I have a mixed relationship with James Clear's work. On one hand, his focus on doing and being and achieving is very "productivity classic" (read: you are better if you are achieving bigger things) and it stresses me out. On the other hand, the way he breaks down habits and shaping them is pretty dang bang-on for me.
This quote, though:
“Instead of working toward retirement, work toward your ideal lifestyle. There is usually a path to get there in a few years instead of a few decades.”-James Clear
This is a concept I've been thinking about for a while now, inspired by an even more stressful and deeply problematic writer, Tim Ferriss. I read The 4-Hour Work Week many years ago and found it kind of disgusting (oh hello, I will manufacture my life to barely ever have to work and become a nouveau riche who spends their life in ongoing mini-retirements thanks to passive income generated by other people who have to work full time for low pay because this system only works if it exploits others).
What it did do, however, is get me thinking about how I wanted to be living my life and how I could start to shift my current life to be closer to what I wanted, as well as open my eyes to the fact that some shortcuts are totally valid.
Now James Clear is reminding me of this, which I appreciate, despite ongoing insinuation that I would be better off eating fewer chips.
Here's some things I've done to get closer to my ideal lifestyle: talked to a financial advisor, changed my work schedule, spent more time outdoors, set little mini goals that are fun to work towards, bought a camera, and tried different kinds of writing.
If you're at a bit of a loss on where to start figuring out what you'd like to see change in your lifestyle, here's an exercise that I love (created by Dru Scott): take a piece of paper and write "more" and "less" at the top. Then, without worrying about it too much, write 20 things you would like more of and 20 things you would like less of in your life. It could be anything from the abstract (freedom) to specific (time reading books). Once you're done, review and circle the top 3-5 on each side. Set that paper aside (or flip to the next page in your notebook).
Do the same thing every day for a week without looking back on your previous lists. Then at the end of it, you can review those lists to see what kinds of things come up a lot or really stick out to you. Use this to start imagining what kind of lifestyle you want to have and how you can start getting there.
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