Category Archives: Working on Your Goals

Q&A with Davis: Questions about Support Networks

Reader Submitted Questions

For goals that are difficult to find a network support, how do you keep yourself motivated and create a feed-back practice environment? For example, if I want to learn the art of picking up, I wouldn’t be able to tell the world about my intention. How and who can I practice it? 

Remember that a support network also includes mentors. In your example of mastering the art of pick up, remember that Neil Strauss has Mystery, who served as Strauss’ mentor and the person who held him accountable for his progress. If you have a goal you can’t tell the world, you can usually find a mentor. If you can’t…you probably shouldn’t be doing it.


Q&A with Davis: Questions about School/College

Reader Submitted Questions

If you can’t finish your assignments before you go to bed and it’s due tomorrow, what should you do?

I would weigh my option (how muchYou’ll find that as you begin to practice better time management, you won’t run into a problem like staying up late doing an assignment because you would have already completed them before.

Do you party in college? What if I want to party in college? I would go out twice a week on Friday and Saturday, and that affects my cycle of sleep the next day and the next week. How could I fix that?

I stay up late on Fridays and Saturdays too. When I do go to bed, I sleep in a bit the next day (I wake up a little later on Saturday and Sunday), but then my routine picks back up. If you sleep around the same time during the weekday and then sleep late on the weekend, your body will go back to normal that Monday unless you didn’t get enough sleep/too much sleep on the weekend.

If you’re studying for a test, but you’re exhausted due to recent continuous deadlines and exams, and it’s only mid-day or early in the afternoon/ evening, will you take a nap and catch up later, or will you take coffee and keep pushing through assignments?

I don’t drink coffee, but if you are tired beyond the point that you can’t tell a carat from a carrot, then you need to take a break.

Q&A with Davis: Personal Questions

Why did you start the blog and decide to stay committed to it?

I started my blog back in September for two purposes. One was to keep track of progress on my goals and two to give advice to others trying to accomplish their own goals. I decided to stay committed because I found that I was learning a lot by writing daily posts.

How advanced ahead are YOU designing your life? Do you design your whole life, knowing not what you want to do and opportunities that may be open, or keeping to your original plan of getting specific results and opportunities?

I know what I am doing today and the rest of this week. I know somewhat what my month is shaping like, but I don’t have my year planned out in detail. I know generally what I want to get done, but do not always have specific to-do lists for months ahead. I narrow down what I want, but keep my plans flexible enough so that I can add and change as new opportunities and priorities arrive.

Do you have a back-up plan? What if your goal is so hefty that the chance of you succeeding is miniscule compared to the chance of you failing? What happens if you fail to “land on the moon?”

Depends on my goal, but if you mean something financial (like starting a business), then I would have a back-up plan.

How do you get a fitness test? (the one you do for your workout).

The one I used during my insanity workout was included in the workout, but you can find fitness tests by just Googling them. The key is to pick one that measures you on the different aspects of your workout and one that you can repeat periodically to measure your progress.

How many goals would you carry on simultaneously? If there is no specific number, then how about a range?

My number depends on the magnitude of the goals. I usually start with a few and drop/add until I am comfortable with the time and quality I am devoting to each goal.

You mentioned “Observational Learning.” What is the difference between that and Passive Learning? How do you keep yourself from being bored or distracted while “observing?”

Observational learning is when watch someone else do something you want to do. How I keep myself active and engaged is to either take notes about what I like that I see what I don’t like.

Starting a Goal Blog

I wanted to share this Ted Talk about following through with your New Years Resolutions. More specifically, I want you to pay attention to the power of sharing your goals and even creating a blog to let friends and family track your progress and support you.

The Quality of a Successful Person

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”

– Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “what separates successful people and those who fail to reach their goals.” Is it money? Is it education? Is it luck?

For a while I pondered on this question as well. I ran through all the reasons why someone would succeed, but also tried to give myself examples where this is not necessary. Money can open up many doors and allow you to try and pick yourself up when you fall, but money wouldn’t explain why people without resources also succeed and that resourceful people have access to the same opportunities as those with plenty of money. Education wouldn’t explain why many CEOs and business owners attended “non-brand name” schools; some didn’t even have college training at all. And with luck, you could have all the luck and opportunity available but if you don’t know how to take advantage of them it is as if the opportunities never existed.

I find that the most important quality in achieving your goals does not have to do with smarts, riches, or luck, though those can have a positive effect. The quality that separates people who accomplish their dreams and those who don’t is determination.

Having determination keeps you going to the gym every day when you would rather sleep in. Having determination allows you to pick yourself up when your business fails. Having determination helps you to be resourceful if you are not rich or if the opportunity is not obvious.

But like the muscles in your body, your determination will only grow if you exercise it. The people I admire for their determination at some point all fell down, failed at their dreams, and had to pull themselves back up.

Make 2013 your year to exercise your determination muscle.

Tomorrow ‘s Featured Writer is Yuanling Yuan, an International Chess Master, the founder of the Chess in the Library program, a member of Berkeley College at Yale, and a dear friend of mine. Yuanling will talk about the importance of persistence.


Come back tomorrow for Yuanling’s article.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

To realize the value of time…(making the most of a New Year)

As you begin the New Year with goals and resolutions. It might seem that you have plenty of time to complete them and the illusion of endless time might give you an excuse to push your goals further away. Even with 365 days or 8760 hours to complete your resolutions, I want you to think differently this year ,to value each second, minute, hour, day, week, and month as if you might not get another.

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite poems about the value of time.


To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute:
Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.


Time is precious, make the most of it.

How to Quit Smoking (or break a bad habit)

A few days ago, I received the following email from a long time reader who wants to quit smoking. Below is the email (name has been replaced) and my reply.


