I'm trying Groundhog Day Resolutions on for size just one more time. I've attempted it a bunch of times in years past, but never managed to maintain it for the entire year. If it doesn't work this year, I'm done - or at least done publicising my failures.
Relatively speaking, I'm feeling fairly aimless at the moment. For the past couple of years, my usual goal making and general forward planning has been neglected. I'd like to reverse that trend a little this year. While I do have a general outline of where things are going in my head, there's no solidity to it because I haven't written it down anywhere.
Although I really do want to solidify my goals somewhat, I'm cautious of over committing to the entire goal making process and undermining it from the start. My previous attempts at doing the GHDR process are clear evidence I'm not that great at following through with the whole goal making and review process.
I think one of the key reasons I'm bad at it is simply because the process feels onerous. Logically, I know it isn't, but when I sit down to think about doing the next step in the process it just all seems like too much effort. So this year, I'm keeping my resolutions as simple as possible (even if some of them are resolutions I've made before).
1. Just Do It
While I hate to use the cliche, it's an apt description of my first goal. The inertia I seem to experience around doing the (mostly mundane) things that just need doing is pretty strong. While the inertia unfortunately has a bias toward the not doing things end of the spectrum, it also exists when things start getting done too. When I get on a roll, I really get things done.
In my attempt to live up to this resolution I'm going to give my self a GTD refresher course. I'll read the book again and start to reapply some of the techniques that have slipped from my habits. First cab off the rank is to make sure the Weekly Review becomes a habit again.
2. Take Financial Control
Just like with goal setting generally, the past couple of years have seen Laura and I freewheeling financially. In 2008 that was deliberate - we intended to spend a year having fun and consciously decided it was okay to spend more than we earned - London is no place to be a spendthrift. In 2009, while I'm fairly confident we earned much more than we spent, I couldn't be sure, because I haven't really been keeping track.
It's time to set some proper financial goals and start making sure we're doing the things required to reach those goals. One of the first steps should be to ensure we're doing something constructive with our spare cash - a plan we've already got underway.
3. Engage More
Socially and professionally both online and offline I'm great at lurking. Engagement and the contribution of something of value1 is an essential part of building sustainable social and professional networks. While I wouldn't call myself shy, my behaviour is definitely influenced more than I'd like it to be by a fear of seeming foolish or naive.
I've recently shed a couple of regular evening engagements and plan on using that time to achieve more social and professional engagement. I'm going to start by seeing if I can find an event or two worth attending on meetup.com. I also want to make sure I attend at least a couple of web industry conferences or events this year. I'd love to attend Web Directions South.
I also want to make an effort to see more locally exhibited work by local creatives - especially local photographers. I have the embryo of an idea which involves doing something local in a similar vein to Phootcamp. I'm also keen to attend a few more Pecha Kucha events this year.
Although meeting the criteria of keeping this process simple, sticking to just these three resolutions ends up leaving a lot of ground uncovered. Without really thinking about it too hard, there are quite a few other things that would be worth making resolutions about. I won't make resolutions, but I'll note them here for future reference.
- Simplify - My life isn't particularly complicated, but I'd like it to be simpler.
- Exercise - I've been wasting away over the past couple of years. I feel fairly unfit and I think my energy levels are lower than usual - it'd be nice to change that.
- Keep Learning - I think it's almost time I did some type of formal/structured study again. I want to get my learning/memory fitness back too.
Happy Groundhog Day. What were your New Years Resolutions? Have you broken them yet?
- This contribution isn't necessarily anything very onerous. The mere act of engagement itself - just writing or saying something - could easily constitute a valuable contribution. It won't always, and sometimes more will be required, but it's a start. [↩]