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New Year, New Goals

Reflection on Chapter 5: How Do I Teach Myself a New Skill?

Each blog post in this series (#WIWIK) will take a moment to reflect on the questions at the end of each chapter.

Feel free to join the conversation by responding in the comments with your answers to the discussion questions (with plain text or a link to your post).

Here is the reflection question for the fifth chapter:

What was one New Year's resolution that you didn't follow through on? How would you approach this resolution differently to achieve your goal?

I suppose it's time for a humble brag, I actually succeeded in nearly all of my resolutions and goals. After reading Atomic Habits by James Clear at the end of 2021, I reframed my approach to focus on building habits to reinforce the identity of who I want to become instead of assigning arbitrary numbers to goals and abandon them by May (or February). I even went full-blown nerd and created my own personal planner to help remind me to do these habits on a daily basis. With these systems in place, I exceeded my reading goals; completed half of an instructional design graduate program, transitioned into a new career; and engaged in daily tasks of engaging in mindfulness, completing one act of kindness, and writing a reflective haiku (some of which have much more colorful language than others).

The one goal I made little progress on was my exercise goal. I was able to lose some weight because of dietary changes and an (inconsistent) workout regiment. In order to achieve better results on this goal, here is what is different in 2023:

  • One major change in circumstance that will help is that I am out of the grueling, soul-killing, time-sucking task of a major career transition that took a large amount of my time and energy last year.

  • I redesigned and digitized my Platypus Planner with Affinity Publisher (shown below) to place more of an emphasis on physical activity.

  • I have the equipment I need to exercise. My office now includes an exercise bike, dumbbells, kettlebells, and a desk treadmill.

By logging thirty minute workouts every day and aiming to put at least fifty miles on my desk treadmill a month, I should be able to have more success on this goal than last year. But I suppose we'll have to let time be the judge and check back on this next January.


Hobson, L. (2021). What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Instructional Designer. Independently published.

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