Last year I wrote a blog post about the excel of my life that I’ve been using for about 1,5 years to manage and monitor my own life. I want to make conscious choices about what to prioritize in my life (and what not) and on the other hand to ensure with continuous monitoring that I am actually acting according to the values that I have defined for myself. Because development gets developed too, it’s time to publish excel of my life 2.0 🙂 (blog post originally published in February 2016)Before that I wanted to share the biggest learnings from last year:
1. Weekly review helps you stay on track
If I would’ve checked my goals only once a quarter, I am sure it wouldn’t have worked out as well as it did. The weekly review session every Sunday helped me take corrective actions quickly and thus make sure I am living life the way I want. If I had for example slept badly one week, I made sure that getting enough sleep was a priority the next week and didn’t allow the situation to get worse. I also learned that for me monitoring works really well and I get big kicks when my sleep and step scores were “in the green zone” 😉 The weekly review notes were especially useful for the quarterly review: It’s difficult to lie to yourself, when you have hard data to tell you how much you have actually been sleeping and exercising lately.
2. Surprisingly lot of progress can happen in a year
I have a bad habit in everyday life to only look forward and think about what I have not yet accomplished or learned or what else I would like to do. When you observe things from a larger perspective (especially half-year check and yearly check), you notice that actually a lot of progress has taken place which is really motivating. For example last year I started learning Italian (Skype lessons on Myngle and playing Duolingo) and during our trip to Italy I was able to at least order food successfully and with the help of an online dictionary even to say we need towels for our room. We have also now been writing the Lean life blog for over a year. So a project that started as half joke has turned into a stable joint project 🙂
3. Friend’s support is worth gold
Although the excel is of course above all for yourself, the meaning of a friend’s support cannot be emphasized enough. Emma’s coaching had a huge role not only in helping me define the goals and habits but also in evaluating the success. Another person helps you see things from a different perspective: reminds you of your successes, notices your illogical thoughts and gives you new ideas. In addition reporting to a friend motivates you do things because you know you will be accountable to someone. During the year we had longer Skype sessions in the end of Q1 and Q3 and a longer face-to-face session in Croatia in the summer. The whole year ended with a fantastic goals weekend in Warsaw in the beginning of February. In between the meetings we discussed goals also in WhatsApp where we also have a special group called “Champagne!” where you can report special successes.
Excel 2.0 – most important improvements
So now it’s time to get to the improved Excel of my life 2.0. The basic formate stayed pretty much the same but based on the learning from last year, I did a few changes:
- I removed the infra category, because I felt it was too vague. I also moved Self development and experiences to the Health / Me are because rationally I should only be doing things that bring me joy or give me energy. So if developing myself, e.g. reading books, would feel like work, I am doing something wrong. I also liked the simplicity in having just three areas.
- We moved from half-yearly goals to quarterly goals because 3 months is even easier to grasp.
- We drastically reduced the number of goals. People who are eager to develop themselves often get greedy when setting goals and want to develop everything at once. We decided to set ourselves clear limits: you are allowed to one goal per area per quarter. This was typically linked to a new habit. I am for example trying to improve being present by doing yoga every morning.
- We added the project of the quarter (partly to make up for deleting the Infra part) for topics that are more one-off projects than things that you continuously repeat and develop. For example my Q1 project is money management and I intend to create a good passive investment strategy and automatize my money management as much as possible (e.g. with monthly automatic account transfers). So I intend to take care of it now once properly and then I hopefully don’t have to worry about it for a long time.
I wish you lots of fun filling out your own excels 🙂 I would be glad to hear of your experiences and experiments!