Guys, as you know I’m a huge Tim Ferriss fan. I find him interesting, multi-faceted & someone who takes his craft really seriously, while also having a good time & providing tremendous value.
As a HUGE consumer of his content, I subscribe to his newsletter, which I highly recommend. I came across one of his newsletters for the new year & it really spoke to me. I wanted to share it with you guys, but also share how I’m utilizing it in my own life.
I feel like this particular content is very useful to The Skinny Confidential community, especially with the new year.
As you can see below I copy and pasted part of his newsletter that spoke to me. His words are in italics, mine are not.
First, let’s talk about Tim & why he is someone to pay attention to: He’s a major player in the business world, he’s a best-selling author, he’s a pro interview/podcaster, he’s interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, Edward Norton, Tony Robbins, Maria Sharapova, Jamie Foxx, Rick Rubin, & hundreds more interesting, compelling people. He really has this unique way of getting his guests to open up.
Here’s a quick bio from his blog, but I highly recommend you go read the long bio: Tim Ferriss has been listed as one of Fast Company‘s “Most Innovative Business People” and one of Fortune‘s “40 under 40.” He is an early-stage technology investor/advisor ( Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo, Alibaba, and 50+ others ) and the author of five #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. The Observer and other media have called Tim “the Oprah of audio” due to the influence of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which is the first business/interview podcast to exceed 100 million downloads.
Ok, let’s get straight to the point because I never want to waste anyone’s time. So with that, here we go:
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 and looks like this:
The whole ‘new year, new me’ thing doesn’t work for me, so I feel very similar. Setting a resolution here & there is good, but I don’t want to feel like I have to write a completely different book than I did in 2018. Refining habits & being better for overall optimal performance is a goal I like to set.
- Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
This is such a good exercise for a lot of areas of your life. You can use this printable to go through your calendar ( like Tim says to do – I’m for sure doing it ) & also to take a little inventory of your life. Here’s what I mean:
On the negative side identify the grievances, disrespects, & bad breaks:
♡ People who don’t like you.
♡ Deals that went wrong.
♡ Unfair expectations.
♡ Bad situations.
♡ Unfortunate outcomes.
On the positive side, write down the privileges, advantages and opportunities you have:
♡ The places where you get the benefit of the doubt.
♡ Your leverage and momentum.
♡ The things you see that others don’t.
♡ What’s working and what has worked.
♡ The resources you can tap.
♡ The things you know.
♡ People who trust you.
Now, take one list and put it in a drawer. Take the other list and tape it up on your bathroom mirror. Read the list in the drawer once a month or once a year, just to remind you that it’s safe and sound. Read the other list every day.
The daily list will determine what you notice, how you interpret what you see and the story you tell yourself about what’s happening and what will happen.
You get to pick which list goes where.
The point is, you really can create your own STRATEGIC FUTURE BY DESIGN, & this is a great step to start creating it.
- Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.
This is something I think is really powerful for cutting toxicity out of your life. I didn’t do this one ( yet ). It’s something I’m hoping to sit down & do this month. Eliminating toxicity for the upcoming year is very smart.
- For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
I do believe this past year I have minimized toxic situations & part of that is because I was driving back & forth to LA so there was no time for that. When you’re really busy & you’re focussed on positivity, it automatically reduces negativity because you just don’t have time for it. But like I said, I still need to audit my calendar.
- Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
For me, driving could have been so distracting & pointless & mundane. Instead, Michael & I made a game out of it & we’d listen to a book on tape or a podcast that brought us knowledge ( Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, The Balanced Blonde, Pardon My French by Ingrid, Tony Robbins, Gary Vee, Ed Mylett ). We were always trying to better ourselves while we were doing something that could have been looked at as a waste of time.
If you feel you have something that’s not producing results, you need to see if there’s an opportunity to take that time and turn it into something that could produce results. As far as time that does not produce reliable results, I would highly recommend auditing that because I’m a huge believer that ‘where focus goes energy flows‘. You only have a certain level of energy & you can only do so much in a day. If your time is spent doing something toxic that isn’t providing reliable peaks, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2019. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.
Step 1: I could not agree more with this. My calendar for me is my way of life. I live & swear by it & having an appointment in a calendar is super powerful. If you want to hang out with someone, make an appointment. My friend Steve taught me to look at my calendar every night before I go to bed & to make sure it’s laid out in a way that’s going to make the day as productive as possible.
Another tip here is to only make commitments that you want to do. I’ve been guilty in the past of doing things I don’t want to do. You end up resenting the task at hand which makes it selfish. What I mean is: you take a selfless act of doing something you don’t want to do & resent it so it becomes selfish. You almost have to get selfish to become selfless. When you’re selfish with yourself your self-care you become a better person, a better family member, a better friend, a better boss & a better employee.
Step 2: Agree with this so much. This is hard when someone is aggressive with your time. I’ve been there – trust me, I get it….to the point of almost changing my phone number. To be honest, I actually don’t have advice for this. When people are super aggressive with me I tend to give into them, just to get it over with. But I’ve realized that nothing is ever enough for these aggressive people. I noticed that I’d schedule a coffee date with this aggressive person, & at coffee they’d be scheduling a dinner. Then at dinner they’d schedule something else. I call these people Dementors ( ya, just like in Harry Potter ). It’s someone who is constantly stealing your time & sucking your energy. I’m still a work in progress when it comes to combating these Dementors. I’ll let you guys know when I have more advice here. But this is a hard one because it does make you feel guilty when these people want your time.
Definitely try this guys. Let me know how Tim’s assignment goes. Tag me in your IG Stories @theskinnyconfidential so I can check it out. Be sure to print out the free printable above.
If you want another printable to help create your strategic future, stalk this post. Just remember to get the positive things on the calendar ASAP!
Think of this like losing weight. When you try to lose weight you don’t want to take things away from your plate, because you end up feeling deprived. You actually want to add more good things to the plate to crowd out the bad.
Alright I’m off to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. She’s the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s such a cute show all about cleaning up your house & creating space in your life, which is so fitting for this post & the new year. Tidying Up makes room for joy, creativity, more of the things you absolutely love, & creates a space that’s peaceful & calming. So about it for 2019.
There’s something therapeutic about watching this show. She cleans everything & provides serenity. I’m also gonna make some homemade popcorn with dark chocolate chips.