The New Year’s rush & why SMART goals are stupid


Gym World comes from Kilo co-founder John Franklin, who shares lessons about making money in the fitness industry.

SMART goals are dumb

Goal-setting season is among us.

Soon the average American will actually think about their health.

Gym owners love this time of year:

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Sites get more traffic, and sales friction melts away.

The truth is ≈70% of people that buy around the new year won’t use their membership.

Major gym chains know this, which is why they promote heavily discounted annual memberships.

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MyFitnessPal uses similar pricing psychology:

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Today we’ll try to answer why most people give up on their goals.

Goal-setting is table stakes

Most people with ambitious plans sets goals.

Many people—especially in sports or business—have the same goals.


  • Most college football coaches want to win a national championship
  • Most entrepreneurs want a business that does $1M+ in profit
  • Most influencers want 1 million followers

Setting the target is easy.

Building a system that enables you to do the work is hard.

“The Process” is more important

Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach of the modern era.

He has won seven national titles, the most of any coach in college football history.

Saban credits his success to something he calls “The Process.”

The Process is focusing on what you need to do day in and day out to achieve your goals.

“We try to define the standard that we want everybody to work toward, adhere to, and do on a consistent basis.”
Nick Saban

Instead of focusing on the desired outcome, Saban wants his athletes to focus on consistently doing good work.

That’s why my favorite question to ask when setting goals is:

“What shit am I willing to endure?”

If I want to have a six-pack, am I willing to:

  • Weigh & measure your food
  • Workout 5x a week
  • Sleep 8 hours a night
  • Socialize less

If not, no goal-setting exercise will help me.

The same goes for business building. If I want to add $1M in ARR this year, can I commit to:

  • 100 dials a day
  • Responding to leads in 5m or less
  • Refreshing ad creative 3x a week
  • Finding, hiring, and coaching great talent

If not, what’s the likelihood I get distracted when things get hard?

Goal setting is more productive when you commit to a process and then set goals based on the sacrifices and workload you’re willing to tolerate.

Goal Selection > Goal Setting

If you spend as much time on Twitter as I do, you’re bound to see bad takes on productivity.

Gurus, who’ve never accomplished anything notable, love telling people that they can have it all.

You can’t.

You have limited willpower, focus, and time. If you’re spreading your attention across multiple projects and your competition is focused, you will get your ass kicked.

The fastest way to progress on an important goal is to ignore less important ones.

Putting it all together

  • Set fewer goals
  • Understand what you’re willing to sacrifice
  • Define the inputs that’ll lead to the outcome you’re seeking
  • Execute with focus and consistency over a long period of time

ChatGPT will “change the future of every industry”

The AI chat tool ChatGPT launched this week and racked up over a million users in 5 days.

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This viral Twitter thread shows the crazy stuff people have done with it already:

I played around with it on Thursday. ChatGPT completed tasks that would take a gym 6-8 hours in 2 minutes.

Prominent VCs are saying that it will “change the future of every industry” & potentially disrupt tech monoliths like Google:

Even if you’re uninterested in tech, I recommend setting up a free account and playing around for 20m.

Until next week,


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