My Personal System for Success in 2018

Published on 17 October 2018 by Bessy Tam | Filed in Balance, Career

You’ve heard all about making New Years Resolutions. They’re goals that you set during the holidays because you have too much time on your hands comparing yourself to other people’s social media “yearly recap posts.” Next thing you know, you’re halfway through the year and you’re at the same state you were in from the beginning.

What are you missing?

Something I call a system

It’s a system that you set for yourself that caters to your needs and builds daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly habits that progresses you towards your goals 0.28% at a time. Multiply that by 365 days and you get 100%+ towards your goals by the end of the year.

And I share this in my e-book – how I managed to leverage this system to become an employee in one of the best companies in the world, get promoted twice in two years, and be in the best shape I’ve ever been.

My e-book “The Ultimated Guide to Finding Balance” – Click Subscribe now to get a free copy or at inyour20s.com/subscribe-now

I’ve then used the same system last year to achieve 2 internal certifications within my company that less than 400 people got and leverage that to move to the US from Asia. It took a lot of planning and time but my system helped keep me accountable.

Short Term Goals. 1 of 7 pages (includes Medium Term Goals, Long Term Goals, Habits, How Might I Fail, Decisions/Actions)

For 2018, I’ve reiterated my approach again. I’m super excited to share with you what I have in place for this year and how I’ve kickstarted 3 of my goals already. There will also be a crucial BONUS that I will share at the very end, so read through to the end! My inspiration came from listening to one of Tim Ferriss’ podcast episodes about Phil Helmuth, an American Poker player who became the youngest person to win the World Series of Poker. He shares his goal setting methodology called the “winning pyramid.” This is a framework that he scrambled up with a huge gush of hope after he had a huge enlightening moment at the age of 23. You can read more about it in an excerpt of his book here on Google Books.

Following his framework, I set up my:

  1. Life Goals

  2. 2018 Pyramid

  3. “Blog Pyramid”

  4. Blessings or what I call “Snippet Reminders”

  5. And a crucial BONUS action item. Read more at the end

First, I set up my life goals. These are things that I want, that I am not ashamed of , that will make me proud when I look back at life in my casket when I’m 80 years old. They are also not bound by the vehicle by itself eg. how I want to actually make money or where I actually want to live/buy homes. It’s okay to be greedy and it’s also okay to want to have nice things. The only person you have to answer to is yourself but the only thing you have to keep in mind is that your “why” has to be very strong. Why you really want these things in life and why these things will make you happy.

NOTE: Life goals can always change, you will probably find yourself tweaking a little bit here and there within the next 2-3 years. Phil Hellmuth rewrote his life goals after 5 years because he achieved most of them with this pyramid system

Then, I wrote down my 2018 pyramid or as Phil Hellmuth wrote in his book as “the winning pyramid.” The reason why I wrote my life goals down first before my 2018 pyramid is because every year that we go through should always be a stepping stone towards your next 5 years, 10 years, 20, 50 years. Just as your daily actions contribute to this year’s goals. The reason why it’s a pyramid, as Phil Hellmuth mentioned in his book, is because this pyramid entails the building blocks needed to achieve your life goals. However, unlike Phil where he put the bottom layer as the least important and top layer as the most important and hardest to achieve, I put the bottom layer as a foundation with the top layer as the hardest to achieve.

Either way, you can adjust as you need. It’s all personal, you just need to have enough self-awareness to know what works for you

As you can see, I also labeled each layer a bit according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where the bottom level fulfilled my security and physio needs and the top fulfilled my self-actualization needs.

Now the most important part is setting up your schedule where each level has a clearly blocked-out time in your schedule. What’s not written below is I have set traveling schedules every 2 weeks (contributes to the promotion), greencard meeting schedules, big personal trips to new places at least once a quarter, and meetings with Vanguard* every half year as well.

*I read MONEY: Master the Game by Tony Robbins and the Value Investor. It’s part of my efforts to achieve my life goals of being financially free. Tony Robbins suggests Vanguard because they are a fiduciary financial advisor, high quality and fee-only unlike brokers in the market who are selling you investment deals that may not be right for you.

I would say, to take it another step further if this is your first time setting these goals: Write down how you might fail following these daily habits (more about this in my e-book) and how you would overcome failing on a daily basis. For example, one of my goals is to get promoted. One of the things needed to do so is build a strong network in the US hence the “meet new people/event/20% projects” section midday every day. How I might fail would be failing to find people to meet with, events to go to, or 20% to work on. To solve this, I would set up time every Friday afternoon to find a bunch of people to meet for the next week. Then, I’d add that block of time on Friday.

Thirdly, I broke it down to my projects pyramids. My main one is my blog pyramid (for this blog!) as one of my efforts to break out of the corporate system. This pyramid lays the more complicated building blocks of that one task. My current pyramid is based on Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch, a fail proof system to help me succeed in building this website.

Another example for you would be my goal last year to move outside to US. It’s complicated and could be broken down into a focused pyramid. My foundation layer was to gain leverage within my current role at that time. I gained technical knowledge and certification in my role by moving to a more technical client account and volunteering to take 2 very difficult exams that was known within the company. Then the second layer would be people connections. I reached out to different people around the world to understand about the structure in the US and what roles were available. I also didn’t limit myself to the US in case the visa situation was hard to work through and because I had minimal connections in the US. With that, I traveled to the US meeting different people face to face and finally met my current manager who hired me. He specifically needed someone who had the technical knowledge I built for the past 2 years. Checkmate!

Fourthly, I want to remind myself to focus and be happy every day. Some of these are just small reminders that I can see on my full body mirror everyday before I walk out of the house. Another one is super important, my desktop background and my phone background. These are up to you, and should be simple sayings that helps keep your head in the right mindset.

Lastly, here are the two the crucial BONUSES that I promised!

#1 You should always announce your goals to keep yourself accountable. I announced to everyone that I’ll have this blog and I announced to everyone that I’d move to the US. Look where I am! It’s also great to get feedback, encouragement, and occasionally advice from friends who have had experience doing what you aspire to achieve.

#2 You should put it somewhere you’d see it everyday

2016 and 2017 I had it in my living room wall. This year, I wanted to follow Phil Hellmuth’s footsteps and put it in the bathroom mirror. I suppose we go to the bathroom 4X more then we walk in and out of our bedroom in order to see things posted on the wall. I’ll probably adjust them again later on if I don’t see them as often as I’d like.

P.S I also keep track of my large monthly expenses and income on my hallway wall so that I can remind myself of not spending stupid money.

Hope all of this helped! Once again, it’s setting up your:

  1. Life Goals list

  2. 2018 Pyramid (with schedule blocked out and “how to overcome challenges” if needed)

  3. The Project Pyramid on a specific complicated project

  4. Blessings or what I call “Snippet Reminders” behind your front door

  5. And crucial BONUSES – announce your 2018 goals to the world and post them in your toilet/bedroom wall!

Now tell me – What’s the #1 one thing you’ll do RIGHT NOW after reading this post?

About the Author

Bessy Tam is a career coach who helps marketers get into tech. She’s helped dozens of clients get interviews and offers from companies such as Google, Lyft, Amazon, and Mckinsey. She currently works at Google.

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