No Resolutions

Ghent,

I used to start January by writing what I wanted my year to look like and making a plan to achieve those goals. I based this on Chris Guillebeau system of conducting an annual review.

For almost a decade, this system worked really well for me. I attributed to it, some of my top life achievements like getting a job abroad and traveling to many places. I used to recommend it to anyone who asked.

But then, the pandemic happened. And I postponed my plans and allowed myself to drift a little. Not so much that I’d do something completely off from what I want in life, but enough to explore and find new passions or reconnect with old ones.

This approach made me notice two important issues. First, I was getting anxious about the items in my list. It didn’t need to be a big event in life, it could be as simple as a book in my reading list. This made me do some things just for the sake of checking them off, even if there were other things I wanted more at that point in time. Second, it made me stressed about the things I didn’t achieve, specially those which I dragged across years.

We should also make ourselves flexible, so that we do not pin our hopes too much on our set plans, and can move over to those things to which chance has brought us, without dreading a change in either our purpose or our condition, provided that fickledness, that fault most intimical to tranquility, does not get a hold of us.

Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

The entire point of this process, was to build the life I wanted to have in order to enjoy myself. And here I was, causing additional anxiety and stress for myself. At the same time I realized, that my new approach was also giving me good results and making me feel a lot more relaxed (even during a pandemic). I even got to achieve some of the things I had been postponing for a while with the previous system. Turns out that not everything has to be a project to get good results.

Starting 2022, I’ll officially have no resolutions and instead just focus on what I’m doing now and give myself enough room for experimenting without any expected outcomes. This doesn’t mean I won’t have any goals, as a matter of fact there are some pretty big things in sight, but I will not try to time-box them but will keep working towards them in a focused manner according to their relevance.


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