Do one good thing for yourself every single day.
-Geoffrey Woo

Today's focus is: "doing one good thing for yourself every single day."

It's been a crazy 2020. I know that potentially a lot of you guys have been super, super busy, stressed out with just keeping things afloat, keeping loved ones, alive, healthy, all of that. So whether it's super, super productive, busy on the positive end, or just really, really slammed and stress on the negative end, we're all being stretched a little bit thin, given this the crazy context of us living in this historical time period. So more than ever is important to focus on doing one good thing for yourself every single day.

I'm going to give you a little bit of framework on how I think a lot of time allocation and then tips to focus and then the rationale why doing just one good thing a day, every single day is such a good habit. And this is really engendered by so many questions, comments, thoughts that you guys have sent me along the lines of saying, "Hey, I'm a mom. I have children. I'm super busy. I can't even like think about adding new things like fasting, switching to a ketogenic diet, improve my metabolic health, where I'm just trying to stay afloat, taking care of kids, taking care of a sick husband, taking care of sick parents."

And I 100% get that. And this is why having some, a priority framework. Some thoughts helps us think through the problem in a rational way so then we can from that baseline execute and self-actualize.

(1) So I'm going to start with one way in terms of how I think about time allocation and then, (2) why I think doing one good thing a day is so important as a habit. And then (3) even if that one good thing a date is so almost trivial at one time, why doing that thing over a long period of time is so powerful. So those are the 3 concepts I want to focus around why I think doing one good thing for yourself every single day.


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So let’s start with just general framework on how to think about time allocation. And this is relatively simple. I think there's just mainly 2 ways in which all of us spend our time. There are type one expenditures of time, which is being a responsible human being, that's a contributing member of society. So these are just like table stakes of being a non-delinquent human being. So this is having a job, this is at the most basic level, just trading your time for a salary, for a wage and turning that wage into food, water, shelter, basic animal necessities. You've got to do that, not just table stakes of being a part of a society. You got to offer something to the world that people will return some value for because you know, people will only pay you if you're offering some value to the other person and you can then go and then convert that money into food, water shelter, or these are things like, Hey, you know, you're a parent, you gotta take care of your kid, or you have an elderly parent that is sick or they can't take it themselves, or you've got family members or close friends who just aren't in a position to help themselves. If you're just not sociopathic, you gotta take care of them. Right? I think I grew up in a very strong cultural value system where you take care of your own.

So to me, those are just basic humanity level requirements. Gotta take care of yourself and you gotta take care of your loved ones. These are table stakes, that's category one. And then category two are things that you do for yourself, these are things that are your ambitions, your goals, your dreams, and this could be different for all of us. And this I think is really the spice variety. The beauty of life, all of us have different interests, predilections goals, ambitions, and those are the types of people that I want to explore this world with people that are figuring out how to be the best, the most interesting in their field of inquiry.

So this can be as ambitious as, “Hey, I want to create a new business, idea of a new interesting concept. I want to create a new theory around quantum gravity.” This could be, I have a passion around this business concept that is not really well fleshed out in existing economic environment. I think can add value to the world, or this could be something as creative as you know, creating music, I want to get really good at piano guitar. I want to be a Tiktok creator, I want to create a YouTube channel and create a podcast or something as simple and as self-fulfilling and equally as valuable and equally as beautiful as just spending awesome quality time with your family. As simple as drinking hot cocoa in a cold winter night with your family, just pondering and reflecting on good times, good memories and things they want to do with your loved ones.

And I consider these things type 2 or things that bring us joy, bring us happiness in our lives, right? Table stakes 1, is just like basic responsibilities to take care of yourself and, and take care of your loved ones that are in need. And then category two stuff is things that bring you joy. That might be another, just a more simple, more visceral way of putting this. So all of us allocate time in these two buckets, right? Some of us have to spend more time in category 1. Some of us are lucky and more fortunate we can spend more time in category 2, but we all make this trade off and I know a lot of us just are bogged down in category 1 and the encouragement. And I think the beauty of life is that even if we are stuck and have to fight through category1, always do one thing that helps you build onto category2.

