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New Year's Resolutions Suck!

New Year, New Me right? January 1st rolls around and most of us plan to conquer the new year with a new set of goals for the year ahead. But a year is a LONG time, I honestly have no clue what was on my mind this time last year and what makes this year different? I decided to try something different. What if I stopped having long-term goals altogether? No more "lose 20lbs by summer" or "read 12 books this year" because at least for me, that type of goal setting just doesn't work. Not only does it not work, the first few months of the year are always full of guilt. "Why are you do nothing?! You should be reading! How will you get through all of those 12 books?!". It's exhausting. What I am doing instead? I'm not abandoning my "new year, new me" ambitions but in an ever-changing, ever-attention-grabbing world, a year is too long.

I came across this blog post by Jason Fried about how Basecamp works. Here is a snippet from the post:

Basecamp 6 week work cycles

I really like this idea. 6 weeks seems like roughly the right amount of time to get stuff done yet not get bogged down by anything.

6-Week Cycles

My new approach to self-improvement now works in 6-week cycles. I spend about a week figuring out what I want to focus on and I spend the next 6 weeks with those things top-of-mind. I'm about to start my third 6-week cycle and so far it's been great! I no longer have 100000 things I feel like I need to do, I have a couple of "big batch" and a couple of "small batch" things that I focus on.

This approach isn't perfect, I still need to iterate on some of the specifics and I still get anxious when I try to reconcile my 6-week plan with my long-term ambitions. That doesn't take away from the fact that it's better and that's a pretty good starting point.

Published on February 20, 2019