How to retool 2019; An essay by Todd Schnick

Perhaps 2018 didn’t go as planned. If so, it’s time to alter and adapt your approach/mindset to make 2019 a more successful, happy, and satisfying year. Here are nine changes to help make it happen. Good luck!

  1. Be kind. What I’ve only recently learned is that these two words are the complete, total secret to life and success. If you practice nothing else, with yourself and every human you come into contact with, you’ll be just fine. This can defuse most any negative human interaction. When in doubt, no matter the situation you are in, be kind. I list this first because I still need to work on this one myself.
  2. Prioritize. My biggest professional and personal weakness is my lousy ability to set the right priorities. One way to make this very simple, for you and me, is to pick two priorities for the entire year, priorities that will TRULY move the needle for your life. One work related, and one personal. Focus ALL efforts towards the advancement of those two priorities. If a decision/action needs to be made that does NOT advance those two priorities, say NO.
  3. Move. By which I mean, get active. Run. Walk. Stretch. Amble. Wrestle with the dog and kids. Just move. Don’t spend all your time sitting behind a desk or watching Netflix. Human physiology was designed to move around. A lot. And movement is one of the few, true secrets of anti-aging.
  4. Focus on what you can control. The secret to handling stress? Two things. One, focus only on what you can actually control. Two, for the things you can actually control? Take direct, immediate action. No procrastination. None.
  5. Slow down. Yeah, I want you to be active and move (No. 3), but I want you to do it slowly, carefully, purposefully. My physical therapist would watch me do my exercises, and he kept saying, “Slow it down. You don’t need to do these moves too fast.” Same goes for life. You need to keep moving forward, yes, but you don’t need to do most things too fast. You’re allowed to enjoy and savor them.
  6. Pare down. Remove. Simplify. You have too much crap. You already know this. One, stop collecting more crap. Two, you need to develop the habit of continuously observing all the physical + digital crap in your life, and look for daily opportunities to remove said crap from your world. As I said, this is a daily habit. And this process will never end. And it will never NOT feel good to remove crap from your life. Relish this process.
  7. Less time on/more fun with social media. I’ve been spending a lot less time on social media this year. And I have treasured every minute. In fact, I just cancelled my LinkedIn account, and just suspended my Facebook account (so freeing!). You just shouldn’t spend every waking minute on these platforms. You need new priorities (see No. 2) if this is the case. And just because you don’t have anything pressing to say (or show off), it’s ok to stay silent. Also, for me, stop getting angry at the stupid things people do and say on these platforms. Mute ’em, delete ’em, but whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to get upset. JFC, life is too short to be affected in that way. Rather, shift your mindset and just have fun with this stuff. Be amused by some of the goofy things people do and say online.
  8. Read. A lot. This strategy will be on repeat until the day I die. You cannot read enough. Reading is the single most important differentiator between you and the most successful people on the planet. If you aren’t investing time in reading each day, you are losing out on opportunity. This is the most important thing you can do for personal growth. And by the way, this is better than any other form of entertainment (music, film, Netflix). Here is my reading list in case you need book ideas.
  9. The. Shit. Never. Ends. If you think happy, successful people, billionaire entrepreneurs, NYT best-selling authors, and multi-million dollar actors and professional athletes have no problems, then you need to come back to reality. Just read the papers: every day there is a another story about some celebrity having a miserable time. It ain’t just you babe. We’re all going through it. That’s life. Ain’t no way around it. You better accept this fact, or you will always be the person reading articles just like this one trying to make sense of your unsatisfying life…

Ok. Enough said. Now go kick 2019’s ass.

To go much deeper on this general topic, check out my 10,822-word (free) manifesto, 28 Strategies To Be Happy

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Scott Herring November 29, 2018 Reply

It’s funny to see how our lists align – I have little mantras in my daily routine for many of these same things.

As a long-time workaholic, I’ve been dialing it back, trying to simplify, learning how to say NO (e.g., “Essentialism”) and trying to have more fun. We obviously bounce back and forth on social media – having fun as eFriends – so that part’s easy. Unfortunately, life throws way too many curve balls (business, family, health), and we can’t always wait for the perfect pitch.

I love your work – keep on keepin’ on, Todd.

Todd Schnick November 29, 2018 Reply

I’ve long valued our social connection, and appreciate you reading and our continued friendship.

Love your notion of waiting for the perfect pitch. Two of the messages I am trying to convey in this list is one, you don’t get many perfect pitches, so stop waiting for them. And two, you don’t have to swing at the first pitch…you can wait for a good one…

Thanks again for reading…

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