This started as a little email about the 100 Day Goal and it grew and grew and has now got so big I turned it into a post on here. You might need a cup of tea and a biscuit to go with it!
On 22 September 2014, I accidentally started doing the 100 Day Goal with a little group of you. And what a happy little accident (and funny start date) that turned out to be. We finished the first round on 30 December 2014, started again on 1 January 2015, and now nearly four years later we’re about to start our 13th round.
What I wanted to tell you about today is something I’ve discovered during those four years, but had no idea about back at the start. A kinda *secret* power to the 100 Day Goal.
Obviously when I began doing this I knew that the 100 Day Goal worked, but I intended it in the sense of bit-by-bit gets the job done and ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. What I didn’t realise was that DAILY microactions switch on special brain trickery and magic and that the whole 100 day thing works way better than it should.
More about the brain trickery and magic in a moment (I know, I know. I’m the most unlikely person to talk about magic), but first, here’s what I mean when I say the 100 Days of Microactions works better than it should.
Imagine that every time you do a Microaction one orange is placed in a sack (if you’ve not been playing along at home, Microactions are the many little steps you take to reach your goal).
And let’s say that you do three Microactions each day for 100 days.
At the end of 100 days you’d expect to have 300 oranges in your sack, right?
But when you look in your sack you have 1000.
As unlikely as it sounds, those extra oranges are exactly what I mean by the 100 Day Goal working better than it should.
Sometimes the surprising outcome of your 100 Day Goal is not as obvious as extra oranges. Sometimes it’s an unexpected opportunity, or an unplanned success. But the extra always happens.
Two +Two ≠ Four: Why daily Microactions work better than they should
Because so many of you told me about your extra oranges (though not actual oranges of course), I decided to do see where these extra oranges were coming from. I won’t bore you with everything I discovered because, snore, but I did find that there are three types of extra orange:
♥ Logical oranges
♥ Psychological oranges
♥ Magical oranges
1 Logical Oranges
Ok, so this is more logical-ish than logical, because although it makes sense when you stop and think about it, it’s not in-yer-face obvious (well, not to me anyway)
Logical Oranges come about because, like interest on your bank balance, Microactions compound.
I originally thought that a Microaction done was just a task crossed off. But it’s not, it’s a building block for future Microactions. Why? Because you learned from doing it. One little Microaction at a time doesn’t seem like much, but the little learnings start compounding on each other and within 20 days you’ll already be much better than you were before.
If one of your Microactions is to write 1000 words a day, your writing at the end of the 100 days will be much quicker and better than it was at the start. By Day 100 you’ll be writing many more than 1000 words a day by because you’ll have trained your writing muscle into peak condition. The output of your total writing for 100 days will be much bigger (and better!) than 100 times what you wrote on day one.
If your goal is to sell more of your products, and every day you try one thing (a microaction) to make a sale, you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll experiment and refine your actions. By the end of your 100 days your daily Microactions will be much better at bringing in sales than the Microactions you did on Day one, so your total sales won’t be 100 times your Day one success, but much much bigger.
Any collection of daily Microactions will yield extra oranges. They don’t need to be the same Microaction repeated (like the writing example above), they just need to be little steps towards your goal. But for the compounding to work best you need to do them daily, because the brain learns much better that way.
(If you want to read more the book One more step can change your life: the Kaizen way by Robert Maurer is good)
2 Psychological Oranges
These are the extra oranges you get from the curious workings of your subconscious. There are many types of Psychological Orange, but a super- important one stems from the brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS for short).
The brain is exposed to a gazillion bits of information every second and if it tried to process all of it, it would break (sometimes mine feels a bit tired just processing a small amount!) The RAS works like a filter stopping most of that information getting into the brain.
And this is all fine and dandy but it does mean you miss a LOT of things. Like literally there is stuff happening in your world which you don’t see because your RAS rejects it before it can get into your head.
