Action: My 2016 Resolution

Usually, I wait until February to make a New Years resolution. It’s just easier that way. Our sense of what we want or need is skewed by the holidays. After a month of spending and gorging and sloth, who wouldn’t want to save more, eat better, exercise? I give myself a month or so to cool off, collecting the ideas for resolutions I have in my head and abstracting them into a larger theme that I can follow all year. That boils down into just one word. For 2016, that word is “action.”

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It seems simple enough – when you want to do something, just do it. But in practice, it proves to be much more difficult.

Action: It means, don’t store it in your head for later, either do it or take the first manageable step in accomplishing the larger goal. Action: Don’t touch things twice. See an email? Got a text? Answer it. Don’t flag it and come back to it.

Action: Put down your phone when it’s not necessary to be on it and be active in conversation.

I’ve sat and thought about actions long enough. Do first, learn second. Mistakes are okay. Be better at recognizing the times where tasks need to be thought out vs acted upon.

Action: Write things down. Ideas and solutions are no good to you or anyone else buried in your head.

Action: Going to the doctor is scary. Making appointments is not. Take things one step at a time.

Action: Move more. Life isn’t a golf, the person who swings the least won’t always win. Take the long way to Chipotle once in a while.

The trash is full. The sink is full. Laundry needs to done. Don’t ruminate about what’s most efficient to do when, do the highest priority first, they all need to happen.

I use this one-word trick to stick to my New Years resolution. When something seems too insurmountable, when you’re too tired, when you think to yourself, “I’ll do it later,” say it out loud: action.

This resolution also applies in regards to code: do something everyday, even if it’s small. Take the initiative to expose yourself to new problems and new solutions. Code is a form of creativity. To push the boundaries of what you can do, you must continually have your perspectives challenged. Artists go to museums, exhibits, where do you go to get inspired?

Earlier thought: “I need to write that blog post about my New Years resolution”

Action: “I am currently done writing a blog post about my New Years resolution.”

What’s your word for 2016?

2 thoughts on “Action: My 2016 Resolution

  1. Great thinking! It’s easy to over engineer motivation but having a simple word to represent an idea is good stuff. You’re either doing it or you aren’t. Ended up here after seeing your message in CodeNewbie. It’s great to see fellow Tar Heels in the tech space! c/o 2010

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like!

    I think my word for the year is “intentional”. So much we do by-default or without-thinking. At any moment I should be able to ask “am I doing my current task on purpose? Am I acting intentionally?”.

    Liked by 1 person

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