My 30-Day New Year’s Challenge To You: Create A New Habit That Moves You Towards a Big Goal

Hi everyone,

As part of the Asia Tech Class, we are doing a 30-day New Year’s Challenge. The idea is to create a new habit that moves you towards a big goal.

Here’s my challenge to you:

1) Choose a big, inspiring goal that you are excited about – and that you can accomplish in about a year.

This could be running a marathon, getting to the next level in a language, learning a complicated skill (digital strategy or valuation), saving up money or whatever. It could be career-related. It can be financial. It can be about exercise. It can be about acquiring a new skill.

But choose something that gets you excited. And that can be accomplished in about a year. Nothing so big that it’s not likely.

2) Translate this goal into a daily habit.

For learning a language, this could be memorizing 20 words per day.

For running a marathon, this could be running 30 minutes per day.

For saving $20k, it could be cutting out 3-4 expenses (like going to Starbucks and stopping impulse shopping). Or it could be working a side job 2-3 hours per day.

For skills, it could be learning something like digital strategy (i.e., this class).

But translate your big dream into a daily habit that you can make progress on goal every day. And daily habits are a good leading indicator for what most people accomplish in life.

3) Also, identify one negative habit and stop doing it.

This part is easier. Just think of something you do that “turns people off”. And then stop doing it.

It could be ignoring phone calls, sending out curt emails, etc. It could be snapping at people when you’re frustrated. Just think of something you know is not a great habit and stop doing it for one month.

4) Do your new daily habit for one month. That is the challenge.

In reality, you can take the weekends off. So we’re really talking about Monday-Friday for one month which is 20 days. But that is usually enough time to create a new habit in your life that you will stick with later.

Over the next month, do your daily habit Monday to Friday. And I think you will be surprised by your progress. You will also (hopefully) see that accomplishing your big goal is doable. It’s just a matter of persistence.


That’s it. That’s my challenge to you. Here is a short video talking more about it.

And I’m doing the challenge with you.

My daily habit is to do a valuation of a company every day for a month, without using a computer. This is how Warren Buffett does it (although he doesn’t use a calculator either). And I really want to get my skills up to that higher level (hence the photo). And this daily habit moves me toward my big goal of being a great investor that can value companies off the top of his/her head.

For my negative habit, I’m going to stop sending out any emails in the morning. For some reason, I can be a bit snippy in the morning. And every now and then I send out a curt email in the morning that I regret later. So no more morning emails.

Feel free to email me your goal and habit. And we will talk about progress over the next month during the class. It helps when you do things like this together.

That’s it. I challenge you to do this with me. It’s 30 days and it starts this next Monday the 13th.

Happy New Year to everyone!!! Onward and upwards in 2020.



I write and speak about digital China and Asia’s latest tech trends.

Please join my executive education course on China’s tech leaders and Asian digital competition. There is a 30-day free trial.

  • This online class offers:
    • A weekly lecture you can listen to as a podcast at the gym or in the car or wherever.
    • A weekly article with more in-depth material.
    • 2-3 weekly updates on what’s happening digital China / Asia.
  • This class requires only 90 minutes per week which can be done mostly via a podcast available at iTunes and Himalaya.

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