2014 Resolutions Review 01: So Far, So Good
It’s MARCH 3RD, the first of 10 monthly reviews of my yearly “Groundhog Day Resolutions”. Groundhog Day Resolutions (GHDRs) are about picking a goal and moving toward it, reviewing it on 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, and so on until December 12. It’s been a pretty good February, thanks to a change in my attitude.
Review of Groundhog Day Goals
This year’s GHDRs were pretty simple:
- Take more “first steps”, with less planning. Trust in my ability to solve problems when I encounter them.
- Write and deploy software applications
- Share my interests with everyone to see where it goes
- Create better marketing content for my stuff
Looking over the past month, I’d say that I’ve been making PLENTY of progress on the software application front. While I haven’t released anything new, I’ve been working more as a developer than I have had since 2009. Building new systems! As part of this initiative, I’ve had to do a lot more “first steps” with the development work, as I’m getting up-to-speed with unfamiliar technical challenges and documenting them as I go. I am feeling like I’m making reasonable progress.
As for sharing my interests, I have been embracing my nerdy proclivities more openly and writing about them. After being on a couple of podcasts in February, I have been building a special list of twitter accounts that I’ve tagged as “my peeps”: the people that impress and delight me with their daily insight and color commentary. I have been more mindful of what I’m tweeting, using the peeps list as a virtual sounding chamber. And I haven’t been shying away from posting on my own blog. A few people have commented that they have enjoyed seeing the inner process work, and this has in turn given me the encouragement to continue on.
For the last challenge, I haven’t done much with creating new marketing material, but I have certainly been thinking about it. I’m starting to work on improving the website to make it easier to post such content. This is largely a technical push at the moment, because the changes I’m contemplating require significant re-engineering of the site, which requires updating of some old tools. For the first time, I’m thinking of using a theme that someone else made because it will save me a lot of time.
Bonus Goal for March: Improving the Website
I’m starting to realize that I could really be making a splash with all the tools I’m learning to build this year. With an improved website, marketing collateral, and the ability to start making digital tools, I could make a larger push toward creative independence than I thought possible.
So I’m going to officially make improving the website one of the major pushes for March. Coincidentally, improving the website was the challenge a year ago! At the time, I had found the entire process incredibly tedious and frustrating. This year, though, I’ve learned some patience with my process, and don’t bring the level of negativity with me as before. I’m accepting incremental process with more grace and less grouchiness.
Bonus Bonus Goal: Lose 10 Pounds!
I made a bet with my cousin Ben to see who could lose ten pounds faster, so I’m in prep mode for about six weeks of focus on healthy eating and exercise. I’ll be pulling on past experiences with diet, exercise, and mindfulness to create some kind of kit for myself. I really do like making kits.
This is one of the shortest Groundhog Day reviews I’ve done, and I like it. The take more first steps goal for this year has helped me break through some long-standing barriers, and I think that’s what’s setting the tone for positive progress. And this has led to more changes in my attitude:
- I am growing increasingly comfortable with partial progress – I’m not sure why this is happening, but I am no longer as frustrated when I start a confusing and tedious learning process related to my goals. For example, last night on a whim I decided to try to update my old Emergent Task Time Online, but it turned out that my code was no longer supported. It took 3-4 hours to work through part of the updating process to current spec, and it still doesn’t work, but I’ve been keeping track of it and feel rather positive instead of super angry at the sheer stupidity of it all. Maybe this is the wisdom that comes with age? :-)
I am becoming more comfortable about my process – I thought I was comfortable with it before, but I wasn’t paying attention to the creative support aspects of it. The tools, the mise en place of my working files, and the ability to record and see my process have all helped make it more pleasurable.
My anxiety about time has diminished – I used to constantly be concerned that it was taking me too long to get something done. Now I don’t really care, because I’ve accepted that creative work is hard to predict. I associated being fast and accurate in time estimates with being a competent human being, but my definition of “fast enough” and “accurate enough” just made me depressed all the time because I couldn’t do everything instantly and well. My sense of urgency is still intact, but it is far better matched with a more adaptable attitude rather than rigid (and wishful) scheduling.
I’m going to also continue investigating the information nirvana project, which is about finding/building good processes and tools for creative synthesis. There is nothing really out there I’ve found that meets my needs.
So that’s February! Welcome, March!