New Years Resolutions

“Want to make sure you nail your 2015 resolutions? Make them public, psychologists advised.” Consider this a brain dump first and a way to create some accountability to myself second. Anything else is a bonus. So here we go!

This is a work in progress. Until 31-12; I should be able to edit, right?! Any suggestions or helpful hints are welcomed. I may have to order these goals somehow at one point…and maybe do some pattern recognition to look for a deeper coherence?

My goals for 2015

  1. Focus
  2. Spend time with friends & family
  3. Stop procrastinating
  4. Read
  5. Listen to music
  6. Exercise
  7. Meditate
  8. Go offline (sometimes)
  9. Play the piano
  10. Sleep
  11. De-clutter
  12. Capture moments in images
  13. Keep a journal
  14. Get inspired

Focus.

Nobody said it better then Steve Jobs:

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

Or this great nugget from David Allen, the creator of the Getting Things Done:

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

 An inspirational strategy to help focus from Buffet:

So, in 2015 I will focus. On 14 goals. Great start…

Spend quality time with friends & family.

Recharge by having fun. Laugh. Eating great foods together with friends must be one of the best ways to relax. It’s easy to get cought up in the daily grind of getting done what must get done, and suddenly weeks, months fly by. I’m not sure what the meaning of life is, but fun must be a part of it.

Stop procrastinating

I’m not going to say it gets as bad for me as this author describes, but that monkey is not entirely unfamiliar to me.

The good news is that help is at hand, long live the internet; source of both endless distraction and limitless information:

Read

Although I enjoy reading a lot; I find that I spend a lot of reading time on fleeting, light entertainment (looking at you, Reddit). Also, my attention span has only grown shorter over te years. I remember reading three 300+ page books in two days once. Today I sometimes struggle to finish a twitter message before a distraction pops up.

Specifically, these have been on my to-do list (and my iPad) for way too long:

Seneca offers advice that is timeless, to name one example:

“Nobody works out the value of time: men use it lavishly as if it cost nothing… We have to be more careful in preserving what will cease at an unknown point.”

I would love to read more of the recommended books from Tim Ferris’ book club:

Added thnx to Dennis:

  • Motivation Hacker https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-motivation-hacker/id635028151?mt=11

Listen to music.

Really listen, not just as background. Either with nice headphones or on the home surround. Plenty of material to catch up on, from classical to recent Jazz; I need to spend some time with a good glass of scotch and relax.

Exercise

While I do move more thanks to my FitBit, regular exercise (biking, crosstrainer) has suffered in 2014. While taking care of your health from birth is best, the second best moment to start is today. Science recommends 30 minutes of exercise as a daily minimum. A good introduction on the importance by Dr. Erik Scherder (dutch):

Taking care of your health is also one of the top tips 40+ year olds would like to give their younger selves:

Ideally, this would lead to losing some pounds as a side benefit. Biking is also a great approximation of the next goal; meditation. And it helps sleep.

Meditate

If not just because of the claimed benefits, then because all the cool people do it. I would like to make this part of my daily ritual.

And apparently, anyone can do it!

Go offline (sometimes)

Having periodic digi-detox days seems like a healthy plan. All the time to attend to these goals will have to come from somewhere.

Play the piano

We even have a piano at home, no excuse not to start learning.

Sleep

8 hours a night seems to be the sweet spot, and the importance of sleep cannot be overestimated. For example, Harvard Health published this list of benefits: http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health. Tips via the always interesting

De-clutter

This may be one of the tough ones. I love my stuff. My prices possesions. But lets get this in check before it gets ridiculous. And before we may move to a new house…

Capture moments in images

Regularly practice my photography and create strong images. It is relaxing and clears the mind. I also find that even just carrying a camera changes the way I observe; I am more actively looking for what is special. Looking for good stuff in the moment.

Keep a journal

Just a few notes every day. How do I feel. What did I enjoy? What was exciting, what was boring? This should help track progress towards the other goals.

Even better, keeping a journal is associated with a wide range of benefits, ranging from stress release to better learning:

Get inspired.

Study the greats. Steve Jobs in his famous commencent speech is a continued source of inspiration. Not just for its content – which is exceptional – but also for its stylistic delivery. Some quotes: “You’ve got to find what you love” – “ the only way to do great work is to love what you do” . “ Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Analysis at:

http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/video-critique-steve-jobs-stanford-2005/

Conclusion

Hm, i’m going to start by downloading these Apps that promise to help people achieve goals. Then, lets let this all sink in and then, maybe, there is a pattern? Please comment with your own additions!

Addition 1: Many of these goals appear to take the shape of habits I would like to develop. Meditation, reading, journaling, sleeping…

 
Addition 2; i may have to work out what this magical daily ritual looks like; seems busy…
 

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