It’s time to reflect and craft some systems for the new year. Maybe, not my most creative post — as I’ve basically amassed and borrowed many of these from people much more intelligent and experienced than I — But then again, connecting the dots of collective intelligence from diverse cultures is not the dumbest thing I did this year.
Reflective questions to ponder. They might change your life:
Am I excited to be doing what I’m doing or am I in aimless motion?
Are the trade-offs between work and my relationships well-balanced?
How can I speed up the process from where I am to where I want to go?
What big opportunities am I not pursuing that I potentially could?
What’s a small thing that will produce a disproportionate impact?
What could probabilistically go wrong in the next 6 months of my life?
What luxuries have become dependencies?
What good will I do this year? For myself, others, environment
What are two things that I am unusually grateful for?
Is my environment and progress as I envision it to be, inward and outward?
What skills and habits am I investing and re-investing my time, money and energy into?
What ‘problems’, desires and insecurities am I trying to solve or fulfill that are not necessary and socially created?
What am I unique and original at, in or creating?
What stories am I creating with my actions?And how are those impacting and being communicated and interpreted BY those around you?
Are things really as good or as bad as they seem, as I remember, as I project?
What am I intimidated by? Curious about?
What would make life simpler? What would it look like if it were easy?
If today was my last, what would I do? How would I interact? What would they say about the impact I had? What I gave back?
What advice would my 80-yr old self give me today? What would they consider to be the most important people and things of life?
For all I have learned and achieved, WHAT will I do with it?
For all I create, who’s it for? How is it serving them? How will they find it?
Sit, ponder, pontificate on these. And when you’re ready, it’s time to get sh*t done…
Craft Systems, Not Goals
First, goals are bullish*t. Systems are more effective. You can take the time to read, research and experiment to come to that conclusion or you can take my word for it today. Goals do serve some purpose though, providing a sense of motivation and direction. If you want to set one, here’s something to think about:
1. Analyze what you want, what you’re drawn to and what your curious about. What you find interesting, uncomfortable or gets you a little hot n bothered. What might serve yourself or others; or just something you want to change / do. Pick only 1 or 2 things.
2. Ask why did I really choose this goal? Think and clarify down to a simple answer. If you can’t, reflect and re-evaluate because your going to want to repeat this answer to yourself every day and any time you feel resistance or are struggling.
3. Choose a 3 and 6 month progress point. If you can’t it’s not realistic, re-evaluate, because you are going to actually do this in 3–6 weeks because you can.
Now for the fun part. Ask yourself…
- If I had unlimited time and resources, how could I do this in 3–6 weeks
- What assumptions am I making that can be over-looked?
- What am I actually spending my time / attention on all day? How can I find 30-min here or there?
- How could someone else do this easier?
Break the goal down and design the following for: consistency, repetition and experimentation (exposure to a variety of circumstances) and NOT for quality. This is work.
Sometimes work is shit.
- Create system(s) of small daily / weekly wins that progressively build and evolve naturally, becoming habitual, that are hard to stop. Make it a hassle not to do it. put money on it if you have to.
- Set a time-line. Tasks expand / contract to their constraints.
- Set up daily or weekly accountability check-ins from yourself, others or apps.
- Schedule regular time for recovery, randomness and utter boredom and literally do nothing: sit, listen to something, walk or star at a wall. This is crucial. Healthy mind, healthy everything.
“Hard decisions, easy life. Easy decision, hard life.”
Enjoy yourself. And Happy New Year!