Nathan Barry

On setting attainable 2024 goals

Published 5 months ago • 3 min read

Hey Reader,

“I’m tired of telling people I’m going to write these books…”

That's what I keep thinking to myself.

There are five books I’ve wanted to write for a long time. I even submitted the proposal for one back in 2018.

It hurts to say out loud, because 2018 was over half a decade ago.

Surprisingly, no one has written any of the books yet. I figured someone would have written a book on at least one of the topics by now. But since they haven’t, that means I still need to write them.

I have a goal I’m setting in 2024, but it’s not for the year.

When I was on Ali Abdaal’s podcast, he really liked the part where I talked about writing 1,000 words every day for 600 days in a row. I wasn’t trying to inspire him to write, I was just telling my story. Writing every day has been a huge catalyst for me.

But hearing me talk about it made Ali realize writing every day is an anchor habit he wants to establish as well.

I kept thinking about it in the weeks that followed that podcast recording. Writing was such a huge part of my life and how I got where I am today. Yet, I don’t consistently write anymore.

I decided I want to write every day in 2024.

I’ve done it before—and for much longer than a year.

But then I decided to make a tweak to the goal…

Instead of writing every day for a year, I’m going to write every day for a month. Just the month of January.

I will probably keep going if I hit my one-month goal, but instead of aiming for a full year of perfection, I’m setting a more attainable target. That way, I increase my chances of success and ability to create momentum.

I’m starting small to stack up wins.

I think writing every day is a great goal to set for yourself this year, but there’s one thing I wouldn’t copy about what I’m doing.

Derek Sivers has a fantastic piece of advice on this topic: keep your goals to yourself.

…people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen.

It feels good to tell people what you intend to accomplish. You get a bit of the same dopamine hit you would get when you accomplish a goal—but you get it in advance. Before you even start. This is especially true when you’re telling people about a goal that sounds impressive.

I’m obviously breaking this rule by telling you about my goal, but I’m okay with that because:

1) I’ve already written every day for 600 days, so telling you about writing every day for a month is nothing new or impressive for me.

2) I wanted to share how I’m simplifying my writing goal to encourage you to start small and build momentum with your new habits in 2024.


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How Ali Abdaal combines ConvertKit and YouTube to make $5 million in revenue

Speaking of Ali Abdaal, using ConvertKit and social media together, Ali and his team scaled to $5 million in revenue in two years, grew his list by hundreds of thousands, and gave Ali back the freedom to create on his own terms again.

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Read case study »


The Cuckoo's Egg

Based on a true story, this book follows a cyber detective who notices an accounting error that leads to the discovery of a spy named “Hunter” hiding in their computer systems.

He spends years tracking him down. This is a super fun read.

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Nathan Barry

I'm a designer who turned into a writer who turned into a startup CEO. My mission is to help creators earn a living. Subscribe for essays on building an audience and earning a living as a creator.

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