With 2008 now in the rear view mirror, there have been many predictions in my TweetDeck and my RSS readerthe about the upcoming year. Everything from predictions of the next big web-thing, to the next tech-breakthrough, to predictions that the economy will bounce back, or even worse, will collapse even more.
While I could lay down some of my predictions for the upcoming year, I like to have a more pragmatic approach. Chances are I really have no idea how 2009 will change the world for everyone else. I want to focus on how I will change my world, for me.
You are your habits.
I love the idea that I can learn a new skill, pick up a new hobby, or learn a new craft, just by making time in my schedule for it, and then
following through .
I don’t have any resolutions for 2009, but I do have some new habits I’d like to pick up. While they are modest, they are attainable.
– Meditate for at least 5 minutes nightly. I’ve long been enamored with tales of meditation. From it’s calming effect on one’s mind, to promises of richer everyday experiences & deeper appreciation of the people in one’s life, there just always seemed to be something there. 5 minutes a night is a modest start. Implementation strategy: Just do it until I ‘get over the hump’ & really begin to enjoy it & look forward to it on a daily basis.
– Floss. I know it’s good for me. I know all the rational reasons why I should do it. I just don’t do it, yet. There’s a famous Mitch Hedberg routine about flossing.
“Man, I can’t floss my teeth. People talk about how hard it is to stop smoking; I think its about as hard as it is to start flossing. ‘Hey, you look jittery.’ ‘Yeah, I’m about to floss.’”
This is a simple one. Implementation strategy: Just do it.
– Read nightly. I’ve long been enamored from afar with the craft of writing. As a student of philosophy, I’ve found a passion for the way some writers are able to put their most fluid thoughts onto paper in such a poetic way. I’ve always been very left-brained, analytical in a way that has dominated more expressive, verbal. In the spirit of expanding my horizons, I’m going to dedicate a half-hour nightly to reading offline. Implementation strategy: Make it a habit to find interesting content. Make it a habit to read before meditation & bed.
– Dedicate an hour per week to expanding professionally. This one is a little bit more abstract. I’ve long been obsessed with having both a
breadth and a depth of professional skills & knowledge. In practice, I find that a lot of my time is spent executing. I get much of the bredth in my daily work schedule, but not very much depth. Implementation strategy: Dedicate an hour each week to finding a new technology meetup to go to, explore twitter for interesting new technologies to learn about, or engaging in other non-immediate-work-related technology material.
My hope is that my new habits are both modest & realistic enough to become a part of daily life. I’ve always been a firm believer that you are your habits, so I’m looking forward to picking up a new few habits myself, in 2009.