to start by giving you an overview of what we discussed in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series. I then let you in on my 3-letter strategy to achieve success in 2022 and beyond!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Why it doesn’t make sense to measure your emotional well-being based on what’s out of your control.
  • The A-B-C Formula for Making Success Simple in 2022
  • Why resistance is the source of all emotional pain, how acceptance serves as the antidote, and why this is not the same thing as resignation.
  • The many forms of gratitude–and how to stay grateful, even in the face of adversity.
  • Four simple steps you can take to make daily progress toward your goals–and why none of these goals need to be monumental to make a difference.

TWEETABLES

“We often grow the most when we’re faced with the greatest adversity. The greater the adversity, the greater the opportunity for us to grow.” - Hal ElrodClick To Tweet
“Resistance is the primary source of all emotional pain.” - Hal ElrodClick To Tweet

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TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and thank you for being here today. As you know, I appreciate you being here and listening and engaging in the podcast. There are so many podcasts out there, so I’m so honored that you would take the time to listen to this one. Today, we’re going to talk about making success simple in 2022. This is the fourth part, part number 4 of a four-part series on making 2022 your best year ever. And we’re going to close out the series by simplifying things. How do you really make success simple? I’m going to share with you my three-letter strategy, my three-letter strategy that I’m using this year. And I actually posted it on social media the other day, and I really didn’t think it was that big a deal. It was just kind of a fluke, and I posted it. I thought, I’ll share what I’m doing. And the response was like, wow, that’s so simple. I love it. That’s brilliant. So, I thought, yeah, that’s a perfect way to round out this four-part series.

Now, if this is the first episode you’re listening to in the series, or even it’s the second or even the third, I encourage you to go back and listen to the first episode of the series. It was Episode number 407. And listen to all four parts if you can. So, Episode 407, by the way, you go to HalElrod.com/407 to find it. And that was part number 1, and that was my best advice on how to make 2022 your best year yet. It was actually an encore presentation of a podcast I did the year before, and it was a one-and-done, all-inclusive podcast on how to make the upcoming year your best year yet. And when I went back and listened to it to prep for the series, I realized, wow, this is all such important, valuable, and universally relevant information, I didn’t want anything left out. So, I decided to give you a replay of that for the first episode. And then the next three episodes, Part 2, 3, and 4, were kind of a deep dive into different aspects from that first episode and then an expansion on many of the concepts.

So, my recommendation is to go back, listen to all four episodes in the series, and do so while you take notes. So, on your computer or your iPad or in a notebook, however you take notes, I encourage you to do that. And then I encourage you, and again, if you’ve been listening the whole time, you’re like, yeah, yeah, we know, Hal, we’ve been doing that, but I encourage you to use whatever your notes are as the rough draft of your best year ever affirmation so that you take all of the exercise that I give you in these four episodes and all of the notes that you take in the content and strategies and the mantras and the acronyms, or whatever it is that you learn and you use that as your first draft of a living document that you continue to edit and update, and it guides you all year long to make it your best year ever, right? Very rarely can you listen to something once or even listen to four episodes once and then have it really make a lasting impact. You’ve got to revisit the content consistently daily in order to stay focused on what matters most to you, what you need to do, and the different paradigms and strategies that we talked about in these four episodes.

Today’s episode is Making Success Simple in 2022, and again, that’s exactly what we’re going to do with just three letters. I’m using three letters to guide me this year, and it’s something I can remember every day. And of course, there’s a lot more content we covered in these four episodes, but these three letters are kind of my guiding, my North Star, if you will, to handle the challenges that I’m faced with this year and stay focused on making progress toward my most important goals that I’ve got in 2022.

Alright, before we dive in, I want to take just a couple of minutes to thank my sponsor, and also, I want to share a free resource with you, which I’ve been fired up on. You’ve heard me talk about it the last few weeks. First and foremost, I want to thank Organifi. And if you’ve got a busy schedule, I mean, who doesn’t have a busy schedule? It can be hard to get all the nutrients that you need on the go to stay healthy. And even if you’ve had the time or you make the time to juice vegetables or eat massive salads, you might not love the taste of dark leafy greens. And as we all know, a lack of nutrition can lead to low energy, bad moods, and all sorts of long-term issues. And that’s why Organifi makes it easy to fill your life with more nutrition using delicious superfood blends, just add them to a scoop of water or almond milk or for me, it’s my smoothie, and it energizes and nourishes your day with carefully picked adaptogens, fruits, vegetables, medicinal mushrooms, and a lot more. It’s one of the easiest healthy choices you can make each and every day. Head over to Organifi.com/Hal, that is spelled O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi.com/Hal, and then use the code HAL at checkout, and you’ll get 20% off your entire order, an additional 20% off in all the sale prices in all that good stuff. So, check out Organifi.com/Hal to get you set up for a healthy new year.

