Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2010 - New Year's resolutions

I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. Not that I don’t think I have a lot to improve on, but I’ve mainly been too lazy to think about it let alone commit it in writing.

But 2010 is a new year.

I was a bit inspired by one of my favorite bloggers Penelope Trunk. She wrote a short post on “How to keep a New Year’s resolution” .

I love Penelope Trunk’s blog because she doesn’t just spew what she thinks on a topic, but she’s absolutely fantastic at referencing “bigger-picture-human-behavior-traits”.

For example, her tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions: start small, think in increments of three weeks, get the wording right, visualize what you will look like and start now are all great, if not obvious-when-read, tips.

But what got my attention the most in her post was this paragraph:
I realized this after spending two years reading what positive psychologists have discovered makes people happy. And, it turns out, that everything we know about what makes us happy comes down to having self-discipline to do what we know want to be doing.

I love that. It makes so much sense. It’s so obvious. It’s empowering. And for the most part it’s a great reminder that being happy is sometimes as easy as “Do what you want to be doing”. Duh.

The hard part is sometimes answering the question “What do I want to be doing”.

And that’s where my 2010 Q1 resolutions come into play. Yes, Q1 (i.e. Jan -> Mar) resolutions. Nerdtastic. But I think keeping some shorter term goals (but a bit longer than the previously recommended 3 weeks) will keep me a bit more focused.

Here are my Q1 resolutions in no particular order:

1. Blog More
I really have this love/hate relationship with writing. I think I’m a decent writer. I can sometimes make people laugh and I can sometimes narrate a fun story. I’ve tried to restart blogging quite a few times. But I sometimes find the act of writing a drag even though I’m usually very satisfied with the end result.

I’m commiting myself to blog at least 3 times a week for the next 3 months. If Sunday rolls around and I haven’t hit 3 posts – I’m going to just do 3 bullshit posts and then look at myself with disdain. Hopefully by the end of March I’ll remind myself whether blogging/writing is something I want to be doing. My 10th grade social studies teacher who told me to go into journalism would be proud. Thanks Mr. Scott (?).

2. Launch 3 Websites
My great friends @nalin and @emh are both fantastic technologists as well as great “idea” guys. We have had many a conversation about “Wouldn’t it be great to build a site that did this”, “I think we could make money building an app that did blah, blah, blah”. @nalin has been good about developing a lot of his ideas and @emh is also pretty decent at starting side projects. But I’m the worst. I just stew on these ideas I have. I don’t act. It’s sickening. And my inaction depresses me. The worst part is I have a technology and product management background. I really have no excuse to not crank out a few fun sites.

I have 3 fun website ideas I’ve been brewing for a few months. I’ve built a prototype of one. My goal by the end of March is just to put these sites out there. They won’t be that pretty and they aren’t going to change the world or make a lot of money. But I’ll get them out there and I’ll break my streak of “All Talk”.

3. 30 minutes of Rosetta Stone Chinese 5 times a week
I’m Chinese. I speak Chinese at probably a 4 year old level at best. Maybe a mentally challenged 4 year old. A mentally challenged 4 year old that drank too much contaminated Chinese milk. I’m going to China at the beginning of February for a few weeks. I know I’m not really going to fine tune my Chinese by then. But it’s good incentive for me to hunker down and start learning some Chinese. I’ve done a few sessions with Rosetta Stone…and it’s an interesting experience so far. I’ll probably blog more on that later.

I of course have a larger list of things I want to work on. Cook more inventive and fun foods, surf more, start triathlon training again, volunteer more, etc. But the 3 goals above are good to get me going and keep me focused for Q1.

What are your resolutions?



At 10:19 PM, January 06, 2010, Blogger EVAN HAVEMAN said...

that's awesome buddy - and thanks for the mention. my list is somewhat similar in that i've got a backlog of ideas that need implementing and a rosetta stone (french) gathering dust in my closet (and a montreal trip at the end of april). i don't see blogging in my immediate future though :-)

At 10:20 PM, January 06, 2010, Blogger BeatSmiff said...

Inspiring post Will! Keep writing!!

Makes me want to read that book so I can do more things that make me happy too.

At 7:15 AM, January 07, 2010, Blogger jp 吉平 said...

Hi Will, I don't want to mess up your resolutions, but as a linguist and language teacher I'm not a fan of rosetta stone: it trains your recall, not the language part(s) of your brain. you might try some of the podcasts; you put them in your ipod and you listen to them during down times. I recommend (but disclosure... I used to work there... I don't anymore thank goodness, but you'll get a solid base of listening comprehension).

Good luck, happy new year.

At 9:22 AM, January 07, 2010, Blogger whatupwilly said...

thanks jp. i'll give rosetta stone a try and see where it takes me in the next month. i'll give chinesepod a try if i'm not too impressed with rosetta stone.


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