What you can achieve in 10 years

You overestimate what you an achieve in a year and underestimate what you can achieve in 10 years.

  • When we set new years resolutions, we set a deadline for ourselves, which is 1 year. (often it’s 2 months, because after that we tend to give up).

  • As humans that are now quite accustomed to short term rewards over long term, we want results sooner rather than later.

  • It’s hard for us to realise and accept that small activities done consistently is much easier to maintain and continue than large changes in one sudden go.

  • We are creatures of habit - changing them takes effort and TIME.

  • If you look back to where you were 10 years ago, a LOT has probably changed without you consciously trying.

What is possible to achieve in 10 years?

It’s pretty simple math. You multiply an effort, no matter how small, by the frequency you will have done something for 10 years.

I'm on track to read 52 books this year. In 10 years, I’ll have read 520 books.

I try to exercise or be active 2-3 times a week. In 10 years, I’ll have done 1300 workouts.

I try to complete a small-to-medium creative side projects about once every two months. In 10 years, that’s a portfolio of 60 projects; far more than actually goes into a polished portfolio required for a job interview.

I study a new language, putting in about 1-2 hours a week. In 10 years, I’ll have studied that language for 780 hours.

In one year, we always overestimate what is possible to change/transform. In extreme cases it’s possible, but you need resources, time and considerable motivation. Without all these driving forces, it can be incredibly hard to build new habits or make changes that you want to make.

Instead of focussing on what you want to achieve in a year, which could be extremely difficult, think 10 years ahead. Think about how each small step you make will accumulate and build (sometimes exponentially for some things) and how much of a positive change all that accumulated effort will make. It will make it a bit easier to get out of bed and go to the gym, to cook that extra meal once a week or to cut out that extra cup of coffee. 10x anything makes it seem a lot bigger and that will help motivate you to do something, no matter how small it is.