And then, last but not least, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to take advantage of my guest a few weeks ago, Brian Johnson, he is offering his premium membership to his Optimize program completely free, literally no credit card required. It’s totally free. It used to be $100 a month, and for many years, I paid that. Before I ever met Brian in person, before we knew each other, I was a fan of his. And then he did the best book summary I’d ever read on the Miracle Morning, and I was honored as a fan, and then we finally connected, and I had him on the podcast on Episode 405 if you want to go back and listen to that. But in the meantime, if you want to get the best book summaries out there, in my opinion, they’re the best, he calls them Philosophers Notes, head over to Optimize.me/Hal, it’s O-P-T-I-M-I-Z-E, Optimize.me/Hal. And again, no credit card required, you can sign up for a free Optimize membership and you’ll get immediate access to 600-plus book summaries, over a thousand short one to three-minute training videos and 51-hour deep dive Masterclass videos. Again, it used to be $100 a year to have access to that. And it’s been, I think, in the last few weeks, he just made it free. So, highly recommend it, Optimize.me/Hal.

And without further ado, let’s round out this four-part series on how to make it your best year yet in 2022. Let’s make success simple.

[INTERVIEW]

Hal Elrod: Goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning Community, friends, family, colleagues, everybody, welcome to today’s podcast. This is Part 4 of the four-part series on how to make 2022 the best year of your life, or at least a really good year, right? You may have had a year that was so stellar, it’s hard to top, I get that, but let’s make it a great year in spite of all that is going on in the world, in our lives, the uncertainty, the chaos, there’s a lot going on, and we can only control what we can control. And that’s really the premise of this entire series when we started in Part 1 was making your best year ever criteria, meaning how you’re measuring what makes it a great year instead of it being on things that are out of your control, making it completely within your control.

And we really base that on two things, number one is how you show up and number two is how you perceive your year, both during and at the end, right? So, how you show up every day, every day, I’m going, I’m giving my best, I’m exercising every day, I’m working on my goals every day, I’m giving my best every day, I’m showing up. Internally, I’m focusing on what I’m grateful for, I’m feeling good, I’m feeling excited, I’m happy, I’m doing, I’m giving everything I can. I’m giving the best I can. I’m showing up at my best every day.

And Episode 1 of the series argued that if you do that, you win. Like it’s flipping your best year ever on its head, where instead of how it ends up at the end, instead of waiting for 365 days to be able to measure how the year went. Every day, you get to wake up and go, today, I’m going to make it my best year ever, and at the end of the day, you can look back and go, yep, I did it. Once again, I am making it my best year ever one day at a time, one decision at a time. And the second part of that, measurement, the criteria to measure your best year ever was about how you perceive your year, both during and at the end. So, as you’re going through the year actually focusing on what you’re grateful for, but also the progress that you’re making, I mentioned, I don’t know, last week or the week before, I’m reading a book right now that I highly recommend called The Gap and the Gain by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. And this would be focusing on your gains, meaning instead of measuring your success from the gap between where you are and where you hope to be at the end of the year, you’re looking back and you’re measuring the gains that you’re making, you’re measuring your success based on the gains, not the gap, based on progress, not perfection.

And that can be done every day. You can look back at the day and go, wow, today, I woke up, I did my Miracle Morning, and I set out to get these things done, and then maybe I didn’t get them all done, but I made progress and I can feel good about that. And if you do that every day, those two things, you show up every day at your best and you perceive your day, yourself, your year from a place of the progress that you’re making versus how far away you are from where you hope to be at some point in the future. Then I invite you to consider that that’s what’s going to make it a great year, and especially because there is so much that’s out of our control. There’s always so much that’s out of our control, but now, globally, now, collectively. Right now, you turn on the news or you just even have a conversation with the friend, you’d realize, wow, there’s a lot that is not within my control.

