We all have goals we want to accomplish in life. Things we GENUINELY want to do, but get put off for later, until they never happen.
I’m not talking about bathing, feeding yourself, or sleeping – but rather, about feeding your mind and your soul.
These things tend to get lost nowadays. We, as a society, are so focused on making money and ‘having’ things instead of increasing our knowledge, skills, and abilities we can use to help others and the world.
The following are 10 things to accomplish to help yourself achieve your goals, by spending just two hours a day for two years. This list encompasses those I found to be valuable for myself, for my mentors, and my clients.
Use this list to sharpen the skills you would like to acquire. If you’re not sure where to start, just pick one and get going! Don’t keep putting it off due to indecision.
Make a choice – and roll with it!
10 Things To Accomplish by Spending 2 Hours A Day for 2 Years
1. Form stronger connections with your family.
Some of you may be thinking, “Seriously? Family time is at the top of his list?”
There is ONE thing that is true in life: From the time we are born, we are dying. As morbid as that may sound, this is a realization I came to while working on an ambulance running 911 emergency calls. We should put our family, friends, and loved ones at the top of our priority list. We just don’t know how much time we have left.
One of the most important things to accomplish is setting quality time for your family, friends, or loved ones. NO TV, cell phones, Internet, or any other distractions. Not only you will learn more about them, but you will also develop a stronger bond.
2. Complete a health, body, and mental 180-degree makeover.
Exercise and proper diet are spoken about on lists like this, but they are hardly acted upon. In my 16 years working in the fitness industry, those who commit to exercising for an hour a day, four to six days a week, while focusing on their nutrition, get phenomenal results in as little as three months!
Imagine what you can do with two hours a day for two years.
3. Read 60+ books on ONE topic to move a whole lot closer to being an expert.
Read quality books to help you grow as a person or as a professional, as per K. Anders Ericsson on attaining expertise. This, for two hours a day for two years, accrues 14 percent of the time needed to becoming an expert. While it doesn’t seem like much, the time you spend doing things to become an expert are going to let you be well on your way!
Reading just ONE hour a day can push your career ahead tenfold in a year. Just imagine what two hours can do!
Choose books of a specific topic (or those closely related to it) and take notes. Don’t be afraid to write in book margins or even highlight parts that really resonate with you. Make sure you write down your thoughts on why the subject affects you. You can see how you’ve changed and grown when you re-read the book later.
4. Learn another language (or two).
In my time traveling the world, it’s been my conclusion that most Americans do NOT take learning another language as seriously as Europe, or much of the rest of the world. Perhaps it is because we speak the language that most others want to learn, or because we can travel so extensively within the U.S. without a need for a second or third language.
One of the fun things to accomplish by spending just two hours a day is learning a new language. With focus and purposeful practice, it can move you a long way towards being conversational.
Learning another language makes it a whole lot more fun to travel someplace new. You can go places, find spots to eat, and see things that are out of the ordinary, just like a native.
Use different approaches to learning a language and find what combination works for you. After you begin the basics, find a native speaker and meet with them for one to two hours a week to practice.
Pro-Tip: Focus on ONE language and master it (at least on a conversational level). After that, you can move on to another language. Just remember: practicing a language keeps it fresh!
I’ve found it best to start with one of the Latin-based languages like Italian, and then move on to another one like French, Spanish, Portuguese or Romanian. They follow similar rules and sentence structures, as well as use very similar letters.
This will allow you wire your brain to pick up more difficult languages such as Russian, Chinese or Japanese later on. Take advantage of language-specific apps such as Skritter to help you learn any language from around the world.
5. Learn about an area that interests you.
Make a point to learn about another area that fascinates you, but is totally non-work related.
Studying for two hours a day for two years allows you to learn far more about the subject. It also distracts your mind from work, allowing your subconscious to think about MORE things to accomplish in your free time. Lastly, it will let you stretch yourself and understand things in challenging ways.
This is a great project for anyone – and two hours a day can really help you learn A LOT!
6. Become one of the best in your field of work with a mentor.
Zig Ziglar is famous for talking about when he met his mentor at the company he worked for as a salesman. He went from being at the bottom of the sales force (as he said, “I sold a lot of stuff in my first years as a salesman: I sold my car, my TV, my furniture…“) to being second best in the company.
You too, can accomplish this. Find a mentor and work intelligently. It brings value to your company and even to the entire profession.
Many a mentor may not have two hours a day to work with you, but they can give assignments that you can work on for two hours a day.
Don’t have a mentor yet? Start looking for one. Aim to make more prospecting calls. Usually make 20 calls a day? Make 50. Aim high and work!
7. Become an Instrument Rated Pilot, or a Licensed Ships Captain, or a Certified SCUBA diver.
Taking your time and exploring the world will on take on a whole new meaning. You go to places few people do and open up new and unique experiences on the ocean or on air!
Bonus points because it’s just SUPER COOL, and super rare!
8. Contribute to your community through charity work.
One thing that all successful individuals have in common is charity work. There is nothing like the feeling of giving to others expecting NOTHING in return. This is perhaps the easiest and most rewarding of the things to accomplish in this list.
9. Write a book, start a blog, a Vlog, a YouTube Channel, or another way to share your knowledge and skill with the world!
Roughly 8 out of 10 Americans have aspirations to write a book. But very few will, for a number of reasons. The biggest obstacle could be the thought of anyone NOT wanting to read what you wrote because of “lack of time“.
People whom I’ve worked with as their business consultant or life coach told me they want to start a YouTube Channel or blog. They couldn’t share their thoughts or ideas because they have a hard time keeping at it, or even starting.
While everyday may not be the most productive, you can do TWO things in these two hours that will help push your book to completion:
- As Gary Vaynerchuk says in this clip “Don’t create, DOCUMENT.” This is a great way to put NEW and INTERESTING things out, and give people a peek into your world.
- If you have a more focused approach to your creativity, or you don’t feel that documenting instead of creating is possible for your creation, follow Ann Handley’s advice from her book Everybody Writes of “Just get the TUFD down and out of the way.”
What’s TUFD? It’s The Ugly First Draft, the draft that no one is meant to see except for YOU. But the important thing is to get it down, edit, and improve it. Don’t sit there staring at a blank word processor or page. JUST WRITE. It’s one of the best things to accomplish in your lifetime.
(Hint: when it comes to YouTube or other video platforms, most people do not care if it looks “professional”. They’re there for the CONTENT and how it can help them. So again, GET STARTED, and GET IT OUT THERE! Just look at my first few videos, and compare them with the last. Get it out there! Put your best stuff out, and let people learn from you!)
10. Choose something that you’ve ALWAYS wanted to do, and work on it.
You need this to jolt you back to your childhood, to remember what it was that you’ve always wanted to do, but have kept putting off.
Let this list remind you that you that there are plenty of things to accomplish if you just spend two hours a day for two years.
Perhaps you have a number of things you want to achieve that will take a while. GO FOR IT! Get started today, and block two hours each and every day. Don’t let ANYTHING knock you off your path of achievement.
Consistency is King!