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January 25, 2015

Switch

So far so good on goals, in terms of reaching them *technically*, but I'd like to do better. For example, here it is Saturday night at 11:40 pm and I need to have a blog post up within the next 20 minutes. What's more, I don't know that my batteries will last that long, and I conveniently left the power cord at work.

But I did make a big pot of chicken curry today, so I'm on track for cooking. And I spent 20 minutes on the bike at the gym reading Switch.

Who has read "Switch"?

It's a book about change, and change-making. On a personal level, on an organizational level, on a societal level. One of the premises: Change is hard. Or, it can be. One of the reasons change is hard: Making decisions takes energy. (Studies show!) If we don't know *how* to change, if we don't know what to do, it's hard to get there. Because before we can even do it, we need to figure out what it is.

Man, does this ring true. If we give ourselves a clear path, and a why, we're much better able to reach those goals. I want to make an impact on this world. But what does that mean? It's so very vague. It takes energy to figure out what that is. I have this feeling that once I figure it out, I can do it. It's the figuring out that feels like the hard part.

They also (two authors) talk about analysis paralysis. Not that I'd have any experience with that. But what they said, had I ever had that experience, makes sense. It takes energy to make decisions. If we give ourselves fewer decisions or, and this one's huge for me, we give ourselves *guidelines* on how to make those decisions, we facilitate the whole process. We keep things moving forward.

That last part really struck a chord for me. I've lamented to myself for years that I just don't have a clear framework anymore for much of my life. I don't have a financial framework (when I had less money, my framework was clearer), I don't have a values framework (easier when I went by religious teachings, and then everything was somewhat up in the air for a while), and I don't have a general life framework (having a full-time job with externally determined goals helps with that, and I struggled with lack of structure when I didn't). How do I prioritize my time? What matters? Is it okay to spend money to change a plane ticket? How much is okay to spend? There are no clear guidelines for these choices, and once guidelines are in place these decisions are easier to make. Boundaries. And those boundaries can absolutely be determined by the individual. So, I think it's time to be thinking about some rules for myself. As I said, I've thought about this quite a bit in the past--or lamented, rather, as I put it--but reading about this in the book affirmed my idea that it's easier to live within a framework. And not necessarily easy in a bad way. So, new goal: Build a personal framework.

I'll get out my hammer and nails tomorrow.

Posted by beth at January 25, 2015 6:39 AM

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