The challenge for the last 10 days of the year, was to write daily. Today is the first day of 2020. I have - I think - been pretty consistent. I have written 10 posts, this being my 9th published.
Minimum viable change
The best dietary advice I heard over the years was the most simple:
“Pick your worse habit in terms of nutrition. The single thing that you think does the most harm. Then commit to changing this one thing. No complex programs, no other commitments.”
I think this general guideline is true, for most changes you want to trigger in your life. Focus on the minimum viable change.
It began with sugar for me. It occurred to me when I saw how much sugar they add to my cappucino. No sugar week followed by no sugar month. It did stick. From there a cascade of nutrition changes and whole new body awareness.
Over the years a plethora of challenges led to major changes in my life. Apart from my current nutrition, my workout schedule, my reading habits, and a constant struggle to reduce screen addiction I have - through challenges - find a new understanding for my internal drives.
Challenge yourself to trigger a change
At some point, you have to look at a situation and self-critically assess that you might be simply doing it wrong. Not an external factor, not someone else. But you.
For me, such an a-ha moment came some years ago. I was apart from being an engineer/product owner, also a business owner. Anecdotally tension regarding business decisions kept following me. I was in the epicenter most of the time. And you know what they say: “If the stench keeps following you, consider that it might be you!”.
Every time I had to make a business decision for a company that had by far outgrown my expectations I felt ill-placed. I tried to blame my big mouth. Always telling my mind, regardless of the outcome, but I think that was expected and welcomed. It was I concluded something around my mindset.
My business mindset was always influenced by how I grew up. Not restricted, but aware of the limits. Always trying to be on the safe side. We were three kids in a family of unskilled factory workers in Germany.
This mindset while generally sane was the reason I kept attracting struggle. In hindsight, I can say it was not suited for a company moving at the speed at which Skroutz grew over the last 10 years. When I came to the realization that struggling with business decisions was more a pain than a joy to me, I broke free.
I challenged myself to stay away from expressing my opinion, doubts or whatever negative came to my mind. I committed to either be positive or silent. Whenever I had to make a decision as a business owner it would be at the very last moment. Lucky for me better people than me stepped up for the job.
I simply requested to focus on what I actually loved creating. Experiences. After that decision, I spent the next 3 years with the Ecommerce team at Skroutz building the SmartCart.
Stay challenged, Stay Foolish
Changes are hard. Small or big. You step into the unknown. In hindsight, all changes seem impressive. Nevertheless, they all started the same way: “I bet I can’t …”.