2019: Grit and Intensity
I know most people like to lay out their goals at this time of the year, but I decided this year I am going to do things a bit differently. No doubt I have goals, but after several years of setting and reflecting on my goals, I’ve realized a few things:
- Most people (myself included) don’t reach their goals
- By the end of the year, my goals are slightly different than the beginning
- A long term goal isn’t nearly as important as your day-to-day approach to life
In the past I’ve focused too much on annual goals to the detriment of my daily life. My thinking was always “it doesn’t matter how painful my current life is because things are going to be wicked sweet when blah blah blah”.
Daily Checklist for 2019 (and Beyond)
Forget waiting to enjoy life if/when you win the lottery. Let’s start now. To that end, here are a few things I am going to be doing on a daily basis to both move closer to my goals and enjoy the ride along the way:
- Planning – The more I plan out my life in detail on a daily basis, the better things turn out in all aspects of my life. I have had a tendency in the past to get caught up in one thing or another and put on blinders for weeks at a time during which my life starts to fray like an old rope. This year I am going to plan both the long term and short term on a constant basis. My plans will change frequently, but the process of planning helps me keep priorities straight and stay in sync with my family and co-workers.
- Reflection – I created a simple, self check survey to track my physical and mental health. It only takes me a few minutes to fill out but it forces me to reflect on the day and consider how things positively or negatively affect me.
- Meditation – I am a big believer in the power of meditation and think it is critical to my ongoing daily happiness. I have given up on trying to meditate at the same exact time every day, but I have found it relatively easy to find 5 to 10 minutes at some point during the day.
- Grit – Many people think about grit as ignoring pain, but I think of it more as finding a way to recognize and enjoy the pain. People that work out regularly understand this concept. It isn’t just about losing a certain amount of weight or hitting a bench press record. Those things are great, but you learn to enjoy the process of going to the gym and working out. I have always been able to do this with work, but I want to double down on this and extend this mentality to all aspects of my life. In other words, whatever I am doing I want to find a way to be in the moment and enjoy the process.
- Intensity – This may seem like a weird pairing with #3 (Meditation), but this is all about “deep work” which is different than working for a long time period. In order to get into a state of deep work, I need to have my time planned out well (see #1) and I need a clear mind (see #3). I want to spend less time at work this year, but I want to accomplish more.
Each of these is an action or a skill, but they are also all super powers when utilized on a regular basis in a methodical way. Super powers that will not only help me achieve current and future goals, but also enjoy life along the way.