Mid-year review, the big three, create your MAP, add one minus one

Happy Sunday! Oops—I missed last week’s newsletter.

I bought a house in July last year, spent a few months on the paperwork, and renovated it throughout Q1 this year. On the last day of March, I moved into the house—and finally hosted the housewarming party last Saturday. (That’s why I didn’t send you an email last week)

While it was exhausting, I'm grateful to everyone who attended the party.

Buying—and moving into—a house is a long process. Now that it’s done, it’s a great time to revisit other priorities and projects, especially when we’re halfway through 2023.

What about you: How do you do with your 2023 goals? What are some projects you’ve done so far? What new opportunities would you like to tackle in the next six months?

Mid-year review

In case you need a framework to reflect on the first half of the year, here are the three questions I ask myself:

  • What went well?
  • What went wrong?
  • What needs work?

I use the framework for almost any kind of review and reflection.

The big three

One way to simplify the review process is to put your life into different buckets. You can think about your life in six areas: Career and business, finance and money, relationships, health and fitness, personal growth, and hobbies.

An even simpler version of this would be:

  • Energy. Your health, energy level, mental state, etc.
  • Work. Your job, business, art—and your role in the community.
  • Love. Self-love, family, romantic partner, and other people in your life.

Life is all about Work and Love. And to be the best version of yourself in both of them, you need an unending source of Energy.

Create your MAP

To make a lasting impact, you need to design and transform your habits. To design and transform your habits, you need a MAP: Motivation, Ability, Prompt.

Motivation is the energy you need to get moving. When the motivation is high, you're energized and pumped to take action. When the motivation is low, you don't feel like doing anything and start losing momentum.

Ability is your competence in carrying out the action you want. High ability means the task is easy for you. Low ability means the task is difficult, big, or complicated, and you might need help figuring out where to start.

Prompt is the cue that reminds you of your behavior. When the prompt is obvious, you get triggered into action easily. When the prompt is invisible, you forget about the action.

To make changes, you want to keep your motivation high, pick challenges that match your ability (or increase your ability), and design your environment with positive prompts.

Add one minus one

In one of the articles, I share the concept known as Via Negativa. It’s a somewhat controversial approach to add to your life—by subtracting from it.

The common approach to getting more in life is to do more. However, we all have limited resources. A simple strategy to counter that is the rule “add one minus one.”

When you want to introduce a new thing into your life, remove one existing thing first.

  • Before adding a new project, close out a completed projects or remove one that you’re no longer interested in.
  • Before buying more clothes, organize your wardrobe and remove pieces that you rarely wear in the past six to twelve months.
  • Before committing to a new goal, review your current goals and eliminate those that don’t contribute to your bigger vision.

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