When was the last time you read 20 pages without getting distracted? Or listened to your favorite music album for 20 minutes without feeling the need to do something else at the same time? When was the last time you went 20 days without having a glass of wine after work to help you unwind? Or had 20 seconds without a thought racing through your mind?
2020 is not just a new year, it’s a new decade. The perfect time to take a step back, refocus, and reset. But that doesn’t mean we will magically accomplish all of our goals. In fact, 92% of all goals fail. So no matter how clean a reset this decade is, we still need a lot of help accomplishing our goals. This year, we’ve come up with a framework to help you do just that:
“20 for 20”
Simply put, whatever goal you set this year, make it 20 something—seconds, reps, days, you get the gist. This framework is easy to remember, makes a lot of sense, and lets you get creative—a potent combination for success.
20 for 20 is memorable
Who can’t remember 20 for 20? How about 20/20 vision? How about the fact that this year is “20”-”20”? Definitely helps. So right off the bat, this framework is more likely to lead to success, simply because it’s memorable. That’s massive when it comes to succeeding as your goal will be front of mind more of the time. This will result in more awareness and therefore a greater chance for action. With enough practice, we will eventually have success.
20 for 20 is fundamentally sound
We’ve studied goal setting exhaustively over the last two decades and have learned a thing or two. First, preparation is just as important as execution. Setting the right goal is vital. Otherwise, you’re just like Sisyphus, fighting an uphill battle the entire time. One strategy we’ve seen work year after year at our award-winning health retreat is following the acronym SMART. Set your goal so it is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time anchored. The 20-for-20 framework works really well with SMART goals.
For example, a broad goal like “practice being in the present.” Applying the 20-for-20 formula would look something like: “20 seconds of focusing on my breath.” While applying the SMART framework would improve the goal. Make your goal more specific by indicating focusing on your breathing. Measurable is the 20 seconds—we could use a watch or a phone timer. 20 seconds is so short it’s certainly attainable. Doing it every single morning? Perhaps that’s not realistic, so we should adjust a bit. Following the 20-for-20 framework, resolving to spend 20 seconds in the morning just 20 days per month might be more realistic. And to make this goal time-anchored, we need a deadline. Perhaps we start with a month. A SMART 20-for-20 goal would be resolving to “take 20 seconds each morning before waking to focus on my breath, 20 days of the next month”.
Another thing we’ve realized is that there are 5 main reasons our goals fail
- We have too many goals
- Goals are set too big (learn why micro resolutions are more effective than large goals)
- Our goals aren’t concrete
- Our goals don’t fit into our routine
- We don’t share our goals
Setting a SMART goal covers items two, three, and four. Making a goal attainable and realistic usually means setting a smaller goal that fits into our routine. Making your goal specific and time-anchored makes it concrete. But what about setting too many goals and not sharing them? Setting too many is easy to fix: just set one goal at a time. But what about sharing our goals? Sometimes it’s daunting to think about sharing our goals with a friend. But a small action like sharing our goal with a friend, and giving them a weekly one-sentence update, can dramatically improve our chances of success. In fact, this exact action has proven to increase the odds of success 10x! We think this small step is so powerful we’ve built a tool to facilitate it. Use our goal tracker to share your SMART goal with the Mountain Trek team and then receive a weekly email touching base and asking for your update. Simple, yet incredibly powerful.
Unleash Your Creativity with 20 for 20
The wonderful thing about 20 for 20 is that it’s just begging for creativity and personalization. The breadth of possible goals that fall under this framework allows us to customize our efforts to our personal preferences—a final, and vital component of success. Making your goal relevant to you will significantly increase your interest in following through. For example, if you’re a big tennis player, setting a 20 for 20 goal that will improve your game will be more appealing than a goal that is unrelated to your interests. You’ll be more motivated to do the work, and you will show up more of the time. You’ll dig a little deeper and work a little harder when things are tough because it matters to you. A 20-for-20 goal can and should break traditional molds. The usual resolutions of “lose weight,” “eat healthier,” “exercise more,” or “manage finances better” are so broad and boring—it’s no wonder that 92% of our resolutions fail each year. Make 2020 about getting creative.
20 for 20 Goal Ideas:
Take 20 seconds first thing each morning and just watch your breath. Follow it in and out, in and out, immediately upon waking. You might find that you spend longer than 20 seconds here because it’s such a nice, peaceful moment. But set your goal to do 20 seconds—that’s all it takes.
Bonus: find 20-second moments throughout your day where you can pause, and just focus on your breath. Transition moments throughout your day are wonderful opportunities, such as getting up from your desk to go to the bathroom, getting in the car, or getting off of a phone call.
Give something your undivided attention for 20 minutes each day. Two great ideas are music and reading. Listen to your favorite album for 20 minutes without looking at phone notifications or checking something off of your to-do list. Turn the volume up and really sink into the music, letting go of all of the other things you need to do once you’re done. Or find a comfy chair and just read for 20 minutes. Go into it with the same intention, to unplug from the world around you.
Build a habit by doing something 20 days out of one month. We don’t have to do an action every single day to make it a habit, but we do need to create momentum in that direction. Doing something, such as waking up and immediately spending 20 seconds on your breath, 20 days out of the month, is a great step in creating a habit. It’s not shooting for perfection by doing it every day, so we have some room for error, which is inevitable and important to embrace when building a new habit. Accepting failure prevents us from catastrophically derailing the moment there’s one tiny bump in the road. Embracing failure makes us more resilient.
Tip: put a physical calendar on your wall and put a big checkmark over the days you successfully worked on your goal. Having this physical reminder of our progress will help momentum. Also, use the calendar to plan ahead. Look for days there’s little chance you’ll be able to work towards your goal and acknowledge them. Preplanning “off” days will remove guilt and reduce your stress.
Now is your chance to reset, not just on the year, but on the entire decade. Start 2020 off on the right foot; give 20 for 20 a go!
What is Mountain Trek?
Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out below: