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How to Get Ahead While Everyone Else Takes A Holiday Break

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How to Get Ahead While Everyone Else Takes A Holiday Break

There’s a disturbance in the Force. The weather is getting colder. Winter is setting in. The holiday season is soon upon us.

I’ve found that there are primarily two types of people that emerge when the holiday haze hits. Which one are you?

Type #1 is the 99%. They are “The Sheep.”

By December 1st, The Sheep are already “mentally checked” out. They might be here physically, but their minds are roasting chestnuts over an open fire. Dude…it’s December,” they’ll tell you.

The Sheep have plenty of big goals that they’re hoping to accomplish in 2016. (I mean, who doesn’t?) But right now, all that stuff is on the back burner. For them, December means it’s time for champagne at work. Time for gorging on an ungodly amount of pastries, moving up a pants size and snuggling on the couch with “bae” to watch that awesome claymation Rudolph movie. And I get it.

Going on mental cruise control around the holidays doesn’t sound like such a bad idea for most people. I think we can all relate. But inevitably, a sinking feeling begins to develop. Right in your core. It starts very subtly, when you look back at 2015 goals and realize, “Damn…I didn’t really accomplish what I set out to do this year.” “It’s ok,” you tell yourself. “New Year, New Me. Right? I’ll get a fresh start in January.”

So you set new resolutions to get even MORE done in 2016. It feels good to envision yourself following through. Maybe you even write some things down. Deep down inside, though, you know nothing has really changed.

You don’t really have a plan for getting from where you are to where you want to be — and in your heart-of-hearts, as much as it hurts you to admit it, you wouldn’t exactly be surprised if December 2016 left you feeling just as unsatisfied as this year.

So you kinda just bury your expectations in food and embrace the holiday slump. It’s a nice six-ish weeks of self-induced, “I’ll deal with it after New Years” bliss. But on a core level, it’s an agonizing cycle of self-defeat. That’s how 99% of the population spends their holiday season. That’s what happens to sheep. If that’s happened to you, or is happening to you, I’m not criticizing you. I’ve been there too. But there’s another way.

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” – Henry Ford

Type #2 is the 1%. “The Hustlers”

On the outside, Hustlers seem like anomalies whose massive success can’t be explained with logic. They’re like “glitches” in the system. Remember that scene in the Matrix, when Neo walks through the crowd of sober worker bees all dressed in black and spots an elegant blonde in a red cocktail dress? The effect is jarring. These hustlers stand out like a sore thumb.

These are the people who set out to accomplish MASSIVE goals every single year — and not only CRUSH those goals,but surpass them. I know you’ve seen them.

Maybe you’re reading Forbes and catch a glimpse of some young, brilliant entrepreneur in his twenties who’s making billions with an app he developed in his dorm room. Or perhaps it’s the newest junior executive at your job, who despite being with the company for less time than you, has already put herself on track to become a partner (Meanwhile, your boss just rejected your request for a raise. Ouch.)

These seemingly extraordinary people pop up on social media too. How many times have you had to look at friends-of-friends taking selfies from Fiji as you agonize over which formula to use in an Excel spreadsheet? It just doesn’t seem fair. “Who ARE these people…and what are they doing that I’m not?”

It’s easy to look at outstanding people doing incredible work and think of them as outliers. They must be freaks of nature. Not “one of us.” Unusually gifted, uncharacteristically lucky. Probably have rich parents. Born with better facial structure. Ugh. The unfairness would be depressing if it wasn’t so intriguing. HOW ARE THEY DOING IT?    

At the end of the day, you can come up with all sorts of reasons why the “chosen few” should see massive success while you sit on the sidelines, fighting for the scraps with the rest of the population. You can even choose to hate them because of their success. OR you could simply decide to become one of them. But to do that, you’re going to have to STEP UP YOUR GAME.

I’d like to invite you to undertake The 13-Month Year.

“If it is important to you you will find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.” – Ryan Blair

What is The 13-Month Year?

The 13-Month Year is how true Hustlers get ahead. More than anything, someone living a 13-Month Year says: “Screw the norm. I don’t care that everyone else is taking the holidays off. I’m about to turn the rocket boosters ON.”

While your friends and colleagues are winding down, getting fat and singing carols, you’re grinding through the holidays. You’re starting your year early and you get an entire “bonus” month in 2016 to figure things out without wasting time. You’re working out all the kinks in your plans so that come January 1st, while everyone else is sobering up and crawling back to the office, you’re already well into the groove. THAT’S how winners kill the game.

