Cooking and Reaching Your Goals

Don’t talk about it, be about it

Seeking Fulfillment Beyond Work

After spending entirely too many years focused on launching and growing Creatuity to the exclusion of almost everything else in my life, I recently decided to sit down and identify what I enjoyed in life and seeing and if I was actively pursuing activities that brought some sort of enjoyment or value to my life. Being a dedicated Omnifocus user and a fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach to productivity, I decided to sit down and create a Project for each of these activities I wanted to do more of, define the actions necessary to make it happen and just generally approach it like I would a project for work.

How Not To Become a Chef

One example is cooking - when we moved into our new house a couple of years ago, we went with the ‘gourmet’ kitchen with double convection ovens, a huge gas range and all the other trimmings someone who cooks often could possibly want, because I was going to cook more. Fast forward two years and I think I’ve cooked twice since we moved in. So, I setup a project called “Cook More at Home” and created some actions such as researching the best recipe websites, cooking apps, etc., because then surely I would cook more, right? I have the kitchen, the tools, the well-defined project and steps and access to a virtually unlimited supply of recipes and tips on the Internet.

A Complete Lack of Progress

Let’s fast forward a few more months, when I’m disappointed to admit I still wasn’t cooking more. Or at all. I’ve checked off some of the action items in my “Cook More at Home” project, but overall made very little progress on the project, and most importantly, I hadn’t cooked anything at home (unless the microwave counts). Then, I saw another developer on Twitter mention that he was looking for a good recipe app and I realized that I was pulling a classic developer/techie move - I was so focused on finding the best way to do something, that I wasn’t actually doing it.

No More Yak Shaving

I realized that I was using the fact that I didn’t know the best way to approach cooking, the best way to organizing my recipes and the best system to put into place to make sure I cook more often to stop be from actually doing the work of making this project happen. I was, as Merlin Mann discussed, yak shaving. Instead of running through the steps that Merlin lists in his article, however, I decided that, like most goals we set for ourselves but never manage to reach, the answer was simple: just do it. Stop talking about it. Stop making excuses. Stop coming up with systems and approaches and finding the best app. That night, I went to the grocery store, bought some ingredients and spent the weekend cooking. What I learned, and I hope you will learn as well, is that if there’s a goal that is truly important to you the most important thing you can do is just get out there and make it happen.

Be About It

Or, in the words of the famous 21st century poet, Busta Rhymes in his epic, “Pass the Courvoisier” - Don’t talk about it, be about it!

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Jamie Larson