Dear Davis,

I have been reading your blog for a few months. I really appreciate what you are doing. I wanted to get some help from you. I don’t think I am the only one, but I wanted to break a habit in 2013, in particular I want to stop smoking; I’ve tried in the past but keep relapsing. What should I do?


– don’t know where to start


Hi don’t know where to start,

By emailing me, you have taken a huge step in starting. “Quit Smoking” is actually one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions (it is the fourth most common). I will do my best to help you.

First you have your goal which is to “quit smoking.” Next is to figure out where you are at, how many cigarettes you are currently smoking a day for example. For example, if you are smoking about 20 a day (the average or pack-a-day), this is a starting point.

Next, I want you to list ALL the reasons why you want to quit smoking; these reasons can be for your health (living longer), finance (saving money), or even self-motivated (I want to prove to others I can do it).

Then, I want you to figure out some objectives for your goal. Be specific about your objectives, do you want to go “cold-turkey” or gradually (which might be easier) and smoke less and less each week until you are down to zero?

When you decide on your method, I want you to create a plan on how you will accomplish your objectives. How will you prevent yourself from buying cigarettes or lighting up? How will you prevent yourself from being tempted (are you friends with smokers who encourage you?). You might want to do research into how other people quit smoking. Since we live in era of the internet, this is very easy. Essentially have a plan for breaking your habit that you can stick to for the long-run not just the first few days.

Next I want you to have a deadline for each of your objectives. (“I will  reduce my smoking by 2 cigarettes by the first 2 weeks”, etc.). These deadlines will push you to stay motivated.

Now you have to be honest with yourself and identify all of your obstacles (friends who smoke, lack of motivation, etc.) and how you will eliminate or reduce these obstacles. This stage is crucial.

To further motivate you, I want you to enlist help from friends and family (a support network). These should be people who care about you and want you to break the habit. There are also online and off-line support groups of recovering smokers who can also help you through your process. Getting help from someone (or people) who has been there and done that will increase your chances of success. When I started working out, I called Tina every night so she could ask me, “did you work out today” and she also saw me workout. Having a support network keeps you motivated and reduces relapses.

As the weeks past, monitor your progress. You can have a friend monitor you or even start a blog about your progress. This is up to you, but you need a way to stay accountable to yourself. Is your plan working? How could it be better? Are you going too fast or even too slow? Always keep reevaluating yourself and your plan.

Breaking a habit takes a long time and doesn’t happen over night, but it all begins with the first day. I hope I have answered your question the best I could and want to hear about your success in the future.

Thanks for reaching out to me and I wish you all the best,

– Davis

Effective Resolutions using Support Groups

Over the last few days, we’ve talked about setting effective resolutions, forming plans, and today will want to talk about how to stay motivated. Today’s article will be shorter than most because most the what I want to discuss has been written in the past.

With all of my goals, I always use support groups and networks.Undoubtedly, having support groups have been the key to my success in the past. Having people support me through my goal and keep me on track when I lose focus has made my goals possible.

If you don’t know what they are or want a refresher check out these articles:

Support Networks


Getting Feedback



Form your support networks

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

Effective New Year’s Resolutions

Today is the first article on forming effective New Year’s Resolutions. More specifically I wanted to talk about how to pick effective resolutions. Effective Resolutions should be worded specifically and have clear objectives

Today I will also use three of the most common NY Resolutions and discuss how they could be made more achievable by being specific and having objectives.

  • Lose weight
  • Spend more time with friends and family
  • Learn something new

Be specific. General and vague goals give you no direction and with no direction you will be overwhelmed and easily discouraged. You do not have to be exact to the decimal point, but at least have an idea of what you want.

  • Lose weight – How much weight do you want to lose?
  • Spend more time with friends and family – How much more time do you want to with friends and family?
  • Learn something new – What do you want to learn (language, online course, real estate, etc.)?

Having Objectives. You need a way to gauge the progress you have made on your resolutions. Below are some examples.

  • Losing at least 20 pounds – How will you accomplish this? Having a Paleo diet? Going to the gym three times a week?
  • Spending Sunday afternoon with family- How will you make sure you have time for this? How will you make sure you can make this weekly?
  • Learn French- How will you learn French (Rosetta Stone? Online course? Books? Pimsleur? Etc.) How will you measure how much French you have acquired?

These are just some things to think about as you craft your New Year’s Resolutions. Be clear and have measuring points.

For more tips about goal in general. Check out some of my older posts:

Tomorrow I will continue with how to form plans to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions (for long-time readers, this will be review; for new readers, be prepared to learn some of the best secrets of successful people).


Start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

Starting New Year’s Resolutions

This is my favorite time of the year. It is a period to spend with family and loved ones, celebrate the end of another year, and to prepare for the next.

Aside from the plethora of food, warm hugs, and gifts, I like to take the last week of the year to think ahead to what I want to do next year. Much of what I want to accomplish comes in the form of New Year’s Resolutions.

Having New Year’s Resolution gives you direction and idea of how you want to shape your future. Remember back to the analogy of the motor and the compass: by having resolutions you set flexible expectations for yourself.

The easy part is having resolutions, in fact about 86% of Americans begin a New Year with at least one resolution. The hard part is sticking to them; only about 8% of those who start with a resolution actually completely them by December.

If you’ve read my blog, you know I am about setting goals and seeing them through. Over the next few days, I will talk about crafting your New Year’s Resolution to increase your chance of accomplishing them, creating a plan to complete your resolutions, discuss common problems about staying motivated and how to overcome them, and bringing everything together on the last day by sharing with you one of my resolutions for 2013 using the same method.

I hope you are as excited as I am for the next few articles.


Think about what you want to accomplish in 2013.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.