My 2024 Goals + Method

Newsletter


Happy New Year, and greetings from New York City where I’ll be for a few days for some interviews, some book signings in book stores, and some general hanging out with friends. It’s also going to be my second appearance on TV – if you’re in the US, tune in to Good Morning America on 2nd Jan and you might see my shiny face 😉

We’re now officially past “Week 1” of my book, Feel-Good Productivity, being published. This means that the numbers for the bestseller lists are now set-in-stone: I have no idea what the numbers are, but we’ll find out in the next few days to weeks whether we’ve hit any of the lists. Either way, whatever happens, I’m super happy with how the book launch went, with (in the region of) tens of thousands of book sales, hundreds of tags on Instagram and Twitter of readers getting their copies, and dozens of reviews on Amazon and Goodreads already. Major thank you to everyone who’s supported me on this book journey in any way – from getting a copy (or even multiple copies), posting about the book on socials, and leaving reviews. I hope that as you read the book, you take away at least one thing that’s useful that you can apply to your work and your life. And if that’s the case, then writing and publishing the book will have been a win 😊

Anyway, this week I wanted to share a method of goal-setting that I’ve been vibing with a lot recently. It’s a combination of methods by Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar (old-school personal development gurus from the 20th century), fleshed out a little and refined it in ways that appeal to me.

The idea’s pretty simple: You set a 10-minute timer, and you start by making a list of everything you might want as “goals” or “dreams” or “desires” or whatever you want to call them. But you imagine everything you might want over the next 10 years. Here are some prompts that help with that

At some point in the next 10 years…

  1. ⭐️ What do you want to learn?
  2. ⭐️ What do you want to have?
  3. ⭐️ Who do you want to be?
  4. ⭐️ What do you want to do?
  5. Where do you want to go?
  6. What do you want to create?
  7. What do you want to contribute to?
  8. What do you want to experience?
  9. What do you want to see?
  10. What do you want to try?

^ I like to have more rather than fewer prompts, but I’ve personally gotten the most mileage out of the first four above (the ones with ⭐️s).

Here’s some of my list of “What do you want to learn” for example:

At some point in the next 10 years, I want to learn…

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Japanese
  • How to draw amazingly well, keeping a sketchbook, carrying it around with me everywhere, making SICK drawings of cool stuff I come across, sharing those with my platform, they have a message underneath them
  • Surfing
  • Snowboarding
  • Archery + hunting + foraging + surviving in the wilderness type stuff
  • Cooking – I want to host AMAZING dinner parties where I cook incredible stuff, my home becomes a hub for social connection, open door policy, people always welcome
  • Philosophy – I want to understand the thinkers who came before and what they thought and how their thoughts changed stuff
  • How to rapid-fire coach people through their issues, Tony Robbins / Joe Hudson style
  • NLP
  • Hypnosis
  • More magic

(This is directly copy/pasted from my personal notes, hence the note-like format)

Step 2 is for each of the items in the list, put a number by the item, that corresponds to the timeframe for the dream, in numbers of years (1, 3, 5 or 10). So this is what my list looks like after that:

  • Mandarin Chinese 10
  • Japanese 10
  • How to draw amazingly well, keeping a sketchbook, carrying it around with me everywhere, making SICK drawings of cool stuff I come across, sharing those with my platform, they have a message underneath them 3
  • Surfing 3
  • Snowboarding 1
  • Archery + hunting + foraging + surviving in the wilderness type stuff 5
  • Cooking – I want to host AMAZING dinner parties where I cook incredible stuff, my home becomes a hub for social connection, open door policy, people always welcome. 5
  • Philosophy – I want to understand the thinkers who came before and what they thought and how their thoughts changed stuff 5
  • How to rapid-fire coach people through their issues, Tony Robbins / Joe Hudson style. 3
  • NLP 1
  • Hypnosis 3
  • More magic 5

You can see the numbers next to each item correspond to the time-horizon for that particular dream. Eg: There’s a 10 next to Mandarin and Japanese, which signals: “This is a 10-year dream”. Whereas there’s a 1 next to snowboarding and NLP, which signals “I reckon I want to do this in 1 year”. Easy enough.

Step 3 is to look through your list of all the things you want to learn, be, see, do, become etc, and decide on 3-5 things you want to set as your “Goals” for 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. Ideally there would be a balance here amongst work / health / relationships.

1 year

  • Health: Get into the best shape of my life
  • Relationships: Host 6 mini adventures
  • Work: An absolutely thriving productivity community that becomes the backbone of the business within a year, that adds HUGE value to people’s lives and sets us up for the long-term.

