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New Year's Resolutions 2019

Friday January 11, 2019

My process for New Year’s resolutions this year:

  1. Write down a bunch of lessons I learned in 2018
  2. Pick one main “big-picture” resolution for 2019
  3. Paste the lessons-learned into a recurring calendar entry for 2019, just as a reminder.

Things I learned in 2018

Of course, I have to start by saying: I already knew this stuff. (See item #4, here) But knowing a thing, or knowing about it is different from integrating it and experiencing it.

Well, one thing I experienced in 2018 was the beneficial effect of attending to a program of formal health maintenance. My INTJ dad never went to the doctor enough, and that may have been one reason why he died so early—just a couple of weeks after he retired. I saw myself slipping into the same pattern, so for 2019 I’ve changed that. Health maintenance is higher on my list as a big-picture item. To that end, I started a password-protected HTML page chronicling stuff I learn in various doctor and dentist appointments. It’s already been fun: “Marc, which tooth are we working on today?” “#12, first bicuspid. If you want the JPG or the DICOM file I have it on my website.” OK—I admit I added that last part just to see the reaction.

I also learned that my beliefs need maintenance and attention. I’m paying more attention to my spiritual side, so to speak, and rather than perceiving the coming-and-going of various feelings, I plan to start organizing and really paying more formal attention to those things. I remember one day last year I was sitting with my wife in church and I was just in excruciating emotional pain at being there, because I hadn’t recently addressed the question of why am I here and what is this for. I had to get up and leave. My wife was very understanding and I think because she’s a Feeler, she just gets it. Of course you had to leave if you were feeling that way. Church has never been a fits-like-a-glove experience for me, so I’m just starting from that premise and I’m going to see how it goes as I dive into my beliefs once again.

Another thing I learned in 2018 is that my hobby-budgeting needed work. I’m at the point where I just need to fully commit to the realization that I have gobs of interests. And gobs of relevant sensory objects that I own as a result. My hobby interests can be said to be extraverted in that they are broad and diverse in many ways, rather than singular and deep. Instead of trying to fix this and brutally repress a pattern that brings me joy, I’m going to turn my hobby budget around and run some new experiments. No specifics for now, just attention given to the question as a whole.

The final lesson-learned is that I’m happier when I ask lots of questions. I found that I would do a lot of research of my own, come to some conclusions, and while doing all this I’d leave out the step of asking other people for specific input on what I’m doing, or the questions that I have. This is essentially a form of extraversion, and I have felt that it makes me uncomfortable, but there’s also kind of a ramp here—I’m not trying to become an extravert. So some of those small waypoints on the ramp include e.g. asking questions online, asking questions to friends, planning the questions, etc.

So for 2019….

That’s the main big-picture goal I picked for the coming year: Ask more questions.

I have a brilliant coaching client who absolutely schools me on this. We start the call with some pleasantries, then he tells me he has some questions, but first he wants to give me some background. After giving me the background, he explains a couple of questions and why he wanted to ask them. After we discuss possible answers, he then does this thing that my other coaching clients don’t usually do: “OK—so just to make sure I’ve got this, can I repeat back to you what I’m hearing?”

It’s really impressive and I can see that it works really well for him.

Well—that’s where I’m generally headed for 2019. More podcasts are on the way—I have some changes to make to the format; we’ll see how it goes.

Filed in: Goals /52/

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