Start a Fire

For years, I’d been obsessed with anything shiny and new in the field of personal productivity. Whether it was the latest research, an inspiring TED talk or some business guru’s newest book, I ate it up. With each new technique, I was reignited. My path was clear, there was a fire in my belly. But, it never lasted.

Something was clearly missing. Why did I still have an unfinished book gathering dust in the bottom of my desk drawer? Why would a trick that once worked so well, fail me now?

Years later, a conversation with BJ Fogg, a behavior scientist at Stanford University, sent me right back to the drawing board. I took a fresh look at the material I had amassed over years of research, and there it was.

Tactics without strategy = failure. BJ’s research has found that no matter who you are, your motivation comes in waves. Without the structure provided by a cohesive strategy or routine, you simply can’t hope to make progress when, for whatever reason, motivation retreats. Worse yet, you might find yourself mired in emotional quicksand—finding it harder and harder to drag yourself forward.

This choose-your-own-adventure style guide will help you build your strategy—the day to day routines that will power you up and keep you moving forward.