January 01

Striking The Resolution Balance

As I type, on January 1st, with a steely resolve to write more in 2022, it strikes me that whilst much is said about the New Year being an occasion for new habits, I’ve never really considered the importance of leaving behind old ones. And, as someone that gravitates towards obsession fairly easily and often, this is an ability that I intend to work on in the year ahead.

In reality, I suspect that I tend to glamourise my weakness for obsessively adopting habits to some extent – I’m on a 2500+ day streak with Duolingo for example, 12 months ago I increased an already high intensity of cycling to undertake a 450km-odd charity ride in just 7 days and I have spent the last year enjoying a revival in buying an unnecessarily large amount of music on vinyl.

Yet a more rounded reading of all of these is that :

  • For a significant latterly portion of the Duolingo streak I’ve been treading water and taking the easy option almost every day, hoping to rekindle the spark, whilst wondering, sometimes daily, why I’m bothering if I travel to Italy (I’m learning Italian) rarely if ever.
  • Whilst I was proud of my physical achievement for about 5 minutes with the major ride, the goal was entirely arbitrary and objectively paled against what was achieved with the (far slower) charity efforts I’d undertaken the previous year. Moreover, my desire to finish unnecessarily quickly, rather than in the allotted month, basically caused me 6-12 months of grief with my knees.
  • I’m already at/beyond saturation point with owned music and whilst I try to rotate regularly, an inevitably consequence of a rapid growth in any thing is that some – perhaps many – are left untouched, taking up space for no reason.

So, perhaps 2022 is the year that I learn to quit, seeing some behaviours for what they are rather than holding on when I should be letting go.

I did buy a 12 month subscription to Headspace last year, hoping that would have the desired effect of encouraging me to use the app daily – it did, for a month, or so. So clearly this behaviour has something to do with desire, whether unconsciously or as conscious choice. Still, I intend to get back to it.

So, the question is, how does one strike the right balance between positively adopting and maintaining healthy new habits whilst not then holding them so tightly that they risk becoming a drain on time and energy?

Perhaps that’s quite enough sober recrimination for one morning.  I think I need another coffee…

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