December 24, 2022

Use Anti-Goals to Stop Doing What You Hate

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We’re heading into 2023, and it’s time to make some changes.

And by changes, I don’t mean New Year’s resolutions that sound great but ultimately fail.

Instead, I want you to envision a 2023 where you do less of what you don’t like doing and more of what you do.

Sound pretty great?

Then let’s set anti-goals. Here's how:

Step 1: Be Honest With Yourself

My wife, Jennifer, and I participated in anti-goals at the end of 2021, and 2022 was our most successful and enjoyable year yet.

We started by making a pact with one another.

We were going to comb through our calendar and be 100% honest about what sucked the energy out of us without feeling guilty about it.

For us, that was things like obligatory meetings, synchronous conversations on Slack, long Zoom calls, and not being in control of core projects.

Step 2: Attach a Negative Statement to Each

A negative statement usually includes the words “I’m not going to” or “I won’t” as it relates back to each task.

For example, here’s what we came up with:

I don’t like obligatory meetings → I’m not going to offer 1:1 coaching anymore

I don’t like Slack/Text conversation → I’m not going to continue operating a Slack community or participating in other Slack communities

I don’t like long Zoom calls → I won’t schedule a meeting for more than 30 minutes

I don’t like not being in control of projects → I won’t let a publisher or company own any of my material

Step 3: Attach a How Statement to Each

The last step is to outline how you’re going to achieve each anti-goal.

Here’s what we came up with:

I’m not going to offer 1:1 coaching anymore → Remove coaching from my website and create an email template for anyone who asks

I’m not going to continue our Slack community → Announce the closure of the community and work on a 90-day closure plan. Uninstall Slack from my computer.

I won’t schedule a meeting for more than 30 minutes → Eliminate all Calendly blocks of 60 minutes

I won’t let a publisher or company own any of my material → Say no to hosted cohort-based coaching and traditional publishing

Step 4: Execute Your How’s

The last step is to simply execute your how statements.

Jennifer and I took immediate action on 3 of the 4 how statements above, and I took action on the 4th late in 2022.

We now head into 2023 with very little of what we don’t like on our calendars. Revenue has improved as we’ve found ourselves free to work on things we truly enjoy. And life, as a result, has become much more fulfilling.

I hope setting anti-goals will be a big part of your 2023.

Best of luck.

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