And so, it doesn’t make sense to measure not only our success but just our emotional well-being on things that are out of our control. Really, if you’re going to be intelligent about how you approach life, it’s important for us to focus on the things that are in our control. And I’ll say it the way I said it in 2020, that when you focus on things that are out of your control, you feel out of control. And when you feel out of control, it causes anxiety, it causes stress, it causes fear, and it causes depression. None of those serve us. I would argue that those aren’t the ideal states that we want to be in. So, focusing on things that are out of our control is not optimal, and so, we want to make our well-being the way we feel and the way we measure success based on things that we can control. By the way, today, we’re going to talk about how to make success simple in 2022. This is the fourth episode. We’re going to simplify everything, and I’m going to give you just a really simple, memorable way to make your success really simple in 2022.

But first, right now, I want to do a review. This is Part 4 of the four-part series, so I’m taking the time, I want to do a review of what we’ve gone through up until this point. And you may remember, I’ve said, if you’ve listened to the other episodes that you should be taking notes on these, or not you should be, that’s up to you, I’m not your parent and I can’t tell you what to do. But I’m encouraging you to take notes on these that you really take these four episodes and you use this and you invest time, not just to listen to the episodes, not just to listen and take notes, but to actually implement everything that we’re talking about. And I would encourage you to schedule a day or a weekend, get out of your normal environment, go to a hotel or just sit in your backyard in nature, like you do something where you invest a significant amount of not only time, but mental energy into really thinking through the things that we’ve talked about in this four-part series.

So, again, in Episode 1 or Part 1, we talked about setting goals in eight areas of your life. That episode was the premise of that. There were really two aspects that we talked about making your best year ever next year, mindset and behaviors, right? So, how do you think? How do you feel? What do you focus on? What’s your mindset? And then what are the behaviors that you’re engaging in every day that will move you forward? And so, we talked about when it comes to mindset, getting clarity on the eight areas of your life that you might want to set goals in and you don’t have to set goals in all eight areas. This is like the buffet. You go up the buffet and you’re like, “Hmm, what’s important to me right now? What looks good?” So, we talked about health and fitness, finances, career or business, relationships, contribution, your personal growth and development, fun and relaxation, and then spirituality and/or religion. So, those are the eight areas we talk about setting goals in. Again, you can set goals in all eight. You can have more than one goal in all eight. This is like goal-setting 101, nothing fancy here.

But when it comes to setting goals, there are two types of goals. Well, there are many types of goals, but specifically, we talked about, like your typical goal as an outcome, it’s a predetermined outcome that you want to accomplish by the end of the year such as I want to lose 10 pounds or I want to make $100,000 or I want to travel to these three places. It’s something measurable. And then last week, we talked about inverted goals, which is the predetermined process that you’re going to commit to that’s going to move you in the direction of the goals that you’ve set. So, for example, for me, the example I gave last week was instead of setting a goal to lose 10 pounds, or in my case, it’d be put on 10 pounds of muscle, my inverted goal is to work out five days a week, 30 minutes a day. And that’s within my control, most of the time, right? Sure, some days it gets thrown off, but that’s within my control. And the inverted goals are always within your control. It’s always about your behavior. It’s always about the process that you commit to that will move you in the direction of the goals that you want to accomplish.

And then, so that was really, just kind of a recap of Episode number 1 is we talked about again, the paradigm of measuring your year, the success of your year, not at the end of the year, but every day in terms of how you show up and how you perceive yourself, your progress, etc. In Episode 2, we talk about getting your mind right for 2022. We talked about optimizing your mindset going into the new year, and I gave you guys five steps to automatically optimize your mindset. Step 1 was to celebrate your gains from 2021. Look back at the year and make a list, like this is an exercise, don’t just do it in your head, but actually write down all of the things that you overcame, that you accomplished. It could be little things. It could be big, monumental things.