And why I think this is so important is because if we don't live for ourselves, don't live for our dreams, I think that is the downside of our current culture, our current society, the coldness, the competitiveness of just straight capitalism, which I think is very, very effective for growing societal GDP, for creating progress is really great for the whole societal system. It's not necessarily optimal for each of us individually. And what I mean by this is that while competition selects for the best outcome for our entire group, there are winners and losers. And sometimes people just cannot compete, and I think a lot of people are in this transition of this economy. This is very interesting period of our history of our economy, where there are a lot of people that are just trying to completely play around in category 1 and are not, self-actualizing not finding any joy in their existence and it's somewhat reflected in just if you look a lot of sociology polls, a lot of people are just unhappy.

And I think that that's a problem that we, as a society, we, as a community, need to help each other out to figure it out. Now let's fully transition into the topic 2 or concept 2, which is why it's so valuable to do something, anything, one good thing that fits into our self-actualization goals. These self-actualization goals can be as simple as I want to be more fit. I know that a lot of the listeners to my podcast here, we always talk about human performance, getting more fit, improving our longevity. And I think these are all very, very valuable goals, right? I think when a lot of people ask me, like, how do I get more efficient or do I prioritize my time to get the best bang for the buck? And oftentimes it's just getting started. I think the biggest thing that I've seen that is a big flaw is that a lot of us spend time just researching passively, absorbing all this information, but we just never, where do the first step of doing something to get that flywheel started?

So for example, some of you has asked me, like, how do we even get started in a workout routine? I'm quarantined, I'm just stuck in my room, I'm a little depressed, It's tough to get outside, I'm busy with work. I have all these responsibilities. I don't have time to do anything to improve my fitness. I call. You can do one pushup. You can go down on the floor right now and do a pushup by our listening to me, talk to you. And that's all I'm asking, do one good thing for yourself every single day. And if it just one pushup, that is awesome. If it just going outside, take a walk around the block and just getting some fresh air, getting some sun just commit to doing that one good thing. It takes five minutes to take a loop around your block. It takes literally two seconds to do one push-up just do that step. And what I found is that just taking that first step is the hardest that activation energy is so expensive. It's so hard to get started. Once you take that first step, it just is almost autopilot. You just realize that it's so doable that you do two pushups. You do three pushups, you do five pushups and you realize it's actually not that much time. And even when I've been super busy this week and the last few weeks, even if I can't do like dedicated workouts, I'll just do and get down on the ground and just do 20, 50, a 100 pushups. And over that course of the day, right when I have like a five minute break, I'll get up to 500 pushups a day. And that's like a pretty phenomenal workout. Even if I'm not like actually doing a workout, I don't have access to my gym anymore, cause San Francisco shut down all the gyms again.

So I challenge you. If you don't think you can do one good thing a day, I call it bullshit. You can do one good thing for yourself. Fitness is obviously, I would say very, very easy, but let's move on to other things that you might want to be thinking about events, a little bit of mental fitness or meditation. Just take five minutes and sit by herself and just breathe. You have five minutes. I mean, you listen to my podcast. I mean, even this Free Fatty Friday's going to be like a 15, 20, 25 minute 30 minute thing. You can take five minutes for yourself after you listened to my podcast to just think and reflect and breathe, trying to learn a music instrument, play a few chords on your guitar. Play a few lines on the piano.

