The One Methodology You Need to Organize Your Entire Life

By Jesse Henry

Humans are the only species on the planet that can seemingly overcomplicate (what appears to be) a simple life. Sleep, food, water, shelter, reproduction. These are the core tenants of carbon-based life on planet earth. But, not for humans. We have these crazy things called emotions, schedules, responsibilities, and balance. The rest of the animal kingdom doesn’t have to deal with addiction, mental illness, governments, and economies; but we do.

When we get overwhelmed by all of life’s responsibilities, we need to get back to the basics.  And the basics simply involve organizing our lives.

Our body can be thought of as a computer; an extremely powerful machine. Our mind can be thought of as the software that runs our computer. When you open up a piece of software on your computer (Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, etc.) it runs a certain pattern. When you smile, go to the gym, or wake up, you also run a certain pattern. Using this analogy of hardware and software, we can our lives like never before.

The acronym we’re going to use today is C.O.W.S.

C is for Categories

When you are looking for a certain program on your computer, you go to the correct folder and click the program that runs the system (or pattern) the computer needs to use to accomplish the task. The same holds true for our lives. When we think about our relationships, our career, our health, our FUN, or our education, we’re thinking about a specific category in our life. Once we break down the categories in our life, we can start to take control over our destiny. But the truth is, everyone has different categories. It’s your responsibility to properly identify the categories that you find applicable in your life. Maybe your relationships need to be broken down into personal and professional. Maybe your health needs to be broken down into mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Every human is different – so everyone’s categories are going to reflect the topics of interest of the individual (not humanity as a whole).

If you’re looking to go through this process for your business, the categories you have to keep track of may include marketing, sales, operations, customer support, accounting, HR, and content creation. We have to clearly identify the categories in our business we must take into account in order for our business to grow over time.

This process works the same for our personal lives as it does for our professional lives.

O is for Outcomes

Now that you’ve identified the categories (in either your personal life, professional life, or both) it’s time to set an outcome for each of the categories. Once we know the category we must control, we have the ability to set our intentions and outcomes on the result we’re desiring. We may not currently have desired outcomes for each of these categories, but that’s not a problem. That means this exercise is proving to be effective.

There are many ways to continue this exercise, but I typically recommend that clients set desired outcomes 100 days ahead (a little over 3 months). The reason I like people to set their outcomes for 100 days in the future is because of the ‘Law of 1%’.  If you get 1% closer to your goal every day – after 100 days, what happens? You’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do! The aggregation of marginal gains on a daily basis is what creates long term success. An ‘overnight success’ takes years and years of chipping away at the outcome. If you want something great, you have to see how the little actions today are going to create the MASSIVE results in the future.

W is for WHY

Now that you’ve identified each of your categories and the outcome for each of those categories,  you have to figure out WHY you want those outcomes.  It’s no secret that purpose driven people are more likely to succeed in their endeavors than non-purpose driven people. Once you understand why you want what you want (whether it’s in your personal or professional life) the HOW becomes quite easy. When you’re driven by a WHY – you’ll do ANYTHING to accomplish your outcome. You’ll get rid of excuses and all the BS reasons you keep telling yourself on WHY you can’t get what you want. Once you find your why – the excuses go out the window.

If you look at anyone that’s been successful in their field of expertise, you’ll notice that they’re innately driven by a cause. This is something bigger than themselves, bigger than a paycheck, and bigger than a round of applause. They go for what they want because they feel guided by a higher purpose. A calling that states ‘if not me, then who?’

Many people spend their entire lives trying to figure out their WHY. So, if you don’t have a WHY for every outcome in every category, don’t worry. You’re starting the process in the right place!

S is for Strategy

So, now that you’ve identified your Categories, the Outcomes for those categories, and WHY you want those outcomes – the S in C.O.W.S stands for Strategy. Now, we don’t need to come up with one big convoluted strategy right now. That’s not what this exercise is about.  We’re not trying to complicate your life – but trying to simplify it!

So, let’s try something really simple. Someone I look up to as a mentor is a man named Geoff Woods – and Jeff is an executive that works for Gary Keller – the founder of Keller Williams.  For those of you who know Gary Keller – he wrote a bestselling book called THE ONE THING. So, I’m on the phone with Geoff one day and I’m extremely frustrated – and all of a sudden Geoff goes “Jesse you’re overcomplicating this – what is the one thing you need to do to make everything else irrelevant?”

I paused – thinking his solution was oversimplifying a much more complicated issue. But, the point he was trying to make was that I was trying to do 1,000 things to attain a result – when I just needed to focus on doing THE ONE THING – and doing it right.

So, under each outcome – start to identify the ONE Strategy you need to implement over the next 100 days to make sure you hit your desired outcome.

You may find interest in rereading this article or doing this exercise with a friend. We must remember that an investable person is someone who’s organized enough to know exactly WHAT they want, WHY they want it, and HOW they can get there. This methodology can help you answer the simple questions that may be holding you back from attaining your wildest dreams.