Welcome to another year of Groundhog Day Resolutions! Groundhog Day Resolutions (GHDR) came from the thought that January 1st is too early for making vows, because I’m still cleaning up after the previous year! And so I decreed, as a matter of practicality and as homage to the movie Groundhog Day, that my resolution-making would be postponed one month plus one day to February 2nd. I also liked the pattern of using doublets for the dates, so I decided to hold reviews on 3/3, 4/4, etc.
This is the tenth year I am doing Groundhog Day Resolutions, and so I want to make it a big one! There will be (ulp) 314 days of New Thing Every Day plus hitting all my stuck goals for 2024. Details follow!
Picking Up from Last Year
In 2015 I came to believe that speed as a metric of personal competency/efficiency led to unrealistic expectations of myself. Creating good work takes a lot of time, and straining to make it otherwise just undermines my motivation to start anything. I was also irritated by the unpredictable amount of time that even simple tasks consume, and this negative reaction discouraged me from starting projects when there was ANY uncertainty in the methodology or process to follow; if the path to the reward of completion was not immediate and obvious, I tended to be highly reluctant.
The hard lesson of last year was that the rewards I deeply crave are on the other side of time and uncertainty. For 2016, I’m embracing that the slowness and uncertainty are just the way it is; optimization and efficiency comes after one’s first blind foray into the unknown. The alternative to cutting my own path is to search for other people’s ill-fitting recipes as a shortcut, or convincing myself into believing someone else’s dream is my own. That is not the kind of creativity I wish to practice. I want to see my own notions and ideas made real while I discover the parameters of my journey.
This Year’s Goals
With that decided, there are three goals I’d like to make progress on this year. The first is having a Neat Side Business, which I think is the stationery business; there are a lot of cool things I can make! The second target is to make progress on my 2024 goals, which are six big projects that I’ve had for decades but never started because of my resistance to time and uncertainty. Among these goals are writing music, illustration, game making, and creating sophisticated software. The last goal is to be more expressive in my public writing by sharing what I love. I think this will somehow be a good thing, as it’s an outgrowth of my basic productivity algorithm: sharing what you make to see what comes back!
For this year’s GROUNDHOG DAY RESOLUTIONS I’m going to try two simultaneous approaches:
I will do the THING-A-DAY CHALLENGE (example) for the duration of GHDR. That’s 314 days of continuous posting. While these were hard to do, each time I’ve done it it has felt really good, like it is what I should be doing if I wanted to become awesome at just DOING all the time. I’m not sure if I can do it, but we’ll see how far I can get.
I will address my 2024 Goals by designated a THEME OF THE MONTH from one of the five I am not already working on. These are projects fraught with uncertainty because, well, I don’t know how to do a lot of them. It should be highly instructional, maybe a little embarrassing, but I will be forging my own way through without instruction to see what happens.
This is a lot of work and may not be sustainable with my current work/social commitments, so figuring out my limits will be part of the process. Assessing progress will be as simple as possible. As for the process itself…I will be making it and sharing the thinking behind it as I go, hopefully every day. In some cases I may do something really simple if I have a lot to do, but even the tiniest step forward is still progress.
Bonus Visual Aid / Thing-a-Day!
As my first THING-A-DAY production, I’ve copied this post into a PDF that you can download and print for your own reference as you ponder your coming 10 month + 10 days of Groundhog Day Resolution awesomeness. I’ve included the beginnings of a guide for how I frame my approach to such challenges; it will likely grow into a more comprehensive philosophy over time (but who knows).
» Download PDF of Dave’s Groundhog Day Resolutions 2016 Plan
I’ll be setting up more infrastructure tomorrow to get all the pieces in place, but for now this is the official (if late) start of the 2016 Groundhog Day Resolutions season!