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June 14, 2024

Figure Out This Week Before You Figure Out Your Life

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Author of “Atomic Habits” James Clear featured an insightful idea in his Newsletter that I want to share with you. He said “Clarity isn’t about knowing what you want to do with your life, it’s about knowing what you want to do this week.”

I think it’s brilliant. We put so much pressure on figuring out what our purpose is, what career we want to be in, where we want to live, what type of lifestyle we want to have or successes we want to earn. We feel like having a clear understanding for what that looks like will help guide our daily decision making.

While that is true and there are few things more powerful than a strong life vision to follow with discipline, it’s a very difficult task. Life is so unpredictable that good plans fall apart quickly and the ones that last are actually more flexible than rigid.

That’s why Clear says a more practical clarity to have is shorter term, visioning out what the week looks like. And having a clear plan for the week does a few helpful things.

First is, if you do have macro life clarity, it helps you to narrow your scope and pick out the right actionable things you need to do to make progress on it. Big plans come together through daily action, and knowing what needs to get done this week to serve the master plan improves the likelihood it will work.

Second, a week is about the right amount of time to optimize your personal rhythms. A lot of people overlook the design of their life and in doing so, are at risk to being overcommitted and compromising their self-care routines. Putting a plan together for the week helps you see how you can prioritize your health, get good-quality work done, and have time for the important people in your life. I find that viewing a full week as a single unit makes it easier to consider everything in balance.

And last, you can do things in a given week that help you figure out your overall life plan. Rather than committing to years of volunteering for a nonprofit, you can plan to show up once in a given week and see how you like it. Rather than building your identity around a certain hobby, you can try it out once or twice and go from there.

We don’t want to experiment with our life because we only have one and we don't want to get it wrong. But we get a new week every 7 days. This helps us to be a little bolder, riskier, and les sustainable at times to inform us in knowing what we want and like overall.

So if you’re feeling a bit off track in life, just start with what the next week looks like: 

How many times do you want to exercise?

What fun things do you want to do? Who do you want to see?

What do you want to work on, and for how long?

You’ll find that there’s a lot of joy and fulfillment just in creating a good plan for a new week and following through on it.

As you build out your new weekly design and looking for the most influential things you can do to improve your life, there are 9 Super Habits that transform an inconsistent ‘hit or miss’ person into a self-disciplined and dependable machine! If you’re curious to know what they are and how they work, check them out!

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