3 year

  • Huge house that’s super serene and nice, lots of guest bedrooms for friends and family to stay over whenever, fire pit, cozy living room, incredible studio
  • Art, drawings, sketches that are REALLY COOL and with an underlying message behind them
  • Learn how to rapid-fire coach people through their issues, Tony Robbins / Joe Hudson style
  • Book about Time Management for Normal People – Inspiring because it helps people see that living a life they love isn’t that hard, and that there are small, simple steps they can take to get there. They leave inspired to take action.
  • Have my own 1-man stage show and tour it around the world

5 year

  • Super nice office where team works IRL, we have creator and entrepreneur friends coming over to cowork, students of our courses come over to work and chill, amazing community. Community hub.
  • Write more books
  • Cooking – I want to host AMAZING dinner parties where I cook incredible stuff, my home becomes a hub for social connection, open door policy, people always welcome.
  • Physical products (eg: Lightmode), super high quality. Luxury…? Or affordable…? I kinda like luxury… ridiculous quality craftsmanship. The best on the market in terms of quality. A story behind them. Ugmonk but even more premium. Hand made rather than factory made. Workshop by the office that makes these incredible products. Artisanal. Custom mechanical keyboards. $1000 price tag. D2C. Made to order.

10 year

  • A lovely, happy, wholesome family where we enjoy hanging out together
  • Write more books
  • Book idea – The Fast Track to Enlightenment – Based on personal experience + lots of study, the fool-proof method that anyone can use to become “enlightened” lol. Inspiring because it simplifies spiritual growth, helps people understand what the point is, and helps them know what the next actions to take are.

The point of setting these “goals” for the 3-10 year time horizon isn’t really to actually work towards them right now. The winds of fate are naturally going to change stuff, and no one knows what might happen tomorrow. So these “goals” are obviously not set-in-stone, they’re purely a reflection of the direction that I’d like to be headed towards right now. But I’ve found that it’s useful to have those as directional milestones to give myself more of a sense of: “yeah this is where my life’s broadly going, and that’s pretty cool. I’m sure I’ll change my mind about a lot of these things as time progresses, but for now, this feels like a reasonable course to set the sail of my proverbial ship”.

Of the various goal-setting strategies I’ve looked at while researching goal-setting for the past few weeks fairly intensively, this is the one I landed on as being the most helpful for me personally. And because the point of this weekly newsletter is for me to share what I’m learning, I hope you’ve taken something away from it as well that might help your own goal-setting.

I’d also be curious to hear – what’s your favourite way of setting goals? Please hit the reply button and let me know.

Have a great week, and a great 2024!

Ali xx

Feel-Good Productivity

It’s finally here! My new book Feel-Good Productivity was released this week. I really don’t have the words for how much your support means to me – thank you for everyone who has helped me along this journey. You can now get your very own copy here!

The 30 Day Productivity Challenge

Want to make 2024 the best year of your life? In January, we’re going to be running The 30 Day Productivity Challenge! This is a totally free program – you’ll get an email each day with an actionable, adaptable productivity lesson. Do more of what matters to you in 2024 and sign up here: https://30dayproductivity.com/.

❤️ My Favourite Things this Week

  1. Interview – I did a bunch of interviews over the past couple of months in ramp-up for the book launch, but this one with my friend Matt Gray was one of my favourites. The title’s a bit clickbaity lol (The 1 Change That Made Ali Abdaal $5,000,000​) but I think the content is very solid – Matt had some super interesting questions about life and business, and his team have done a great job of cutting out the fluff and animating the fun stuff in the interview. If you’re interested in starting or growing your own business, there’s some good stuff in here that’ll hopefully help you out.
  2. Book – I binged the book Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing by Jed McKenna last week. It’s probably the single best spiritualty book I’ve ever read. Really really vibed with the writing style and how he explains “enlightenment”. If you’re into the whole “spiritual thing” you might like to check this out.
  3. Video – I absolutely loved this 1h video interview of divorce lawyer James Sexton talking about what makes marriages fail, and how to stay happily married. So much food for thought, and James is an amazing and engaging speaker. I’m also halfway through his interview on Lex Fridman’s podcast, which is also great so far.
  4. Video – My friend Matt D’Avella recently published a video about his decision to go back to being a solo YouTuber (from having lots of employees). It’s a really beautifully put-together video, and also features a segment from me talking about my thoughts on growing a team. There are some really good life lessons in this video about the dangers of growth for growth’s sake, so whether you’re a YouTuber or not, I think you’ll get a lot of value from it.

✍️ Quote of the Week

“Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are. Successful people are not supermen. Success does not require a super-intellect. Nor is there anything mystical about success. And success isn’t based on luck. Successful people are just ordinary folks who have developed belief in themselves and what they do.””

From The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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