Rule #1: The “No Complaining” Rule
The No Complaining Rule is self-explanatory: You’re not aloud to complain about your situation. No complaining. Period. You’re not allowed to complain to your mom, to your girlfriend, not even to your cat. This puts us in an interesting spot, doesn’t it? We no longer have that outlet to express what’s wrong with our life and have somebody validate it. I get it, I have a friend who is always on my side. I love the dude. Anytime I tell him about something going wrong in my life he aptly responds, “Aw man, that’s some bullshit!” He actually get’s upset with me. It feels nice.
Unfortunately this solves nothing. Now that I cannot complain I have two options: 1) Accept the shitty situation or 2) Change it.
Rule #2: Don’t Talk About Others
Somebody sent a friend of mine a text saying, “I’ll go as long as Bob isn’t going. He’s so annoying.”
“Uhh. This is Bob.” was the reply.
Bob never really got over it. Understandably so. This is a mistake that will never happen when you apply Rule #2.
Again, this is hard because if we sit in a circle with friends, have a couple brewskies, and talk bad about others it feels good. We all validate that that other person is fucked up, and now the entire circle feels bigger and better… and drunker. I’m not immune to it. I pop bottles and talk shit about people too, but not as much as I use to.
My practice is to never say anything about someone that I have not, or will not say directly to his or her face. I am aware that putting people down may feel good because it makes me feel bigger, but it really adds no value to my life or theirs. It’s simply our insecurities fuming. We look like scrubs, and there’s always a chance that you accidentally text Bob.
Rule #3: I Don’t Rely on Willpower. I Make Life Easy With Circumstances.
Relying on willpower to make changes in your life is a loser’s game. You will eventually fall and find a plate full of pancakes in front of you, or find yourself reaching into your savings account for beer money. Trust me, I’ve been there.. twice. You might hit the gym for a few weeks, but then life happens. You might save money for a few months, but then take it all out.
Build habits by starting small, and being consistent so you don’t have to reach into your willpower bank. Decrease the activation energy and barriers around a tough task. For example, lay out your gym clothes the night before, have a workout partner (for accountability), put your keys and shoes by the door, and write out exactly what you will do at the gym. When you do all of this up front, it becomes much easier to roll out of bed and go to the gym. You’re decreasing activation energy by eliminating things you will have to do in the morning.
Rule #4: Take 10% of Every Dollar Made & Put It Into The Wealth Account
This is the basis of the finance classic The Richest Man in Babylon, and pretty much any other financial advice book ever written. It’s also the first piece of financial advice my dad gave me when I got my first job. “Pay yourself first” he said.
Automate 10% of every dollar you make to come out the day after your paycheck drops into your account. Remember, we want to make shit easier! The less effort things take, the better. That’s why we automate it. Put that money into an account that you cannot touch easily. My Wealth Account takes a week to get back to my checking account by which time I probably don’t need the money anymore. It’s a pain in the ass, but see Rule #3.
Rule #4: Sweat Daily
Workout with intensity, break a sweat, walk more, stand more, drink a lot of water, sleep 7+ hours every night, limit yourself to no more than 3 cups of coffee per day, up your veggies & protein, meditate, have sex, foam roll, write down 3 things you’re grateful for daily, stretch, hike, play basketball & golf, and don’t eat out during the week.
I just wrote you an entire health program. You’re welcome.
Rule #5: Have Fun Daily
Hang out with people you enjoy being around, tell jokes, play sports, draw pictures, talk Fantasy Football, laugh, dance, and spend money on experiences rather than things.
It can be easy to get trapped in the process of “becoming a grown up with responsibilities,” but life is short. Hang out with great people, do things you like, eat great food, play, and keep #GoodVibesOnly
Rule #6: Take One Step Toward A Goal Today
Yep, you guessed it; It all comes back to small wins & consistency. What’s the big picture goal? What are the steps to that goal? Have you taken one single step today?
We don’t make changes in our life from Wednesday to Thursday. They take time and consistent practice. Kelsey keeps a quote (pictured, duh) on our desk that says, “Are you closer to where you want to be today than you were yesterday?”
Leo Babauta from Zen Habits writes about change this way:
Give up on the results. Instead focus on the step in front of you.
Give up on the fantasy. Instead be curious about what it’s really like when you try it.
Don’t be motivated by achieving the ideal. Be motivated by compassion for yourself and helping others.
Don’t be caught up in quick results. Savor the slow change.
Forget about the happiness of the outcome. Instead find happiness in the learning.
Don’t worry about perfect execution. The entire point is to learn about yourself.
Think big, but start small. Focus in on the process and the results will compound. What is your one daily step?
Rule #7: The 90% Rule
In his Book, Essentialism, Greg McKeown writes about eliminating the non-essential, and how that most of the things we think are essential really aren’t. McKeown uses the 90% Rule to to distinguish whether something should be done or not. On a scale of 1-10 how important is X (whatever the task/opportunity/decision is) to my health, wealth, love, or happiness? If it’s not a 9 or 10 (or falls in the 90th percentile) then it gets thrown out.
This is the most difficult rule for me. I have a lot of things that are 6s or 7s in value that I keep in my life. I need to eliminate them if I am abiding by the 90% Rule.
Rule #8: Implement ONE Idea From Every Book You Read
In 2011, I read one book. It was the Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows. In 2012 I made a game out of how many books I could read and my total went up to 22 books. In 2013, I improved to 29 books, and then I lost my mind in 2014 and read 49 books. At the end of 2014 I was bragging to my family about how many books I read, and my brother asked, “So what are some things you’ve learned reading all those books?”
I sat in silence. I couldn’t come up with anything.
I was so caught up in the completion game that I forgot to actually, you know, learn stuff..
This year, I am still shooting for a book per week, but I want to make sure I am learning at least ONE impactful, life-changing tool and actually implementing it into my life.
Rule #9: Be In The Moment
Where are you right now? What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Are you taking small steps in the right direction, or are you vegging out and watching Pardon The Interruption? Both are wonderful, but are you actually aware and intentional in your actions or are you just floating along?
Researches ran an experiment with obese individuals where they had participants write down what they ate. That’s it. No exercise, no yoga regimen, no juice cleanses. They weren’t even required to write how much food they ate, nor when they ate it, just what they were eating. Over a period of six months, almost all participants began eating healthier and even started exercising on their own. Simply by creating awareness, these people made huge changes in their lives.
We need to do the same thing with our time. We often just float through the day like any other day not even aware of what we’re doing, how we’re thinking, how many hours of television were watching, or how long we are sitting.
We need to become more purposeful and intentional with our time. Every moment, try to become more aware and mindful by asking, “What am I doing right now?”
Rule#10: Focus: The Big Rocks Rule
If you could only do 3 things today? What would they be? What activities would have the most bang for your buck impact on your life? These are your Big Rocks. These are your focal points. Nothing else. A good way to discover your Big Rocks is to use the Warren Buffet Strategy.
Once you have your Rocks, throw out the rest. Don’t worry about the small pebbles. Get your Big Rocks right, and the pebbles work themselves out.
Rule #11: Set Your Own Damn Rules
“Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Lastly, create your own rules, and write them down. This is your life, and rules help guide you when times get dark or uncertain. I got this idea from Craig Ballantyne. Rules actually create freedom rather than restrict it. With rules, there is less indecisiveness and ambiguity. There are less energy drainers in your life. The is less thinking, and more reacting.
So in conclusion, the rules you just read are complete bullshit… for you. They have meaning and impact in my life because they are my rules, but you need your own. What matters to you? Now write them down.