Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year

People make resolutions in the new year. Often these are to do things that they don't like to do - or to not do things they enjoy - because they believe the doing or not doing of these things will make them a better person.

These resolutions require willpower. And willpower doesn't work. Well, not for long.

I consider new year to be a time, not for resolutions, but to look back at a year which has passed, and to consider what has gone right, what has gone wrong, and what I need to do to do better - either to get better results, or to feel better about myself. Hopefully both.

Its been an odd year. I've changed jobs, in a way which has been an improvement financially, and has given me the sort of work I enjoy. But has also moved me back towards a rut I escaped from, and has shown me I still have many things I need to learn.
I've discovered I have a food intolerance - which has been a godsend in making me feel more energetic - but has limited my options in a whole range of social situations.
I'm fighting a bit with depression - which I'm handling generally quite well - but its not trivial, and it puts a strain not only on me - but also on many people I love - especially my wife.

I have a few outstanding problems which need to be addressed to allow me to move on

Perfectionism: I have the worst form of perfectionism - I know what I do is imperfect, so I often avoid doing it all together. If I do ever complete a piece of work, I hate showing to (and its imperfections) to others. All I can do is know that this is the case, and keep working confronting the issue.

Socialisation: associated with perfectionism, is my problem with socialising. Now I'm an introvert, so I don't need to socialise much (much to my extravert wife's chagrin) but I do need to network. I need to get myself out there. Unfortunately I spend so much time worrying what others are going to think about me that I never actually risk finding out

Envy / Jealousy / Self Image : I worry that I haven't achieved everything I feel I should have - or could have - or which others around me seem to have. And I resent the fact that others have - and that I'm unable to provide the same things to my family. I want fame and fortune and recognition. I want what everybody else has (and when I say everybody, I'm actually talking about a very small group of people - the ones who are doing better than me in the particular area I wish to be envious about). This is my topic of the year. This is where I need to devote my time to seeking answers and changing my habits

To begin to improve myself, I've had the idea of a score chart.

It isn't like a resolution, because it doesn't say "I'm going to never do this" or "I'm going to do this daily", rather what I say is

"This year I want to do a certain amount of a thing - be it writing, housework, networking or overcoming envy. I will set myself a goal to do this, and work out how much a day I will need to do - showing me if I am ahead or behind schedule to complete my task by year end"

Of course, the aim is to complete my goal as early in the year as possible, because that will allow me to choose other things to try - or give me time to sleep. Either way is good.

I will report on my status here.

The goals are:

I will reply to 365 posts on Internet forums (socialisation)
I will spend 730 minutes cleaning my room (laziness, untidiness)
I will write 100000 words of blog posts (perfectionism)

Envy is tricky. I don't know how to approach it. Therefore, I will spend 3650 minutes working on and testing ideas relating to overcoming envy (which may involve finding books, meditating etc - this may well cross over with my blogging goal)

None of these are goals that should take all year to achieve

I'm currently doing as follows

forum posts 0/365 (should be 1/365)
cleaning 8/730 (should be 2/730)
blogging 741/100000 (should be 274 / 100000)
envy 12 / 3650 (should be 10/3650)