Cover image credit: [Marco Verch]https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/44479319474)
The problem with resolutions is that you set them at the start of the year, and when your excitement about keeping up with it wanes enough, you feel like you've just failed your resolution, and don't think about it until the next new year comes around.
So instead, he suggest picking a general theme for the year that guides your decision making during the year. Some examples I've heard:
- The year of less: removing distractions, and commitments that don't add much value to your life
- The year of branching out: finding new possibilities outside the space you're currently working/thinking/... in.
- The year of adulting: This was a yearly theme for Myke Hurley in the year he got married, bought a house, ... He just had a number of big life events that required a lot of planning.
- The year of order: try to systematize things in your life, set a clear schedule, make checklists for things you do often, ... This was 2018's theme for CGP Grey
I'd be interested in hearing other people's themes and why you want to focus on this particular theme in 2019
The year of Structure .
This is basically the same as CGP Grey's year of order, but the word "structure" clicks better in my mind for some odd reason. My mind goes racing all over the place a lot of the time, causing me to not think of the most useful things at the right time. This makes me prone to procrastination, forgetfulness, lack of focus, ... I've often resisted adding more structure to my life because I thought it'd confine me, but I think it'll be extremely beneficial.
This is the backbone of my year of structure. It allows me to evaluate the ways I'm trying to structure my life, and figure out what works.
I want to start the practice of writing a 5 minute journal every evening. The idea is that you answer a small set of questions every day such as
- What great things happened today?
- What could have made today even better?
- What am I thankful for?
The original template focusses a lot on positive psychology, gratitude, ... but I'd like to add questions that are more specific to the things I'd like to work on.
This creates a feedback cycle between your past self and your current self, allowing you to keep track of how your decisions each day impact you, and what you want to adjust.
Because of my visual impairment, it's not easy to do this with pen and paper. I'd like to use an app that I can use both on my Mac (either native or web app), and on my iPhone. I tried out Grid Diary but it's support for VoiceOver is abysmal. For now, I'm thinking of just setting up a daily e-mail using something like IFTTT, that sends me a Google form with questions. If you have any other app recommendations, I'm interested. If there's an open source solution out there, I'd love to contribute.
I'm going to track my time using toggl, probably in combination with something like RescueTime to automatically keep track of the apps I'm using on my Mac. It also keeps track of the particular tab/document I'm in.
I'm already using cold turkey to block apps and sites that frequently distract me at times when I want to be productive.
So, comment below with your theme, or more generally, how you want to improve yourself in 2019.