I will become.
2016 was a challenge, for many reasons.
And we all have our challenges.
I’ll change that though, make it mine. It’s easy to say that there was challenges, that it was a difficult time, and even easier yet to say that it was also hard for others. Easy because those statements are true. Easy because they’re mean very little.
I’ve been talking to friends lately about this year and how many changes we want to make. About how to make those changes in a sustainable way, in a way where we won’t burn out like last year. Because I really don’t want to burn out, I want to shine bright, and be the light in people’s lives. Live awesomely under the stars, and the sun, and be passionate in my pursuits. To do that I have to start making some changes.
I want to make these changes in order to reach goals that I’ve had for a while, but have not had the mental ability to stay focused enough to complete them. I’ve lived loosely and without structure, when I know that what I need is not only a north star, but a map to get there. Putting some structures in place is that map to guide me forward.
To start with, those changes are governed by principles, and those principles are as follows.
- KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. I have a tendency to make things complicated, try to weave to many threads together, ironically in order to find simplicity. I often find anything but.
- Slow over fast. Stop and enjoy the roses, appreciate the view, look up as you’re walking along the street. Be alive. Be present. Living life slowly is not a bad thing, living life slow allows me to actually keep things simple, and perform the next principle.
- Measure gains. What’s the saying about needing to measure things to see them improve? That. That’s what needs to happen. But doing it in a way that’s healthy, so…
- Start and finish. Perfectionism often means never finishing, but it also can mean never starting. If there’s the possibility of something not turning out the way I want, I won’t even start — that’s not ok anymore. It’s time to try, and be happy in the experience of doing so.
Those are roughly what I want to start and live by for this year, they’re rough drafts anyway. But to actually do, I need some more tangible structures. So I’ve started doing the following:
- Created a habit tracker, using the one the one that Harold Kim created. I’ve paired this with a google calendar reminder that goes off every evening at 8pm to remind me to check in on what I’ve said I would do.
- Sunday night reflection time. 45mins on a Sunday night to reflect on how the week has been, and what the coming week looks like. A physical diary is a perfect companion for this, which keeps me away from screens.
- Accountabilibuddies. As I talk to people around me, and I see threads of common goals, a mutual lifeline floating in the ocean. Having someone there to support and encourage you, and who you can be the same for is an amazing motivator. It also is magic for deepening relationships 🤝
- Stop Multitasking. This is terrible, and the science on the matter is available — just do a google search. Also, ever heard of onetabbing? It’s life changing.
- Stop making excuses. Shit things happen, good things happen. Choose to get past it and push forwards. Remember that I am in control.
- Social Media. I’ve deleted them on my phone. Earlier in the year I turned off all notifications, but still had the temptation to sit and scroll through it all. I was not using any of them to keep in touch, to actually connect to people. So they have to go. I now allow myself time in the morning to check the platforms on my computer, but after that I’m offline. Call me, txt me, message me. But I won’t be reply to comments every 5 mins! Oh the liberation! 🤘🏻
- Stop giving so many fucks. I worry, I stress, I feel shit, my health is bad. So I stopped doing this with a little help from friends. It’s hard but also realising what I can and cannot control or affect is an important understanding to have.
- Give up unhealthy obsessions. I know I have this tendency to obsess over things, keep them in my mind and use up all my time thinking about them. Often these things are banal, unimportant. Obsession is not inherently a bad thing, I’m all for minimising unhealthy obsessions.
So with all of that in mind, what will 2017 bring? Well, here’s my rather aspirational list!
- Publish a book. Not just a series of words, that’s more self-congratulatory than anything. But something useful, something to be given, to share, to help. But it’s not just writing the damn thing, I want to publish. Which means a lot more work. So keep your eyes peeled, it’ll be practical, and philosophical. I want it to be part practical guide, and part philosophical view of the world. An understanding shared.
- Get active. I’ve been putting my health on the back burner for too long. And let’s be honest, a photo of a forest up a hill doesn’t equal fitness. Something that I’ve know is how being fit and healthy makes me a better person. I’m much nicer to be around, that’s for sure, but I’m also kinder, gentler and more compassionate. But most important, it makes me happier. There’s no goal, but a process, committing to doing a series of activities. Each day I will do: 15,000 steps, 30 press-ups, 30 sit-ups. Each week I will: run 20km, cycle 50km, go to the gym 3 times.
- Meditate. I’m usually not into that hippy dippy shit. As it turns out, this is actually good for me. And probably you too. 10% happier in everyday life, and more clear in my mind. It helps me make better decisions, be cognitively quicker, prioritise more clearly, and more aware of myself and everything around me.
- Leave New Zealand. It’s adventure time. Wellington, New Zealand has been home for a long time, and it’s time to explore. So I’ll be off, before Christmas this year. TBC destination.
There will be many more updates to come in here. You can also find me on twitter, @jarvisimon