Scaling down: on seeking fewer goals, relationships, and experiences

We have heard it so many times: quality matters more than quantity. Yet, we struggle to apply the adage. We try to earn as much money as possible; to visit many places; to make lots of friends; to read loads of books. In many areas of our lives, quantity seems to trump quality. Thanks to …

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You can eat your mallow: debunking the marshmallow test

The Stanford marshmallow experiment is probably the most famous study in delayed gratification. In 1972, a group of kids was asked to make a simple choice: you can eat this marshmallow now, or wait 15 minutes and receive a second treat. In the paper, the researchers highlighted two significant findings. First, not physically seeing the …

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SMART goals are not so smart: make a PACT instead

A system without a goal is like a marathon without a finish line. But a system with a bad goal will result in a bad outcome. Traditional goal-setting methods use the SMART framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Sounds great for small, short-term goals, but not so much for ambitious, long-term …

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Turning goals into growth loops: the PARI system of mindful productivity

I had a coaching session today with a client where we discussed his daily routine and the way he was managing his goals. At some point, he said: “Maybe I’m just not disciplined enough.” Many people think this way when they’re disappointed by their own performance. But did you know that 92% of people never …

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Being prepared is overrated: start before you feel ready

Getting ready is fun. Doing research, learning new things, feeling excited about the journey ahead. But whether you’re planning on writing a book, launching a product, or building an exercise routine, getting ready can become a distraction: there is a very fine line between preparation and procrastination. Yes, getting ready is comfortable. But most successful …

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Turning push goals into pull goals

Let’s say you want to become a published author. You have this clear objective you want to achieve, and decide on a game plan to get there. You read about the stories of other authors, you make a list of publishers to reach out to, you think about ways you could get an agent. You …

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Focus on the process: stop thinking and start doing

We often assume that the reason why we struggle to achieve our goals is a lack of knowledge. So we buy self-help books and online courses, hoping that it will get us closer to our objective. But what we often don’t do is practice and focus on the process. As a result, we accumulate a …

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How to build a better writing habit

I have written and published one new article on this blog every single week day for the past four weeks. That’s 20 articles in a month. These are not diary-style posts where I talk about my daily life: they’re in-depth articles about productivity, creativity, and mental health. It’s worth noting that, while I’m in the …

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