This isn’t another played out New Year’s Resolution that you’ll sweep under the rug in a few weeks, quietly embarrassed. This is a proven strategy for success.

If you want to get in better shape, maybe you’ll use that extra month to start your workout routine and diet plan early. You’d be appalled how empty the gym is in December. Only Hustlers are gettin’ it in. Perfect. If you want to start a business, maybe that extra month is used to begin testing your ideas early and identify where to focus your efforts so that you already have momentum and clarity going into 2016.

Now here’s the catch: THIS STUFF IS IT NOT EASY. I’m just going to put that out on front street right now. I’m not here to sell you dreams. I’m not a guru. I’m just Daniel. I’m not a millionaire (yet). I’m not perfect. I’m not all-knowing. But I HAVE figured some stuff out that can help you. And the more I hang out with people who are MUCH more successful than me, the more I realize that success is not an accident. It’s not luck.

A big part of getting ahead is the ability to focus while other people are distracted. So I want to help you get focused. Not in January. Right now.

Are you going to start the 13 month year this year? Let me know your plans in the comment section below!

Daniel DiPiazza is the Founder of Rich20Something, where he writes about starting a business you care about, living a happier life, and occasionally, bacon. If you liked this article, be sure to join the Tribe by signing up for his free newsletter.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Erica

    Jul 30, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you for the inspiration! it’s the motivation word I needed 🙂

  2. Dipen

    Feb 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Very inspiring article….it truly works 🙂

  3. Abood Alamoudi

    Dec 24, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Beautiful article Daniel, I am the type 2.
    I already started my 13-month year early this December and by Jan 2016 I will be hustling more and more.

    I enjoyed it well done bro

  4. Julian Saldierna

    Nov 24, 2015 at 4:09 am

    I already have the months of December and January planned out on my planner. I find it easier to stick to a routine if I can see it on paper and track my progress.

  5. Ben Jagmann

    Nov 23, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Great article, Daniel! Thanks for sharing this. Similar attitude hear at this end: I am visiting home (Germany) later this year. Looking at the long-haul flight from Australia I am getting excited about how much time I will have on this flight to work hard on my passion, whilst others binge watch the latest movies.

  6. Silvia Turon

    Nov 21, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Daniel, I really enjoy reading your article. It feels real. Thank you

  7. Timo Fischer

    Nov 20, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I am type 2.. Today I woke up at 04:00am wrote an article, did bodyweight exercises, did a 5km run and took a cold shower after that, all before it was 07:00am. No excuses. And that isn’t to different from my normal routine.

  8. Ernie Ayon

    Nov 19, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    BAM! Well said Daniel! I would write a longer reply but I gotta get back to work. Hustle hard in 2016 everyone!

  9. Gabriel Docarmo

    Nov 19, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Love this article man! Very motivational great job. True hustlers definitely appreciate these words because they’re true!

  10. Peter Banerjea

    Nov 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Amazing post Daniel!
    I have worked for a few hours on Christmas day for the past 3 years. Your post just reminded me to do the same this year!
    Lets get that edge.
    Cheers,
    Peter

  11. Keanon K. Williams

    Nov 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I actually have two MASSIVE plans going into 2016. One is to release my app and the other is to start my business with my partner.

    This post just gave me that extra motivation to put as much work in during the December holiday as I possibly can.

  12. Nick Scuderi

    Nov 15, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I love this article and how it shines light on how society really is. Most are lazy and only a select few step up and actually do anything. Others look at them like they are weird and how they work too hard. Well I’m one of those people that want to work too hard and find success rather than follow others and achieve little to nothing. I want to be seen as strange or odd because the routine of society simply doesn’t work and I’m glad I found that out at a young age. Success stands up while others sit down.

  13. Jonny Benson

    Nov 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Could not be more accurate Daniel!
    Speaking from experience, the 13th month idea really works. 2014-2015 was when I’d had enough of my rut. Out of shape, overdraft city, and still pining about the student life I had just left behind. Using December just got me ahead of the game so come January, with targets mapped out, you can hit the ground running from day 1.
    One year on, i’m now independent, healthy, and on the verge of launching my first online business venture!
    Question – Do you prefer juggling 2-3 goals at a time, or picking one, dominating it, then moving on to the next? Love to hear your thoughts.
    Jonny

  14. JB

    Nov 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Awesome, Daniel! Thanks!

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