More and less

Every Friday morning my inbox is blessed with Tim Ferriss’ so-called “5 Bullet Friday”, a collection of easily-digestible links to books, people, products and ideas of the week. I look forward to to it because I always come away with some new movie I should check out or a quote that shifts my perspective. Like the one I received a week before year’s end and how he argues against New Year’s Resolutions:

I’m often asked about how I approach New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that I no longer approach them at all, even though I did for decades. Why the change? I have found “past year reviews” (PYR) more informed, valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions. I did my first PYR after a mentor’s young daughter died of cancer on December 31st, roughly eight years ago, and I’ve done it every year since. It takes 30-60 minutes.

He goes on to describe how it works, which is straightforward but a little unrealistic: go through the previous year, week by week, evaluating what went well and what didn’t. Who keeps detailed records like that? Maybe that’s perfectly normal, but to me I can hardly remember what I ate last week let alone 26 weeks ago. So while I love the idea conceptually (you can read how to do it here), I felt like there could be a simpler way. That’s when I saw this:

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First off, the items on this example are amazing (more Japan!), but also the broadstroke simplicity. They read like a mantra to follow and track daily. Are you actively making plans for a new trip to Japan? How are your plants looking? That kind of thing. Then, fortuitously, I had a beer with a friend who told me how he use Google Sheets to track his (positive) habits that give him a high level of his progress. He has graciously shared the file) here! Here’s a preview: