Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
The Durande

New Year's Resolutions

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I will preface this by saying that whatever is worth doing is worth starting today (or any other day that you think up a proper plan of action), and therefore am always a little skeptical about hearing what people resolve to do in the future, but I still like the practice as symbolic of people's free will.

So here are mine for 2005:

1. I will break par for an 18 hole round of golf. I have done it through 9 holes a few times, but then always seem to self destruct on the 14-16th holes. To hell with that from now on. Every shot is a perfectible event in itself. There is no reason why I can't execute shots later in the round. It is not fatigue. It was choking. I refuse to choke anymore.

2. I will finish my novel. Period. As Ayn Rand once put it: " That empty page is my boss. My job is to fill that page." (Paraphrased) Each day I will fill 2-5 pages. I will set aside separate times each day to edit. There is no excuse now. I am a catastrophe claims adjuster. Now happily unemployed for a while. I have from now until next hurricane season. It WILL be done.

3. I will make a better effort to meet a better type of woman. I am bored with meaningless affairs. I will not compromise myself just because a woman is attractive. I'm serious.

4. I will read Gone With the Wind and Quo Vadis? Those are the only two books that I have bought and are still just sitting there. Inexcusable.

5. I will plant a garden: tomatoes, basil, eggplant, zucchini, and mint. This will be not only educational, but will save me money.

I'd like to see what other objectivists consider important in their lives. But not only that - I'd like to see how you plan to get things done. Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to see what other objectivists consider important in their lives.  But not only that - I'd like to see how you plan to get things done.  Thanks in advance.

Lists are very helpful at certain points in the thinking process -- especially at the brainstorming and brain-dump stages. However, a list of items alone lacks a crucial element of objectivity: integration.

Give your list some structure. For example, you could prioritize the list you now have. Which is the most important to you for achieving your ultimate purpose in life, happiness? Which is next most important?

Another example of integration through structure is to categorize your list of goals ("resolutions") for the coming year. Here is what I do. I review my hierarchy of values:

Ultimate purpose in life: happiness, which requires achieving ...

.....Personal value #1 (highest): My central purpose in life (beloved work, paid or otherwise)

..........Goal A: Acquire the skill of ... whatever

..........Goal B: Complete my second outline for my current book.

..........Goal C: etc., for each value.

.....Personal value #2: My closest friendships.

.....Personal value #3: My favorite leisure activities.

My very highest personal value is my CPL because it is my main support for my UPL. Under that category, I list -- in some evaluative or procedural order -- my particular goals. Then I do the same for the other two highest personal values.

This way, I have an action list, but within a thought-out structure, ensuring some integration with the rest of my knowledge.

Of course, there are many other points to discuss about planning and goal setting. Dr. Edwin Locke has a lecture on audiotape, a lecture about goal-setting. (See Ayn Rand Bookstore listings.) I listened to it many years ago and it helped me, along with other sources I gathered when I was in business.

P. S. -- Please note that the correct spelling of the proper name for Ayn Rand's philosophy is "Objectivism." The word "objectivism" -- with a lowercase "o" -- names a particular doctrine in the traditional history of philosophy, not a whole philosophy, and certainly not the one Ayn Rand created. See Forum Rules for "Spelling and Grammar."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My New Year's Resolutions:

1. Spend more quality time with my husband, brother and parents.

2. Obtain my Associate's Degree's in Economics & Math (then transfer to UCLA).

3. Make time to read at least one good book per month.

4. Start applying for internships at investment firms.

5. Learn to play the piano.

Sorry I don't have time to write in details of how I'm going to obtain these goals. Hope everyone else is enjoying the holidays! :dough:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speading less time reading/posting on message boards :angry:

Seriously, I'll be setting more time aside for reading and perhaps 30 minutes a day for exercise. I got a book on the Menzer method as well, so I'll be reading that. Anything that can help me get rid of this gut and fiting back into my 36:30s again :dough:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are mine:

1-Get a new job. Massage Therapy is very rewarding, but this job I'm in now has got to go. I need some REAL benefits. I had to pay a $75 copay last week for a Dr. visit. I don't think so buddy.

