I replaced my New Year's resolution with this
I used to make New Year's Resolutions. It's just so tempting. It's a new year, a blank slate, a new beginning, and we can improve. But, like most, my resolutions didn't last long as my habits conquered my intentions. And, like most, I fell back into my normal rhythms and figured next year might be better.
This year, I opted for something different. I knew going into this year I wanted to do three things:
Read more than ever before.
Write a short book on podcasting.
Get serious about learning Mandarin (for like the 18th time).
In the past, I would have set goals for page counts, words written, or courses completed, but this year, I skipped all of that.
This year I set up timed goals for each day that will ultimately lead to my overall goals. I want to read more than ever before this year, so I set a goal for how much time I will read each day. I want to get through writing that book that has been going nowhere for six months, so I set a goal for how much time I will write each day (note, it's not long, but once I start, I can keep going). The same is true for the Mandarin app on my phone; I'm not worried about lessons, just time logged.
I use an app on my phone to keep my time for each activity. The app allows me to have widgets on my phone's screen, so every time I look at my phone throughout the day, I see how much time I have logged and mentally calculate how much more time I'll need to log that day.
I set up a Google Sheet to keep up with my progress, and at the end of each day, I log my time in the spreadsheet. I also set it up so that if I hit my goals, the cell in the spreadsheet turns green, which is always nice for someone that loves to check a box and see things as complete. The spreadsheet also tallies my total time in each activity, and I love seeing that number climb daily.
Since I'm already tracking my time, I also decided to track my time playing video games to keep it within a reasonable amount. So, on that same spreadsheet, each day, I log any time I've played games, and if it goes over a time limit, the cell turns orange, reminding me that I've missed my goal for that day.
I'm admittedly only 14 days into this process, but so far, I love the approach, and it's already gone better than past approaches to New Year's. I'll keep it up and report back in 3 months. What are your resolutions, and how are they going for you?
If you want more specifics about my habits for 2023, I’ve started a blog series tracking my progress here.
This was originally posted on my blog at adamjwalker.com.
Great leadership articles from this week
Duplicate your calendar - I duplicate my calendar into a notebook every day and find it amazingly helpful. This article breaks down why.
Other great articles from this week
Highly successful people use this 1 skill to get more from reading, says Northwestern expert
Great podcast episodes from this week
Humble the Poet on being free of passion, but full of love - The Daily Stoic
This is one of the best conversations on love and marriage I have heard in a long time. My favorite thought from this episode was that in marriage you celebrate 1,000 weddings and 1,000 funerals because the person your spouse was yesterday isn’t who they are today, so you have to lose and marry that person over and over again.
Knowing when to quit with world poker champion Annie Duke - WorkLife
Professional poker players fold 90% of the time. Amateurs fold 50% of the time. One of the keys to winning is knowing when to quit.
Get Out of My Head: Creating Modern Clarity With Stoic Wisdom by M. Andrew McConnell
This book is by my friend Andrew and was my introduction to Stoic philosophy. It’s well written, entertaining, and can be life changing. If you have even a passing interest in Stoicism, pick up this book.
My Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y'all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
While Daring Greatly - My podcast.
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