For me, my relationship with my daughter radically improved, and I was very intentional about that. I spend time with her every day. And I wasn’t doing that because she didn’t want to hang out with me, and I couldn’t figure out why. And the reason why was because I was trying to get her to do stuff that either I wanted to do with her or I thought she would want to do as opposed to just looking at, well, what does she like to do? What is she doing in her room all day that I could just go get interested in, go align with? And it was amazing, this small, tiny epiphany, it’s like day one parenting, right? Find out what your kid’s into and then get aligned with it. Don’t try to convince them to do what you think they should do or you want them to do, but it transformed our relationship. I mean, as I talk about that, it’s a simple gain, right? It’s like, we didn’t have a bad relationship. We had a good normal father-daughter relationship, but I felt like as she was getting older, she’s 12 now, we call pre-teen, but she’s going on like 17. But as she was getting older, I felt like our relationship was going in the wrong direction, like we were losing our connection. Losing our connection, that scared me, like, really scared me. And so, I was intentional, and simple change turned it around. But anyway, that’s an example of a gain, a huge gain for me. So, step 1, to optimize your mindset was to celebrate your gains from 2021. And we talked about your accomplishments, the lessons you learned, things you were grateful for.

Step 2 was to clarify your optimal mindset and commit to it. So, how do you want to feel? What do you want to focus on getting clear? If you’re going to have an optimal mindset, you didn’t know what that looks like, what that is. And by the way, I’m encouraging you to go back and go through this series if you haven’t already. I’m just touching on it on a very high level just to recap everything. Step 3 was to identify your mental obstacles and how you’ll overcome them. So, look at what are the things, what are the mental obstacles that hold you back? Is it fear? Is it self-doubt? Is it insecurity? Is it hopelessness? What are the mental and emotional obstacles that have stood in your way in the past or standing in your way now? Is it self-belief? What are those things?

Step 4 was to brainstorm what you want to experience in 2022. So, again, this was instead of just the goal-setting of things you want to achieve and accomplish, what do you want to experience? How do you want to feel? Do you want to be free? Do you want to have free time? Do you want to love the work that you do? What do you want your life to be like? What do you want to experience? And step 5 was to review and update your best year ever affirmations daily. And I’ve touched on that multiple times that the notes that you take through these four episodes, I encourage you to use those as the rough draft for your best year ever affirmations, and you can call them whatever you want. I mean, call it, whatever you want, but that’s what my suggestion or my one option, your best year ever affirmations. And this is a living document that you review every single day that guides you, that reminds you these are the things that I’m committed to accomplishing, this is how I’m defining my best year ever. You get to define your best year ever. It’s not based on comparisons of other people or expectations of other people or even your own expectations based on what you think you could have, should have, would have done, it’s really deciding what will I measure? How will I measure my best year ever every single day? How will I measure my progress and my success?

And then last week, Part 3, I should say, was setting inverted goals. And again, an inverted goal is simply a predetermined process, as opposed to a typical goal, which is a predetermined outcome. The example I gave you of people would set an outcome of losing 10 pounds this year versus an inverted goal would be, I’m going to work out five days a week. And rather than having to wait until you lose 10 pounds to determine whether or not you were successful every single day, you get to determine whether or not you’re successful. Do you see there’s a lot of overlap here between, it’s how you show up, it’s what you do, you’re in control of making 2022 your best year ever?

And that leads us to today’s episode, which is Part 4 of 4, Making Success Simple in 2022. Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I am much more effective when I keep things simple and I normally don’t do that very well. I typically overcomplicate things way more than I should. In fact, I’m sure during this podcast episode, I gave you guys a lot to think about or the last four episodes, right? So, I apologize if any of it was complicated. I tried to keep it as simple as I could. But for me, personally, if I can have a memorable, like a mantra or an acronym like Miracle Morning, SAVERS, right? When I created the SAVERS, I went, oh, that makes it really easy every morning. First, I do my silence. When that’s done, I can look up to the left and go, what’s next? Oh, affirmations, right? And then visualization, right? I could go right there. It’s really simple. That acronym makes it really simple and easy to remember.

The Miracle Equation, my follow-up book to the Miracle Morning, it was two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. And those two decisions, unwavering faith and extraordinary effort, I can remember those. So, for me, whenever I’m faced with a challenge or an opportunity, I consciously choose to establish unwavering faith that I can do this thing. I can do anything, I can accomplish this, overcome this. I will maintain unwavering faith that I can do it and I will put forth extraordinary effort. Those two simple decisions, the point is keeping things simple makes us much more likely to follow through. And the more complicated something is, the more likely we are to drop the ball, to give up, to stop, to quit, to fall off the wagon.