2-Get a new apartment. I live in the country right now and it's killing me. But the apartment depends on the job. So, that first.

3-More CEU's (continuing education units)- Makes me a more marketable therapist. That is going to be a constituent for my new job.

4-Quit smoking- How? I don't know. Someone told me that if I did situps for every time I wanted to smoke, I would eventually quit. -smoking, that is. Right...

Happy Holidays! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here are mine:

4-Quit smoking- How? I don't know. Someone told me that if I did situps for every time I wanted to smoke, I would eventually quit. -smoking, that is.  Right...

That approach is a form of aversion therapy. About 35 years ago, I stopped smoking (after about 8 years of two packs unfiltered, per day). First, I switched to a pipe and cigars, then to pipe alone. I added aversion therapy: It was okay to smoke one pipeful if I did 100 pushups. That didn't take long to tilt the balance, maybe a week or so. No smoking since then.

The key is to make the "price" doable but only with extraordinary effort. Tricks like this do help some.

Utlimately the way to give up smoking is to stop smoking. It is a matter of choice. Yes, habits are hard to break, but you are in charge of your own mind and its the mind that makes the choice.

I am glad I made the choice. Even though I smoked "only" 8 years, I do have emphysema. But a lung surgeon who examined a tissue sample said that I would almost certainly die of something else. (Medical humor?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4-Quit smoking- How? I don't know. Someone told me that if I did situps for every time I wanted to smoke, I would eventually quit. -smoking, that is.  Right...

I took to drinking a large amount of water before every cigarette, without exception, whether I wanted it or not. My theory at the time was that I might be getting the nicotine out of my system more quickly by doing this. I suspect my success had more to do with interrupting what used to be a quick and easy habit. Either way, this was what worked after a few failed cold turkey attempts. My urges subsided until I was only smoking a few each day, and by that point the things start to taste pretty bad again; I'd take just a couple puffs and end up not wanting the rest of the cigarette.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4-Quit smoking- How? I don't know. Someone told me that if I did situps for every time I wanted to smoke, I would eventually quit. -smoking, that is.  Right...

Happy Holidays! :)

One (maybe more) word of advice from an expert on cigarette addiction. Do not let yourself fail. Or, at least not too many times. Do not rapidly and half-heartedly quit repeatedly (I once quit everyday for three weeks and ended each day smoking).

If you ever want to see a principle alive and at work within your own mind: tell your subconscious repeatedly that what you tell it is not true, that rules will be violated by feeling, goals are ephemeral posts that switch direction, disappear and reappear. Teach it by repeated example that there is no connection between thought and action. Wait until your subconscious integrates those lessons to every area of your life. Do that and then tell me how you feel.

I did it. I even predicted the consequences while I was repeatedly failing. Knowing them doesn't keep you from suffering from them. Ooops

So, as kindly as I can say it: If you don't absolutely plan to shoot to kill on that goal, then just shut up and light up. You might still have a nasty habit, but you won't be crippling your ability to function as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4-Quit smoking- How? I don't know. Someone told me that if I did situps for every time I wanted to smoke, I would eventually quit. -smoking, that is.  Right...

Happy Holidays! :)

I managed this about 8 years ago. I did it by repeatedly doing a visualization exercise from David Burns (A popular cognitive psychologist) and eventually I convinced enough brain cells to have a majority.

Seriously, I wish you well in quitting smoking. It took me years of repeated trying - and failing - and trying again - to finally succeed. I'm proud of the fact that I don't even desire a cigarette any more. It also helps to remember that my father had a heart attack at age 42, and quit smoking cold turkey that very day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4-Quit smoking- How? I don't know. Someone told me that if I did situps for every time I wanted to smoke, I would eventually quit. -smoking, that is.  Right...

