Time is not your enemy, and it can be a powerful ally. Your relationship to time determines your success or failure.

The desire for immediate results and gratification can be overwhelming. Right now in early February, the gym is already less crowded than it was a month ago. New Year’s resolutions have worn off for many, because human beings can’t undo years of bad habits in a couple of weeks. The results aren’t immediately apparent, so it becomes difficult to stick to the plan.

Value is placed on production and achievements to the point you would almost think results come from overnight success. Truth be told, there are extremely few “overnight” success stories which are not preceded by hundreds or thousands of unglamorous nights.

In TV or film, you often see a star rise out of, what seems to be, nowhere. Then you catch a syndicated re-run of Friends and there that actor is with a small bit-role. After that, you watch a movie from five years ago on Netflix, and BAM, there that actor is again. You don’t remember them because they weren’t the star, but they were there the entire time paying their dues and honing their craft.

It is much the same in all areas of life. If you see a couple still happy together at their 50th wedding anniversary, it is because they worked at it consistently over time. Want to be healthy? Eat right and take care of your body every day, and you will get there. Want better friends? Be a better friend by taking a small amount of time every day to call someone and find out how they are doing. Do you want to be a person people can count on? Take care of your commitments and organize them so you can see them daily.

There is a simple plan for success which will work almost every time. Here is the basic version of that plan:

1. Write out your goals and dreams

Defining what you want to achieve should always be the first step, because if you aim at nothing, you will certainly hit your mark. Writing them out helps you to process what you want, and it provides you with a chance to regularly revisit your dreams and align your actions and time with achieving them.

2. Assign small daily tasks

Look at what you want to achieve and ask yourself a simple question, “What simple thing can I do every day which will take me to my goal?”

Several things may come to mind or just one for each goal. Write them all down and assess how long it would take out of each day to perform your simple and small daily tasks. In most cases, you will be surprised at how little time it would take for you to be on the path to realizing your wildest hopes and dreams… over time.

3. Sacrifice

Hardly anyone today feels like they have time to add things to their schedule, even if they are simple and small. Honestly, when I tracked my time I was appalled at how much I actually had if I were to be brutally honest with myself. It was not difficult to find areas to cut to free up time, but it was not a pleasant experience. Truth be told, I still struggle and have to revisit this step on a regular basis to ensure I’m doing the things I know I need to be doing.

4. Commit to 60 days of doing your simple tasks every day

You can create a habit and change your course in just 60 days. Let me be clear, you will not, in most cases, achieve your dreams in 60 days. But if you retool your life patterns and do your simple tasks consistently, you will have altered your path. The new path is one leading to fulfillment of your dreams. Staying on the old path likely means you will forever be dreaming and rarely achieving your greater goals.

5. Review and repeat step 1

After two short months and a small amount of daily time, you will be amazed at how much your life has already changed for the better. If you have huge dreams, you may not seem all that close to achieving them from an outsider’s perspective, but you will look at your life and realize just how far off the path you were before. The simple act of changing your direction and setting a course has put you so much closer to your dreams, you will likely be energized by your life review.

You cannot stop here, though. While positive habits have been created, lifelong habits can sneak back in with much less than 60 days. It happened to me. I changed the course of my life and started seeing successes I had not seen since my younger years when I instinctively – and without realizing it – patterned my life in such a way where I worked towards my goals and dreams. After a few months of being on the right path, I took on too much and did not remember to sacrifice for the little things. I had made great strides in following up and following through on commitments, something I struggled with to an embarrassing degree. I am currently going through these steps again and redoing my 60 days like I had never done them before. I’m amazed and ashamed at how I abandoned the things that took me to new heights, boosted my self-esteem and -awareness, and gave me a formidable weapon against discouragement and depression.

An interesting thing will happen to you when you review and rewrite your dreams. I take the rewriting as a given, because as you do the daily tasks you yourself change. The essence of your dreams may be the same, but you see them differently and find new ways to express them. Within that context, you also look at whether the tasks you are doing are still what you need to be doing or if they need to be tweaked, swapped out for other tasks, or abandoned altogether.

These steps work when you view time as your friend. The simple daily tasks you do compound your work like interest on investments over time. Doing them leverages time in your favor, and someday, you will be the one who comes out of nowhere to be a success… you will know the truth, but it’ll appear you are an overnight success to others.


Carter Mason is the Co-Founder and CEO of JTS.TV, a premium digital TV network started to become the forerunner of networks not attached to broadcast or cable for distribution. The idea and execution of the idea for JTS.TV came about 6 months after Carter’s initial 60 days to leverage the power of time to achieve his goals and dreams. http://www.jts.tv/ http://twitter.com/cartermason



  1. Gene Jensen

    Carter, you need to be a writer as well as acting, Very Well Said,.
    God Bless You Carter !

  2. gate io

    For my thesis, I consulted a lot of information, read your article made me feel a lot, benefited me a lot from it, thank you for your help. Thanks!

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