👋 Good morning from Los Angeles! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #92 of Plan Your Next. A Sunday newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.
📕 I’ve been reading more regularly—though slowly—as you’ll see below. I recently finished Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, and now I’m slowly cruising through Storyworthy by Mathew Dicks. Both are hilarious and easy to read, and I’m taking copious notes I’ll share.
🎨 Approachable Design is being pushed to a future date; the date will be announced soon. It’s been a wild end/beginning of the year, and I had to take my foot off the gas with a few personal priorities that came up. I’m more than excited to do it soon, so I’ll give you a heads up!
🏋️♀️ I’m starting the Wearable Challenge this week. For about a month, I’ll wear a continuous glucose monitoring device and monitor my blood levels while not drinking, eating sugar, or eating processed foods. Each day I fail, I throw $20 into a pot that can be won at the end. I’m mostly curious to see if I can bribe myself to get my shit together after a disappointing year at the scale.
I just made a risky move.
One that accidentally ended up in ruin last time, leading me to kill this little newsletter for well over a year.
This time, I intentionally tore my writing streak in half to poke holes in my writing process.
Maybe you’re like me and know that breaking a routine means game over. When this has happened in the past—especially when I move apartments—a period of chaos kicks up so much dust, I can’t see straight for a few weeks.
Then, after carelessly walking blind, I accidentally create a few new habits. But these habits are based on what I’ve been doing the past 3 weeks—walking like Lawerence of Arabia crossing the Nefud Desert through an impossible sandstorm.
This endless downward spiral can sometimes take months to adjust to. So why take this calculated risk?
I wanted to risk my consistency to patch holes in my craft.
Patching my potholes
I’ve got a number of bad habits. They’re not destructive physically (unless you count the 11 #dadgirl pounds I’ve put on over the past 18mo), but they tear holes in my calendar more than I’d like to admit.
My writing process was barely hanging on, and I can only write so many stories about the vacancy of creativity. So, I decided to take a break to figure out where I could improve and maybe some of this is helpful to you too:
✅ Start earlier in the week
Any writer will tell you, it never gets easier to sit down and punch out a few words. This is why so few people make the time, but conversely why it’s such a large lever to pull.
Because of this tension, I tend to wait until the last minute to write my stories, and somehow I’ve made it work. But while I work well under pressure, my sleep suffers, and so does my motivation.
Another important goal of mine is to get feedback earlier on my essays, so having a draft done earlier in the week should help with this.
💡 My intention is to put together a rough outline before Wednesday of each week.
✅ Never run out of fun ideas
Can you remember what happened two Tuesdays ago? Last week was a blur to me, and it’s difficult to discern between Tuesday the 28th and Tuesday the 4th.
Rarely is the first idea the best, and it takes some effort to figure out your five-second moment as Matthew Dicks—author of Storyworthy—likes to call it.
Matthew never runs out of ideas because he has one simple approach: Every day, write down one story from that day. It only needs to be a sentence or two, to be used as a prompt for later.
On top of this, I find myself enjoying writing more when I look for the silliness in life. It’s why I’m drawn to hilarious writers like Packy McCormick, Tim Urban, and friends like Kevin Rapp, Will Steiner, and Charlie Bleecker.
This should probably be its own bullet but I’m trying to focus here!
💡 My intention is to focus on one comedic moment every day. (Or just any mindnumbing moment after that)
✅ Read slowly every morning
If there is, “one weird trick” that improves my writing, it’s enabled by improving my reading habits. If I don’t read, I don’t write.
I’m not talking about reading 50 books a year. It’s about spending 15-30 min a day in a Kindle (or a book if you’re one of those people). Usually I tend to read “just enough” to cover my ass. But this isn’t enough to build up my own platform of ideas.
I’ve found that reading the first thing in the morning helps stave off bad habits. I’m not one of those people who can’t check their phones in the morning. I find it impossible. But opening a book within the first hour of waking helps set a tone for the day, which has been difficult to do through meditating or even journaling.
💡 My intention is to slowly read 15-30min every morning.
✅ Find motivation through inspiration
This newsletter started out based on a single idea: It’s easy to find momentum by having your next step planned. (Even if it turns out to be the wrong thing!)
What should you be learning in your current job that will help you in your next job? What can you be doing today to build out your next product or business? Who are you becoming, and what can you do today to move in that direction?
For me, I find inspiration through travel, and I feel completely depleted from not having taken a real trip over the past couple of years. By escaping every now and then, I know I come back refreshed and energized. So we have trips to NYC, Europe, and SF planned in the first half of the year.
Thank you Chase rewards!
💡 My intention is to make time to safely travel 4x over the next 12 months.
After reflecting, I realized I’m doing a lot of things right when it comes to writing. It’s the activities around the act itself that I hope to improve upon, and to find consistency in sitting down with the right energy.
It feels good to be back. Thanks for your patience and I’m glad to have taken this risk.
👋 See you next Sunday
Have a great week,
p.s. If you enjoyed this letter, would you please let me know by tapping on the heart below?