Plus, Minus, Next
Hello! This Sunday newsletter explores startups, short-term rentals, or whatever random thing has entered my mind this last week. I pick one topic weekly to go deep on and have some disparate quick hits at the end.
As we prep for the upcoming new year, I thought I would write about a system for reflecting on the year that’s passed, which my friendintroduced me to: “Plus, Minus, Next.”
Here is how Nate described it (with a shout-out to Anne-Laure Le Cunff):
I last went through Nate’s outlined exercise in late December 2020. As I look back at my document from that year, a few things stand out:
I was pleased with prioritizing family, my relationship with Kate, sleep, and exercise in 2020.
I was proud of how we managed through a challenging year at HomeSpotter. But it took a toll.
I really missed travel.
For my various “Next” s and “Main Goals for 2021,” I had many items with meaningful progress and some with hardly any.
One of my “Next” s for work was: “Commit by the end of Q2 2021 to either leaning in for another 3-5 years at HomeSpotter or outline a path for my exit (sell or bring in another CEO).” (As luck would have it, we closed on selling in May, which I would never have predicted in December.)
I ate much better and lost a solid amount of weight in 2021.
Last year, I allowed myself to get too busy and didn’t make a Plus, Minus, Next list going into 2022. I feel like I missed out.
This afternoon, I did this exercise again for 2022, looking ahead to 2023. Nate suggests you can get through the bulk of this in 27 minutes (9 x 3 x 1 minute each). It took me 60-90 minutes because I was a bit reflective, but the time was well spent. And you can get it done faster than I did if you’re on a time crunch.
While I’d prefer to not share my whole list, I can share that my 2022 Summary had 10 Proudest Accomplishments, 9 Biggest Challenges, and 14 Main Goals for 2023. Of those 14 goals, 7 centered around family, 5 were personal, and 2 were focused on work. I hope that means I’ve got my priorities in the right spot going into next year.
Some highlights for my main goals for 2023 include:
Regular family game night
Scheduled date nights
Spend an extended amount of time in Europe with my family
Commit to doing some things just for fun
I find this exercise much more helpful than setting new year’s resolutions. This is a system that drives intentionality. And it’s got me thankful for the year that passed and excited for the year to come. I encourage you to try it. Trust me, it’s worth it.
This Week’s Quick Hits
Like Nate’s write-up on Plus, Minus, Next above? He’s amongst my biggest inspirations for starting this Substack. Check out his Plan Your Next newsletter and consider subscribing.
I’m half Swedish. Following my Grandma’s recipe, I hope to make Swedish rye bread this Christmas. I swear she used a special kind of Swedish rye flour, but now I’m not sure that exists. Does anyone know?
This last year I got nominally involved in local politics. I took a pro-development (“YIMBY”) stance in my city. I backed and voted for mayoral and city council candidates that I knew would push forward efforts to build more houses that have otherwise been stalled. Several weeks ago, Jerusalem Demsas of The Atlantic had a great article entitled “Housing Breaks People’s Brains.” It echoes a point I’m pretty passionate about. While there are undoubtedly multiple contributing factors to the current Housing Crisis, there’s a relatively simple fact that we need more houses. Opposition to development that gets in the way of more housing from either side of the aisle frustrates me greatly.
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