Challenging the Odds.

‘Tis the season… to make goals that I probably won’t follow through on.

How can we take advantage of our good intentions on Jan 1st and make them work for us throughout the year or at least longer than they would naturally last?

Below are my personal reflections of the last year + a To-Do list for 2015 w/ some ways I’ll hold myself accountable to it.

Best of 2014

Best thing I did for work this year: Threw a [launch] party for myself…err…Irrational Labs.

Best thing I stopped talking about and actually did this year: Wrote blogs.

Best thing I did professionally: Helped lead and build the Behavioral Economics group (Irrational Labs) at Google

Best book I read: Darwin Economy.

Best thing someone said to me this year: “When I get stuck I think, “what would Berman do?”

Best thing I did for myself: 13 day whitewater rafting trip on Colorado River

Best new life design: Hired someone to throw out my clothes and furniture stuff.

Best new roommate combo: Preston & Francesca

Best new realization: I will always juggle more than I can — it’s not about catching all the balls, it’s about not dropping the important ones.

Best love insight: Crossing the friend-chasm is possible (and amazing)

Best advice I got and paid attention to: Have more sex

Best advice I got and did not pay attention to yet: Meditate

Best physical challenge: Duathalon. Swim Alcatraz + 7 mile run across GG

Best productivity breakthrough (other than Adderall): Taking calls in the car

Best decision that led to new life friends: Spending 2014 NYE in Lebanon

Best happy moments: Knowledge sharing. It’s like gift giving every day.

Best cartoon depiction of me this year: This poster of me in a Colombian newspaper

Craziest social experiment pulled off: The 12 person group date

My best dinner party that will retire: No Small Talk party

To do list in 2015.

The stuff that when looking back in a year I will be sad to have NOT done.

(…and how I will make it happen)

Listen More.
One week where I pledge to JUST ask questions, seek to understand or affirm the other person. No stories, interrupting or countering. [Includes work settings when possible]
Attempt 1: Last week in Jan.

Build and launch a product that helps people save/earn more money. Checkpoint: Hiring a developer by end of Feb. Accountability: Dan.

Take pride in my body.
One month of 3x gym trips a week to lift weights.
Accountability: Text Zar each time I work out for a month. Say no to runs. If I break this commitment in Jan, must hire/ pay personal trainer for Feb.

Seek out new influences on my thinking.

  • Do a dinner party with people I meet only in the last month. W/ Phil. Try this twice.
  • Leadership retreat in Feb w/ Lisa
  • Summit Sea Tahoe Trip in Jan and Summit Ship trip in Nov w/ Adam
  • Iowaska trip w/ Kim
  • Ask Dan to get me into Ted?
  • Go to ecstatic dance in Oakland before March w/ Kim
  • Quarterly Read Weekends. One day (maybe 2) of the weekend is just reading. No talking. Already on calendar.
  • Go to Tony Robbins? (Ask Om re: ticket)

Find someone to go salsa with regularly
Action: Ask Robert Strong for best starting place.

One trip to store to veggies on a regular basis (or take home from google)
Less wine at night when at my kitchen table working late night. 1 month of 1 glass limit.
Create rules to cut social smoking w/ Zar
Try one week of intensive water drinking. Accountability: Phil.

Make my house my home.

  • Set one weekend day in Jan (Jan 10th?) for Bedroom optimization.
  • Trial home office for 3 months (Jan-march)
  • 2x more plants. Buy w/ Preston

Charity + fun
Fund one project out of my own money that contributes to others happiness (Min: $1,000)
Ideas: Recess equipment or Bat signal.
Accountability: Phil

Think Big, Act Small.
Ask questions when planning for the future of Irrational Labs that start with, “are we dreaming big enough?” Then, commit to small actions. Accountability: Dan.

Be Vulnerable.
…to the point of crying. And not just the day before my period.
Commitment device is tbd.

Get better (and enjoy?)Stats.
Do two complex survey analysis’s by myself [in Jump or excel]
Accountability: Wendy.

Make plans to hang with SIS.
Always ask Brittany at the end of conversations, ‘when is the next time we will hang?”
Accountability: Brittany

Call my best friend weekly if only for a 2 min check in.
Accountability: Ali.

Continue to say YES to new meetings, even when it seems impossible.
Curiosity/learning/newness keeps it fun and enjoyable.
Note my NOs in Evernote.

Written by

Thinking about Irrationality. Behavioral Scientist. Co-founder of Irrational Labs and Common Cents Lab.

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