So, to make 2022 a great year, I’m focusing on ABCs. There’s an A, B, and a C. And these three letters, super simple, super memorable, the A stands for accept life exactly as it is. B, be grateful for everything. And the C is create daily progress toward my goals. That’s it. If I can accept life exactly as it is, meaning I’m not wishing things were different that can’t be different. I’m not living in a state of delusion. I accept life exactly as it is. Therefore, I am at peace with life exactly as it is. And from that place of inner peace, that serenity, that calmness, I can gain clarity, and that moves me in to be grateful, being grateful for everything. For me, gratitude is the highest state. It’s the ultimate state of when you’re grateful, you feel complete. You realize that, wow, all the things that I focus on that I don’t have or that I wish were different, that make me feel anxiety and upset and different types of emotional turmoil, those don’t serve me. I’m a mess when I’m doing that. For me, the antidote to that, the antidote is gratitude, being grateful for everything, including the challenges, including your challenges, your adversity, the difficult times in life because as we all know, we often grow the most when we’re faced with the greatest adversity. The greater the adversity, the greater the opportunity for us to grow. And then C, create daily progress towards my goals just simply every day, making sure I’m doing something to move forward in the direction of the goals that I have predetermined are most important for me this year. So, accept life exactly as it is. Be grateful for everything. Create daily progress towards your goals, easy-peasy. And those ABCs, it’s my kind of guiding compass every day to keep me on track.

And today, I’m not going to just give you that and leave it at that. We could. I could keep it that simple, but let me give you a little bit of depth on each of the A, the B, and the C. I’ll go a little further, give you a little bit of depth, and then I’ll just wrap it up by reminding you, let’s keep it simple. Accept life exactly as it is, be grateful for everything that you have, and create daily progress towards your goals. Simple. So, when it comes to accepting life exactly as it is, why is this important? Well, it’s important because the opposite of acceptance is resistance. And resistance is the primary source of all emotional pain. Think about that. It is our wishing and wanting that something was different, reality, or wishing and wanting reality to be different than it is that causes pain. And to the degree that you resist your reality and you wish it were different determines the degree of pain that you feel.

The antidote to that is acceptance. If you think about it, resistance is a form of delusion. Wishing you could change something that you cannot change is a form of delusion. Now, acceptance is the antidote to that because when you go, okay, I can’t change that I’m in traffic right now, so why am I resisting it, wishing they would go faster, getting frustrated? That’s not serving me. It’s just making me anxious and upset and stressed out, but it doesn’t change the pace of the cars in front of me. So, when you accept, okay, I’m in traffic. Deep breath. I’m in traffic. I’m going to be late. I can’t change it. I’m going to accept it.

When you do that, you immediately create a state of peace within yourself. And peace isn’t an emotion. Peace is emotionally neutral. You have positive emotions, like excitement and joy and gratitude and happiness, and then you have painful emotions on the other side, such as anger and frustration and sadness and stress. And then in the middle, and I always put my hands heart center when I remind myself of this or I share it with anybody else, in the middle, in between these painful and positive emotions is a state of peace. And the way you access that state of peace is through acceptance, accepting life exactly as it is now.

Now, to be clear, accepting life exactly as it is doesn’t mean that you are resigning yourself to life, staying the way that it is, like if your life is not the way you want it to be, if your weight, your physical health, your bank account balance, if these things are not the way you want it to be, I’m not saying, no, just accept it, resign yourself to what you don’t want, and don’t do anything. No, that’s not what I’m saying. Accepting life exactly as it is, means that you are at peace, but from that place of peace, you can thoughtfully, intelligently, and intentionally take actions to change your life and move it in any direction that you want. Because, again, the state of peace is emotionally neutral, you can think clearly, you can gain clarity, you can choose effectively what you want and what the best course of action is. But when you’re in a state of resistance, remember resistance is the primary source of all emotional pain. If something happens and you accept it, there is no emotional pain even if you don’t want it to happen, even if it was something that was the opposite of what you want to happen. It’s only when you resist it that you create pain for yourself. You go, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, that’s not what I wanted. I can’t believe that happened. You’re resisting reality. It happened. You can’t undo what’s done.

