I am sometimes obsessed with finding ways to “hack” my life and make the most of it. I listen to podcasts like Tim Ferriss that have successful people who talk about ways they made their lives fulfilling. I listen to audiobooks that discuss nutrition, happiness, productivity, and sex. I research nootropics and fitness routines and the writing routines of successful authors. But, the more I research the less I tend to do. My wheel’s spin as I am overwhelmed with all the information available.
I think I have a problem with just “doing” in this area of my life. Most of the time I pick a plan that is “good enough” but for some reason I never actually commit to trying any of the plans others lay out. I realize that none of their plans will be perfect for me, but adopting a good plan and tweaking it over time is a better option than researching and reading and listening to plans until I die. I know this, but I still have a hard time sticking to something.
I’m not sure what the solution is. I know that if I pick some sort of plan (writing, fitness, meditation, life philosophy, etc) and try it out the odds are pretty good I will see some of the improvement that I want. If I don’t see any real improvement, then I can tweak the plan or abandon it for something else. I think the simplest plan is one mentioned by Isaac Morehouse with a Tim Ferriss tweak. I’m going to put simple systems in place that can train habits (Morehouse) and pick one bad habit every six months to work on removing (Ferriss). Instead of goals (do 50 push-ups a day) I’m going to have something broad like “do exercise daily”. Even if I only do one push-up right before bed that is considered a successful day. Hopefully, as the systems become habits I will become the person who can knock out 100 push-ups a day.
Here are the systems I’ve come up with. I am not going to start them all at once, instead just a couple at first and add more as the systems solidify.
- Yoga or stretching daily
- Meditation daily
- Write daily
- Exercise daily (does not include cycling)
- Foreign language work daily
- Bad Habit: Eliminate frivolous alcohol consumption within six months
I’ve made a handy excel document to track my daily progress on the two I’m choosing to start with (Yoga or stretching daily and writing daily). I don’t have an official goal, but I think I’d be happy with 80% success. Though, I don’t want to beat myself up or feel disappointed if I don’t reach an arbitrary number. The real goal is to improve myself, not try and perfect myself (which is impossible).