Centennial Trail

Hiking South Dakotas Centennial Trail is one of my goals for 2019.

How to Get Everything You Want This Year: Seven Steps to Success

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Happy new year everyone! That’s right, 2018 is over and here we are in 2019; it’s time to start anew. Whether or not you achieved success or accomplished your goals last year, now you get to hit the ground running. You have an opportunity to make some magic happen and start over fresh. Whatever may be in store for 2019, I want to help you get everything you want this year.

Hiking in Muir Woods
I want to help you get everything that you want in 2019.

Even though I don’t believe in the idea of “New Year, New You” and I’m not into making resolutions, I do believe that we can all do great things, create positive change, and manifest the lives we want to have. The beginning of the year is as good a time as any to get the ball rolling. So whether you’re ready to hit the ground running or are struggling to get the New Year started right, let this help you get everything you want in 2019.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1. Start Now, Not Later.

I have lost so much time in my life to reasonable excuses like, “I’ll start tomorrow,” or, “I’ll do it when the time is right.” Don’t do that! If you want to get everything you want this year, start now.


Get out a pen and paper and start taking notes about this process, or if you already know what you want to do this year and how to achieve it, stop reading this and go do it. That’s how serious I am about not procrastinating! If you don’t start now, when will you?

Step 2. Set Goals and Chase the Right Dreams.

I believe in chasing dreams, and so this year, I’m encouraging you to chase your dream. The best way to chase dreams is by accomplishing goals, and to accomplish goals you have to set them, so that’s the best place to start. Whether you want to improve your fitness, have more adventures, or take a big trip, set that goal! I recommend writing it down.

Centennial Trail
Hiking South Dakotas Centennial Trail is one of my goals for 2019.

So you’ve written down your goal. Now look at it. Does it seem daunting? Honestly, it should! Take that goal and break it down into actionable steps. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon you need to break it into a plan that you can build upon. Your first step might be to start running three times a week. Your second might include developing a nutrition plan. Step three might mean incorporating mobility and strength work. Next you might need to build your mileage up until you’re ready for the big race.

I’m not a marathoner, so don’t take those steps as rote if a marathon is what you want to achieve in 2019. I’m simply using that as an example of how to break a big goal into smaller, actionable chunks. You can’t get everything you want in one fell swoop – it comes in small steps. So don’t worry if these small steps seem like they don’t amount to much right away. It will all add up as you work!

As you do this, make sure that whatever dream you’re chasing is actually your dream. If you devote all your energy to something that you don’t actually want then you won’t find success nearly as satisfying. Meanwhile, if you work towards something you truly desire, the effort will be incredibly fulfilling.

Black Hills sign - symbolic of getting everything you want!
Moving to the Black Hills was one of our goals for 2018. That’s one goal achieved!

Step 3. Improve a Little Bit Every Single Day.

Remember how getting everything you want occurs in small steps? Do you remember those actionable chunks you broke your goal into? Figure out how to build on those every day. Take no zero days! Spend time working each day, even if just a little bit. If you want to write a novel in 2019, commit to at least 100 words every day, no matter what. If you’re planning a big trip, spend a little time doing research on your location. My friend and former trainer Mike always says, “A little bit a lot of times,” and that’s how goals are met.

Wade in climbing gym
One of my goals for 2019 is to become a better climber. I work on it every day, in one way or another.

Sure, there are moments that require huge bursts of output, but most of the time success comes from habitual dedication to small actions. So whatever your goal might be, commit time to it every single day. Learn, train, and improve. You’ll start racking up small wins that will build into big change. By the end of the year, you won’t believe how far you’ve come.

Step 4. Work the Problems.

As you work toward your goal, you’re going to face obstacles. Temptation to skip workouts, to stay warm and dry inside the house, or to snag a second doughnut from the break room. Guess what? Obstacles are a good thing; a path without obstacles doesn’t lead anywhere worthwhile. So face them as best as you can, and if you fail (which we all do), get back up and try again tomorrow.

Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, so don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go perfectly. Just keep at it. When you hit a problem that seems insurmountable, don’t give up. Work that problem until you find a solution. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You’re a part of a big adventure community, and we’ll be here to have your back.

Step 5. Keep Working Even When You’re Not Motivated.

Motivation gets you to the starting line, but only discipline will get you to the finish. That’s why you have to make your efforts habitual; you can’t count on being motivated to get out of bed and do the work that you know you need to do. It’s way too easy to trick yourself into putting everything off until tomorrow.

Backpacking in Badlands National Park
A return to Badlands National Park for another backpacking trip is planned for 2019. It keeps me disciplined!

But then you can put it off until the next day. And the next. Then the next. Motivation is cool and all, but you absolutely must keep working even when you’re not motivated. Don’t give up. Do whatever you must to build the habits. Put it on your calendar. Set reminders on your phone. Recruit a team to help keep you accountable. Do whatever it takes to stick with it.

Step 6. Don’t Forget to Have Fun.

Never underestimate the power of a good time. Whatever you’re working on, have fun! If you hate every single moment of your effort, it will be that much harder to stick with it. Allow yourself a cheat day here and there, just not a cheat week! Blend your work with things that you love to do, or invite people that you love to spend time with to participate.

Having fun is an important part of getting everything you want
Whatever you do, be sure to have fun!

It’s important to take your efforts seriously, but you don’t have to take yourself seriously in the process. Achieving goals can’t always be fun, but I believe fun absolutely has to factor into the effort. If you can find fun in the work, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to stave off laziness!

Step 7. Stay Positive.

You’re going to have bad days but remember, a bad day is not a bad life. All the obstacles, problems, and setbacks are part of the game. Knowing that, stay positive about them, and life in general. That’s not always easy, I know, but it sure beats the alternative.

Hanging out by the campfire
Another one of my goals for 2019 is to spend more time camping. I’m looking forward to many great outings this year!

If you find yourself hung up on a mistake or a setback, shift your focus away from the goal and onto the process. This helps keep us from getting stuck or from feeling like success lies too far from reach. Be present in the moment, and be grateful for the good in your life.

Remember, if you want your life to change, you have to change your life. The best way to do that is to maintain an explorer’s mind and to stay as positive as possible.

Get Everything You Want This Year!

Horseshoe Bend
Where do you want to go this year? What do you want to do? Whatever it is, let’s make it happen!

It all sounds a bit too simple and easy, doesn’t it? Well, the truth is, getting everything you want IS simple, but it’s not easy. It’s hard, it takes a lot of work, and it will likely leave you exhausted at times. But achieving goals, creating success, and building the life that you want to live is probably the most fulfilling work that you’ll do. Not just when you cross that finish line – literally or metaphorically – but throughout the process. Because success is a story of becoming; and when you get everything you want, you’ll find that you want more. Not more money or things, but more experiences. More life.

And living deeply, more fully, isn’t just getting everything you want. It’s getting everything you need.

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