If you want your RAS to be open to particular information you need to let it know that the info is important. And you do that by consciously focussing on it.
At the start of the 100 Days you’re super-focussed on your goal so your RAS opens and allows info relevant to your 100 Day Goal to enter your brain. When your subconscious brain receives this info it starts working on it, combining the external info with data stored in your memory to synthesise patterns and generate great ideas. And all without you realising! Amazing!
But your RAS only stays open to your 100 Day Goal for as long as it thinks its relevant to you. And if you stop focussing on your 100 Day Goal, your RAS will close and your subconscious will switch off.
Doing your Microactions DAILY is enough focus to keep your RAS open and your subconscious working on your goal. This is properly massive. Your subconscious is a no-effort powerhouse and you’ll end up with a 100 Day Goal outcome way above the total of the little steps you took.
There are other Psychological benefits from doing your Microactions daily, including motivation. Unlikely as it sounds, the more often you do your Microactions the more motivated you’ll feel and the easier it’ll get. More on that in the Motivation Kit (see below)
3 Magical Oranges
OK. I’m not going to explain this one, because I, um, can’t.
But what I will say, is that even though I’m a science-y practical type, and not inclined to woo woo, I do believe that when you decide on a goal and take daily action towards it, The Universe conspires to make it happen.
(If you want to read more about this, the book Leveraging the Universe by Mike Dooley is a great place to start)
Doing it DAILY is REALLY important
Logical oranges, Psychological oranges and Magical oranges. All that extra fruit for doing nothing more than showing up every day and working on a little Microaction or two.
Makes you want to do it, right?!
But….er….. doing it DAILY turns out to be harder than it sounds……
When I give talks about the 100 Day Goal, I ask people if they think they’ll be able to manage a small Micraction every day. Everyone says yes (a few with an eye roll) because daily sounds so easy, doesn’t it?
But here’s a (very crappy but you’ll get the gist) graph of people doing Microactions daily during the 100 Day Goal.
A. you’ll see for the first few days everyone does their Microactions daily because it’s exciting and easy.
B. This is where it starts to go a bit wobbly. Some people continue totes fine, but lots miss a day, get back to it, miss a day, miss another day, get back to it, do another day, miss a day, miss a day….you get the picture. Eventually some people miss so many days they haven’t the energy to climb back on the wagon. Others get to the end of the 100 Days, but dip in and out, but at the end of the 100 Days, they only really get the sum of the steps they did, they didn’t get the huge amplification of their efforts like the daily people do.
C. Everyone else hangs on. Most do it daily. Hurrah!
Making DAILY easy!
So I decided the best help I could be with the 100 Day Goal is to find ways to make it easier for you to do your Microactions daily! I want you to get those extra oranges. It’s as simple as that!
And, with that in mind, here are some of the things I’ve put together to help you do your Microactions DAILY:
1 Daily emails
These are just a gentle reminder from me. The nicest nag. If you don’t like them you can turn them off. Simps.
2. BOOST videos
These are a slightly bigger nudge from me. A one/two minute video with a thought or idea that will help you to get off your bum bum and do your little Microaction. They are best watched one a day, not stored up for a major session. They’re not beautifully filmed, or professionally edited, but the content is good. (Tad more BOOST info here)
3. Facebook group
Facebook is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but the group is a great place to get help with your Microactions and/or a little kick up the proverbial to just get on with them.
4. Calendars and Goal Trackers
For my first few 100 Day Goals I didn’t use a calendar, I just blindly set off with a one-day-at-a-time attitude. But now I wouldn’t be without them (‘them’ because they come as as set – each one has a special purpose!). I use them to decide roughly when things are going to get done, see when “daily” is going to be difficult (I have four children and school holidays are always a bit tricky) and generally get organised. I also find 100 Days never looks as long when I see it on the calendar so it stops me procrastinating (a bit!). Plus I use the 100 Day at a glance calendar as my “Don’t Break the Chain” (More info on that in the 100 Day Goal Guide), and I always, always use a Goal Tracker (see 100 Day Goal guide for that too!).