Now, you can take action and make changes in the future moving forward, but you can’t go back in time and change what already happened. Think about it, when you feel emotional pain, it’s more often than not over something that already happened, maybe it just happened, or maybe it’s something that you’ve been resisting for years because it happened a long time ago and you’re not over it. You still resist it. You still think it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t just you didn’t deserve it and you wish it didn’t happen. And as long as you resist your reality, whether it’s past, present, or future, you’ll experience emotional pain, you’ll experience inner turmoil. Acceptance is the antidote, unconditional acceptance. I can’t change what happened to me, so I will not allow something that’s out of my control to determine my emotional well-being. I will determine my emotional well-being. You get to determine your emotional well-being if you’re conscious of this, if you’re aware of this.

Now, most people aren’t. Most people think bad things happen to me, and I feel bad and I justify the way I feel based on what happened, I point if you asked me why I feel the way I feel. Why are you upset? Why are you angry? Are you sad? And nothing’s wrong with being any of these emotions, by the way, as long as you’re choosing it. If I lose something important to me, if I lose a loved one, being sad is an appropriate emotional response. I want to grieve, it’s healthy to grieve. It’s when the emotion has taken control, and it’s not serving you anymore. And sometimes that can be in the moment, meaning like anger, there’s a purpose for anger. There are various purposes for anger, it depends on the situation, but let’s say you’re angry at yourself for doing something that you, yeah, gosh, why did I do that? I’m so mad at myself. There’s value in that. Don’t push that emotion down. Don’t ignore it. Don’t suppress it. Feel it fully and ask yourself, what’s the lesson here? What’s the value of this anger? How can I extract value from this emotion? Oh, you know what? I’m so mad that I did that thing. I don’t ever want to do it again. In fact, I will never do it again. Let me pull up my affirmation and put it in writing. On this day, I did this thing, and it messed up my life in this way, and I am so mad about it. I will never do that again. I give you my word, I will never do that again. That’s the value of anger. But sustaining that anger, having the anger control you, that’s detrimental, right? Painful emotions serve a purpose until they don’t, until they cause more harm than good.

And so, I love what my friend Jesse Elder, I’ve quoted him before. In fact, I think he said this on a podcast. Maybe not, no. We had him on a podcast a while back, but anyway, Jesse talked about, somebody asked, “Do you feel anger, Jesse? You seem like you’re so positive and all of these things, you’re enlightened, etc.” And he said, “I do.” He said, “but only long enough to transmute it into value.” I thought, wow, I loved that. Your painful emotions serve a purpose, and it’s for you to transmute those emotions into value, usually in the form of a lesson or a decision. I feel this way because I did this thing or I didn’t do this thing or this other person did this thing to me, that emotion is a signal that I need to make a change. I’m going to do something different in the future or starting right now. So, accepting life exactly as it is, is about not living in delusion, wishing you could change things you can’t, resisting reality. It’s about being grounded in reality and being at peace with your reality so that you can be in a neutral, emotional state, calm, serene, clear-headed so that you can make the best decisions for yourself, for your life moving forward, and you can be at peace with life as it goes because we all want to feel good. And what prevents us from feeling good is feeling bad and what causes us to feel bad is typically when we resist our reality. So, stop resisting, trade in your resistance for acceptance, be at peace with your life exactly as it is, and then focus on making it however you want it to be.

Alright, the B in the ABCs is to be grateful for everything. And similar to being at peace, gratitude is a state of being. Actually, it’s many things. It’s a state of being. It can be an expression, right? You can express gratitude to someone else. It can be a mental construct where you’re writing down the things that you’re grateful for. So, gratitude shows up in many forms. But in essence, it’s a state of being in this context. So, to be grateful for everything for me, personally, and I’ll share from my own experience, I made this decision 20 years ago that I’m going to be the most grateful person that I know, I’m going to be grateful for everything in my life, including the challenges.

And when I was in my car accident, I was grateful to God and I didn’t know what was going to happen, of course. I was told I would never walk again. You know the story, but I decided I’m grateful for all of it because all of it is making me into the person that I need to be to create everything else I want for my life. I encourage you to consider that, to be grateful for everything because everything can serve a purpose. Everything is an asset if you choose to learn from it. The worst times in your life can be your greatest assets if you choose to learn from them if you choose to grow, to become better than you’ve ever been before.