Happy Holidays! :thumbsup:

THere's a good article written on smoking and psycho-epistemology on Anger Management (a good blog): http://angermanagement.mu.nu/archives/025605.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My resolutions:

1. Finish getting my GED.

2. Apply for college in the fall.

3. Cut out much of the bad food in my life and lose weight. My basic method for this is going to be along the same lines as Allen Carr's method to stop smoking (i.e. the desire to overeat is all in my mind. There is nothing forcing me to overeat).

4. Join a gym and start working out at least three times a week.

5. Write at least three short stories before June.

6. Start my novel.

7. Get out of debt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With 2006 around the corner, any interesting resolutions out there?

Something I've found useful -- occasionally -- is to set a theme for the year. What I mean by this is setting a broad area in ones life, which will receive special focus for the year: it might be health, wealth, career, relationships, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With 2006 around the corner, any interesting resolutions out there?

Something I've found useful -- occasionally -- is to set a theme for the year. What I mean by this is setting a broad area in ones life, which will receive special focus for the year: it might be health, wealth, career, relationships, etc.

No Problem:

My theme is: Finishing college and getting a cool job in robotics research.

other goals:

1. Starting a small webpage selling software and books. (I'm already starting to do this)

2. Learning basic business skills like accounting (I already have the books and skimmed through them)

3. Saving money (I won't save much because most of the time I'll still be a college student, but the intention is to build the habit of spending less that I earn. This is something that I am starting already.)

There are two principles here.

The first one is to set small, achievable goals. You must know your direction, but I doubt that this is a big goal. Then you set little achievable goals that move you along your chosen direction. And (2nd) you don't rely on New Year's resolutions. :worry: That doesn't work. You need a good basic approach to achieving something. To plan your life's primary route and follow that very route. It's a basic skill, but I admit that I still have to develop it further.

Oh, another habit I try to learn this year is to get up at six o' clock and get to work. This is a very good concept. You don't achieve a certain goal and that's it. Like losing x pounds of weight. Instead you learn a new habit. Like drinking two big glasses of water before every meal. Or walking in the park every day. These small things add up easily and are way more efficient than any quick-fix approach.

Things like setting aside an hour a day for learning something that betters your professional skills. These are the things I think about when pondering New Year's resolutions. Small things that, when done consistently, add tremendous quality to your life. If you learn enough good habits, at least this is my theory, your life can do nothing but turn out fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love New Year's. You can't help but like a holiday with a built-in premise of improving oneself :D

Some of mine are:

Become "fluent" in Japanese (I have two language books - 20 chapters - and I want to know all vocabulary and grammar structures therein)

Finish drafts on my two novel ideas

Get my A+ Certification

For each OPAR sub-section, come to agreement with the ideas or have written dissent for the parts I disagree with

Get up to 225 lbs.

I have one more, but I keeping that and my long-term goal secret :P

Since everyone else is exchanging advice, my main suggestion is to make and keep written track of daily progress.

Each day, I establish what particular progress I am going to make on that day. It is surprising the progress one can make when daily improvement is prioritized and monitored. Keeping written track is important to me because this is the means to know whether I'm on pace to obtain my goal or not based on my current progress. Not to mention that it's good to look back over the months and see just how far one has come B)

I agree with the idea that this year's resolutions should tie in to next year's goals, and those in to the five year plan, etc. Having a long-term purpose behind one's resolutions gives extra incentive to fulfill the resolutions, and to continue trying at them should you fail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a more interesting question is of those that set resolutions last year, which have you accomplished and which have you not? And another question would be why did you not complete them or if you did accomplish them, were the benefits what you expected?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think a more interesting question is of those that set resolutions last year, which have you accomplished and which have you not? And another question would be why did you not complete them or if you did accomplish them, were the benefits what you expected?
In 2005, I accomplished (for the first time :) ) my #1 resolution; the others were only partially fulfilled. This was the first year that I could honestly say I was satisfied with my progress on my resolutions, though I want to do even better in '06 B)

