(Please feel free to share yours in the comments section of this post.)
It’s getting to that time of year where many of us will be in a post-Christmas, post-gluttonous, dazed shellshock. Where we turn our greedy eye from the pickings of Christmas’ carcass for a brief, weary stare into the near-future. For this post I give a tip of the Santa hat to Koralatov who led me to the Hacker News post on 2013 Learning that inspired me to write this.
These resolutions I am about to make; how can I stop myself forsaking them? How can they be achieved? Let’s move forward with the mindset that these resolutions are all centred around learning and developing new skills.
Forming a resolution
When setting any learning objectives I would recommend putting them to the test:
- Why do you want to learn it? How will it benefit you, and what will you use your new skill for, e.g., to write a book, communicate with foreign friends, or type super-fast without having to backspace every few words to correct a spelling mistake.
- How long will it take to learn?
- When will you make the time to learn it?
- These (one, two, and three) can be consolidated into the following question: Are your learning objectives all SMART, i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound [or variations thereof]?
If your early learning objectives can’t be made to at least survive the above probing, I would suggest they be reworked or binned. The fact that every resolution you publicly announce will remain a fairly permanent testament to your future integrity invites a haunting guilt (or potentially valuable lesson) if you fail; and a prideful joy if you succeed.
My 2013 Resolutions
As an example, my 2013 personal resolutions are published below, and I invite you to do the same in the comments of this post, bookmark it and visit any time to share your progress/completion. I will be posting my updates and linking back to this post.
- For fun and to improve my computing skills: Learn how to use my Raspberry Pi effectively (learn linux), and put it to use at least once a month.
- To communicate with my in-laws better: Learn enough Farsi (Modern Persian) to have a conversation and understand the meaning of overheard conversation.
- To become a more effective typist: Learn to touch-type (for real) at least 70wpm with >95% accuracy by July 2013.
- Become a better cook: Write down, practice and commit to memory at least 20 recipes that can make-up a staple repetoir.
- To ultimately design and knit my own jumper: Learn the basics of knitting and knit at least five different items by June.
- To ultimately make my own stoneware: Learn and practice ceramics. Buy all equipment by June to begin after knitting and finishing Project Management degree.