I write down everything in this notebook. I go through about one a year and try to fill up each blank page as much as possible. I write workouts, to-do lists, random ideas, things I read in books, meeting agendas, programs I need to write, things I need to buy and I journal in it too. It’s messy, but works well for me.

For a while, it didn’t work. I would forget to complete simple tasks because I was frozen by perfectionism. I had the ideal of what my notebook should look like and how it should be used. I didn’t want my journaling next to a to-do list next to a list of bills I need to pay. I wanted everything to have its place. I tried other methods, all stalled by perfectionism too. I had a dedicate training notebook, that I would never log workouts in. I had a journal only notebook, that got lost in the shuffle. I had a notebook specifically for writing down ideas I read about, never got filled.

My one notebook system was a way to simplify. I needed to tell myself, this will be a little messier than you originally intended, but you need a way to keep track of stuff. You’ve all seen this notebook on the desk next to my computer. I carry it everywhere, all my ideas, thoughts and lists live inside. I needed to change my perception of what the notebook was for. I wanted matching pages, clean writing and an easy way to find things when I needed. 

Instead, I have a slightly disorganized, a little all over the place notebook that’s hard to find stuff in. Just the other day, I was telling Taylor a quote I had written down about 6 months ago. On my first attempt, to show him I could find it, I failed. Quickly, I realized that the point of writing it down wasn’t being able to find the quote. It was to remember the quote!

I was so worked up about how to write things down, I forgot the point is to write things down so you remember them. We all do this. We have a perfect mental representation of what the task/goal/thing should look like. Sometimes, when it’s too perfect, it keeps us from trying or sticking with it at all. 

Is your ideal preventing you from doing something? How can you change this mental representation of what you’re trying to accomplish to make it work better for you? Are you freezing due to perfectionism? 

Justin Miner 


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