We were looking to start a new business, code one line of code, email one vendor if you want to make a new magic widget, email one vendor that can help you make it email one partner that can help you market. It just do one good thing a day, every single day. And again, I think you will realize that it's actually very doable that we can find five minutes or 24 hours a day to do that one good thing a day. Now I think we could get overwhelmed. I'm just asking for one, don't try to do seven. Just start with one. I think a lot of us who are really ambitious, we're like, it's not good enough. I ended running marathon. I need to do a hundred pushups or any do a hundred pushups and fast and eat ketogenic diet and start a new business at the same time. No, no, no, no, no, no. Don't do that. That's wrong. Do one good thing a day. And I think that gratitude to yourself of giving yourself the room to really grow into that. Especially if we're so busy and there's so much demands that are being pulled from our energy, just do one good thing, but just prioritize that one good thing. It could be your prioritizing fitness. It could be your prioritizing mental resilience. It could be just like pirates and family time. Just spending five minutes to call your mom 10 minutes, call your dad 30 minutes to hang out with your child and ask them about their day and help them do their full homework. Just write down in the list. What is your priority and focus on one good thing a day about it. And I think as you get into this pattern, you build this habit. And if you recall, from my last Free Fatty Friday, I talk about building really positive loops. I talk about don't play stupid games. You because you win a stupid prize. The inverse of that is play great games, win a great prize. So essentially this is kind of the inverse. You are training yourself to make it expected behavior, to practice that one, pushup, that one five minute meditation or breathing period, that one conversation with your loved one, that one email, that one little brick that you put into your business concept. And the great thing is that this compounds over time, and this goes into the beauty of how I've seen all of this workout, which is that you have to have a little bit of faith and trust in that once you get started and you're consistent every single day, these efforts that might look very linear or very, very basic or very rare, just tacky and Mickey mouse and junior varsity. If you do this long enough, I promise you it is astounding how much this value compounds over a long period of time.

One of the realizations that I've learned and really just focused on in my career, in my lifetime so far is realizing that even if you increment and improve on a daily basis a little bit over time, that's a linear function, right? You spend one minute extra every single day on your self-actualization, it's a linear function, right? Like you're not getting like exponential more time. You're just only spending one minute, a day or five minutes a day or 10 minutes a day, whatever that minute may be. But the fact that you slowly compound what I've realized, which is the magic sauce, which is like the mind blowing, I think secret of the universe is that the reward is not linear. The development is not linear.

So what I mean by that is the outcome of linear improvement is not a linear reward. It's an exponential reward for linear improvement. So that might be a little bit mathematical, maybe a little bit of shack. I'll give you a little bit more tangible example for sports fans out there say there's a thousand basketball players. There's probably less, but let's just keep it the math easy. Say there's a thousand tennis players thousand basketball players. The top 1% is the top 10, right? So you could say, Hey, top 1%. All of them are equally assessable. All them are equally recognized, equally wealthy, equally famous, but that's not true. Even if they're in the top 1%, the number one player is exponentially more famous, more wealthy, more successful in a number 10 player. Like I don't know who the number 10th tennis player is. I know who the number 10 basketball player is, but I kind of know who LeBron James is. And I haven't been following tennis to be honest, but you know, I know who Roger Federer is. I know who Rafael Nadal is. I have no idea who the number 10 tennis player is. And it's just like, that is how the world works. Like you know who the number one social network is. You know what Facebook is? I have no idea what the number 10 social network is. You know who the number one podcaster is not. A lot of people knew who I am. I'm not even in the top 10 I'm way down the list, right? And it's like, you know, a lot of people know who Joe Rogan is, a lot of people know who Tim Ferriss and they have exponentially bigger followings than someone like myself. Who's in like the top 50, right? So these are power law results for linear improvements.

So that's the magic. That's the faith that you needed to follow, which is that if you work incrementally every single day and you don't quit, at some point, you will hit a power law inflection and you'll see the rewards of your hard work actually pay off. So that's why don't just say, Hey, one push of the day is Mickey mouse. I'm saying worth my time. I'm saying no, do this for a year, do this for two years. You're going to be banging out a thousand pushups in a day. I guarantee you, if you can stick to just doing one pushup for a day, every single day, at some point it's gonna be, Hey, this is too easy. I can do two pushups in two seconds. I can do five pushups in three seconds. I can do 10 pushups in five seconds. And then you'll realize that, Hey, you actually have the energy, the strength you pull up so much more skill and resiliency that you actually compound.

