Why Everyone Needs a “Badass List” in 2019

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Welcome to 2019, friends! I hope you had a chance to celebrate and recharge the past few weeks — the year ahead is bound to be as busy as ever.

If you’re like me, you’ve already set out to conquer your New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately,  the odds are that all but 8 percent of us will fail.

The good news is that Fringe PD has a tool for precisely this scenario, a tool that works because it helps you communicate better with your No. 1 “trouble” audience: yourself. (And as we discussed in September, your inner dialogue is a powerful force.) The evidence you need to spark positive, lasting change can be found on what I like to call a “Badass List.”

Here’s How It Works

1. Start at the top. First, grab a sheet of paper and a pen. (Pro tip: Bright colors help with memory retention.) Write in big, bold letters anything you’ve done in your personal or professional life that you initially thought would be next-to-impossible. Maybe you ran a 5K. Maybe you asked your boss for a promotion. Maybe you reached your annual savings goal for retirement despite several unbeatable sales at Nordstrom.

2. Work your way down. Next, surround these big items in smaller text with achievements from moments when you were simply uncomfortable or dragged your feet. Maybe you delivered a knockout presentation, survived an awkward networking event, or set a tough boundary in a relationship.

3. Dig deeper. And when you think you’re all done, think harder. Ask your friends for ideas of a good #humblebrag. Scroll through your social media posts to jog your memory. That time you DIY sponge-painted your hall bathroom? Add it to the list!

4. Make it visible. Display your Badass List in a place that you check daily — somewhere only for you, such as your phone background, the corner of your desk calendar, or a folded card in your wallet.

5.  Make it useful. The final step is to practice turning to this list whenever that sinking feeling comes over you and you start this inner narrative: “I just don’t know how/don’t want to/don’t think I can do this.” Set weekly or quarterly email reminders if it helps.

Why It Works

A Badass List works because it frees you from the default thoughts of self-doubt, moving your mind from squishy speculation (“What am I feeling?”) to hard facts (“What do I know to be true?”). It provides you a daily reminder that you’ve stared down larger and smaller goals in the past … even if some kicking and screaming happened along the way.

The reality you shouldn’t forget is this: You did all those things on your Badass List. And you can do them again — and much more! Research shows that the highest achievers redefine success from a zero-sum game to a series of incremental progress. A journey’s end doesn’t always make itself known in a splashy, grandiose way. Sometimes only reflection shows how far you’ve traveled.

On a Personal Note

Because it’s the new year, I’ll pause to share a bit of personal inspiration: This time two years ago, Fringe PD didn’t even exist. After a reflective year-end trip, I finally worked up enough courage to squeeze out the following oh-so-eloquent words to a senior colleague: “I think I maybe wanna do this thing?”

But then that first conversation led to another. I created a plan. I tried many things out. I failed at some. I kept my own Badass List handy. I found what worked. That first conversation led to something greater than I could have imagined.

So, go ahead, set that ambitious 2019 resolution — you’ve got the badass credibility to make it happen, one step at a time.

How your “justs” aren’t doing justice to your reputation

Thank U, Next