The 1000 Day Wheel

Think about if your life changed permanently by one tenth of one percent per day. In a thousand days, you would have a full revolution of change.

If you could barter your way to self improvement, there is a rather good chance that you would.

One of the major reasons why people do not accomplish long projects is a perceived lack of time.

Primarilly, people will say that they simply do not have time. The better truth is that they do not have a plan to manage that time.

Just The Facts

  1. Go ahead and assume that life is going to change whether you want it to or not.
  2. Given the assumption that life can and will change, imagine that at least some of that change is under your control.
  3. If change is inevitable and change is under your control, then theoretically you can do most anything.

The Thousand Day Wheel And Five Thousand Hour Goals

If you tell someone that you wrote a novel, then they will generally ask how you ever found the time in order to write it. This is a fair question. A novel will generally run about 75,000 words give or take a few thousand. No one one can actually sit down and write 75,000 words. They cannot in one stretch at the very least. However, lets assume that life actually is going to change about one tenth of one percent a day. Something about your routine will change. People will die. People will be born. People will advance. All of these things will happen. You lead a busy life and you certainly have no time to write a novel.

Want to know a secret? No one who ever wrote a novel had the time to write one. They also never saw it as writing 75,000 words. Have you ever written something and then went to tools and checked the word count? Lets say that life does a complete revolution every thousand days that you are completely unable to stop. Lets say that you want to write a novel. That equals out to writing about 750 words a day. In short, about two pages considering what font you are writing in.

Ok, some fonts are a little different than others. If you wrote only 750 words per day, then you can have 75,000 words in a little under three years. That may seem like a long time, but how long have you been thinking about writing it anyway? How long have you made absolutely no progress on the idea? I am just using writing a novel as an example. Lets think that you can accomplished anything you wanted if you put in 5000 dedicated hours to the proposition. At the very least you would have an excellent idea as to whether it was something that could move on or not. if your goal is to get into shape, is all 24 hours of the day so completely booked that one can not be spared to walk outside if it is a stated goal? If you can plan out 24 hours a day that effectively, then if you are not exercising an hour a day it is simply not a goal that you have in mind. The trick is the phrase dedicated hours. If you have goals what time are you dedicating (no matter how small) to the accomplishment of that goals. For instance, lets say that you want to go to Hawaii and work a job for about 15 dollars an hour. Lets say furthermore that you have figured the trip would cost 5 grand to accomplish.

Nice idea, you may think but its also impossible. At 15 dollars an hour, then getting to 5 grand in 1000 days worked would take 333 hours. If you work five days a week at a full time job, then you are working 260 days out of the year. That means that you would have 1000 working days in a little under four years. Before you gasp, how many four year periods have you worked with absolutely nothing to show for it. By that math, you can have your trip in about four years. Out of every two week pay period, you would have to save 50 dollars into a savings account. In short, one and two thirds hours that you work per week would be specifically dedicated to doing your dream trip at some point and time during the next presidential administration. All would be accomplished in 1000 working days. With interest in a savings account, it would more than likely all go a little bit quicker. Think of it this way. 90 minutes is an hour and a half. If you worked an average of 12 minutes more a day beyond your regular shift and only saved the overtime from that hour, then you could have the sunshine and wonderment that a comfortable 5 grand could make a trip happen. All you would need is an extra 12 minutes a day for four years. That is how you start to spin the thousand day wheel.

Aren't there things that you just will not accomplish? You mean, say that your goal is to become an NBA basket ball player, can't you spend forever trying to accomplish that goal and not make it? Then what? Well, on that particular one, you would have to start young but that is where the 5000 hour limit comes in. It will probably be too late for people reading this specifically but lets say a kid started playing basketball with the specific goal of playing NBA basketball. We will start our proverbial kid off at seven. Lets say that he averages working on his game 2 hours a day for five days a week. At that rate, 5000 hours will come sometime around the time in which he 17. At that point, someone will have informed our mythical player whether he or she actually has the potential to play professionally and on what level. Once you have established a goal, then start a spread sheet. if you need money for it, every hour that you work and saved the money from that goal is an hour off your five thousand. Every hour that you spend actually working on it, then that is an hour off. Most goals will take no where near that long...

For instance, I wanted to take my family to the Gettysburg battlefield. From where I am currently, Gettysburg is about two hours away. It took two hours to get there and two hours to get back. We were there about 8 hours. The tickets to the event we went to that day were about 150 and I would say that we spent easily another 200 hundred while we were there. if I was deducting hours off fo a spreadsheet plus a good 40 dollars for gas, it would go like this. The total time spent getting there, staying there and coming back was 12 hours. The four hundred bucks takes me about 26 hours to earn. Lets round up and call it 40 hours total. Considering we are talking about a life goal. In terms of a life long goal, that is not even a drop in the bucket of a five thousand hour limit.

But how do you determine those goals that are really important to you? Use your imagination and utilize Get Smart's Cone of Silence. Lets say that you imagine that you are places in a cone with no contact to the outside world. All there is is you, your goals and whatever other selfish desire you may possess. Just you. No one else. No one else's imput. Now think about it, if that was the case, who would you be? Where would you live? What would you be doing with your life? What type of relationship would you like to be in? Who are you if you strike a cane to the ground and find yourself holding Thor's hammer? Who are you if something happened that wound you up in this world in which you were never meant to be? Now, write every detail of it down. Go ahead, I don't care if it is pen to paper or a Google Doc. Write it down. Now, step out of the Cone? What is preventing you from doing any of that? If the answer is simply 'I don't have time.' Then how much time can you dedicate daily to the goal. If the answer is that 'such and such or so and so is more important to me than this and I already have that.' then guess what? It is a secondary thing to you and you can cross if off of the list. Now, you at least know why you never did it and can honestly say that you are happy with the decision. That can actually be a very important realization as well. Everything that you do and accomplish in this life is a dedcication of time. Whether you turn that time into money or deeds or whatever, it is a dedication of time. If your goal is to be the greatest Warcraft player to ever have turned the Lich King into a dinner table, then be honest about it and figure out your dedication of time to do it up to and including the people that you are willing to give up in your life in order to accomplish it. Speaking of which....

Why do people stay in terrible relationships which do nothing but bring them down?

The most general reason is beyond kids, or money, don't want to go through a divorce is that so much time has already been invested in the relationship that they would hate to lose that. Time once spent is already lost. Its cement that is set. It can be cracked or broken. It can be remade into something useful but you can never actually get time back. You can calculate relationships in two different ways. If you have given it a thousand days and it has not essentially progressed, then you can feel pretty safe feeling that you got all that you can out of it. Or, you can figure out the time spent on the relationship. Lets be fair on this one. You are not spending 24/7 actually working on your relationships. Lets go ahead and give you credit for 8 hours of sleep a night and 8 hours of some sort of work on someone's part for the day. That gives you a maximum or 8 hours a day or 16 hours on a weekend to be completely into your signifigant other spending time working on your relationship. Under that math, Thats about 2900 hours a year if you never ever take a break from each other when not sleeping or not working. Subtract me time and everything else that can take you away from people and that number will go down signifigantly. We'll average it all out at a healthy level of about a 1000 hours per year. Wouldn't you agree that 5 years is about the apporiate amount of time to fully take an honest account on whether a relationship is going to work or not.

What do you wnat to do?

What do you want to accomplish?

Who do you want to be?

How could you advance all of that with as little as an hour a day?