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A self-improvement virtuous cycle

The King of US has just bombed the highest military commander of Iran, and I will not even start commenting... We are post new year's resolutions, and the new Me is in full control!

I hope you enjoyed the year-end break and you are refreshed and ready for the new decade. As for me, I just got lots of time to read and think... This has led me to the most profound and possibly life changing resolutions ever, as the usual top three resolutions of the year landed in the bin!

Yes, the new Me has decided to drive a big Change Program...

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These past few days, I have been reminded once more that "I deserve what I tolerate!". And what applies to me also applies to you all, my friends. Indeed, you deserve what you tolerate... Only when you stop tolerating some kind of recurring shit situation, then and only then, you can seek better alternatives and take action, because staying put is intolerable!

So frankly, I am not even going to start attempting a list of top three resolutions for this year, because as sure as the Fed creates assets inflation, I will not be able to tolerate a 12 months wait, to discover if I can tick the box, or if I should only half-tick it. If you remember, last year I set three easily measurable targets for which I had a certain level of control. That was a good setup. As good as I was able to do in the 2010s... But now, we are in the 2020s, and the pressure is pumping. I need to find all the possible ways to be a better person, and it starts right now.

When I used to work in a Corporate (oh dear, what an expression of the past!), we would relentlessly apply many efficiency concepts to squeeze the most of each and every hour of the day from everyone in the team. In retrospect, it is kind of astonishing to think that what is accepted as good practice at work is not usually replicated for personal matters. So from now on, for the good that it delivers, I am going to apply three efficiency concepts to my personal life, in the hope that slowly but surely, they become part of my daily routine.

The first one is to set the right rhythm and bring an agile cycle. The high-level concept is simple:
  • The year is made of 4 independent programs of 3 months each
  • At the end of each program, I set aside a few days of review and planning for the next one
  • Each program is made of about 6 sprints or 2 weeks each
  • At the end of each sprint, I set aside a few hours of review and adjustment for the next one

Therefore at the beginning of each cycle, my goals will be set for the next 3 months, not more. In addition, they will be reviewed, benchmarked and adjusted up to 6 times in the 3 months. No way I can forget about them! And hopefully, no way I can miss them by a mile...

Second, I am also applying a 70/20/10 rule to each program. For those of you who wonder what this is, it is a bit like the more well-known 80/20 rule, but with space for future plans... Each program has three main goals (the 3 measurable targets are back here), which are split like this:
  • A main focus, otherwise called priority one, taking up 70% of my time
  • A second priority, which is nurtured to be a potential first priority in future programs, taking up 20% of my time
  • A third priority, called a moonshot, which could have a big impact on my life in several programs, taking up the remaining 10%

Third, it's a revolution! I will not set targets on accomplishments but on processes. When we set a target with a value in mind, we over-simplify (to the point of having just this final number in mind) and we dismiss the real activities which are necessary to hit this elusive number. In most instances, setting a value target is bad practise. Instead, focus on improving an automated and well functioning process. Then the value target will come naturally, as it is just a by-product of the well functioning process.

In a nutshell, that is my new decade resolution:
  • An agile method to keep on-track and on-motivation
  • A 70/20/10 split of activities giving space to current priorities and future growth
  • A focus on improving processes, not values (monetary or otherwise)

Now the hard thing starts: I need to make a habit of this wonderful self-improvement virtuous cycle.

To your journey!

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