Last May, I challenged myself to publish 50 blogs.
The process was triggered by an article encouraging me to embrace small failures. There is a little bit of risk associated with publishing, and risk makes me feel good.
I have a policy whereby I only publish if I’m ok with the article being the last thing on my site. This is a good email policy as well. I only publish/send something if I’m OK with it being my last interaction with you.
The final two goals were to leave a record of this period for my kids and find out if we (reader/writer) have overlap in our areas of interest.
The goals were useful, especially the practice with risk-taking.
Two things were even more helpful.
#1 – document the key strategic decisions in my life. Do not trust your memory, or your ability to remember over time. Our memories are selective and self-serving.
#2 – talent, hard work, luck => their impact is real. However, the largest impact in your life is knowing what you want to achieve. Most people never compare their daily choices to their goals. Writing helps me get straight in my head.
Marriage => athletic wife, who is kind to me
Home Life => kids who respect my desire for harmony
Financial Life => simple, low cost, long term gain oriented, enables me to spend most of my life exercising in nature
Physical Life => able to do fun things with my wife and kids, separately
Each of these implies a certain “what to do.”
I am bombarded daily by ideas about how to pack more into my life => my need is not more. I have plenty to do!
The “what to do” helps me prioritize => for example
- an athletic wife implies supporting the athletic aspect of her life
- harmony at home implies routine and adequate sleep for the kids (and using incentives for them to change disruptive behaviors)
- financial life goals are a filter for eliminating ideas that will take time away from my real priority (of exploring the Rockies)
- physical life goals get me lifting weights early in the morning – start every day with a win
The best filter I have is my early wake up. It encourages me to say “no” to a lot of attractive stuff.
Another “not to do” is overlaying “my” goals across my spouse. It is endlessly tempting to help her improve her life (by being more like me).
Finally, watch that your journalling doesn’t become a never-ending list for Santa, or your ego.
Your life only has to make sense to yourself.