A teaspoon of discipline becomes a gallon of ownership.

It’s goal-setting season.

At the end of the year, everybody sets a bunch of really, really big goals. Really, really big goals take a tremendous amount of effort, patience, and humility.

Anytime I set really, really big goals, I ask myself, “what tiny thing can I do everyday to achieve this goal?”

Think small. Really small. Microscopic. Making your bed every morning. Cleaning your room every week. Writing 6 words in your journal. Reading half a page of Infinite Jest.

These are low bar goals.

Low bar goals are humbling. If you can’t find the teaspoon of discipline required to keep your bed tidy, good luck keeping a business together. Small goals shape you into the person you need to be to achieve your wildest dreams.

Low bar goals compound over time. A teaspoon of discipline becomes a gallon of ownership. Your tidy bed becomes that project you’ve always wanted to start, or that language you’ve always wanted to learn.

Low bar goals aren’t sexy. We don’t like telling our friends about low bar goals because they’re not fun. Cleaning your room every week? Making your bed? Yawn. You don’t want to start a six-figure business this year? Or make a million bucks? You just want to clean your room? That’s it? What happened to your ambition?

Don’t buy into that crap. You’re as ambitious as ever. Except you’re not a dramatist. Instead of romanticizing how sweet your life would be if you were Mr/Ms. Perfect, low bar goals teach you to put in the work, day after day.

2 thoughts on “ I’m setting the bar really, really low this year. ”

  1. Oh I think this Atomic Habits thing has the inverse effect. I too have been operating off the lowest bars, and I can read Chinese now that I’ve tried memorising just two characters a day for over a year. I’ve also written a novel on the low goal of 250 words a day.

    So yeah, wishing you all the best for 2021, and I have no doubt you’re going to crush all that you set out to do with this method!


    1. Thanks for that, Stuart. I’ve never read Atomic Habits, I know what it’s about, and I couldn’t help but think that this sounds a lot like that book from what people have told me. Wishing you a great 2021 as well!


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