January is over, so it’s time to review my resolutions.
1. Write 30 minutes daily.
I did it! So far I’ve written 30 minutes every day. This blog is evidence of that. I’m considering adding some short fiction pieces on here. What do you think?
2. Monthly habit: 30 minutes of dedicated physical activity daily
I missed 7 days. And my bar was very low. Any activity counted, even something so simple as going on a walk. I’m going to discuss the third goal, then come back to why I think I failed, or at least some ideas on how I can do better in February.
3. Monthly project: Complete desk.
I would like to build a desk for the master bedroom. Nothing fancy. Basically just some plywood slabs resting on simple shelves. I’m planning to stain it. I made zero progress. I did clean out the garage, but that’s it.
Factors in Success
Why did I succeed on one and fail on the others?
I wrote daily because I enjoy it. I didn’t need to add much additional structure to accomplish it. I did announce it to the world. The best followup I’ve gotten to that was when my children’s dentist checked if I’d written that day. I succeeded because I enjoyed the activity and made myself accountable to multiple people.
I was most consistently active on Thursdays and Saturdays. Thursdays I went to a free swim class at my neighborhood pool. Saturdays my activity was usually just walking around with the kids wherever we had gone that day. The other days consisted of going to the gym or on a run by myself. I succeeded on the days I did something I enjoyed more, starting the activity took relatively little effort, and when other people were involved.
I did nothing on the desk. I never told anyone I was going to do it. I never sat down to make a plan. Even stating that the desk was my goal is bending the truth a little. I also would like to build a workbench and I waffled a little on which to start first.
How can I be more accountable, make my resolutions more fun, and reduce the friction to getting started?
First, I’m going to involve more people. I’m going to announce my monthly goals here and probably elsewhere. I’ll post regular, at least weekly, updates. It adds some accountability.
Second, and tied to that, is adding a writing element. This makes most sense for my monthly habit resolution. I want build better habits in a variety of areas. This involves figuring out what habits to start, which to break, how to start habits, etc. There’s a lot of thought involved and writing things out clarifies thought. It doesn’t necessarily work as well for the projects resolution. That will most likely consist of posting photos of whatever steps I’ve taken on the project that week.
Third, I want to make my resolutions more enjoyable. Part of that will involve better planning for my goals. There’s satisfaction that comes from completing the steps along the way. Better planning will help me choose activities that will help me fulfill my goals, rather than scrambling to do the minimum at the last minute. But another aspect is that I enjoy life more when I’m being social, even though I often have to force myself to do that.
So I’m inviting you to join me in my journey. Share your goals. Give me advice on mine. I’ll be posting my February goals either later today or tomorrow. Be sure to check it out and respond. Thanks for reading!