Have you binned your resolutions yet?
In the first part of this series we seen that resolutions have a high failure rate and why this is the case. I introduced Life Management Systems (LMSs) and demonstrated how they are better than goals. To recap, from part 1:
A Life Management System (LMS) is a way of routinely doing something with the purpose of improving or maintaining a certain state on an ongoing basis.
In this part, I’ll explain how to set up LMSs and how to make them work. To round off, I’ll share some of my own.
Setting up LMSs and making them work
Determine what areas to focus on
- First identify the areas you want to develop (e.g. physical health, finances, career, relationships, even fun).
- Understand why these areas are important to you. Google ‘Simon Sinek Ted why’.
- Review how you’re managing these areas today. Is it haphazardly? Is it through a process that could do with an overhaul? Do you need to start something from scratch?
- Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how you’re faring in these areas. What does a 10 look and feel like?
Select and design your LMSs
- Do the research to generate a wide selection of options. What would be the most effective routine to get you to a 10/10 in this area in x months? A 9/10, 8/10? A +1 improvement?
- Decide on the option works best for you. What routine is possible with your schedule and resources? How much energy and focus do you want to allot this area? What would be most fun? What’s the easiest and most effective option? Does the system compliment, simplify or negate your other systems? What’s quickest to implement?
- Determine the LMS criteria. How long will you execute it for before upgrading? How frequently? When will you review, how often? What metric(s) will you track and how? How will you be accountable?
Execute your LMS
- What’s the simplest first action? Execute straight away to create momentum.
- Approach with a beginner’s mind. Expect to be a little bit rough around the edges when beginning.
- Keep a tab on your metric(s).
- See it as an experiment. You may have slip ups in the executing of your system. Your metrics may not be showing improvements. See it as an opportunity to be curious and understand what needs to be tweaked.
Review and upgrade
After a set period, review how the LMS has gone. Where are you on a scale of 10? What can be improved? How could you get results faster? Is it even still relevant to you?
Examples of my LMSs
I have several key areas I focus on. Here are a few of my LMSs:
- Eat an adapted Bulletproof Diet™. My metric is based on how energetic and focused I am on a day to day basis.
- Work-out 3 times a week (mixing up sprints and strength and conditioning work outs). At the current time, my metric here is to simply complete 3 intense workouts a week.
- A good nights sleep using a sleep induction matt and supplementing with magnesium. I target an 80%+ sleep quality using the sleep cycle app.
- Thirty minutes of mindfulness practice each day, first thing.
- Three 5 minutes sessions of heart rate variability training per day. I use the Inner Balance app by the HeartMath Institute, targeting an Inner Balance HRV score of 900 per day. This helps to build resilience to stress.
- I set aside 2 hours a day for undistracted, focused work on my highest priority piece of work. I do this before hitting the office or opening any email inboxes.
- Spend 20% of work time planning.
- Approach each piece of work or meeting with the questions ‘what needs to be done?’, ‘what’s best for the enterprise?’. These questions are credited to Peter Drucker1.
- Do a quarterly review of achievements and LMSs.
- Review income and expenditure on a monthly basis. I track against an annual savings forecast, with a +/-10% tolerance. Anything that takes me off bounds either prompts a review of expenditure. I either need to make tweaks or justify my deviation (e.g. longer term benefits).
- Use an automated spreadsheet system to review all accounts including investments.
- All investments and big expenditures have to generate a good gut feel before doing even any further research.
- Blog once per week using a blog template.
- Read 30-60 minutes a day (non-fiction in the morning, fiction in the evening). Highlight prose that resonates or ideas to investigate further.
- I do this with writers block. Pick up a pen and paper and write non-stop out with out any self-editing against a timer. Even if it goes off piste that is fine, this helps to break through.
That’s all for this week. In the mean time, keep hustling.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – please leave me a comment below.
Bulletproof and Brain Octane are registered trademarks owned by Bulletproof Digital, Inc Bulletproof Diet, XCT and Upgraded are marks owned by Bulletproof Digital, Inc
- https://hbr.org/2004/06/what-makes-an-effective-executive ‘What Makes an Effective Executive’.