(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:

  1. 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.
  2. How long will it take to learn?
  3. When will you make the time to learn it?
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. To communicate with my in-laws better: Learn enough Farsi (Modern Persian) to have a conversation and understand the meaning of overheard conversation.
  3. To become a more effective typist: Learn to touch-type (for real) at least 70wpm with >95% accuracy by July 2013.
  4. Become a better cook: Write down, practice and commit to memory at least 20 recipes that can make-up a staple repetoir.
  5. To ultimately design and knit my own jumper: Learn the basics of knitting and knit at least five different items by June.
  6. To ultimately make my own stoneware: Learn and practice ceramics. Buy all equipment by June to begin after knitting and finishing Project Management degree.
 2013 Resolutions Gantt Chart (Milestone and Summary View)

2013 Resolutions Gantt Chart (Milestone and Summary View)