Starting this year (2022) I'm using my blog as a means of public accountability to see how it impacts my progress. I’m publicly writing to myself first foremost. If you benefit from my experiences and opinions that’s simply an added bonus.

I’ll be covering the following:

  1. What held me back from tapping into more of my potential and why?
  2. What are my life's core pillars and how would I grade myself on each?
  3. What goals am I setting and how will I measure success?

What held me back from tapping into more of my potential and why?

List of things holding me back

  1. Social media consumption and screen time
  2. Fear of letting small bad things happen
  3. Limited knowledge of healthy recipes
  4. Negative thinking and self-sabotage
  5. Lack of focus and structure

📵 Social media consumption and screen time

There were always things in the back of my mind that I was always meaning to get to. I was convinced at times I just didn’t have the time to spare.

I’m ashamed to say I was often wasting HOURS of my day looking at a screen be it social media or watching one too many episodes after work on Netflix. Auditing my time with a screentime report showed me how a few minutes here and there really add up.

I’m not so extreme that I want to eliminate social media or screen time entirely. I can be quite extreme and I've learned extreme action isn't always the solution. Moderation is key for me.

I just want to be more intentional about my phone and social media usage 🤳🏽

  • No more mindlessly grasping for my phone any moment I feel I could potentially be bored in hopes my phone will entertain me.
  • No more following more people than the human brain can realistically keep track of.
  • No more 30-days of daily posting challenges for the sake of frequently consistent updates. There's too much garbage on every platform.
  • No more answers to lazy questions that a 10-minute Google search could've answered.
  • No using social media platforms that don't solve a big pain point for me (e.g. I only use Twitter because it's saved me time and money with hiring)
  • Deprioritize ephemeral content collaborations. I don't want to invest precious limited time into stuff that disappears and/or is then poorly repurposed and distributed.
  • No more free mentorship to people who are not working inside VEED with me. I will not accept money for my time to coach/consult someone either as my free time is worth more to me than the small financial gain of a 30-60 minute consult.

🥵 Fear of letting small bad things happen

I have a terrible people-pleasing habit especially when it comes to relationships within or close to my inner circle. I tend to sacrifice my well-being and free time as to not upset and disappoint others.

If saying no doesn't jeopardize my job or goals then I am obligated to say no.

It’s not my duty to be the person others want or picture me to be. This doesn’t mean I am closed to growth–I am highly introspective and obsessed with my development–I just can’t be everything for everyone and that’s on them to accept, move on, and adapt.

Limited knowledge of healthy recipes

Although I made significant progress with my weight loss, my cooking skills need help. I need to learn how to cook more nutritious meals. This sounds boring to me so I need to find a way to make this fun as I’ve done with my exercise.

🧠 Negative thinking and self-sabotage

If you grow up around someone who always finds the negatives in life it’s hard to not see life as a glass that’s half empty. When that person raises another human they try to do better but still, some undesirable behavioral traits are inevitably passed from one generation to the next.

This is no excuse for continued behavior but it is an explanation for the thinking I’m trying to course correct.

I need my thinking to be more positively and realistically productive which is not the same as being unrealistically optimistic. The goal is not to cling to false hope but rather to see the good in life and be more objective when critiquing.

I feel physically sick and often emotionally affected for weeks and months at a time when exposed to people who talk shit for prolonged periods. I need to also call out those around me when our conversations are more than 50% focused on the negatives. If they need to vent that much they need a therapist to help and redirect their thinking, not me.

🎯 Lack of focus and structure

A by-product of my negative thinking, screentime, and not letting small bad things happen has been my fragmented attention.

It’s rare when I have uninterrupted periods where enough focus happens that I enter a flow state. I also find myself mentally stuck when I have to plan my days, weeks, months, etc. This is because I overcomplicate things sometimes.

People who work with me consider me to be organized but I don’t view myself the same way at all.

If I address the other areas mentioned so far then this one will do better. But also I need to actively try to explore ways to structure my days, measure my success, and filter what I say yes and no to.

What Are My Life’s Core Pillars? How Would I Grade Myself on Each?

I’ve graded myself on a scale of 1 to 10 in each core pillar of my life. Here’s what each number means.

Scoring Meaning
1 to 6 Poor – This was an obvious area for you that needed help. You need to learn the basics of improvement in this area so you have a foundation to build off of.
7 Average – You've completed or are near completion to building a foundation in this department and are embarking on the next level of growth.
8 Good – You understand what you need for success in this pillar and what the next steps are now that you have strong foundational knowledge.
9 Great – You've built a solid foundation for the things you need to know and do to excel here. There are just a few bits you could improve to label this as a 10 which is a very rare score to achieve.
10 Excellent – You consider you’ve achieved a level of mastery. You could easily explain the why, what, and how of your success with this pillar to someone else in plain language.

