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#006 The Core Four: Lessons from the Ridge

core four habits nature newsletter ridge life

One of the most amazing things about living on the ridge surrounded by over 70 square miles of protected wilderness is being witness to undisturbed nature. We are constantly learning and in awe of its wisdom.

Take for example our bobcat. He’s quite elusive.

As a matter of fact, we’ve only caught him on camera 3 times. The crazy thing is that it’s been at the same time each year, almost to the day!

He comes by and checks on that rock (aka gives it a sniff and a pee) and moves along. An entire year goes by then he makes another appearance, walking the same route, doing the same thing. It’s fascinating.

It reminds of this quote from Elizabeth King,


“Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions.”


Nature has a process. It doesn’t negotiate. It just follows a system and adapts when environment changes. It would never survive on intention.

This really got me thinking about the areas of my life where I tend to rely on intention more that process. Intentions to exercise, intentions to be more present, intentions to be more organized, you get my point. 😊

So inspired by our bobcat, I’ve been focusing on setting up systems over goals.

Below is the 5 step process I’m using. I review it each month, adjust and keep moving.


1. Identify your daily tasks and goals

Start by identifying the actions that you take on a regular basis. Begin from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. What are the daily task that you have to/need to/want to get done?


2. Analyze what you’re currently doing

How have you structured you day to achieve those task/goals? What times of day can you control? Document the routines that make up your day. Where do things breakdown? Where are things working? How much time does it take for each task/goal? Once you have completed this, review your list.


3. Create your new system

Using your task and goals from #1 and understanding your day and time needs in #2, how can you streamline to create more ease and efficieny. What can you offload? Where are you wasting time (I’m looking at you iphone). The goal is not to do MORE, it’s to create a rhythm and flow to your day to accomplish what you want/need. You’re creating a lifestyle not a to do list.


4. Implement the plan

START SMALL. This is where most of us fail. We try to boil the ocean. Maybe start with your morning routine and focus on that window of time. Commit to 3 days where you are going to implement your new morning system, see how it goes. Don’t negotiate with yourself, just be the bobcat and take care of business. Once you’re comfortable and in a good routine, then work on an evening routine or a lunch routine.


5. Review. Adjust. Repeat

Things change so reviewing and adjusting is key. Each month set some time to review and see what is working, what needs changing, what are the results you’re seeing. Remember, this is about creating systems to support your lifestyle. Work demands change, family demands change, financial demands change, BUT you can maintain your lifestyle even in chaos if you have a system and understand your time and habits.


The bobcat is always going to define and defend his territory, make sure he has food and water supply, hunt, sleep and monitor. He will do this over and over again regardless of what changes around him. He has a system not an intention.

Go get after it!

With love and gratitude,