I am back from a little break. As you may have noticed, I don’t post as much as I used to, but that is okay. I am still working on content, and in due time, it will be posted here I promise.
Today I have a special one for you. First, I am a fan of new year’s resolutions. I like goals, lists, challenges etc. But change can be painful, so I like to share what works for me. In 2017 we talked about how hedonic adaption creates ultra levels of disciplined systems that automate the goal achievement process. And in 2018, we talked about how can we make the behavior change behind the goal iterative in nature thus easier, feeding into our desire for gratification. But this time we are going to flip the concept upside down.
Committing to a goal isn’t that hard to execute, theoretically…
Let me start with a metaphor, the gym! So, it’s actually not that hard to commit to a decent workout routine. Half the effort is showing up. Literally stop whatever it is that you are doing and go to the gym. Or do it first thing in the morning before coffee, and even before brushing your teeth. Just get up and go! You’d be surprised how effective this strategy is.
But that metaphor is a physical act. What if your goal is more like finishing that darn book you have been writing for nearly 3 years. Well, that gets a little tricky. But the same concept applies.
You see, there is a sleight of hand in play with my gym metaphor. When you get up first thing in the morning and ignore everything to run out the door, in the background there is hundreds of other time-sucking distractions being curtailed. And that is the key to my tactic for next year.
2020 New Years Resolution
Instead of figuring out a way to add more tasks in my life, next year I will have a goal of less. Or, I will have a not-to-do-list. Here is a list of things that I will not-do, to simplify my life.
- Social Media is dead to me: I don’t do it (during the week). My personal accounts only get checked on weekends. Since I have ditched social media, my production has increased, my reading has increased, and my stress has been reduced.
- No more paying for streaming services: My wife and I have other measures in place for entertainment, and I am trying to build an internet-free, not always connected, life. There is just so much out there now, it’s hard to get off the couch and accomplish things when you are stuck binge-watching.
- No breakfast before my morning workout: As stated earlier, I am struggling to get in the gym in the cold Indiana mornings. But once I leave the house and embrace the weather, I adapt. I just need to leave the house as soon as possible.
- I won’t talk to anyone about politics: This just doesn’t render a net positive result. To clarify though, I will talk to my close friends about policies. But politicians, or the topic of politics, I just see it as a vehicle to make enemies.
- Side note: I won’t follow politics via the media. I just see the voting record of the candidates to get a feel for who I like. I then go back to my life and focus on awesome things.
- I will not let a deviation in my list justify nihilism. Just because I am going to slip up from time to time doesn’t mean all is lost. I write this list for me, and it will be studied on the days that are deflating.
I want to be present in my family’s life, in the conversations I have with close friends. I want to create awesome things for people in need. I want to cut out the fat of things that somehow, have placed themselves in front of my life, and are keeping me attached to a system of consumerism, or mindless scrolling, clicking on pointless notifications. All this malarkey is just keeping me from getting great work done. Instead, I am going to bring a chainsaw to the hard tasks in life and tackle them with fewer distractions and be intentional with the limited time in the day.
PS: Read the post, Gifts that save your bank account and the environment if you would like some frugal ideas for gift giving over the holiday. Merry Christmas all!
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