Behaviour or Goals – Which Matters Most?

Many people set goals, particularly at this time of year, but don’t focus on the behavior that leads to achieving those goals. You have far more control over your behavior than any outcome. And if you focus on your behavior, it’s possible that you’ll end up with an outcome that exceeds your expectations. – Focus on Your Behavior, Let go of Outcomes

It seems easy to say this for someone that seems to have “made it”. Not that I think the author, Srinivas Rao, has a money pit to swim in ala Scrooge McDuck, but he has a level of success and attention that many of us want.

Still he’s right.

I asked myself this question as I planned for the first quarter of 2018:

What would it look like to have a thriving membership site and higher site traffic? What would I need to do to make that happen?

Then I changed the structure of my week to make those actions possible.

I changed how I blog to make it possible.

At least as possible as I can envision right now.

Your job is to go as far as you can see. You will then be able to see far enough to go further. Eat That Frog

What would it look like to go as far as you can see right now? How are your behaviours making that possible?

How to Craft a Better To-Do List over at Bullet Journal

A well-crafted to-do list acts as a guiding light for your day. It helps you overcome that feeling of overwhelm and the anxiety of wether or not you’re being productive throughout the day. – How to Craft a Better To-Do List

The highlights are:

1. Have a top “3” tasks

Not sure why 3 is the magic number. If 3 is too much, go to two or to one. I like asking “What is the one thing I can do today to make the rest of my work easier or irrelevant.

I’ve written about this before.

2. Be Actionable and NOT Vague

“Write Book” is a bad task. “Write GTD & Bullet Journal Section of Book” is better. “Read research material for GTD & Bullet Journal Section of Book” is best because I have to do that before I write the section of the book.

Don’t write down “Ted” write down “call Ted to book coffee – propose Monday @ 1500”

3. Plan to Plan

Every Friday I block out two hours to go over my projects and plan the next week in my Bullet Journal. It almost never takes 2 hours. Usually only takes 30 minutes but the rare times it does take 2 hours, I don’t feel like I’m rushing though it.

You should read it, but don’t feel discouraged by the absolutely beautiful Bullet Journal shown. Mine doesn’t look that pretty, nor will it ever, nor will I put that time into it.

Also watch for February, where I’ll be walking through how I do my Bullet Journal with pictures and…so so much more.

Read How to Craft a Better To-Do List

Before You Can Do It Well, You Must Be Able to Finish

Chris Bowler writes on quality after quantity.

The same thinking can apply to writing. Before you can write a good book, you have to learn to write a good 500 words. And before you can do that, you need to write 500 words consistently, period. And you have to learn to finish a book before you can focus on writing a good book.

If you want to run an awesome business, you first must be able to finish a project.

Then you can worry about finishing a project well.

Then you can worry about knocking their socks off.

The problem is that most people try to jump to the “knock your socks off” end and end up getting stuck at the mediocre beginning.

What are you doing to earn the right to knock people’s socks off?

Ignore the Algorithm

It’s a small resolution we’re gonna ask you to make that will help us make better things, for you. It will help us avoid making garbage for you. It’ll give you better things to read. And it’ll definitely give you nothing if not more choice.
And the ask is simple:
Use your browser bar.* > – Stop Reading What Facebook tells you to read

This goes on to talk about how Facebook and social media in general are all about stealing your attention. They don’t care about that great work you can do, they just want eyeballs to sell.

I first wrote about staying away from services you don’t pay for in 2012.

I won’t be using your service if you have no business model. I’m glad the product is free but I have no way of gauging your end game so I’m simply not interested no matter how cool it is.

I amend that to say that I won’t put any business critical stuff on a service I’m not paying for.

The other thing to note, in light of your value being decision, is that the algorithms bring you more content that you agree with. They reinforce your beliefs.

They encourage confirmation bias.

They build poor decision making tool in our brains.

I use Facebook as a dip in and mostly broadcast medium now. I use the groups I’m a part of1 and then I close it out.

Find the sites you love and support them. Find a few opposite your views and read them. Keep a fresh view to keep your decisions making engine primed for bringing value to clients.


  1. Which is only one that not a local hiking group. 

Don’t get fooled by the complex solution

Faced with two competing hypotheses, we are likely to choose the most complex one. That’s usually the option with the most assumptions and regressions. As a result, when we need to solve a problem, we may ignore simple solutions — thinking “that will never work” — and instead favor complex ones – Complexity Bias

If the best skill you can have in your business is making valuable decisions for your clients you need to make sure you don’t fall for complexity.

I know I’ve fallen for it when I’ve written code. I’ve tried to come up with a few rules to fight complexity.

  • no methods more than six lines
  • always write the docblock at the top of the Method first and make sure I haven’t strayed from it
  • no code that takes more than 80 characters of width

I do break them, but when I do I have an internal discussion about why I’m breaking the rule.

Do you have any quick rules to avoid overly complex code?

Read about Commplexity Bias

@matthewlang on staying on track with Bullet Journaling

I love Bullet Journalling. It’s the system I use to run my web development business. In fact I spent a few hours today writing about how I use it to stay on track.

I use something like Matthews weekly planning bar to survey my week and make sure i account for all the other stuff that comes my way. Things like getting my girls to skating or watching my girls so my wife can coach skating.

It’s far too easy to give yourself a huge list of stuff to do that doesn’t take the extra commitments into account without a weekly planning bar.

What are you doing?

See how Matthew stays on track

@ryanholidy gives us advice on freedom and gifts

Freedom is the most important thing. We’re born with it, and yet many of us wake up one day surprised at the chains we wear. The reason? Because we said yes too many times and never learned how to say no.
Only a free person can decline. Preserving this power is essential.

How many ways do you give up your freedom when you take on a single client that isn’t the right fit for you?

When you say yes to something you know you shouldn’t be saying yes to?

Don’t do it. The hooks that these compromises place in you are very hard and very painful to remove.

You can avoid that pain, by saying NO and keeping your freedom.

Read If you can’t say no you’re a slave by Ryan Holiday

@SamHarrisOrg on getting stuck with a belief despite proof that it’s a bad idea

I said a while ago that the only skill that will stay in demand for a freelancer is making good decisions. Today I bring you a podcast that has little to do with business but contains a thought provoking conversation on gender, race, equality, social media and many other topics that can cause lots of fire in people.

Biology and Culture – Sam Harris – Waking Up

I encourage you to listen and keep your mind open to ideas that don’t match your own.

I Talked about Analogue Productivity with Asian Efficiency

On the heals of some Bullet Journal news, I recently talked to Asian Efficiency about Analogue Productivity.

We dive into different methods and then an overview is what i do to stay effective with an analogue system.

I also did a whole module for their membership community on the topic so if you want more join their Dojo which is talked about on the podcast.

Also, another reminder, I’m writing extensively about my system for February so watch for that content.