Tired of living your life on autopilot? Jarrod Warren has some excellent tips on how to live a purposeful life and achieve your goals.
In this episode, you will learn:
- How to improve your life when you’ve hit rock bottom
- The difference between success & significance
- Reflection exercises that will help you discover your legacy and who you want to be
- How to determine a purposeful “why”
- Strategies to stay on track with your goals
- How to stop waiting and start doing
- The best way to overcome the “Overachiever Trap”
- The similarities and differences between goal-setting and financial investing
- How to prevent the “all or nothing” mindset
- Tips to stay motivated
Who is Jarrod Warren?
As a busy father of 3 young children and leader of a full time financial planning company, Jarrod Warren hit burnout and rock bottom mentally and physically. He developed a burning desire to change his life’s direction. Learning from his mentor Curtis R. Estes and completing many impactful personal development exercises launched Jarrod’s journey towards creating a life by design (instead of living on autopilot).
Jarrod is determined to save others from burnout, while helping them live up to their full potential professionally and personally. To carry out his mission, he started The Success 101 Podcast and wrote a book filled with life-changing exercises called Success to Significance.
Life by Default Vs. Life by Design
In Jarrod’s book, he defines two different ways of living…
- Life by default: Living on autopilot- unsure of how you want to contribute to society and who you want to be
- Life by design: Living with your legacy in mind- taking actions towards becoming the kind of person you want to be
In this post, I’ve listed a few exercises you can do to start building your dream life. I also created a free worksheet with exercises and a survey you can use to track your progress.
The “Highlight Reel” Exercise
Write down specific life events, memories, and items that bring you the most joy and excitement. What makes you feel most alive?
Here are a few examples…
- Singing on stage
- Going to California on Spring Break with my family
- Laughing with friends
- Working from home
The Highlight Reel is a great way to gain clarity on what your ideal life, schedule, and job might include.
The “To Be” Exercise
In every area of your life (health, career, spiritual, financial, social, etc.), write down the how you’d like to be described. Fill in the blank to this statement: “I want to be ________.”
Here are a few examples…
- I want to be present with my kids.
- I want to be well-rested and energized each day.
- I want to be disciplined by sticking to my budget.
By reviewing your list of characteristics you’d like to possess, you will gain clarity regarding what you might need to start or stop doing to become aligned with your ideal self. For example, if you wrote down that you want to be present with your kids, you might stop bringing your cell phone to the family dinner table. Overtime, small, intentional decisions like this will improve your quality of life. Need some additional help breaking stubborn habits? Sign up for my free habits guide with 30 proven strategies for behavioral change.
The “Legacy Statements” Exercise
Success is what’s on paper, significance is what you leave behind. If you died tomorrow, what would you want people to say about you? What strengths, traits, and accomplishments would you want them to remember? What do you want to contribute to your community, society, and family? Spend some time writing down the answers to these questions.
Here are a few examples of legacy statements…
- Hailey was dedicated to helping others feel amazing by educating her clients and community on how to form healthy habits, develop a growth mindset, and make time for self-care.
- Hailey lived each day with gratitude, discipline, integrity, and a positive attitude.
- Hailey never quit in pursuing a career aligned with her mission.
After you’ve written your Legacy Statements, reflect upon your current life.
- What actions, weaknesses, or beliefs are holding you back from being the person described in your Legacy Statements?
- What actions, strengths, or beliefs are helping you live out your legacy?
Once you’ve identified what’s keeping you from living in alignment with your legacy, you can begin to address them.
Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom to start making changes.
Jarrod wishes he would’ve given more attention to vision planning and goal-setting before he hit rock bottom. Don’t wait until you’re at your lowest point to start improving your life. Instead, build up on small wins and learn from your own and others’ mistakes. Many of us are afraid of the pain that comes with change, but inaction and regret is even more painful in the long run.
Refrain from trying to change ALL of your habits in one day. There will always be noise and temptations competing for your attention: items you want to buy when you’re on a budget, people who want to sabotage your success, cake in the break room when you’re trying to eat healthy. Remember, if you just start by making slightly better choices and building up small wins, they will add up over time. The fastest way to change is by focusing on one minute at a time. Just get 1% better every day.
Motivation comes from action.
If you are waiting until you feel motivated to take action, you’ll probably never change. Action feeds motivation. You have to put in the work to trigger a sense of pride and build the desire to keep going. Positive actions bring progress, and seeing progress is the best motivator of all.
Balance isn’t real.
You’re going to have days when life throws you a curveball. You’re going to have days filled with stupid mistakes. What matters is how you handle it. When your life feels out of whack, ask yourself, “How am I going to make the best choices I can given whatever situation I’m in?”
How to stay on track…
When your discipline is wavering, re-align yourself with a powerful why. If your reason for changing a habit is strong enough, you will have no issues staying on track. Many of us aren’t thinking big enough, which is why Jarrod recommends the book The Magic of Thinking Big. Focus on how achieving your goal will make you feel. What is the burning desire at the core of the goal?
Here is an example of a weak why vs. strong why…
- Weak Why: I want to stop eating junk food because I want to look good in my dress for my friend’s wedding.
- Strong Why: I want to stop eating junk food because life is too short to wake up feeling inflamed, tired, and puffy. I want to feel amazing every day, have a long health-span, be active with my grandchildren, and be self-sufficient when I’m older.
Jarrod stays on track by reminding himself that he NEVER wants to go back to hitting rock bottom ever again. He paints a picture in his mind of when he was getting 4 hours of sleep per night, not spending time with his family, incredibly unhealthy, and unhappy.
Another way to stay on track is to read your “To Be” list, goals, or “Legacy Statement” daily. I created a short list of standards that I live by and revisit it every morning! It keeps me mindful of my vision and takes less than 3 minutes. Affirmations are another tool that can remind you of how you want to be each day.
A few of my favorite affirmations are…
- I can do hard things.
- I keep the promises I make to myself.
- Win the day.
- I have everything I need to succeed.
- Don’t turn your blessings into burdens.
There is so much power in your thoughts and words. I never thought I’d be someone who uses affirmations, but I think it’s pretty cool that my brain now defaults to repeating these statements in moments of temptation.
Creating a sense of urgency is another way to stay on track with your goals. Visualize the consequences of not starting now… Typically, this harsh imagery exercise will demonstrate that the pain of not taking action now is greater than the pain of making a small change today.
If you are 100% serious about your goal and have a strong why, Jarrod recommends going public with it. Share it with a supportive network (family, friends, Facebook).
Lastly, stay on track by keeping things simple. Stop over-consuming information and pursuing too many goals at once. Discover what small actions are making the biggest impact on your results and stay consistent. Jarrod recommends the book Essentialism to anyone who struggles with prioritizing.
Your implementation homework…
I’ve created a worksheet that will guide you through all of the exercises mentioned in this blog post AND a reflection survey you can use to track your progress! Sign up below to receive it.
Please comment below if you have any questions! To get a free copy of Jarrod’s book (shipping not included), visit his website and use the promo code “success101”. Thank you for reading! For more podcast episodes, click “subscribe” on iTunes.