New Month's Resolutions

I have noticed that I might have slightly misinterpreted the challenge. My take has been to try some things for a month with the understanding that I will most likely drop them. While there is nothing wrong with temporary goals, it seems like the consensus is that trying something and then sticking with it is the preferred approach.

With that newfound understanding, I will review my monthly resolutions up to now and see if I can find better goals that I will be able to continue and find worthwhile. For that, it’s important to clarify to myself what I wanted to achieve in the first place.

January - old: /meditation-retrospective new: /morning-calm

The purpose of doing a meditation retrospective after each session was to spice up my practice, which has stalled a bit over the last couple of months. I gained some insights by recording a voice message after each session for a month, but it mostly became repetitive, so I dropped the goal.

I think what would be beneficial in supporting my practice is a ten-minute sit in the morning after brushing my teeth and before showering. The idea is to set the mood for the day and also capture some of the delicate sweetness of the mind in the morning. For this purpose, I have created /morning-calm, which retroactively replaces /meditation-retro and is set to a humble 8 minutes per day for now.

February - old: /freggies new: /freggies-prep

For /freggies, the intention was to eat healthy instead of unhealthy snacks. It failed because I was in an environment that didn’t facilitate easy access to fruits and vegetables, and also because I frankly couldn’t be bothered to track individual portions of what I was eating throughout the day. I claimed that I could easily solve this at home by preparing, and logging the freggies in one go in the morning, and that I would then automatically consume them throughout the day. I still think that’s going to work, so I am restarting /freggies, renaming it to /freggie-prep, and setting it to a moderate rate of three days per week. I am allowed to enter a one when I wash and chop at least three vegetables and put them into a container for later consumption.

March - old: /caffeine-less new: /fatebook

Lastly, for March, /caffeine-less is helping me prepare for my one-week fast. I won’t lie, it has been quite miserable, but the social pressure of announcing it here in the forum has definitely helped. I don’t know yet how I will continue at the end of March, but for now, I will definitely keep this goal going.
At the same time, I have reflected on why I misinterpreted the purpose of this thread and created bad goals (and frankly also the yearly resolution goal, but that’s for a separate post), and my current hunch is something along the lines of always trying the next fun thing without taking the actual effect on my long-term goals, well-being, and vision into consideration. Ironically, to counteract this tendency, I am going to try out yet another thing, which is making predictions on how beneficial I will find goals and to-dos that I create for myself. For this purpose, I have created /fatebook, which is set to 5 predictions a week. I am allowing myself to also make predictions outside of self-improvement.

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I don’t think that’s a terrible misinterpretation! I’ve ended up keeping my goals so far, because they turned out to be useful in many ways, but I also envision some of them being stuff like monthly challenges (a November NaNoWriMo goal would be perfectly in keeping, for example, or I may have something specific during my exams), or just not good goals to keep around longterm.

That said, I have found this very useful as a testing ground for goals I’m actually going to keep. :laughing: So there is a big benefit to it, at least for me. But I think you should use it however feels useful for you, and mix and match however you like.

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My March goal focuseddays is going well. I still go to sleep a bit too late, but I have now adjusted to my new morning routine allowing me to be at the office before 9am. I like this goal and will keep it running in April.

April Goal: Track at least 5 hours per day in Toggl
I am starting my April goal toggl early to have a first week with a smaller commitment (4 hours). My goal in April will be to track at least 5 hours per day on average from Monday to Friday. I use Toggl to track productive activities.

Good luck with your goals!

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For April, I am going to move iron up and down again aka /lift three times per week. That’s the most positive thing I can do for my health right now.

Really, I have to create good goals and get rid of the ones that aren’t beneficial or are neutral and just waste time. As I wrote above, the brain realizes that goals have to get done but that creates a tendency to commit to things that sound good (and easy), instead of attacking the real challenges.

🔴 January - new: /morning-calm

Sitting an hour in the morning would be good. Just doing ten minutes takes time away from my morning and I cannot get into deeper states fast enough to notice any benefits.

Getting rid of this. I am done with my January goals.

🟢 February - new: /freggies-prep

Well, I was fasting, so not too much to prepare.

However, the couple of times I have done it, it worked really well. Might update this to /healthy-snack-pack, but in general, this seems like it will work great for me.

🟢 March - /caffeine-less and /fatebook

Feels like I am finally of my caffeine addiction. I have to make a very deliberate choice in April if I start again.

I love fatebook. The calibration exercises are fun, and thinking about the probabilities of things I am going to do is fun too and encourages deep reflection. Good goal.

April - /lift

Not much to report yet.

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The next few months are going to be a bit of a challenge and I am determined to stay calm. Whilst I have ideas for monthly beeminder experiments now is not the right time to start too many new things.

So a very simple goal for April is breathingspace which is a very loose commitment to spend a minute or two just breathing between waking up and looking at a screen. My habit of realising I’m awake and picking up a device in the exact same instant is annoying me, even if sometimes it’s only diving back into the book I fell asleep reading. I think my brain needs a reminder to calm down and start the day slowly.

