Three Minutes a Day to Change Your Life


Hey friends,

This week the team and I flew out to Portugal for a mini team retreat, where we stayed at this huge 9-bedroom villa in Lisbon.

Most days were just spent chatting in the sun about work stuff, but we also found time to explore the city and eat dinner together every evening. It was a lot of of fun and good vibes.

One of the highlights of the week was when my CEO coach, Eric Partaker, came to the villa to kick-off his bespoke coaching and mentoring program called the K2 Academy with the team. For context: Eric has advised fortune 50 CEOs, helped build Skype’s multi-billion dollar exit, and also wrote one of my favourite books from 2022 – ‘The Three Alarms’ (which I’ve talked about in a previous newsletter). So it was a super valuable and helpful day.

Oh, btw, Eric’s also kindly offering everyone a free download of his book which you can check out here: download ‘The Three Alarms’.

Something that particularly stuck with me from the session and book was his idea that behaviour follows identity. Basically, if we want to change our behaviour and build healthy habits, the best thing we can do is to assume a new identity i.e. start behaving like the heroic version of ourself.

Importantly, we need to figure out what our new identity looks like in three key areas of our life – health, wealth, and happiness – as these are the 20% of things that can create 80% of the improvements to our life.

In practice, the exercise involves creating a table that looks like this:

So, for each of those three areas we write down an identity, some values, a goal, and a daily #1:

  1. Identity – what is the inspiring identity you want to possess? E.g. ‘world fitness champion’ for health or maybe something like ‘David Goggins’ or ‘hawkeye’ if you want to attach the identity to a person / character.
  2. Values – what 3 words guide the behaviour of that identity? E.g. a ‘world fitness champion’ would be strong, relentless, and disciplined.
  3. Goal – if a person with that identity set a goal for the next 3 months, what specific thing would that person achieve? E.g. a ‘world fitness champion’ would consistently hit the gym at least 4 times a week.
  4. Daily #1 – what is one thing you will do today that will bring you closer to achieving that goal? E.g. going for a run, eating max 2000 calories, etc.

For example, here’s what my table looks like:

This table, then, basically acts as a blueprint for how we should live our life.

So, if I’m working, the idea is that I’d adopt the identity of (young) Charles Xavier and fully embrace the values of being honest, inspiring, and sharing without fear. It’s a super simple exercise, but it’s really helped me to switch gears and get into the right frame of mind whenever I sit down to get stuff done.

It literally takes 2-3 minutes to fill in, but it’s a genuinely incredibly helpful exercise with asymmetrical upside. In fact, everyone on my team is going to commit to spending 180 seconds a day doing this for the next few months, so I’d honestly recommend everyone give it a go too.

If you want, feel free to tag me on Twitter (@AliAbdaal) with your own completed tables – I’d love to see them 😜

Have a great week!

Ali xx

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♥️ My Favourite Things

🎙️ Podcast – ‘Ali Abdaal On Making $88K Per Week, Staying Productive & Quitting Medicine’. I had the honour and pleasure to feature on the Strike It Big podcast, where we discussed how I’ve been building my business after quitting my job as a doctor – it was a great chat so make sure you check it out. I also had an interview with Mark on Deep Dive, which is coming soon 😉

🎙️ Podcast – ‘How I Landed A Job As Ali Abdaal’s COO At 26 | Angus Parker’. I’ve binged like 4 episodes of the Backstage Careers podcast in the past few days. I obviously highly recommend the chat they have with Angus (my general manager), but the Ryan Holiday, Airrack, and Brian Moncada episodes are also great.

📝 Article – ‘The Best Fat Loss Article on the Motherfuckin’ Internet’. I’ve been reading and re-reading this article recently and it’s packed full of great lessons. Plus, it’s also hilarious. It covers stuff like how to set up your diet, deciding what to eat, and how quickly you’ll start seeing results.

🔌 Cube extension plug – While I’ve been in Lisbon this thing has been absolutely game-changing. I can charge like 7 different electrical appliances at the same time, plus it’s super compact and light which makes it perfect for travel.

🎬 My New Videos

💰 How to Invest for Beginners (2023) – Investing can be confusing and difficult, I’ve certainly had my own ups and downs with it. But if you know the basics, you’ve got a good chance of using it to your advantage, so in this video I talk about investing for beginners

🤓 How to Stay Focused While Studying – Evidence-based Tips – Struggling to focus in these days is extremely common, especially as a student. There are so many potential distractions and it can be hard to get work done. In this video, I break down my favourite evidence-based tips to help you stay focused while studying.

✍️ Quote of the Week

Learning is deeper and more durable when it’s effortful. Learning that’s easy is like writing in sand, here today and gone tomorrow.

From Make It Stick by Peter Brown. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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