My friend Joy said that, of all the people she knows, I’m the one who should not get a smart watch.
After all, I lead a fairly high-pressure life. I run a business. My days are full. I train hard at the gym. I’m writing a book.
Joy worried I’d go OCD with tracking my steps, and that it’d be one more thing to create pressure in my world.
She had a point. The potential exists.
I mean, just consider your own goals, your own tendencies. In fact, think right now to a big goal you set at new years this year. Like, write your entire book, lose some ungodly amount of weight, hire the next five people on your team.
How’s it going? And if you’re behind, do you secretly shame yourself?
Well, take heart.
From energy work to acupuncture to breathwork to a plethora of productivity tools, I’ve learned a lot about how to accomplish things. (And yes, how to sabotage them too.)
It has a lot to do with your brain. And dopamine. And something I call “the energy of completion.”
When I got my smartwatch – the Garmin Fenix 5, not the ubiquitous Apple watch – I did the opposite of, well, everyone.
(And this is my secret ninja trick.)
I set the bar really, really low.
In a world where 10,000 steps is the average goal of step-counters, I set my goal for just 6000 steps a day.
Which means that, in my first months with my watch, my wrist vibrated with a mini fireworks display, sometimes very early in the day…every single day.
Did I go over – sometimes WAY over – 6000 steps? Sure.
But my personal secret to success is this:
Always set the bar where you can actually get over it. That way you experience the energy of completion on a regular basis.
I call it “Dopamine Snacks.” It’s how my brain has learned to perform, even as the usual committee drones on and on in my head about my inevitable failures.
It’s also how I’ve learned to trust myself.
Dopamine snacks look like this:
- When I was a musician, I recorded and released 7 CD’s and a DVD by writing in 90 minute blocks.
- I meditate now for 40 minutes to an hour a day. I started with 5 minute sessions.
- I can do a boatload of unassisted pull-ups now because I started just by lowering my body 3 times from the top of the bar every time I was at the gym.
- As I’m writing this, I got a text from my literary agent. We just signed a book deal. I started out by writing one hour a day. The manuscript is due in two months.
I’ve even taught my team here at Uplevel You the Dopamine Snacks method.
At Uplevel, we set three different goals for every project.
The first goal is what we call the “Do-it-in-our-sleep” goal. We can hit that one pretty easily…but at least we cross one bar. We get the dopamine.
Our second goal is the one we REALLY want to reach.
And the third goal is called our “Over the Moon” goal. That one keeps us stretching and expanding.
So when it comes to momentum, great habits, productivity, self-love, and overall peace, know this:
If you set the bar so high over your head you never get to celebrate? Then you kill your own spirit from the get-go.
Completion beats perfection any day.
So share with me some small bar that you’re going to set really low for the rest of the year!