The core pillars of my life are:

  1. 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 Marriage
  2. 👩🏽‍💼 Career
  3. 🧬 Health (mind, nutrition, and body)
  4. 🏡 Family
  5. 💰⏳ Wealth (time and money)
  6. 🏕 Exploration (learning, travel, hobbies)

My priorities to address this year will be anything rated a 7 or below. I believe by fixing the areas rated a 7 or below then the 8’s and 9’s will improve as a result or at the very least not be harmed.

Pillars to Prioritize

  • 🧬 Health (6 → 9)
  • 🏕 Exploration (5 → 9)
Pillar What Score Goal
Marriage How strong, healthy, and happy is my bond with my partner? Are we on the same page on key matters? 9 10
Health Am I feeding my mind and body with proper food, movement, and thinking? 6 8
Career Am I doing work I enjoy, is meaningful to me, and grows me? 8 9
Wealth Do I have enough control over my time and money to build the life I want for myself? 8 9
Exploration Am I reading, practicing, and documenting things I'm curious about whether just for fun, self-insight, or professional education? 5 9
Family How I feel about the relationships with my inner familial circle 9 10

What Goals Am I Setting and How Will I Measure Success?

While there are specific things I want to achieve such as:

  1. Generate 100K+ traffic to the VEED blog
  2. Achieve my goal physique

I believe instead in making a new habit the goal so the desired specific outcomes are a nearly inevitable by-product.

For example, I could set the goal as losing another 20 pounds and try and get there by any means necessary. But instead, I’d rather take up learning how to cook better and try new forms of exercise so I not only drop the weight but also:

  1. Avoid developing an eating or body image disorder due to prioritizing the outcome rather than the education + process needed to healthily achieve the desired outcome.
  2. Gain insight into my preferences such as discovering I really love riding a bike or Mediterranean food.
  3. Build new skills and have fun in the process as a result of trying things.

To keep it simple, I wanted to set no more than 2-3 goals with 2-3 supporting actions that if I achieve them will have a significant impact on my life as a whole.

Goal: To adopt more of a student mentality
Supported Pillars 👉 Exploration
👉 Marriage
👉 Career
👉 Wealth
👉 Health
Action 1 of 2 Read more books
Action 2 of 2 Document my learnings privately and publicly (only when not confidential)
Success Metric(s) Read 2 books per month (1 book every 2 weeks)

Document non-confidential learnings in one public monthly check-in on my blog for accountability

Notion docs for documenting the why, what, and how of everything I am currently doing at VEED (private)
Distractions to Avoid • Cell phone

• Multiple tabs open on desktop

• Husband coming into my office when I'm busy

• Contagiously danceable music while I work lol
Goal: Be a more structured person with clear priorities I respect
Supported Pillars 👉 Exploration
👉 Career
👉 Family
👉 Health
Action 1 of 3 Experiment with building my day out to perform deep work and make more time for high-level thinking
Action 2 of 3 Consistently audit your life to remove or improve anything harmful
Action 3 of 3 Explore new foods, forms of exercise, and things to try to excercise my creativity and make my personal growth fun
Success Metric(s) One monthly public reflection and progress report on my personal blog for accountability

More time to spare (and potentially less stress about time)

More completed high-level tasks from my to-do lists (track completion rate)

Mental and physical progress

Read 2 books every month
Distractions to Avoid • Overly-processed foods, alcohol, and sugar

• Notifications during deep work periods

• Unchecked self-sabotaging thoughts

• Unhealthy on/offline relationships

• Non-essential low-impact work

• Meetings with no clear agenda

• Meetings that can be async

What's Next?

I plan to do a monthly check-in on my blog to document what went well, what didn't go well, how can I improve, and anything else I find notable about that month.

Besides another annual review at the end of this year, I might also do quarterly public reviews. To be frank, I type this and I think a quarterly review may be too much on my plate so I won't commit to that for now since I believe in starting simple before upping the intensity.

I want to commit to monthly check-ins because it feels realistic and doable for me. It's frequent enough to keep me on track and spaced out enough as to not overwhelm me with a daily or weekly public posting commitment which wouldn't be of much value to anyone reading anyway.

In private, I will be doing smaller scale check-ins with my weekly focus and daily to-do-list docs. These docs will then be used to assemble my monthly check-in and report.

P.S.  A blog specifically about my views on content consumption and not being consumed by content will be coming soon as this was a major distractor for me up until now.

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