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2024 Success Blueprint: A Guide to Starting the Year Strong

How I’m Aiming To Get 2024 Off To A Flyer

2024 is nearly here. So it’s review time.

I love the end-of-year review TV shows.

Even the news reviews, though I don’t watch or read the news anymore.

My favourites are the sports one.

Over the past few years. I’ve done my own end-of-year reviews. Today, I’m looking back at how 2023 has gone from a “business” point of view. This will then influence my plans for 2024.

Check out my 2022 and 2023 reviews to see what I intend to do each year.

From these reviews, I’ve looked at making changes to try and make the forthcoming year, better than the last.

Reviewing The Year That Was 2023

I’m writing this, sat in a coffee shop on 15th Dec 2023 and have started looking back at my 2023 review and plans.

Again, like the 2023 article, it’s tough to look back at my plans.

But also good. Because my plan doesn’t need changing.

The thing that needs changing is my ability to follow through on the plans. To stick to it.

Stop the negativity. Celebrate the Wins

One thing I tend to do a lot. Day to day and with these reviews. Is to look at what didn’t go well.

But, for my review of 2023, I’m looking at the positives. To celebrate the wins, no matter how small.

Here are a few

  • Stuck to the same workout plan for the entire year
  • Smashed my half-marathon run goal
  • Not touched alcohol for 111 days (at the time of writing)
  • Reached my target weight
  • Worked with a life coach
  • Bought a cold plunge

None of these are what I’d like professionally. But I’m wondering if these things become before other successes?

The biggest thing for me is I feel way happier than in the past few years.

Regardless of my financial and freedom goals. You could argue this is the most important thing.

2024: Same, Same, But Different

I’ve referenced my 2023 article already in this post.

But the plan I laid out in the post is still in place. And I’m not deviating from it.

It has moved on from the start of 2023. But, the overall high-level plan is still in place. I tweaked the structure here and there and changed what to focus on each day/week.

There is a Warren Buffett quote that I like (and need to take more note of)

An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan.

Warren Buffett

And I need to be self-critical here.

I consider myself to be smart, and clever, but I don’t stick to the plan enough.

So that’s what I am focusing on for 2024. Sticking to the plan.

Go Old School

Like I said. I’m sitting writing this in a coffee shop, in the town centre, 30 minutes walk away from where I live.

My goal for today. Apart from writing and publishing this blog.

Is to buy a page-a-day A5 2024 diary.

I normally plan my week out on a Sunday night. Using a piece of A4 paper that I fold in half, twice.

This means you can’t put too many things down on each side. I’m guilty of planning too much each week. This year I’ve got a lot better a picking what to focus on.

But what I’ve found is the things I say I want to focus on each week. Writing and publishing a blog. Then repurposing into other forms of content. I’ve not done it to the level that I’d like.

Manage What You Measure

I say this a lot.

Even though I have a high-level plan and a habit tracker to keep me honest.

I’ve got an inkling that I’m not planning my content creation enough. I’m not getting it worked out beforehand. I rely on turning up and being able to hand crank it.

This is why I’ve not achieved what I want.

My focus for 2023 was

  1. Focus on income-producing activities
  2. Start engaging on social media daily to build an audience
  3. Create content daily and distribute using a “recycling” checklist

#1 is out of my control.

Something I’ve learned this year. Hard to take but it’s also freeing. I can do the actions, but the outcomes aren’t guaranteed. That said you still need to do the work regardless

#2 is completely controlled by a habit tracker and that has worked for 2023.

#3 has fallen away, almost weekly.

So going back to my purchase for today.

Instead of using a small piece of paper to write tasks down. Then relying on a habit tracker for everything else.

Everything and I mean everything gets planned out in advance. Into this page a day diary.

My content creation for the week, then the repurposing. And all the of tasks that happen from running a load of side businesses.

Hopefully, this means I’ll do more of #3 in 2024 than I did in 2023.

Going Sober

I’ve always been into fitness.

My diet too. And switched from going on a diet for say 12 weeks. To think about it as changing my lifestyle, for just that, life.

But never thought about my mindset. The way I talked to myself. Improving self-confidence, skills and mental discipline.

It didn’t feel relevant for any none sports/fitness pursuits.

But it’s probably more important.

And I had to ask myself a hard question.

Is the reason you’re not where you want to be down to one or two things? And a harsh realization.

Is it down to alcohol?

I’ve always been a “drinker”, not every night, but at weekends. It was to excess too. And I was finding it was taking days to recover. A heavy night on Saturday. Well, it was taking till Tuesday before I felt normal.

And that was affecting everything else. Fitness and business.

Was I sabotaging all the other efforts?

