Archive for the ‘Eat That Frog’ Category

Recognizing Ugly

June 19, 2011

I’ve read several of those short books by SimpleTruths and one that really stuck with me was “Eat That Frog“. I took the 21 principles is lists and made them part of my planning tool, as data rather than a feature. This means I actually have 22 agenda items related to evaluating my day in terms of the frogs I need to eat. The strange thing is I didn’t have a feature for the ugliness of the items I was putting on the agenda.

Was I avoiding something? Could I have really been that dense?

I may have some data in the next few weeks and months that will help me answer those questions. I’ve added a new factor for “ugliness” and have filters that let me make sure I am giving adequate attention to the ugliest items on my agenda. Or rather, I will be able to consider ugliness as one of the ways I tackle my agenda.

The wonderful thing about adding ugliness as a field is that it helped me recognize something I hadn’t seen before. A few days ago, I added Factors to the DateHabit layout, so I could use the insights I got from reading “Eat That Frog” to actually help me change. As I was going through the ETF principles this morning, I started adding Factors to the ones I did after I implemented Ugliness as a feature. That was when I realized I needed to have a new routine that happens monthly.

  • I need to go back and look at the results of my work and see what Factors are showing up for what Habits.
  • And I also need to look at what Habits are showing up on which Factors

This might sound like overkill but I don’t think it is. Consider the post yesterday about Serious Habit Building. I’m using the tool to help myself work backwards from a seemingly impossible goal (losing 70 pounds for example) to a point where I have data to help me make a decision about really doing the change. That was always missing in the past. I would jump into some change I wanted to make and build no support structure for it. I thought that being an intelligent person was enough. It’s only now, with barely four weeks of data, that I recognize I am just like everyone else. Only I might be worse off in the sense that I now have data showing me my failings.

But guess what: Having the courage to fail is one of my strengths. I learn a lot about what works and doesn’t work just by trying things. Not food, but mostly ideas. I’m always looking for ways to get better. And now, I have a tool to help me do it. I have a passion, and Ken Robinson helped me find it.

Or rather, Rolf Smith helped me survive my stint in the corporate world so I could enjoy my retirement and get around to all the ideas I put on the back burner while I was working. I can’t remember when I was having so much fun.

And maybe by the time people start reading this blog, I’ll have something I can show them pieces of, prior to launching my next adventure.