A Finland Swede in Bavaria

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New Year's Resolutions 2009 and 2010: Ten originals and four attachments

A year ago, I wrote a blog entry with the title "Kaj’s Ten New Year Resolutions: On the Irrationality of the Human Mind". Resolutions that aren't evaluated don't amount to much, so here's my commentary to how things turned out:

Kaj’s Ten New Year Resolutions

1. The power of habit is immense: Regularly start a new good habit! Consciously define a desirable new habit. Figure out how you best can convince yourself of going through the pains of starting the habit. Can't claim I would have established any truly new habits 2009. Needs attention 2010. Verdict: Miss.

2. Self confidence breeds self confidence: Behave with full confidence! But dare make potential mistakes. You don’t learn without taking risks. Well, I started to proclaim a new World Religion, which does need self confidence but also is a minefield of potential mistakes. Verdict: Hit.

3. Identify and live out your personal priorities! How important are friends? Marriage? Children? Family? Relatives? Health? Work? Money? Give consequent priority to the more important over the less important, when it comes to using time, attention and money. Here I made clear progress. Will be continued this year. Verdict: Hit.

4. Draw the consequences of your priorities: Set quarterly goals also in private life! A quarter is long enough to make long term goals achievable, and short enough for wishful thinking to surface quickly. Yes, I set private quarterly goals. Yes, it feels right. Verdict: Hit.

5. Focus consciously: Create rituals for rough follow-up of personal quarterly goals each week, and thorough follow-up at the start of next quarter! Yes, I did follow up the goals on several levels. Verdict: Hit.

6. Make the boring or uncomfortable work bearable or even fun! Make the work into something social (and share the burden). Reward yourself for completed hard phases. Concentrate the most uncomfortable work to one “brave” hour of the day. Too few steps forward, too slowly. Verdict: Miss.

7. Ask experts for help! Already the phrasing of the wish gets you started. And incoming answers keep the wheels in motion. Oh yes! I just need to continue. Verdict: Hit.

8. Make important matters appear urgent! Create impulses that make you focus on the important: Help delivered by others, promises of partial delivery, meetings, scheduled discussion topics. This one, I didn't pursue with enough persistence. Verdict: Miss.

9. Aesthetic values are appealing: Surround yourself with beauty, simplicity and order! Disorder, unnecessary items and gadgets (whether old or newly bought) are burdens for the soul. Order your belongings! Throw away! If you buy, then only if it’s functional, useful and beautiful. Absolutely, did do. Of course, the thought can still be purified. Verdict: Hit.

10. Manage your own mood: Don’t let petty details take over your agenda! Consciously break negative thought patters, through raised blood sugar, breaks, fresh air. Running helps. Breathing deeply, too. Verdict: Hit.

Seven hits and three misses. Whatever that indicates.

For 2010, I will continue on the same path. Here are some halfway new ideas for this year, related to the items 134578:

  • Written annual activity plans for important areas of life (at least my country house Furuvik and for Runnism). This simplifies setting quarterly goals (which become free of many goals I won't reach within the quarter anyway), and enables asking for help from those In The Know.

  • Support groups, well defined semi-teams of people In The Know, with whom I discuss frequently in real life and over the web. For the same important areas of life.

  • Systematic use of Social Media, meaning Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Xing. It's fun to interact on them, to help and to be helped. But like with email, the distraction needs to be minimised.

  • Establishing and keeping order in the house, in the laptop, in life in general. Order is not just a matter of aesthetics, but about resting the soul, saving time and avoiding waste.

Let's see how the year develops!

Photo: Julian Cash