Now, if you’re experiencing adversity right now, like if you’re listening, you’re like, Hal, you don’t know what my life’s like? Okay. I’m not grateful right now, I’m angry, I’m depressed, I’m scared. I’ve been there, I don’t want to say I understand because I don’t know your particular situation, but if you’re experiencing adversity right now, if you’re going through difficult times, and if you’re not, pay attention to what I’m about to say because if the next time you’re experiencing adversity, this is going to be important. But when you’re experiencing adversity, when you’re going through difficult times, for lack of a better, more sophisticated way of putting it, when life sucks, sometimes life sucks, when life sucks, finding things to be grateful for or feeling grateful can be really challenging. But it’s during those times that being grateful serves us the most. In fact, I will say this, accepting life exactly as it is, is arguably the most important thing to do when you’re going through times of adversity.

So, start with the A, take a breath, accept your life, okay, this is my life right now. I can either feel terrible about it or I can be at peace with it. Those are my two choices. Life is what it is, either way, right? I’m in traffic. I can either be stressed about it or I can be at peace with it. It’s happening either way. I lost my job. I can either be in a state of nonstop emotional stress and turmoil and fear, which got to ask, is that serving you? Is that serving your family? Or I can accept that I lost my job. I can accept life exactly as it is, be at peace. And then from a place of peace, I can ask myself, what do I do now? What’s next? What are my options? How am I going to turn this around? And then from that place of acceptance, you go into gratitude, okay, first and foremost, I want to feel good. I want to remember that I have so much in my life to be grateful, for so many things to feel good about. I’m going to live there. I’m not going to live in the fear space. I’m not going to live in the gap, as Dan Sullivan would say, between where I am and where I wanted to be, or where I was or where I should be, no, I’m going to be at peace with life exactly as it is. I’m going to be grateful for everything, even my challenges. Having faith that (A) this is temporary, it’s always temporary. Every challenge is temporary. I don’t know anybody that– I’m sure somebody could counteract that with some example of, no, I was born with this challenge and I still have it, okay. For the most part, though, we experience challenges, adversity throughout our life, but they’re temporary.

And so, being grateful for the opportunity to face your challenges head-on and to learn, grow, and become better than you’ve ever been before, every challenge I’ve faced throughout my life, I try to approach it with acceptance and then gratitude. I’m grateful that I’m in this difficult place because I know there’s a better version of me on the other side. I’m committed to get through this. And no matter how difficult life can be at times, there’s always so much to be grateful for. We just simply take it for granted. For example, if you have two legs and you can walk, like just do this for a second here, play along for a second. Imagine that one of your legs had to be amputated. Imagine that you got the news today that one of your legs was going to be amputated. And so, now, let’s say, it was three weeks until the surgery. In three weeks, they were going to cut one of your legs off, and you’d be in a wheelchair the rest of your life, you’d only have one leg.

Now, how would you experience the next three weeks? Imagine that you had three weeks now to think about and visualize, imagine what your life is going to be like with only one leg. You can never walk or run or jump again. Imagine how much pain you’d probably experience resisting that reality, wishing it were different. Now, be in that place, like just imagine, I can’t believe this is happening to me, like I cannot believe this is happening. I never imagined in a million years. Like I’ve been there, when I woke up from a coma, I’ve been there when I got the diagnosis, I’ve been there where you’re going. I can’t believe this is happening. Like this happens to other people, but I see on the news, not to me. Imagine being in that place and then imagine by some miracle, the doctor called, and you were given your leg back. How grateful would you feel to have your leg and the ability to walk, run, and jump again? I’m sharing that with you as an example.

We have so much to be grateful for, every cell in our body is an opportunity to be grateful, every finger on our hand, every toe on our foot, every hair on our head, every person in our life, every bite that we take of food that nourishes our body, every time we lay down on the bed or put on our clothes or take a step or drive a car. We have so much to be grateful for that we can literally live in a state of bliss all the time. I want you to consider that for a second. We could literally live in a state of bliss all the time. How? Well, we all have infinite things to be grateful for, but we also have infinite things to feel bad about, to be scared of, to be angry about, to be sad, to be worried, to regret, mistakes we’ve made. Both lists are infinite. The list of gratitude and the list of pain, they’re both infinite. But wherever you live, wherever you focus your attention, most of the time, don’t ignore one list. Don’t ignore the painful experiences. Like I said, learn, grow from those. Be mindful of the things you’re concerned within the future and take action now to prepare for those but live in a state of gratitude. And when you do, as I said, you have the opportunity right now to live in a state of bliss. Heaven on Earth, it’s available. It’s inside of us. It’s a mental and emotional commitment to focus on the things we have to be grateful for. Like I said, you have so much, I have so much to be grateful for no matter how difficult life might be at any given time.

