Learning to Edit

Let me admit this and face the truth right from the start. I have completely fallen off the rails when it comes to the daily pre-determined processes I wanted to implement in 2022. If you read my Best Year page and the 2022 page, I had a whole “system” built to make monumental progress this year, drop by drop by drop.

And in January I got sick, so I adapted some of my processes to work within my limitations. And in February, my work situation got incredibly demanding and stressful, so I reacted by short-circuiting most of my processes. And I justified this by saying there were simply too many little steps and micro-goals for each day…so, with everything else going on, I convinced myself I didn’t have the time to do it all.

That said, I DID continue with some of the processes, which I had already learned to “stack” throughout the day. Those things became habitual parts of my daily routines, so it was easier to keep those micro-goals and micro-improvements happening day by day.

But now, even in the middle of continuing ridiculous job stress, I realize I need to get back on track and the only way I will be able to do it, consistently and productively, is by learning to edit.

I need to learn to edit from 35-ish daily “did I do X?” questions and reminders, to very simple “stacks” of new daily action steps and new mindset habits. One great example is that I want to improve my relationships with my family and friends and also make new friends and push myself out of my shyness and learn to be comfortable with introducing myself to other people and interacting with other people.

My original plan for this includes nearly a dozen steps or daily check-in reminders because I broke this desired result down more and more, until I had a VERY detailed checklist of sorts. But honestly, it takes so long to look at all those steps throughout the day in my phone app and constantly remind myself of all the ways I want to improve how I interact with other people, that I rarely actually followed up with the actions that would make it a reality.

So I want to try a different approach. I want to go back to the work I’ve done so far and begin to edit. For example, for much of my health-related processes, I stole Brian Johnson’s very simple “eat, move, sleep” idea, which I believe he borrowed from someone else. I want to run a new experiment to see how effective I can be in creating the results I desire for this year, by putting in the hard work of thinking more and more about editing things down to less and less.

Rather than a dozen checklist items to remind me of the steps I think I should take to have better interactions with the people around me, maybe I could put it as simply as “be warm and friendly” and leave it at that. That would cover the steps no matter who the person is, regardless of gender, race, or any of the other things that could be added to overcomplicate the situation. If I am simply warm and friendly with any and all persons I am near, certainly this will yield a good result.

As I start to edit my processes for making 2022 my best year ever, I will also start to think about how I can learn to edit in my work life. And then learn to edit in other areas of my life as well. This has some interesting potential, and approaching it as an experiment takes away all the pressure. I’ll keep track of the results and report back so we can learn something together.