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Add post: 2013 with Hindsight
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|+title: 2013 with Hindsight|
|+2013 marked the first year I made [my new year resolutions] public. To my great disappointment I failed to accomplish most. I blame this failure on my inability to effectively 'fix' bad habits.|
|+My posting history last year provides strong evidence to my struggle with bad habits. Frequent posting occurs during periods where my daily routine has undergone drastic changes. January marked my first month in Japan - everything was new, strange and exciting. I lived from one day to the next, attempting to absorb as much of the wonderful country as I could. The novelty of everything overwhelmed me in a way, and as a consequence I took to actually following my plans.|
|+March marked the last month in hostels. On the 15th I moved into a share-house, an environment all too similar to my apartment back home. I almost immediately reverted to old habits, notably wasting my time away on the internet. Unsurprisingly, I have few lasting memories or vivid recollections from this time. Despite my return to old habits, March proved to be a relatively productive month. A new habit I had formed over the previous months proved ingrained enough to dispel some of the lethargy. This habit was heading to the local Starbucks and spend most of the day programming. Being out in public certainly helps to focus on less wasteful pursuits.|
|+April proved to be terribly wasteful. I attempted realign with my original goals during May and to an extent I succeeded. Ultimately it failed because I didn't quite grasp how susceptible to time (of the day) most of my habits are. A messed up sleep-cycle resulted in me dropping my new, productive habits in favor of old ones.|
|+Simultaneously time also proved to be a great facilitator. With my time in Japan coming to an end, I was shaken out of my inertia and returned to traveling. Not a single day in June passed without discovering something new. The months between Japan and university were spent hiking in Corsica, cycling in Italy and on a road trip in Norway. Time well spent.|
|+Back at university though, I moved into student housing, an all too familiar setting. I did manage to introduce some positive habits, enforcing a regular swim schedule and regular sessions at the university library.|
|+Some of the lessons I learned:|
|+- Physical environment is one of the driving factors behind my habits.|
|+- Being in public places helps me focus and amplifies my limited self-discipline.|
|+- Resistance to less immediate goals grows exponentially every time I give in to my inner __Schweinehund__.|
|+- By the time I struggle with myself over whether I should do X instead of Y it is already too late. This is a debate my rational self loses 90% of the time.|
|+- Social obligations and public scrutiny are effective ways to force myself to be productive.|
|+- Rewards don't work if they aren't massively better than what you would normally do anyway.|
|+- Goals are awesome, but I find it terribly hard to break them down into realistic targets. Usually goals either seem so huge that I don't know where to start or so trivial that I put them off forever.|
|+- Time constraints (such as "every week" or "every day") seem to negatively affect my ability to keep a resolution.|
|+This is not the first time I have identified these quirks of mine, but the first time I have written them down publicly. Despite the rather negative tone of the post, 2013 was by far my best year ever. I fulfilled a childhood dream of mine by going to Japan. Met really nice people, saw and experienced amazing things. It has also helped me to solidify my own goals and dreams in life, but that is for another post.|