A new calendar pack is being designed right now for 1 September but if you want take a squizz at the May collection it’s here)
5. New Planner sized 100 Day Goal Guide and Printables! (NEW!)
I’ve had the 100 Day Goal Guide redesigned so you can file it in your planner (if you use one, or just a normal file if your don’t) and I’ve have made the printables much much prettier! I think that when you keep the Guide to hand, and use the Printables daily, it helps to remind you to do your Microactions. The new Guide and Printables aren’t quite ready yet but I’ll send them to you as soon as they are!
If you want a really simple method of kicking yourself in to doing your Microactions daily, keep a Journal. After all, if you don’t do something today, what will you write?!! But it works on a number of other levels too, including:
a) it’s its own ‘don’t break the chain’
b) it keeps your RAS open through daily writing down your goal
c) it helps you plan
d) it gets your good ideas out of your subconscious and into the real world by way of the “I didn’t know what I thought until I saw what I wrote” phenomenon
7. Motivation Kit (NEW and VERY EXCITING!)
Unless you know how, it’s really really hard to feel motivated to do your Microaction every single day. It’s easy to feel motivated at the beginning of the 100 Day Goal, but that Fresh-Start motivation quickly runs out. Fresh start Motivation is a biological and psychological process so if you thought you were weird for not feeling motivated after the first few days, you’re not at all, it’s your body doing it to you!
Because Motivation is such a huge thing, I’ve spent the last year or so creating a really brilliant Motivation Kit for you. The kit is massive (much bigger than planned!) and contains everything you need to know about how Motivation works, how to feel Motivated every day, nearly 100 Motivation Recipes (simple, doable techniques you can do to give yourself a Motivation boost right now!), how to create a Daily Motivation Routine, How to beat Motivation Squishers and gorgeous worksheets to help you stay motivated. The Motivation kit is planner sized, comes as a PDF for you to print at home (so you can print the Recipes and Worksheets you want and pop them in your planner) The kit has been absolutely beautifully designed, and I know you will LOVE it! The finished product has literally just flown through the ether to me so you can see a bit of it here and more pictures will follow!
8 How to find the ideal 100 day Goal for YOU (NEW!)
Without a doubt you need to have the right 100 Day Goal, otherwise it is really, really, really hard to show up every day. Goals are very personal and I’ve discovered over the past four years that lots of us start off with an unsuitable goal or too many goals or a goal that’s just too big, or too little, so I’ve put together a class to help you find the right goal for you. The class goes through a special 100 Day Goal formula with questions for you to answer etc. It’s not the normal goal setting stuff (yawn!), it’s very special and will absolutely set you off on the right track.
I recorded the class in May because a few of you were desperate for it. The recording is not very polished but the content is perfect. I’m turning the class into a Kit, so if you get the class now (so you can get on and set your goal!) I’ll send you the kit as soon as it’s done. The content of the kit is all in the class, it’s just a different way of accessing it.
9 Sweet stuff email
Every week I send an email of links to article, podcasts, books etc that I’ve found useful for my 100 Day Goal and think you will too. Lots of these will help you with the doing-it-daily-dilemma (actually I’ve been a bit slack lately but normal weekly service will resume shortly!)
And that’s the lot at the moment, but I have more kits and helpful stuff waiting in the wings!
Motivation Kit (so excited about this!), BOOST, Calendars, Journal and Goal Class
I am ridiculously excited that the Motivation Kit is ready! It started off as a chat with a few of you, grew into an idea for a class and then it blossomed into this Kit. It’s been a massive project and I nearly gave up a number of times, but I’m really happy I persevered! It’s been designed beautifully as something you’lI really want you to use! (More info here)
I’ve also put together some bundlse of goodies which contains the Motivation Kit, BOOST, Calendars, ‘How to find your ideal goal’ class and Hard copy journal for just $49 in the shop.