How to prioritize your goals to maximize results

First of all, I don’t have the answer to this impossible question.

How DO you prioritize your goals to maximize results?

It seems you’d have to test quite a few theories, while also using a control group, to really get to the heart of that issue. And you can’t use all the different methods on the same person if you want to test them doing the same list of things. You need new groups for each test, and each group needs to be statistically large enough to matter. Otherwise, people would get better and better at doing stuff, and each subsequent testing method would be tainted.

See the huge problem here? How can you ever know for certain what is most effective? Who would fund this kind of research anyway? Not me. Helping people be more efficient at accomplishing meaningful goals is bad for sales.

And what works for Joe might not work for Enrique. Or me, Ashley, which is who I care about the most right now.

I got shit to get done!

Why am I analyzing this right now? Procrastination is an art, my friend. An art. And I am an artiste.

Since declaring all these things I’ll do before 30, I have this feeling of anxiety I can’t shake. Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

No, of course not. I got this.

OK. But still, where do I begin?

Where it’s easy.

Give me an easy win.

It’s the whole theory behind Keystone Habits.

The smallest actions can have cascading reactions that lead to unlikely events. Like you start making your bed every morning and suddenly you’re promoted at work and kicking ass at the gym and chocolate cake no longer makes you fat and your parents got back together! All because you felt that little surge of accomplishment first thing in the morning, which subtly but effectively encouraged you to keep accomplishing throughout your day.

Let’s start there. I like the sound of all that. I like cake.

Number 11 is “I own real fucking pajamas and I only wear them to bed!” Simple enough, right?

I put on one of my nicest dresses (because number 23 is “I wear real clothes when not in yoga– I even shave my legs!” and I’m an overachiever like that) and had Tyler drive me to Target. I didn’t say the pajamas had to be anything special. They just have to not be cheap clothes from our 2015 Southeast Asia trip. Or oversized Alaskan Brewing sweatshirts.

On the way to Target, we stopped at 24 Hour Fitness and became members (because number 30 is “I steam at the gym 5 days a week because I know what’s good for me!”). Ok, so far so good. Are you feeling my momentum here? Pajamas would just wrap this entire day in a fuzzy little package!

But before I tell you how Target has nothing cute, let’s first stop for a minute and admire how my manifestation list comprises largely of things that relax me and slow me down. Sure, I’m on a quest to write a book and finish a Master’s degree, but I’m also on an equally important quest to sit in steam rooms and look good sleeping.

Target had nothing cute.

I thought to be a cat lady was a form of social currency exchangeable at any fast fashion chain store. To love cats is to connect with a massive subculture of crazy people, and therefore easily find your uniform at Target.

But there was nothing cat related! Superheroes are in this season, which saddens me. I don’t give any fucks about superheroes or their primary color schemes. I want pink cats. Pink fuzzy cats with bowties and cute frowns.

We left empty handed.

I accomplished nothing.

But I also left wondering: what was really stopping me from buying that one pink set of pjs that were actually not that bad? I walked around the store with them for a while, even made it to the front near the checkout line. But something stopped me.

What was it?

Number 17 is “I call Grandma Rayesie every week to see what’s good!” That seemed easy enough, so I decided that Friday would be the day I call. I added it to my calendar at 11:30AM, and waited.

The time came. Then it passed. And I never called. Why?


This year will be about overcoming resistance, and understanding what the hell I am resisting and why! I thought to buy PJs and call grandma sounded like the perfect first baby steps to take, but perhaps I should work on something else first.

Tomorrow is a new day.

By the way, number 20 is “I write at least one sentence every day for my blog/book!”



Wife, yogi, and cat mama living in the SF Bay Area.

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