Justin Wright

Monday Velocity - Drowning

published20 days ago
4 min read

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From the outside looking in, my life has been a series of goals set and achieved. The reality is, when I retired from professional CrossFit, I was completely lost at sea. I went from having one sole focus in my life, with everything revolving around that singular goal, to having a number of different interests and pursuits.

For the first time in longer than I could remember, I was putting the same level of effort I had put into training and competing into other avenues. I was hungry to improve, and I wanted to perform at the same, high level I was familiar with.

Unfortunately, this caused me to take on far too much, far too soon. I felt like I was drowning and incapable of keeping my head above water. My stress levels were through the roof and I was lost. Performing at a high level for so long made things feel worse in comparison; I was stumbling when I was used to striving.

At this point, I had to do some serious soul searching. I was able to gain comfort in the same approach I had taken with training for many years: I found systems that worked for organizing my life and organizing my thoughts. These systems gave me a framework for tackling my days and giving my best effort. I started to make forward progress again, and had a much clearer head.

1) I had to define who I wanted to be in the future. I realized I was still obsessed with human potential, but now my goal was to help others reach their full potential instead of being solely focused on mine.

2) I needed to take stock of which actions were aligned with this goal, and which actions weren't. I had spent too long saying 'yes' and started spending time saying 'no' to things that didn't serve me.

3) I needed to create a system for organizing my goals, and breaking these down into daily habits to guarantee progress towards those goals. Out of my own struggles, I created the early iterations of the Lean List System.

4) I was still struggling to get important tasks done, and so I leveraged my morning ritual to create 2-3 priority targets for each day. I focused solely on getting these tasks done and learned to be okay with other things not getting done.

5) I implemented monthly and yearly reflections to assess whether or not I was staying true to my vision. It's easy for small moments each day and each week to knock us slightly off track. This is natural and expected, just make sure you correct course from there.

6) I found communities of like-minded individuals. Interacting with other creators online, asking for help, and trying to provide value to others made me feel more fulfilled. A huge component of my mission is to serve others, and this helped keep that momentum going.

This isn't an exhaustive list, and next week I will dive a bit deeper into my actual systems, processes, apps, and everything else I use to stay organized and on track. I just hope that being vulnerable and sharing my struggles can help you on whatever part of the journey you find yourself on. My life's work is truly to help others achieve their potential, whatever that may be.

Hit List

The most interesting things I've encountered this week:

What I'm listening to: "Fitness Toolkit" on the Huberman Lab Podcast

When I want to embrace my science background and nerd out on fitness, Andrew Huberman's podcast is my go-to. This episode talks about a sustainable weekly fitness regimen for those who want to check all the boxes without spending all day in the gym. Many of my clients are busy working professionals, and we need to optimize the little time they do have to train.

What I'm watching: "Debunking success myths" with Neil deGrasse Tyson and others

I love Neil deGrasse Tyson and, in particular, his way of distilling and explaining complicated topics. This is a great discussion on success, and how to organize our lives to experience more of it. In particular, I love the opening point that success can be found by finding our unique combination of talents and putting them out into the world.

An app I love: Flow on iOS, MacOS

Sahil Bloom shared this app in one of his recent newsletters, and I fell in love with it immediately. I've used Pomodoro timer apps before, and wrote about the approach in a previous newsletter, but the simplicity of this interface has been great. It integrates with my workflow without being distracting, and it sits right in the top bar of my Mac while I'm doing work. Highly recommend both the desktop and mobile versions for increasing productivity!

The Lean List Goal Setting Template

This goal-setting system was born out of a desire to help my clients who were struggling to put words into action. It went through many iterations until it evolved into its current version. If you want a complete goal-setting system that will help you do a self-assessment and create meaningful habits, all with examples provided, look no further!

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