And then another tip that is not obvious that I've realized in my career is that fine people that are following the same journey as you and have a pure support group. We're all social creatures. We all have similar types of goals, right? Like I know there's a lot of people that want to do startups. There's a lot of people that want to be Tiktok stars allow people that want to be really, really fit. We're not that unique, right? So all of us are on the shared journey. All of us have some sort of shared goals, not to say that you are not special. It's saying that there are some set of goals that some other nice human in the world, it has a similar goal has a similar focus. As you find them, have them in you're not going to say, Hey, I want to be a space rocket person. I want to just be a musk friend. Find someone that's at your level, right? Like I'm not hanging out with Joe Rogan, but like find someone at my level and just like be accountability partners, figure out how to challenge yourself and share notes and grow with them. That's a very powerful tip, right? Like find people that are at your level, focusing on the same self-actualization goals and just share notes, be very, very open, be vulnerable. That's how you learn quicker. That's how you actually gain value from your actual friends.

Another quick tip that I've realized is that there are these senior people that have been there done that these mentors, these wise men and woman who been there and done that. And what I've realized is that, that these people like to help up and comers, but you can't come into the conversation in just saying, Hey, help me. You have to come into the conversation and saying, Hey, I've done X XYZ. I've made progress in ABC. Here are the things I've learned DEF, what do you think? What I've realized? And I've been in a position of where I've been able to help and coach and mentor some younger up and comers is that I like to spend time with the people that are actually are helping themselves. Right? Think about it. You don't want to be a babysitter, like life's too busy to just babysit, but you like to share and brainstorm and riff with other people that are passionate in servicing up and exploring with you. So to find mentors, the find advisors, the find coaches is not to say, woe is me, help me out, sir or ma'am, it's present all the work and then people will want to help you.

So those are some of the key tips here, which is that you want to find a pure group that is at the same level, that is finding the same path of same journey. And then 2, to actually find mentors that are a little bit advanced on the path, then you actually show them your progress, show them your work.

So that hopefully is helpful in terms of just giving you a little bit of kick in the butt or a kick in the pants in terms of inspiring you to do one good thing for yourself every single day. To the final tip that I’ll leave with you here is that I always like to think of visualizing yourself as this best possible version of you, right? Like this goal, ideal lies version of you act like that version of yourself, work on some aspect of that future self of yours every single day.

Even if it's just doing one push-up even if just like doing one little tiny micro task to get you one step closer and do this every single day for as long as possible. And I promise you, you will compound and you will get there. The only thing that can stop you is that if someone makes you quit, if you quit, you stop, you don't improve or you die, right? Like literally if you can compound 0.001% over a billion years, you will get to some giant result that is just mathematics. The only way you can stop, the only way you fail is if you die, if you stop, if you quit. So just by mathematics, if we don't quit, you don't stop. You're consistent and you have infinite time. So you want to live as long as possible. Then you will hit that compounding exponential level.

So let's get started today. Last thought I've said that again, but I'm going to say it. This is a lot of little know little gems in my brain right now. So I'm gonna leave. I promise. This is the last thought I like this proverb, I believe was a Chinese proverb. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. Second best time is now.”

So hopefully you take this as a call to action, to do one good thing for yourself, starting today, where let's do one pushup, where thats create one Tiktok video, where that's to practice an instrument, pull it out of the drawer or calling your parents, whatever the thing that brings you, joy, whatever thing, that's a high part of the thing that you want to focus on. Do that now, right after we wrap up on this podcast, do that one thing. You have five minutes to just do one thing and use that as the anchor point to start point where you can compound on that every single day.

If you think this is useful, if you've comments, feedback, improvements to my framework, leave the comments below or email me, engage with me on Twitter. Instagram at @geoffreywoo. I read all the comments. You can email me at podcast@hvmn.com. Thanks so much! I do want to give you guys a Christmas gift. It's a super special 10% discount on Keto Food Bars are brand new, super awesome Keto Food Bars, 10% discount – Geoff10 discount code only for podcast subscribers. Use my special personal link on HVMN.com. Check on the Keto Food Bars.

Until then Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays, whatever holiday that you practice. Happy, Merry Holiday to you. I'll talk to you next week. I'll talk to you very soon. Peace out! All Love.