The ABC New Year's Resolutions
Recently I stumbled upon a podcast entitled "Why your New Year's resolutions are a vain endeavor" (freely translated from German). My first spontaneous reaction was a feeling of assault. Next, I thought that the author is probably alluding to the fact that most of our resolutions are abandoned rather quickly. I had to admit that problem, for sure, but I still interpreted the headline of the podcast as an unfair self-fulfilling prophecy. Several days later, I listened to the actual content and found there a lot of good ideas about the reasons why we give up decisions so easily, a highly interesting topic worthwhile to come back to another time.
I love resolutions. Throughout my whole life (not only on New Year's Days), resolutions have marked the turning points in various kinds of crisis. In order to happen, a genuine resolution has to be preceded by a period of suffering, an extended span of time where our believes about how life should be are in increasing disagreement with (our believes about) the actual situation. Eventually, we become aware of possible causes of the problem and can identify some kind of error, or flaw, in our former behaviour. Identifying the error allows us to design proper counter measures. The resolution is a conscious decision to start applying these counter measures.
Once I come to that point, often a wonderful stream of self-control and will-power is filling my mind. In such precious moments I am feeling like a Samurai, the razor-sharp blade of his Japanese sword sparkling in the sun, preparing for a fight of life and death. All the doubts and confusions that have tortured me during the crisis fall away. There is nothing but focused, flexible energy, an empty blue sky and the open fate. In a way, the real (psychological) problem is already solved as soon we have a clear solution to our crisis in mind and start to take action.
It might be only a strange coincidence, or maybe also an effect of the often depressing weather in the early German winter. But during the last 4 or 5 years, each time precisely around the Christmas and New Year's season, I consistently found myself deeply within some form of crisis. So, in my case, the New Year's Day was a quite natural point for a new start. And since I love resolutions, this time I have set up a whole 24 of them, one for each letter of the alphabet !
My intention is to post in this blog, little by little, in no particular order, about all the 24 resolutions as individual topics. I will explain the philosophy behind them, describe my way of implementing them in daily life, and report how the plans develop in practice.
For the time being, I will just present the list of 24 topics. Some of the items are more like personal research projects, where I actually have no clear idea yet about how to approach them. Some will appear cryptic to you without explanation. Any way, here you are:
Bubbles of Peace
Drop by Drop
Getting Important Things Done
Occam and Beyond
Yellow Sun Glasses