There was only one way to find out.

A Seminal Moment

I’m not going to go into full details.

But that last Sunday in August 2023. I woke up, not having slept well. After a massive drinking session the day before. Feeling like shit, and full of regret.

A little voice inside my head started shouting. It said

“We’re done with feeling like this, with alcohol. This is a seminal moment”

It actually spoke to me and said: “This is a seminal moment”

And it was.

I mentioned it earlier in this article. I’ve not touched alcohol now for 111 days and counting. With no plans to go back to drinking.

I’m not going to say I’m never drinking again.

But I’ve changed my mentality towards it, my mindset. To start treating my life like a sports star would.

Instead of trying to use 5 days of the week to recover enough to start drinking again for 2 days. You plan your weeks and months seeing where you can fit in a “sober” weekend.

I’ve changed my “default” setting.

Now, I’m coming at it from a different angle. What are the one or two events coming up over the next month or two, or the entire year? Where I will drink? But only if I’ve achieved what I want over that period. Or if it’s a very special occasion like a close friend’s wedding. Then I may decide to have a drink, or two.

The rest of the time. Well, I’m not doing it anymore.

Is the reason I’ve not reached my goals the booze?

It’s very hard to say.

There is only one surefire way to find out.

2024: A Bit Woo-Woo

I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts in 2023.

My favourite show was Modern Wisdom

And my favourite two episodes from this show have been the ones with Alex Hormozi.

There have been a few others too. That has “rubber stamped” a lot of things I already know. They act as a reminder to re-focus on those things.

Lessons From Sports Stars

In one of the episodes. The host and the guest, Chris Williams and Alex Hormozri discussed the Netflix show The Quarterback

Chris talks about if you want to rise to the highest level in sport. You need to focus on fitness and your diet. Then your mindset, the sport itself, the tactics and strategies.

It’s not one or two things, everything ties together, to focus it into 3 hours each week. To be able to execute during a game or event.

He then talks about applying the same to the recording of his podcast.

A lightbulb moment for me.

I love sport. And have watched so many documentaries following sports stars.

You can learn a lot from those who operate a such peak performance But I don’t apply the teachings.

What I’ve learned is that everything is linked. Success isn’t about your natural ability in a single thing. It’s far more than that.

Treat Pursuit Like Trying To Win A Medal

Sports stars don’t go binge drinking every weekend.

And if they do, they probably aren’t at the top for very long.

If they ever get there.

So for me, 2024 is about improving my mind and body.

I’ve kicked the drink. And without even trying I’ve lost over half a stone in weight. My eating habits went downhill after cutting out the booze. Maybe it was because I’d stopped drinking alcohol and overeat to counter it.

So, I’m refocusing on sorting my diet out from a lifestyle viewpoint.

“Brain Fog” Has Disappeared

Another upside of stopping boozing is my mind feels a lot clearer.

I’m making better decisions.

The quality of my output has improved, in less time, which is wild.

Also, my self-confidence has grown too. I’m more self-assured, my anxiety has disappeared.

Crazy what one little substance can do.

Prioritise Yourself

Earlier in 2023 I worked with a coach.

We talked about a lot of personal stuff. Stuff I’m not going to discuss in this blog post.

But it uncovered a lot of things.

One thing I need to work on is what I want. What matters to me the most. And to back myself, to put what’s important to me ahead of other things.

This is something I’ve been bad at, very bad at.

And it’s impacted parts of my life.

It’s a work in progress. But along with the drink, it’s something that I’m continuing to focus on.

Conclusion: 2023 Into 2024

Looking back, 2023 has been an excellent year.

Externally, I’ve not hit my goals. And feel very far away from hitting them

But internally, I’m very happy.

From a tools, tactics, strategy and plan point of view. 2024 isn’t going to be much different from 2023.

Except for working out how I can stick to a plan. To do what I’d say I’d do. To do the work consistently, with zero expectations.

2024 for me, is more about treating pursuits like a sports star would trying to win a medal or a title.

To put yourself in peak performance physically and mentally.

And for me physically I think I’ve got it down. A tweak here and there and to sort my eating habits out.

For me. It’s more about mindset, self-talk and improving my mind.

Oh and to stop doing things that can negatively impact me.

Whether that’s drinking, beating myself up over little things, or people-pleasing.

It may sound woo-woo, but what if that’s the key to unlocking your true self?

Now that’s something worth pursuing.

Wait, want more tips & tricks? Yes, please!

Who Is Phil Hughes

I am a coder, content creator & software consultant for start-ups and FTSE 100 companies. I am obsessed with productivity, self-improvement, and building a lifestyle business.
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