2018: Volume 3
Go to gym 1-2x per week - This week the rails came off because I got sick. But that’s okay. Get on the horse again next week, right?
Read 1-2 strategic thinking books - I finished Principles. Next book on my list for strategic thinking is The Organized Mind. It’s not a “strategy” book, per se, but my hope is it’ll lay out some principles for dealing with information, which according to Dalio is about half the decision-making process.
Get up between 5:30-6:00am each day - I’m throwing this goal out. I don’t know why I didn’t have my replacement on my list in the first place.
- NEW GOAL - Get ready for baby to come and be a new dad again - It’s been a goal on my mind but I didn’t write it down in January. So, the focus will be getting the house and family ready for baby, and learning to be a new dad again!
- This week: Spiritual - I guess I got rest this week because I ended up sick. That is not the way I want it to go in the future. Rest needs to become a habit. But that being said, I’m experimenting and thinking about how to implement meditation in my schedule. Being a Christian, my meditation will be focused on Christ in addition to my breathing. I’ve been doing it a few moments throughout the day and it’s been great to help keep me grounded and present. I think this is all the more needed since my days are primarily spent in front of a screen.
- Next week: Family - It’s go-time to get ready for baby. Here we go!
Weekly Outcomes - Next Week
- Have the house ready to go for baby
- Go to the gym once
- Buy The Organized Mind and start reading
Waiting - Sometimes, when you’re seeking answers, the best thing to do is wait. I don’t know how many answers I’ve sought have come after hours of waiting. And this doesn’t mean to do nothing. It means to set the thing aside and, for me, trust God the answers will come. This has happened with meditation, some family things, and many other situations throughout the last month.
Being OK and Realistic with Expectations - My job requires more availability of me during the day than most of our productivity friends would agree to say. In no way can I not have email open but once a day. I’m in a customer service leadership role and that doesn’t fly. But I can set aside times to be able to focus, which I’m doing and it’s really helping.
Not Resting - This has to change. New habit to build #1 is I need to rest regularly.
No Mail On Phone - This is going well. I was a little lost for a few days, but a week in now I am realizing just how much junk email I get that I don’t need to do anything with in my non-work accounts. I can batch it in about 5 minutes per day and I’m good.
More Task Detail - This was a major win this week. Having more task detail broken down and accurately tracking next actions has kept me so much more on track than before. And it’s kept me in my todo list, which helps me continue to add tasks and stay on track. (I know that sounds slightly unconventional, but it works for me.)
New Startup/Shutdown Routines - Or rather, modified, expanded editions.
Here’s what I have.
Thought for the Week
Do you hate goals like I do? Joe and Drew’s most recent conversation on Whims That Work reminded me how much I don’t like goals. It also reminded me of a way I used to approach going new places in my life.
Goals, to me, are a form of fear-of-failure-driven productivity. Don’t meet the goal, you’ve failed. It’s measurable, so you’re accountable. The interesting thing about goals is they require you to plan out your next 12 weeks, 12 months, or 12 years; however, you can’t see past the moment in front of you. Efficient, right?
Before I yet again heard the loud cacophony of productivity and business folks state, “You have to set goals!,” I was trying a different approach. I called it directions. Instead of setting solid goals with measurable outcomes, I would write out a set of directions of where I wanted to point my life.
For all intents and purposes, goals and directions aren’t really all that different. They both have a desired end result, maybe a timeframe attached, but where they differ is in the approach. Instead of trying to predict the future in a way or have really great intentions of accomplishing a big, hairy, audacious goal, directions start with where you are.
Let’s put it this way. Setting a direction functions much like taking a road trip with no planned destination. You can only start from where you are, so pick a road and see where it takes you. If you don’t like where this one goes, pick another and try again.
A direction for your life, then, is something you want to pursue from where you are now (i.e. I want to be a better strategic thinker). The next logical thing is to figure out what your next step is (i.e. I need to find some books about strategic thinking and read them). From there, find a habit you can incorporate into your routine to do that thing. Then do it. If 3 months from now you lose interest in the direction, pick another one and spend your time there.
I’ve always been frustrated when the outcomes in my life don’t match up with my intended goals. I think that’s because I’m trying to get the cart before the horse. If I find out the direction I want to go, I’ll find guidance along the way. Progress is made one foot in front of the other. Going forward, I’m abandoning goals and going my own route of setting directions.