Kaleidoscope 7/40: Operation Fresh Start

Kaleidoscope 7/40: Operation Fresh Start
Photorealistic calendar & kaleidoscope -- not what I was expecting, but I like it // DALL-E

Hey hey!

Kaleidoscope is one of the projects that I've embarked on to finish before my birthday... Operation Fresh Start is another.

Operation Fresh Start is a whole group of ankle biter tasks that I've been putting off — or not even acknowledging — for far too long.

Sort through the kitchen drawers...
Go to the dentist...
Paint the bedroom ceiling after the skylight install...
Order new socks...

The list goes on. Basically none of it is fun to do. Yet I've LOVED Operation Fresh Start.

Yes, I somehow enjoyed cleaning out my junk drawer?

There is a lot of value in that for me. So I wanted to sort through and find the question. First , I thought 'what are my ankle biter tasks' (and how can I get myself to do them?)?

And then I thought, no, its 'How can I create an (arbitrary) fresh start?'

While those aren't bad questions, the thing that makes Operation Fresh Start work is actually somewhere else entirely.

What is my sweet spot?


For me, crossing off an ankle biter task or two might feel good for a minute, but then its completely forgotten. It just doesn't leave much of an impact.

Operation Fresh Start on the other hand, feels like a wonderful, giant gift to my future self.

It hits the sweet spot — its small enough to do be do-able and yet large enough to be impactful.

Finding the sweet spot is especially important when you're starting projects or trying to do stuff you don't like.

This 40 day pop-up newsletter is an exercise in my sweet spot — I know I can do just about anything for 40 days. And 40 days is enough to create a shift in habits and thoughts. It's a great experiment.

But its really easy for me to get knocked out of my sweet spot.

For the list of Operation Fresh Start to become too long and untenable (and thus abandoned)
For the demands I add to this newsletter become unsustainable or unclear or unfulfilling (and thus abandoned)
For my weightlifting to become more focused on optimization than on feeling good and having fun (and thus abandoned – see a pattern?)

Which is why one of my favorite tactics for finding the sweet spot is my 'Good / Better / Best' list.

Operation Fresh Start has three categories of actions: Good / Better / Best.
This newsletter has three categories of actions: Good / Better / Best.
The gym has no such thing, but I am now thinking that it absolutely should!

Good = This is the low bar for success — its my safety blanket.
Better = I think I can do this, but I'm not sure... the plan.
Best = The dream, baby. Energizing to think about! Exciting.

And you know what? Sometimes I only hit good.

I've only hit good on this newsletter so far (a little embarrassing to reveal, but true none the less).

And while I started with good on Operation Fresh Start, I'm hitting closer to better and aiming for some of best (I told you I am feeling this project)!

The great thing is that Good/Better/Best gives me a places for the different needs I have from goals.

I have a place to put those dreams and ambitions and audacious ideas... I can be inspired by them, without overwhelming myself with them.

And I have a place for the minimum. The safety blanket. The 'I KNOW I can do this.'

It's doable and its flexible — a sweet spot indeed.

Until tomorrow,
Rebecca

PS — Bonus Question (mostly for future Rebecca) — How can I turn draining to do lists into energizing projects that hit the sweet spot?

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