New Year. Same Goal. (2018 edition)
I don't actually know where this quote stemmed from, but my first memory of hearing it was in regards to Bill Gates. So, I'm going to credit him with authorship until someone makes it easy to find the originator.
It's the last day of 2017 and wow...what a year it was.
I received a new job making more than I ever thought I would at 27 (although it was my income goal to hit by 31). I hit my first year marriage anniversary (I'm a lucky dude). Left the United States for a year of travel with my wife (we've already hit Morocco and currently reside in southern Spain).
If you know me at all you know this wasn't random. I still wake-up at 5:00 am and read for an hour and then close out my days with reading, seven days a week. Matter of fact, if you counted how much time I spent on professional development as actual work hours, I'd probably hit 80-100 hours every week, easy. This isn't to toot my own horn. It's as the young people say...just facts.
Ask my college roommates, this isn't anything new. Nothing has really shifted. My long-term goals shift as I achieve them, but my annual goals are the exact same every year.
I believe in the notion that if you can get 1% better, every single day, your potential to exceed your long-term goals are dramatically increased.
Put simply...effort compounds. And there is no substitute for hard work.
I know, I know. What about work-life balance?
This is a question I get all of the time and I sympathize with the idea of wanting balance. To me, it's an extremely personal decision. Unless someone has long-term goals as lofty as mine, I would never in a million years suggest that you do what I did to get here. It's not that simple. I was just fortunate that the bigger risks I took and failed at, weren't enough to make me lose the "war". Some are not nearly as lucky.
That said, my goal is the same as last year. And the same as the years prior to that.
I will be intentional about learning and invest in new skills and my personal development. I will get 1% better every day, 365 days a year. I will be present in today while working towards tomorrow. I will sacrifice any and everything except for my relationship with my wife to reach this goal. I will have zero regrets when the clock hits midnight on December 31, 2018.
Simple as that. Happy New Year.