“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
~ H. Jackson Brown
You can achieve all of your goals using the one hour a day goal strategy.
John Updike—the American novelist, poet, short story writer, and literary critic—, when asked what advice he had for writers just starting out, had the following to say: “Reserve an hour a day”. Here’s Updike in his own words:
“To the young writers, I would merely say, ‘Try to develop actual work habits, and even though you have a busy life, try to reserve an hour, say—or more—a day to write’. Some very good things have been written on an hour a day. Henry Green, one of my pets, was an industrialist actually. He was running a company, and he would come home and write for just an hour in an armchair, and wonderful books were created in this way. So, take it seriously, you know, set a quota.”
Updike’s advice doesn’t just apply to writers. It applies to everyone, regardless of the life goal that they’re trying to achieve.
A little bit of a story here:
Geoff Edgers was a 38-year-old man who had a good job—he was a reporter for the Boston Globe–, a nice house, and a loving family.
However, he dreamed of making a movie. And not just any movie; he was obsessed with the British rock band, The Kinks. He wanted to reunite the members of the band—who had stopped playing together in 1996–and film a documentary about his quest.
The problem was that Edgers knew nothing about making movies.
In addition, he didn’t have the money to make the film. Given the low odds of success, most people would have simply given up on their dream.
But not Edgers.
He decided to start spending one hour a day working on his film. Three years later he had made a movie documentary called “Do it Again.” It premiered at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam to smashing reviews.
Here’s a quote from Edgers:
If you wonder whether you could write a book or run a marathon, don’t waste a minute calculating your chances. Instead, spend an hour a day on your dream. It’s how I suddenly found myself on a bridge in London, cameras rolling, wondering what took me so long.”
Don’t be one of those people who give up on their dreams. Instead, take Edgers’ advice: carve out one-hour-a-day and get the ball rolling on whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve. Then, just like Edgers, watch how things start falling into place.
Whatever goal or dream you have, make it a reality by breaking down your goals into a one hour a day goal and reserve an hour every day to work on your goal.
Here Are Ten Reasons Why The One Hour a Day Goal Works
1. It gets you started.
The hardest part of any endeavour is starting. This applies to everything: starting a business, learning a language, getting fit, writing a book, taking up meditation, learning to paint, and so on. The first step always offers the most resistance and takes the most effort. However, once you’ve taken the first step, taking the second step becomes a little bit easier. Then, each successive step gets easier until you’re well on your way.
If you keep telling yourself, “Well, I’ll get to work on this dream someday, when I have the time”, this prevents you from ever getting started.
However, if you tell yourself that you’re going to start simply by devoting an hour-a-day to your goal, this allows you to take that vital first step. And, as Lao Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
2. One hour a day is enough time to start seeing results in a few weeks.
One of my goals this year was to learn the German language. So I committed to learning at least 3000 German words by June 2019. I bought a notebook, downloaded a couple of Youtube videos for beginners, signed up for a few online German language classes to get started and downloaded the Duolinguo app, then committed to learning and practising the language for one hour a day.
Its been only a few weeks, and I can already see myself enjoying the language, mastered the German alphabets, learned a 100 new words, and have learned to form sentences with a couple of words I’ve learned, and this has motivated me to keep going.
I am certain that if I am consistent and apply the same discipline – I would have reached my goal before the set date.
If you set aside one-hour-a-day to work on your goals, you’ll start to see results within a few weeks, and those “wins” will inspire you to keep working on your goal.
3. A One hour a day goal is small enough to fit into your schedule.
Right now you may be thinking:
“I can’t even squeeze fifteen minutes into my schedule”.
However, once you’re crystal clear on an important goal that you want to achieve, you’ll find that setting aside one hour a day to achieve that goal is doable.
Just as you find ways to save money when you want to buy something that’s important to you, you can find ways to save sixty minutes a day so that you can achieve your goals.
4. It gets you focused.
When you have a one-hour chunk to work on something, it’s enough time to hit your stride. You know that you won’t have to stop after ten minutes to go work on something else and that you won’t be interrupted every five minutes. You have an entire hour.
Even if you need a few minutes to warm up, once you get going, a one-hour block of time is enough to allow you to enter your productivity zone—that is, achieve a state of flow–and really get things done.
5. Setting a time limit can make you more creative.
A lot of people think that limitations are bad; these people tell themselves that if they only had more time and more money, they could finally get started on making their dreams come true. However, the reality is exactly the opposite: limits are a good thing. Limits make you more creative, and more productive.
When you tell your brain that it has all the time in the world to come up with a new idea, or with a way to solve a problem, or with a plot twist for your novel, your brain will take you at your word. That is, it will take all the time in the world.
However, tell your brain that it has one hour to do the following:
- Come up with a table of contents for an eBook that you’re writing or the course you are creating.
- Create a marketing plan for your small business.
- Write a blog post.
- Brainstorm a solution to a problem that you’re having.
What does your brain do? It goes into overdrive, and it delivers. An hour of focused attention will get you better results than an entire day of multitasking.
6. One hour a day allows you to create momentum towards your big goal.
Sir Isaac Newton once said that an object in motion will remain in motion.
When it comes to achieving your life goals, your goal will stay in motion as long as you do something to push it forward a little bit each day.
Once you’ve taken the first step toward the achievement of your goal, keep your goal in motion by working on it for one-hour-a-day.
7. Since an hour-a-day is a small amount of time, you can lower your expectations.
If you’re devoting three, four, or five hours a day to a project, there’s a lot of pressure to do something epic. And the pressure to do something great is often paralyzing. When you set your standards too high it often happens that you can’t get started because of the fear of failing.
However, when you’re setting aside just one-hour-a-day to work on a given project or goal, you can lower your expectations. After all, it’s just one hour. Once you’re no longer paralyzed by the fear of doing something epic, it’s a lot easier to get started and beat procrastination.
What To Do
>> Get your 2019 fab goals or 30-day challenge activities. Break them down into tiny doable tasks you can complete in one hour a day. And then get to work.
>> Stop telling yourself that you simply don’t have enough time to achieve your goals and go after your dreams. Instead, carve out one-hour-a-day and start crossing your life goals off of your bucket list, one by one.