7 Jan 2013
I am fascinated by the fact that New Year’s resolutions come on heals of what can, for most of us, be an overly consumptive “Holiday Season”. It is one of life’s great cycles. It all begins on Halloween with free candy at every house, then rolls into preparation for the biggest feast of the year, then as soon as those pies are consumed we begin to shop wildly, accumulating as much stuff as possible, only to feast again, shop the post-Christmas sales, and then toast enthusiastically to the year gone by.
Not sure if it is the exhaustion or the guilt, but it is no wonder that on January 1st, after sleeping in, many of us think about what we are going to do differently in the New Year. Fortunately the bar is set pretty low: Improve our diet, not too hard. Save money – Compared to last month that will be easy. Get in shape – hit the pavement. The toughest part is keeping it going. Especially during the doldrums of February and March. This year I am going to try something new.
There is an adage in business that you can’t fix what you can’t measure and applying that to your resolutions should be equally true. I recently began running with a heart rate monitor and my favorite part is seeing how hard I worked out. My behavior has changed as a result – I don’t stop as often, I incorporate easy days with hard days, and I get to see the progress on screen. For 2013, I am hoping to add more variety to my exercise and keeping of record of what I did, in addition to how hard I did it should help out. Maybe this is the key to any resolution – making sure that you can measure the progress.
My guess is that I will still stray from whatever resolution I make, hopefully now I can stop and figure out why. Especially in this age of “big data” it should be easier to understand the why as well as the what. I have never been able to keep a journal but maybe these new tools can provide an element of self-reflection. So here’s to 2013 – the year of big, personal data?
Photo by Sneeu
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