Start. Stop. Continue. Heard of the famous annual review exercise?
You make three columns (titled Start, Stop, and Continue) and add habits and activities to each respective column – things you want to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing.
Why? I want to create more in 2023.
Whether writing, creating products, filming videos, or doing random projects – I’m most fulfilled when I’m producing, rather than consuming.
To increase the quality (and quantity) of my output, I need to increase the quality of my inputs.
If we look back at the most impressive people in history at their craft, they were prolific.
If we eat junk food, we can expect to feel sluggish, have no energy, etc. The same goes for the internet. When we consume junk food for the mind (I’m looking at you, TikTok), the quality of our thoughts and outputs will suffer.
True crime is an addiction
Hi, I’m Cathryn Lavery and I’m addicted to true crime podcasts.
And I’m not the only one. Turns out, women are far more attracted to true crime than men are.
It started when I last moved. Packing was slightly less painful when my girlfriend (now wife) and I listened to true crime to pass the time. I was able to focus my ADHD brain on a boring task only if I was able to listen to a show at the same time.
“Should we clean and listen to murder?” was our way of making that process more tolerable 🤣
Inputs as they relate to outputs
I’m a big believer in compounding. What I have today is not from what I did yesterday. It’s from 5-10 years of compounding decisions.
When I first started in entrepreneurship in 2012, I devoured business books. The E-Myth. Rich Dad Poor Dad. Millionaire Fastlane. You name it.
If I wasn’t reading them, I was listening to them. Everything I did was about personal development.
Five years in though, I burned out. Understandably.
I started reading more fiction and fun stuff. Yep, despite what the gurus say, fiction. God forbid 🤭
Now, I’ve talked about compounding actions and how to look at things we buy:
If we used the new thing every day for the next year, would we be a better version of ourselves or a worse version of ourselves?
If not, don’t waste your money. Invest it.
This lesson translates to everything we do, consume, buy, etc.
So back to true crime – My observation started with the birth of my daughter.
I wanted to be more conscious about what I let her (now 10.5 months) listen to. Even as a newborn, I didn’t want her to overhear stories about gruesome murders, rape, and kidnappings – even though she wouldn’t know what was going on.
That’s when I took a step back and rewind to my younger way of thinking:
- If I don’t want her to listen, then why am I listening?
- If it’s not going to make me a better mom, wife, or entrepreneur, should I be listening?
Actions compound. Best case scenario, true crime is a net neutral to my and my family’s life. Worst case, it’ll have a negative impact.
And don’t forget about the opportunity cost of missing out on what I could be doing because my time was spent consuming trash.
So I’m taking a step back from true crime.
My house will suffer – it’ll definitely be messier. But my brain (and my daughter’s) will be cleaner. And I’ll have more time to create, instead of consume.
Anyway, life is a pendulum. Things move and swing as life changes.
Maybe 10 years ago, I was too far in one direction, and now I’m too far in the other direction. 🤷♀️ Who knows?