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January /plank goal update:

This one’s still rolling along, though I haven’t stepped up nearly as fast as I’d like. In part that’s been due to stuff going on; not sure how that will improve now that I have some stress off my plate.

February /morningpages goal update:

This one has reaaaally suffered as I went into assignment crunch time, because three pages takes a surprisingly long time to write long-hand. I still think it’s a good ritual for me to have, though.

March /readscience goal:

Unfortunately, this one was a failure. I derailed on it and ended it before the end of the month. In principle, it’s not a bad goal at all, but it added extra stress when I reaaaally didn’t need it.

April /timeforme goal:

It’s time for a bit of rest and recovery, and one thing that’s suffered a lot in the last few weeks is my reading time. So this is a nudge to get back to it! It doesn’t matter what I read, whether it’s audiobook or physical, just that I spend some time doing something I enjoy.

I’ll enter the data the following day (since I read right up to midnight on the regular), manually, based on whatever the Bookly app says I did for that day.

I already have reading goals for the amount I read in both number of books and number of pages, but this one is more to encourage me to take my time and read whatever I enjoy, even if it’s a big chonky book, or a new book that I’m not going to be able to finish that day, or whatever. Sometimes I get too focused on finishing, and that’s no good.

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March Conclusion

march goal info

It’s a good idea to try and finish work earlier in the day, and I’m going to carry on with the idea. This goal is too rigid though. I did get other things done because I wasn’t feeling I ought to work in the afternoons but I hated leaving quick jobs until the next day and felt I was being flaky by doing so.

So the intention is staying but the Beeminder goal is finished.

A better set up for the goal would have been to have set a limit on the amount of time I was going to work after 2pm but that would also be harder to track.

Previous Month’s Followup

previous conclusion/followup

February’s tidying up goals are still good but I’m putting breaks in them due to other stuff going on, it’s not a priority in my life to keep up with them at the moment.

January’s journal goal is going ok, I’ve slowed it down a bit but I still want it around.

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April’s update

March’s goals went… ok, I think. One of them went well, the other went fine, and I think the lesson I ought to have learned earlier was that, in order to go well, I need to do have an earlier deadline. Leaving everything to the end of the day just doesn’t work - I’m a morning person by nature, so best just get this stuff underway before noon, or it is all going to be done at 9 o’clock at night, and that’s not at all how I work best!

This month, I’m back to a classic, as I’ve fallen off my meditation habit of late: Meditation

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february goal thoughts

whotidyroom is still going and is still on 7 days post-derail respite and 7 days autoratchet, which is still probably not ideal.

earlier goal thoughts

fregstreme (my january goal has been archived.

april goal

none again! i will be on a long trip in may, for which preparations are stressful enough, so i’m not gonna do a goal this time around, and likely won’t in may, either.

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My earlier goals are continuing to serve their purposes, so at this point I’ll keep them going.

In March I focused on cooking and meal prepping more balanced meals (/homecooked). I think the Beeminder goal wasn’t strictly necessary, but it served as a helpful nudge that reminded me of that goal. I don’t think it ever made me do something I wasn’t already planning to do, but I bet that without the goal I would have been more likely to forget about this intention entirely.

April Goal: productivity!

/fvp

My April goal took some thought because I’ve got a lot of goals in different life areas right now, and I don’t want to overload myself. I think focusing on productivity and work habits would be helpful, but I didn’t know how to set up a good Beeminder goal for that. I considered a goal for sessions on Flown, but Beeminder goals that have to occur at a certain time can be too rigid. My most successful productivity system in the past was Mark Forster’s Autofocus, so I’m going to try out Final Version Perfected with this app called Dalo.

I’m debating whether it’s better to count “days using the system” vs. “tasks I’ve done some work on.” In the spirit of Beeminding the smallest actionable unit (is that a Beeminder tenet?), I’ll pick the latter for now.

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🟢 - February - /less-stuff

Sticked to this goal throughout most of March. Exception was a holiday. I think there’s still room to go here, so I’ll keep this going for April, too.

:green_circle: March - /hobbies-drawing

Introduced here:

I’d like to be a better student of Draw a Box.

I’m definitely a better student than a month ago!

The actual metric I’m working on was 5% when I started with the goal. Now it’s 30%.

The actual goal is that I need to draw 50% of the time simply to have fun.

That’s… not so fun :grimacing: due to the discomfort of trying to draw something, not being able to draw it (not well, at least).

I’ve become more mindful of what I enjoy currently. I also have a better understanding of what I’d like to be able to draw, eventually.

I’ll keep this goal.

April - /steps

In 2023, I averaged 8.750 steps per day. In 2024, so far it’s at 7.750. That’s not going in the right direction.

In (the rest of the) April, I’ll try to hit 9375 steps per day. That should put me on track to a 2.5% improvement over 2023.

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