I’m aiming to make fewer resolutions.
My resolutions are all about making myself better: I’m going to play scales on guitar for an hour everyday, or I’m going to stop looking at my phone the moment I wake up. They’re little ultimatums I lay on myself. They’re the equivalent of grounding myself or sending myself to my room without dinner. What’s the chance some sneaky part of myself isn’t going to sneak out the window and go out drinking with my friends?
I’m trying out a few things that offer me more dignity and agency. Things that sound less like a childish tyrant levying decrees. Here’s one from Daniel Coyle’s “Little Book of Talent.”
After you’ve finished a practice session write down three things:
- What worked
- What didn’t
- Ideas for the next session
This practice says I have the intelligence to discern what works for me, and what doesn’t. It invites me to pay attention rather than instead mindlessly practicing guitar scales until I die. It says that tomorrow I can engage my curiosity and see what works again.
Maybe what doesn’t work is the ordeal of forcing ourselves to doing things.