I think the #1 reason I (or anyone) fails at their resolution is lack of focus. Even more than setting the bar too high, focus is IMO the most difficult barrier to resolution success. The amount of success I obtain is directly proportional to how much I keep my resolutions at the forefront of my mind. While I have yet to enact all of my resolutions any given year, every year I do get closer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have several concurrent sets of goals going at the moment, so here are my resolutions:

The Jennifer Makeover (Lose 100 pounds)

  • getting up in the mornings to row before work
  • diet
  • diet pills (I take a few of these to help me get over severe energy slumps, so far it's working okay)
  • swordmanship club on Sundays
  • lift weights 1-2 times a week
  • In bed every night by 10pm unless the house is on fire
  • do something fun for me every weekend that doesn't involve food

Monetary Investments

  • save up 6 months' of expenses, $4800, and put it in a money-market account
  • keep up 401K contributions (that's pretty easy)
  • Pay off all credit cards (which should only take me a couple months, as I don't have much on them)

Writing Improvement

  • write one blog entry for every day
  • read at least one new book a week, preferably non-fiction
  • write fiction at least once a week

Professional

  • learn everything there is to know about being a Processing Technician
  • (iffy because it's not fully under my control) get promoted to Team Leader, or at least do everything within my power to deserve said promotion
  • (also iffy) get promoted to Processing Supervisor, or as above

Educational Improvement: Increase my working knowledge of

  • Access/SQL
  • web-based publishing (in order to make the switch to a website from the blog)
  • European martial arts

I feel like I left something out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, technically it's only 5 items, and I don't need luck, I need someone to come and poke me repeatedly to make me get out of bed in the morning.

Or, they could cook me breakfast if they don't want to risk seeing me before I've "put my face on" so to speak. Instant oatmeal is easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I have a few things I plan to get done next year, around my studies...some more long-term, some that I should be able to do earlier into next year. Well, anyway, not neccesairly in order, here is the list of most of the more important things:

1) Finish the early draft of my Prometheus Scorned novel. This should take a fair bit of time... this is one of those long-term things I mentioned.

2)Learn as much as I can about the Qt programming language, so that I am able to develop powerful, cross-platform applications.

3)Finish the Windows version of my suite of programs to aid Dungeons and Dragons an d20ModernRoleplayers (I am coding this in VB, so this goal should not be hard to meet) and start on the Linux versions, which I plan to code in Qt, so I will need to get quite far into goal two first.

4)Finish my C++ textgame, this shouldnt very long at all, in fact I could almost do it before the New Year if I wanted to.

5)Put on some weight, at thne moment I am still a little underweight. I do not do enough exercise at the moment, I need to get into the habit of doing more.

6)Finish reading ALL the Ayn Rand stuff I can get my hands on.

7)Get some tutoring work to help my financially during my studies.

8)Get my various websites up and running. I have started this, I just need to finish them.

9)Become more proficient with Linux, and try all the major free/cheap distrubutions.

And yeah, those are most of the more important ones...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NOTHING! I'm already prefect! :pimp:

1. Currently my life consists of VB.NET programming at work. Come home and get right back on the computer to do my C++ project, or read, or lift weights. I rarely go out and try to meet new people so I need to force myself to socialize more...

2. Finish my distributed virtual machine project (that I've been working on for the past four years! :P )

3. Set up a RAID file server on my network.

4. Build a Linux cluster for my virtual machine.

5. Set up a PPTP server so I can access my network from the road.

6. Stop buying new books faster than I can read them so I can finally get rid of that stack of unread books on my bookshelf.

7. Learn to spell before I go around calling myself perfect...I know I know, really bad joke...I just had to say it though. :)

The only problem I see with my list is that the first one requires me to spend less time on the others. I don't know how I'm going to pull that off... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×