Another year ends with great opportunity and high uncertainty going into next year.
Amid the rises and falls of society, industry, and family, I strive to chart my course for stability and build my own foundation for growth.
My commitments for Personal Optimization come from years of experiments and discovering what works best for me. Hopefully, at least one idea resonates with you too.
𝑆𝑙𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑀𝑜𝑟𝑒 – Getting less than 7.5 hours a night limits performance and wastes time by working tiredly. I'm better, but not there yet.
𝐸𝑥𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑖𝑠𝑒 𝐵𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 – Working up a sweat most mornings helps to wake up and walking daily. Found a pattern that works for me.
𝐸𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐻𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑡𝑠 – Fasting for 16 hours a few times a week, which I can do if I can grab dinner before 6 pm. Drinking a lot of water and honoring my diet mixed with enjoyment.
𝑆𝑢𝑝𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 – Questioning my choices with so many different opinions, I'll visit a nutritionist in 2022 to look at my diet holistically.
𝐹𝑜𝑐𝑢𝑠 – Planning my day the night before and my week on Sundays. Calibrating my limited time to focus on my priorities.
𝐷𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑊𝑜𝑟𝑘 – Needing periods to concentrate on projects, I've gotten better at blocking communication and then pushing my own efforts.
𝘍𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘚𝘭𝘰𝘸 – Balancing immediate responses (e.g. requests for details) and thoughtful replies (e.g. complex topics or tone). When I'm not sure of my delivery, I draft a response and then sleep on it.
𝑈𝑛𝑠𝑢𝑏𝑠𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑏𝑒 – Controlling my attention, I've cut many newsletters, blogs, and news sites and review the remaining ones in blocks.
𝑀𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑒 – Spending 5-10 minutes most days, I'm still really bad at this, but do enjoy moments of being incredibly present. I also feel more aware during the day and better engaged in conversations and meetings.
𝑁𝑒𝑤𝑠 𝐹𝑎𝑠𝑡 – Avoiding the largely negative, polarizing news stories has been a gift. If something is critical, I'll still hear about it and can learn more.
𝑂𝑝𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑚 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑤𝑡ℎ – Remembering this:
“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best, eventually you will... find you are ready for greater challenges.” – Pat Riley
𝐶𝑎𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑎𝑟 𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑙 – Remaining hawkish on my calendar, I block time for family needs and for personal activities (fun and stress-reducing). Time set for long-term projects can shift but cannot be deleted.
𝐹𝑜𝑟𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 – Feeling the pressure of supporting others, I occasionally need to step back and speak to myself as I would a friend. This puts the stress in context and refocuses on what I need right now.
Photo is from Kachemak Bay State Park in Alaska.