I’m not super big on New Year’s Resolutions anymore. (I seldom even do the 1920×1440 joke these days.) I mean, I’m all about productivity and improvement and changing for the better, but I’ve found that very specific resolutions don’t often work for me. Mostly because I have very little focus (obviously something that an be improved).
New Year's resolutions: Read, write, watch, play, create, destroy, win, learn, improve, chill, move forward
— Roy Tang (@roytang) December 31, 2015
So my tendency now is to stick to general, high level resolutions (like the above) that don’t go into anything too specific. And so this year I decided on something like that. My NYR for this year is: Do at least one personally productive thing per day.
By personally, I mean something outside of work, something I do for myself. By productive, I mean something that helps me improve or grow or live a better life in some manner. And this excludes any manner of consumption (reading, eating, watching TV, browsing reddit, playing games, etc)
So yes, it’s still kind of vague, but my intent is to minimize or even completely avoid those days where I just totally laze out the entire day and not do anything outside of what I needed to do for work. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – chilling out is important too – but I felt like maybe I had a bit too many of those days last year.
Some examples of things which I think will qualify for this resolution:
- Writing a blog post. (Hooray, I already got one done today!)
- Doing some work on one of my many secret projects that I never get going or never get finished. There’s a lot of these to choose from. It helps a bit with my lack of focus – I can do other projects if I’m not in the mood for the previous one I was working on. If you’re curious, this typically means some kind of writing or programming project.
- Some art thing. I did get back into drawing and sketching in 2016 and kinda tapered off in 2017, hopefully I can get back on track.
- Learning something new. Arguably reading or being on the internet always lets me learn something new, but let’s say this means dedicating some focused time to a learning activity.
- Throwing out or deleting stuff I don’t need anymore. Not all growth comes from expansion; we also need to throw out old stuff we don’t need anymore to make room for the new.
- Reorganizing/Cleaning up/Optimizing. This is pretty broad, but basically anything that streamlines some aspect of my life or makes it easier.
During the previous year, I had actually wanted to pursue many of these things all at once – I wanted to be able to do daily sketching AND writing AND cleaning up AND side projects, etc. Didn’t really work out, so this year we lower our standards a bit. Just one of those things per day.
One of the challenges would be finding the time to be personally productive even during those days when I’m mentally tired out from work stuff – you know, the kind of day where you get home and you just kinda wanna sit in a chair and not think about stuff too hard. Hopefully I don’t get too many of those days, but hopefully the resolution inspires me to do even one small thing during the difficult days.