Ever get tired of hoping your next boyfriend or girlfriend will be “the one”, only to find out that they’re total douches, or worse, closet psychopaths? Well here’s the hard truth…

You won’t find the one. At least, not until you become “the one” first.

Logic of love

Simple logic says that you have to love your own self as well as you’d want a partner to. Otherwise, you’ll accept a standard of love that doesn’t actually meet your needs…because you won’t have met them yourself! Most people never get the chance to set their own standards for self love, though, because they never gave the single life a chance. But here’s the thing…

There is nothing magical about a new relationship! Your insecurities will only be temporarily masked by cuddles, sex, and person to call your own. Then when reality unfolds and you realize you’ve lost yourself for the sake of “love”, you start to resent your partner for your decision to jump into a relationship before you were relationship-capable. This is totally crazy! Not to mention irresponsible and unjust for the other person.

But how many people are caught up in this ridiculous romantic cycle?

Some would say this madness is a hallmark of the human species. But that’s bullshit—it’s just a lack of planning. If you forget to plan for the things that make you happy and fulfilled, you feel powerless. You hand your power to somebody else, somebody you don’t really know a damn thing about, hoping they’ll make it all better. That’s where the famously stupid phrase, “love is blind,” comes from.
But love isn’t blind…people are blind! Until they get a plan, that is.

Plan for the things you need to be happy before you get in a relationship

There are a few things you and I and everyone else needs to be truly happy. We need time for reflection—meditation, journaling, etc. We need regular physical movement—not just a few hard workouts a week, but consistent movement throughout the day. We need time for creative expression. We need plenty of social connection. We need to give back. We need fun—lots of it. We need to connect regularly with our higher purpose. And we also need to feel like we’re our number one supporters.

Thing is, most people don’t plan for these basic human needs; so we’re never satisfied, always prowling for the next love interest. That was my story. But I changed my story when I started a daily ritual of planning out the things that mattered most.

In planning and executing tasks that were related to my purpose, my health, and my enjoyment of life, I developed a relationship with me for the very first time. I grew to trust myself when I routinely took care of my needs. And before my first year of planning was through, I realized something:

I was single and I frickin’ love it.

It felt good to be 100% responsible for me. It felt incredible to take ownership of my happiness and purpose. And though there were impossible-seeming stretches, I learned how to rely on God and on myself to overcome the challenges. That’s how I developed the strength to care for others. Now I make my bread coaching others to become expert planners in their own lives.

It’s time to get a plan!

I’ve made planning simple for my clients and readers with a daily planning template. It includes recurring goals for meditation, exercise, self-encouragement, journaling, and doing creative things. It also has monthly and weekly goal-setting pages to keep you aligned with your purpose—and it’s from these pages that you draw five or so daily goals that bring you closer to your objectives.

Here’s the daily planning page:


When you commit to these fundamentals of self-improvement on a daily basis, when you commit to being your own damn person for a year, and when you direct yourself with your own daily goals, you will experience the personal growth and satisfaction that you crave.

You won’t indulge the fantasy that another man or woman will make it better anymore, because you will have already done that for yourself. Then when the right one does come around, you won’t already be involved in a crappy relationship, and you’ll be able to love them for who they are—not for what you think you need from them.

The most important aspects of your daily planner are:

Your top five self-directed goals, with a checkbox next to each (fun, learning, purpose, career, etc.)

Checkboxes for a power morning routine (1), meditation (1), encouraging yourself (10), exercising regularly (5), limiting email and social media/texting (1),journaling (1), and doing something creative (1).

And last but not least, a big checkbox for giving your best effort. If you killed a ton of goals and did everything in your power to succeed, you can check that box off, feel amazing, and sleep like a baby. If not, you can figure out where you got derailed during your journaling session and plan for your 100% effort tomorrow. You’ll still sleep like a baby, but only when you have the plan.

If you don’t feel like writing all this out every day, you can preorder a physical planner from the template shown in this article.


Singlehood isn’t the big bad wolf it’s been painted to be. Sure, it’s hard to be responsible for your own happiness. But when you plan out the small daily steps and commit to them like a champion, nothing can stop you—least of all a toxic relationship! So forget about the girl, or man. Get a plan.

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Originally published at millennialsuccess.io


  • Daniel Dowling

    Performance Coach, Writer for Greatist, Fitbit.com, Mindbodygreen, and FastCompany.

    Dan Dowling, here. I was the poster child for lost millennials - couldn’t keep a job…addicted to relationships…constantly checking social media and email. But when I got hungry enough for success as a writer, I gave up my distracted lifestyle and adopted one daily goal that changed my life forever: Do. Your. Best. Today, five years later, I’m a productivity coach who’s published on the world’s biggest sites (including Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Mindbodygreen), and I’m transforming lives through the best-effort, zero-distraction lifestyle that worked so well for me. Come and and learn how to always give your best at Millennial Success!