New year decisions

Last year at this time I read a lot about new year's resolutions and why people mostly fail in implementing them.

Reasons why they fail are for example:
  • Lack of a step-by-step plan to implement (re)solutions.
  • Missing milestones/control/verification points (just once a year doing a check is not enough).
  • Bad analysis in why the old habits were there - implementing a new habit instead of an old one works better if the new habit is also solving the old problem(s).
  • ...
So the point is, that just from one day to the next you will hardly be able to change your life or your habit(s) respectively. The best approach for changing your life is to plan several different goals and step-by-step programs for implementation. But this is done mostly during "normal" - continuous - personal development.

Dedicating time to personal development just once in a year is clearly not fruitful.

But anyway I do consider the new year's eve a good opportunity to look back at the last year, build a summary and do some focus decisions for the next year. Writing the old year's number for the last times or writing the new year's number for the first times is somehow something special that let us feel a cesura - it causes us to pause for a moment or at least creates a good environment to do so.

It is the same as in project management: Milestones should not be too distant from each other. Points of control should be often enough to ensure you are on track but there should be enough time between to have the chance finish some implementation (attempts).

I find new year's eve not the best time to break with old habits as during the last weeks of the year most people tend to find more stress than less. Thinking about and implementing new habits for me works better during and after longer (summer) vacation.

On the other hand new year's eve for me is a good time to think about a (possible but not necessarily "new") focus for the next year and take some (maybe already overdue) decisions. This will help you in your daily decisions already in the first days of the year. Just having the desired focus in mind masks irrelevant information making your life easier. And it avoids making commitments that do not support your life plans but take effect later during the year (so you don't notice immediately).

I wish you a successful 2010 with good decisions and razor sharp focus.

Related posts: Razor sharp focus, Information overflow, Focus by decision, Focus by direction.


Needs and Meaning

I did not write for a while due to several reasons. First I invested a lot of private time into building technical knowledge slightly different from my daily work. That held me back from writing more posts already earlier, but sometimes such is necessary if you want to grow - see also "Knowledge is freedom".

The second reason is the birth of our second son. Unfortunately after the first two weeks it turned out, that he has a tachycardia and needed to stay under intensive care. A few days ago we got him back home with medication and a heart monitor.

What I learned from this recently:
  • Luck, happiness and healthiness is fragile.
    When he was born I was so happy to have two sane children. Now I know how fast that can change. - I should already know this very well - everything is fleeting...

  • Replace worrying with real risk management.
    When situation is bad we are full of sorrows and when everything is fine we actually need to worry about our properties and health fading away. So we could spend our life worrying all the time or simply stop it because anyway it does not make anything better. This is not to be put together with not being aware! - We should be aware of potential risks and problems! We should do our best to act healthy and ethical! But plain worries focus just on all the possible bad results without real risk management and taking any action - so our day-to-day repeating worrying really does not make any sense.

  • Maslow is quite right with the hierarchy of needs.
  • Viktor Frankl was quite right also.
    He has written about man's search for meaning and developed the logotherapy. He basically states that we can discover meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a value – nature, a work of art, another person, i.e., love; (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

  • Be thankful for every help you get.
    Especially doctors often have a negative image, but they really can save your life (or in our case the life of our son).
Related posts: Biggest worries, Knowledge is freedom, The most important things to know, All done status, There is suffering.