I am making a New Year’s resolution.
I haven’t made any resolutions for over two decades. I’ve always believed that resolutions are intentions to fail.
Or, as I said back in 2001, “You can’t really resolve to do anything except for those things so explicitly under your own power that you could and should be doing them anyway.” A decade later in 2011, I added, “Why should 1/1 be any different from 4/5 or 6/6 or any other day of the year?”
In January 2004 I said I was not resolving to do three things, but that I’d like keep my focus on them throughout the year. They were:
- Know What I’m Spending
- Be Aware of What I Eat
- Use Time Smarter
Even as my life got more complex in the following decade, I hewed closely to those non-resolves and they served me well. As I said in 2007, “even if I went on a bender of money or time wasting, or food devouring, at least I knew it was just a bender.”
(A decade ago I tried to expanded those three goals to 10 Commandments. They were an excellent set of commandments that would be terrific to live by, but they proved to be too many things to keep in mind all the time. Three is a magic number, after all.)
After I had those three rules in place, instead of making resolutions I began to focus on goals. Goals aren’t ephemeral ongoing vows. They are tangible, doable, accomplishable things, like “get my driver’s license” or “record 10 songs.”
I liked to set a large amount of goals in January and then see where the year took me. I thought of them as the corporate balance sheet of the business of me. I’d grade myself at the end of the year, and it could be as revealing to score well as to score badly. As I explained 2010, “The goals were good for something else, too – they let me know what wasn’t important. If I cannot bring myself to tag the last 800 posts from CK’s first three months even with my grade hanging on the line, it’s just not gonna happen.”
In 2014, I claimed even those goals were getting overwhelming, and I was going to strip down to a simple flowchart. I think that had less to do with the goals being a bad idea and more to do with having an infant human to raise and an infant start-up team to grow, plus two adolescent bands to lead. I needed simplicity.
Then, all of those non-resolutions and goals trickled away. I kicked off both 2015 and 2016 without mentioning them at all. January 2017-18 & 20 were consumed with comics posts. I didn’t even post in January of 2019 or 2021-22.
Something interesting happened in those intermediate five years other than just moving to New Zealand. To put it plainly: my life went from the simplest it has ever been to the hardest I’ve ever experienced. [Read more…] about time, see what’s become of me