15 January 2008

Link of the day: Three rules for making resolutions that stick

I really enjoyed this post by Cal Newport called "Three rules for making resolutions that stick." His rules are
  1. Resolve to follow a system, not achieve a goal.
  2. Establish an exception policy.
  3. Respect the rule of three.

You need Rule 1 because goals are not enough. However, goals will guide you in setting up your system. As Cal says, it's much easier to do something (e.g. eat one piece of fruit a day), then resolve to achieve something (e.g. eat healthier).

I really like Rule 2. I always get thrown off by long vacations. It's easy to slack off on things like exercise and eating well when you feel like you have less control than usual over your surroundings. I should figure out a good exercise and stretch routine for being on the road. Good idea, Cal!

I'm pretty bad at respecting Rule 3. If you've been reading my blog, you see that I've had a whole bunch of ideas and have been (perhaps foolishly) trying to implement them all at once. I think I would have achieved the same results in the same amount of time if I had just focused on implementing one new part of my system at a time. I guess I don't have the patience. I still achieved what I wanted, but it was an emotionally taxing to have one part of my system fall apart while trying to get another part started.

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