January 1, 2020. First day of the new year and the new decade! Proverbial resolutions are made… with far too many people responding pessimistically to the staying power of these resolutions. It’s true, gyms are often packed in the first couple weeks of the year, and that by February, the crowds thin out leaving mostly the consistent folks who were there before the start of the year.
I like to be optimistic. But I’m also realistic. I’ve had access to goal setting tools for many years, but when I’ve looked at my success rate of follow-through, I have much to be desired. I’m human with other priorities that often trump my own ambitions. But I also know that I can be lazy too. At the end of the day when I have the opportunity to work toward a great personal goal, I too often let the passive and mindless allure of Netflix or YouTube take over. It’s nice and relaxing and after a hard, busy day, it seems to hit the spot.
So, what will be different about this year? Well, while fully acknowledging where my weaknesses are, I still have high aspirations. And I have the ability to follow through. Knowing where the landmines are as well as the goal and direction I need to take to get there is a big part the battle. Having a plan in place to avoid the landmines and truly follow through by taking focused action is the other. That’s my goal and it starts here. In fact, one of my goals is to post more content on my blog this year. So, one down! : )
This year, one of my goals is to transform the direction of my career. And clearly, this will take a solid disciplined approach to learning and habit management like I’ve never taken on in the past. I know I have the tools and the learning resources, as well as the ability to manage my habits to take full advantage of my available time. It’s just a matter of avoiding those pesky landmines that sabotage my follow-through.
I’ve come across several intriguing authors over the last couple years who seem to have a consistent message that really resonates with me. These authors have not tacked the typical self-development topics of mindset and traditional goal setting per se. They have tackled areas that truly align with the areas that I personally would like to excel in: habits and mastery over new skills. And the tools they teach are just the tools that can help avoid the landmines and reach one’s goals.
The authors are Cal Newport, James Clear, and Scott Young. I won’t spend time writing about their books here, but I will provide links to each one below. These are books I will be devouring this year to help me stay on track with my personal learning and development goals:
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, Cal Newport
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, James Clear
- Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career, Scott Young
I aim to post reports or at least evidence of my progress throughout this year. One of my goals is to get better at writing. I believe posting more content will provide an avenue for doing just that.
Let’s toast the new year and get started on the right foot! Cheers!