And so, after you’ve chosen to accept life exactly as it is and be grateful for everything, you’re in a nice state to then create daily progress towards your goals, the A, the B, and then the C. And to do this, creating daily progress towards your goals is simply get back to the basics. That for me is what I’ve been focusing on this year. Like I said, not keeping it complicated, this is about making success simple for 2022, simplifying everything that you can. And so, getting back to the basics when it comes to creating daily progress towards your goals, for me, it’s four simple steps. Number one, set clear goals. Number two, determine your daily process. Number three, create a foundational schedule, which is essentially just your recurring daily and weekly schedule that is in alignment with the behaviors that you need to reach your goals, incorporates the process or processes for each of the goals you’re trying to achieve, I call it a foundational schedule. And then number four, make progress every day, right? So, set clear goals, determine your daily process, create a foundational schedule, make progress every day. That’s my simple kind of back to the basics process for creating daily progress towards my goals. And that’s it.

I mean, it’s not a lot to it, and just keeping those ABCs in mind as you go throughout the year as kind of just a really simple compass to guide you. So, accept life exactly as it is, be grateful for everything, and create daily progress. And if you do those three things and you just rinse and repeat day after day after day after day, you’re going to have a great year, you’re going to make a lot of progress, you’re going to be at peace with the things you can’t change, you’re going to feel good about all the things you have in your life and all the things you’re making progress on, the progress that you’re making, and you’re going to keep making that progress. So, that’s my simple focus for 2022.

And yeah, ultimately, you go into a new year and often, you’re either coming off of a great year, right? So, 2021 maybe was a great year for you, I don’t know. Or you’re coming off a not-so-great year. In fact, it could either be a great year, a terrible year, or somewhere in between. And we just have to remember that the nice thing about a new year is although it’s an arbitrary thing, it’s just one day into the next, into the next, it’s just life continuing, it does give us a feeling of a fresh start. And so, going into that fresh start, remembering that your future is not dictated by your past, right? It doesn’t matter what happened in 2021 or in 2020, you get to choose how you show up in 2022. And remember that the purpose every year is to make just progress and to enjoy the process, make progress, get better, improve yourself, improve your life, and enjoy the process and enjoy every moment, just continue learning and growing and becoming better than you’ve ever been before.

And so, the goals that you set, they don’t have to monumental, they’re just targets to inform your behavior so that each day you have something you’re working towards because as human beings, that does create fulfillment for us when we have something predetermined that’s meaningful and important and each day we’re making meaningful, measurable, even just minor progress towards that predetermined outcome towards the goals, it creates a sense of fulfillment. And remember that the premise of this entire four-part series, beginning with part one, was that you get to choose how you show up, you’re in control of how you show up each and every day. And if you show up at your best, if you predetermine what you’re going to do and then you just do it, just follow through, you are succeeding one day at a time, and it’s not dependent on the end of the year, right? From this perspective, you can enjoy every moment. And as I said ultimately, in the last episode, that may be the most important thing that we do is that we actually enjoy this one life that we’ve been blessed to live because again, it’s only one life that you get, and you choose whether or not you live in stress in each moment or you enjoy the moments that you’ve been blessed to live, so just focus.

In fact, right now, let’s take a minute as we wrap up this episode and focus on the place inside of you that is just grateful to be alive, focus on that feeling of being grateful to be alive. In fact, take a deep breath and feel it, breathe into that feeling. Put your hand on your heart, if that’s helpful. Every week at our family meeting, when we show our gratitude, my wife and my kids and I, we all put our hand on our heart as we express our gratitude, and that movement, just the hand to the heart becomes an anchor for that state of gratitude. Know that this is your life. This is your life. This is your best year ever. It’s always there. It’s always available to you. Your best year ever isn’t about how 2022 ends, it is about how it begins right now. It’s about how you decide to show up on January 1st, how you prepare for that moment over these next few days whenever you’re listening to this, but your best year ever is lived every single day.

And as the host of the Achieve Your Goals podcast, I’ll be here with you week after week after week and I’ll continue pouring into you and giving you any leadership and guidance and love that I can to support you all year long. So, let’s make 2022 a great year, arguably the best year of our lives. And I can’t wait to do it with you.

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