Earlier this month my colleague Allison wrote about how to stick to your resolutions with three simple steps. This week I wanted to look at an alternative to the New Year’s resolution – going deeper.
If you’re like most of us resolution makers, you might find yourself getting ambitious with what the new year will bring for you. Will it be a new hobby? A new look? A total life makeover? Whatever it is that you choose, it’s not uncommon for us to lose sight of our resolutions somewhere along the way and settle back in to our normal habits; leaving a trail of partially developed hobbies, half learned languages and a cabinet full of diet food.
Well here’s my idea (actually it’s this guy’s idea) – instead of diving into something new, why not rededicate your time to something you’ve already started? Go deeper into a hobby, skill, friendship, exercise routine or self growth plan, that you’ve already started rather than adding something new to your plate.
David (aka this guy) explains –
No new hobbies, equipment, games, or books are allowed during this year. Instead, you have to find the value in what you already own or what you’ve already started.
You improve skills rather than learning new ones. You consume media you’ve already stockpiled instead of acquiring more.
You read your unread books, or even reread your favorites. You pick up the guitar again and get better at it, instead of taking up the harmonica. You finish the Gordon Ramsey Masterclass you started in April, despite your fascination with the new Annie Leibovitz one, even though it’s on sale.
The guiding philosophy is “Go deeper, not wider.”
Deepening your experience and returning to previous endeavors can still be just as difficult as starting a new resolution, with one exception – you already have some knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. Armed with this knowledge you can create a plan to get started on previous projects, making sure to avoid the pitfalls of last time. And by not purchasing new books or starting new projects until old ones are complete, you will free up time and space to focus only on deepening.
If you’re interested in getting started on going deeper, I suggest you start with this list:
- What goals/hobbies/projects did I start that I’d like to finish?
- Choose 1-4 (keeping in mind what’s realistic for your schedule)
- Identify what obstacles prevented you from finishing.
- Set a new plan
- Starting small, set realistic, easily accomplished goals to get started.
- Identify people who can help you avoid obstacles and keep going.
- Be positive! Encourage yourself to keep going by taking note of your accomplishments.
For more on deepening check out: https://zenhabits.net/depth/