2014 Resolutions Review 09: Chugging Away

2014 Resolutions Review 09: Chugging Away

It’s November 11, and time for another monthly update on my year’s goals, my so-called “Groundhog Day Resolutions”.

Last month I had set a few tangible goals that, surprisingly, actually have come to pass. I’ve started getting moving on some new products to put on Amazon, got my snow tires, made a tiny bit of progress on my


Details after the jump.

What Got Done Last Month

Rather than exhaustively review my email and trello board (which I didn’t even maintain this past month with all the traveling), I decided to try something new: make a photo montage.

Groundhog Day Resolutions for November 11, 2014 I made this by looking at all the photos I had taken from October 11 through November 10, and used a program called Adobe Lightroom to make a collage (or “contact sheet”, as it’s actually called) the captured the highlights:

  • Post-business California visit with friends
  • House concert at my friend Sid’s studio with musician Amy Petty
  • A trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts early in the morning to meet a grad school friend
  • The beginning of Autumn
  • A local arts festival, ArtWalk Nashua, that I’ve been helping with
  • New laptop bag, to replace an old laptop bag that wore out.
  • Drawing spaceships
  • Moving a couch back into the living room, which was promptly colonized by the cats
  • Decluttering
  • Some new acquisitions, a nice joystick/throttle unit for playing games, and an old Apple //e
  • Making things for the November Challenge and starting to do more cooking.

What this doesn’t capture are some of the ongoing thoughts that have been the theme of the past 30-some days:

  • Am I doing anything of value? – This was a surprise thought, as I’m generally content to plug away at my plans, brought on by an email from an agitated long-time (now former) reader responding to the last review. By that person’s reckoning, I’m a colossal waste of time and space because I’m not being customer focused or appreciative enough. This is possibly true, as I have recognized that I can’t be all things to all people, and although I was sad to have disappointed someone, I also know it is creative death to worry about doing things “wrong”. So in a way it is an affirming challenge, but it’s interesting just how just one ding can sour one’s attitude toward a personal endeavor for a long time afterwards. Life goes on!
  • How can I improve my attitude toward difficult work? – This is an ongoing challenge. This month I have been thinking a lot about how my tendency to not ask for help may by limiting my “human experience” by not forming connections. To be part of a circle of receiving and giving is, I have suddenly realized, is to be embedded in humanity in a healthy way.
  • Worrying about time and uncertainty is a waste of energy – I’ve also been aware that some of the challenges I’m facing, particularly when trying to motivate myself to do something that I don’t find particularly enjoyable in the face of guaranteed uncertainty, have much more power over me than I would like to admit. I’ve been thinking of a form to help deal with it in a therapeutic way, which I’ll probably work on sometime this week.

Other than that, I’ve been primarily focused on client work and the November Challenge. I really like doing the challenge, thinking less and reporting more, not caring too much about anything other than making SOMETHING new every day. It’s a little too early to tell what I’ll ultimately take away from this, but I think I might be learning to relax a bit more about it. I used to think a lot about “identity and my work”; this has shifted more toward “the work” as something I just do without the need to justify it.

Next Month

There’s just one more month of Groundhog Day Review, which ends on December 12 and then breaks for two months for the oncoming Holiday Madness. My to-do list is pretty short:

  • Major Project deliverable in January
  • Making Stuff for November Challenge (underway)
  • Health Stuff (quite a lot of this)
  • Family Holiday Stuff
  • Shipping new Amazon Products (underway)

Perhaps for Christmas, my model of work/life balance will be further refined? That is where it seems to be going. In particular, the themes of “learning to let go of my worries” and “being part of a cycle of giving and receiving” seem to be what I have been missing. We shall see!

Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2014

Here are other posts about Groundhog Day Resolutions for the 2014 season.

  • The original post about Groundhog Day Resolutions
  • 02/02 Kickoff - Setting Goals!
  • 03/03 Review - So Far, So Good!
  • 04/04 Review - Setting Realistic Expectations
  • 05/05 Review - ADD and Incremental Progress
  • 06/06 Review - Trudging through the Blahs
  • 07/07 Review - Limited Progress
  • 08/08 Review - Unusually Productive
  • 09/09 Review - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
  • 10/10 Review - Shifting Goals
  • 11/11 Review - Chugging Away
  • 12/12 Review - End of Year


  1. Shanna Mann 10 years ago

    In response to your complainer, I’d like to say that I continure to read your blog because you are so very deeply interested in your own process. This is by nature a very self-centered pursuit, and in truth I’m not sure what blog this other guy was reading. What ‘customer focus’ have you ever done on this blog? The stationary, as far as I could ever tell, was started to serve your own needs. The fact that it helped other people was incidental.

    And that’s what I like about your stuff. Most people try to find generalities which they can apply to their specific situation. You try to find specific insights which might apply to only you, and yet in the end I find your specifics help me more than any dozen generality-based blogs. Your struggles, though quite different from my own, still manage to grant insight to my own situation, an outcome which continues to amaze me.

    Just thought I’d through that in there.

  2. Author
    Dave Seah 9 years ago

    Shanna: Yes, that was very much the case: my personal blog, shared, no customer service aspect implied from the beginning. Thanks for that observation regarding “finding specifics that might apply to me”…that’s something that I try to do as a starting point in my inquiry process after reading the patterns I can read, and then trying to figure out how it works in my situation by identifying principles. I guess many of them end up being universal, or at least relatable!