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I have always been a goal setter.
Whether it is with lifting weights, saving money, running a race, or anything else, I set goals for myself.
The problem was I wasn’t great at achieving my goals.
I had the first part of the equation down solid.
There was no issue with setting the goal. The issue was with following through.
I tried all sorts of tricks, but nothing worked consistently like the concept of no zero days.
Since I’ve started to follow this concept, I’ve been crushing my goals.
And reaching my goals motivates me to be more successful every day.
If you are not familiar with the idea of no zero days, you are in for a treat.
I am going to share with you how to start reaching all of your goals on a regular basis.
Using No Zero Days To Crush Your Goals
What Are Zero Days?
In order to understand the idea behind no zero days, you first have to understand what zero days are.
Zero days are days when you do absolutely nothing to reach your goals.
If your goal is to be more active, a zero day would be sitting on the couch binging Netflix all day long.
If your goal is to get out of debt, a zero day would be not making a payment on your debt or not finding ways to increase your income to put towards your debt.
When you do nothing to reach your goals, it should come as no surprise that you will never reach your goal.
Actively Pursuing Your Goals
On the other end of the spectrum, you have days where you are working towards your goals.
You go for a run or lift weights to be more active.
You work some overtime to put towards paying down your debt.
As great as these days are, there are days where you just don’t feel like doing much of anything to reach your goals.
This is where no zero days come into play.
No Zero Days
These days fall in the middle of the spectrum of reaching your goals.
You are doing something to reach your goal every day.
This something can be as little as 1 pushup or look at 5 help wanted ads online.
Most people overlook this idea because they feel it isn’t worth it.
But it is.
For example, let’s say you want to lose 15 pounds.
Your plan is to be more active, so you burn more calories.
If you do nothing to be more active, you won’t burn any extra calories and won’t lose any weight.
But if you do something, anything, you will burn extra calories.
You consider doing 50 jumping jacks which burns 25 calories.
Then you think it through and think it isn’t worth your time.
But if you do 50 jumping jacks over the course of a month, you burn 750 calories.
In 6 months, this comes to 4,500 calories which is just over a pound.
In 5 years, you burn enough calories to burn 10 pounds.
In other words, you are 10 pounds lighter by simply doing 50 jumping jacks a day.
If you choose to do nothing, in 5 years you will weigh the same.
You might even weigh more.
Now is it worth it?
If you can pay $1 a day towards your debt, that is $30 a month.
Over 5 years you paid close to $2,000!
The point is, don’t overlook the power of doing something every single day to reach your goals.
The Caveat To No Zero Days
Of course, you don’t want to rely on this idea every day.
You want to make an effort most days to get you closer to your goals.
But there are days when life happens.
You don’t get a chance to hit the gym.
You have a lot of housework so you don’t get a chance to research how to make a little extra money to put towards your debt.
It is on these days when you use this idea to power through.
You find something you can do for a short period of time to help you keep moving towards your goals.
This is when you do the 50 jumping jacks.
Or you just make a $5 payment on towards your debt.
It’s something quick and simple, but helps you to make progress forward.
No Zero Day Rules
The creator of no zero days came up with some rules you need to follow to make the concept work.
Rule #1: No More Zero Days
You know what non zero days are from above.
Simply make it a point to do something, anything, towards your goal today.
Read one page of a book. Do one pushup.
It’s better than nothing and will help you to change your mindset into one that helps you reach your goals.
Learn to stop thinking that doing something doesn’t matter.
In some cases, like doing 1 sit up, the goal isn’t to get you six pack abs in a year.
It is simply instilling a new mindset and new habits for you.
As time passes, your mindset will begin to shift and you will see the true power behind this concept.
Rule #2: Be Grateful To The 3 You’s
This rule is all about being thankful.
More specifically, it is to be thankful for yourself.
You have 3 versions of yourself:
- Past You (Younger You)
- Present You
- Future You (Older You)
The bottom line is you have to love yourself unconditionally. No matter what dumb things you did in the past, it is the past.
It is time to change your thought process around.
For example, did you go for a walk yesterday? Thank your past you for making a smart decision.
This smart decision is helping the present you and future you be better.
Understand that you won’t know many of the things your younger you did that you are thankful for until you are in the moment.
For instance, you might be at work one day when your boss asks you to join him and some colleagues to play golf this weekend.
You don’t play regularly, but you did play a little bit years ago. Thank your younger you.
When it comes to the present you, it is time to start thinking ahead.
What are the things you can do today to benefit the future you?
If you are like many people, you are working on autopilot. You do the same routine, day in, day out, without much thought.
It’s time to change this.
What are some simple things you can do to be better now and will help you be better tomorrow?
Maybe is it cooking dinner instead of ordering a pizza.
Maybe it is skipping TV and spending a few minutes talking with a loved one.
Understand this isn’t saying you have to do everything for your future self.
You still have to live for today, but don’t make endless bad decisions that will haunt you later on.
We’ve all heard the stories of a loved one passing and the survivor wishing they would have said ‘I love you’ one last time.
This is what I mean by not just living for today. Always have tomorrow in mind.
As you progress and you become your future self, your present self becomes your past self and you need to be thankful for all the smart decisions you made.
Rule #3: Forgive Yourself
We all make mistakes. It is part of life.
But we cannot let them take root and control us today.
Maybe you had a job offer you turned down because it sounded too intense.
But now you realize you should have taken it because it would have positively changed your life.
Accept the past, move on.
Today is not the be all, end all.
There is still tomorrow and you control how it plays out.
If you stay mad at yourself for your past mistakes, tomorrow will look very similar to today.
As will 5 years from now and 20 years from now too.
In 20 years, do you really want to still be complaining about a job you should have taken decades ago?
Instead, accept what happened and move on.
Start working to make tomorrow greater than today. Be a better person. Improve yourself.
In 20 years, when you look back, you won’t be mad and complaining about the job you should have taken.
You will look back and be thankful you took action and made your life what you wanted it to be.
So take some time and forgive yourself.
Rule #4: Exercise And Read Books
This rule is simple. You need to start exercising and reading.
Why exercise and read?
For starters, exercise does your body a lot of good.
It reduces stress. It improves your mood. It helps you to be healthy and in turn live longer.
The more active you are, the better.
Now this doesn’t mean you go and join a gym.
You can work out at home. You don’t even need equipment.
Just make it a point to exercise a few times a week. In a couple weeks, you will find you have more energy, will sleep better, and be more focused.
As for reading, knowledge is power.
The more you understand things, the better off you will be.
But many people hear reading and walk away. They would rather do just about anything other than read.
So here is my compromise.
Don’t pick up War And Peace.
Read something simple that you enjoy. Did you love reading Nancy Drew when you were younger? Read one of those.
Are you interested in learning how to garden? Find some online forums about gardening and read those.
From there, you can grow.
If you enjoy Nancy Drew, maybe you seek out other mystery authors and read one of their books.
If you find gardening is your thing, maybe you subscribe to a gardening magazine.
Just make it a point to start reading, even for 30 minutes, every single day.
By strengthening your mind and body, you will be a better you not only today, but also in the future.
And in the future, you can thank your past self for taking such good care of you.
At the end of the day, the idea behind no zero days is much more than simply doing something every day to reach your goals.
It is about changing your mindset and outlook for the better.
By making smarter choices every day, you will improve your body, mind, and your overall life.
In time, you will see you are achieving more and are living a much happier life.
All because you are taking the time to take an active role in your life.
So if you want to live your best life, stop letting life pass you by and start living life.
Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.