2021 in review, Tim Ferriss style

(I’m on a personal development kick lately.)

Tim Ferriss has a pretty cool method for doing a yearly review:

  1. Divide a page into two columns: Positive and Negative. Positive is for stuff that felt good, negative is for stuff that felt bad.
  2. List the major things you did last year, putting each one in the right column. To jog your memory, use your calendar, the photos on your phone, your journal, Facebook, whatever.
  3. Apply the 80/20 rule to the positives. What 20% of the positives brought 80% of your joy and excitement last year?
  4. Do the same thing to the negatives. What 20% of the negatives brought 80% of your stress, sadness, anger, boredom, or anxiety?
  5. MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Immediately schedule as many of the top 20% of the positives as you can. Create a not-to-do list for the negatives, and cancel or delegate any of them that you have planned.

I started to do this and then realized that’s exactly what I did in my Year of Adventure post. Except I missed step 5, the most important one.

So here’s that list of my top positives, copied and pasted from the post, with plans for systematizing them:

  • Running and lifting
    • My 12 Week Year plan has my running plan so that’s good.
    • Lifting is tougher…I need to find 30 minutes a day and so far I’m just squeezing that in whenever I can, and sometimes I fail.
  • Fixing team dysfunction
    • I’m brainstorming and talking to my boss about this one. Here’s a relevant post if you’re curious.
  • Writing
    • I post to the blog daily
    • My 12 Week Year plan includes self publishing a book in the next 12 weeks.
  • Honesty
    • I’m not sure how to systematize honesty. Any advice?
  • Adventures with kids
  • Outdoors
    • Most of those kid adventures will be outdoors
    • I also want to work outdoors some. What good is a laptop if it stays on my desk all day? I’ll either need a decent deck chair or I’ll need to find a coffee shop. Or would it be creepy if I just hung out at that dog park down the street…
  • Time without kids
    • Date night! I’ll schedule a date night every two weeks with Nancy.
  • Fixing house stuff
  • Mindful relaxation (not laziness/procrastination, but planned relaxation time)
    • Hmm…what I’d really like is a solid half hour to read some fiction and drink some coffee in the quiet. Is this worth getting up early for? Probably…
  • Actual cooking
    • Nancy and I are on a nutrition plan for 8 weeks that has a little tiny list of foods we’re allowed to eat. So I’ve been grilling and air frying and baking a lot of new stuff. Had swordfish today!

That means I’ve got these action items which I’ve just put in the ol’ todo list.:

  • Figure out how to systematize honesty. If you have ideas, email me.
  • Run a weekly experiment of getting up 30 minutes earlier to read and relax.
  • Schedule a babysitter for a date night every two weeks.
  • At the beginning of each week, block off 30 minutes every day for weightlifting.
  • Spend the morning working at the dog park down the street and see how creepy I feel.
  • Talk to my boss again about finding a dysfunctional team to fix.

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