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TB#9 Say no to New Year’s Resolutions but a Big Fat Yes to Experiments

2022-12-13

New Year’s resolutions don’t work for most people.

People tend to set unrealistic goals which are difficult or impossible to achieve. This leads to frustration and disappointment, which makes it hard to stick to the resolution.

People also don’t have a clear plan or strategy for achieving these sudden goals, which makes it difficult to make sustained progress.

And circumstances change over the course of the year, which makes the original goal even harder to hit.

It’s an exercise in futility.

I have a suggestion for your 2023: Do a series of small experiments instead.

One Experiment a Month Keeps Life Fun

I define an experiment as something new you haven’t tried before and commit to doing at least for a month.

Take cold showers. Go for morning walks. Do 50 pushups daily. Stop drinking coffee. Be active for 30 minutes on Twitter. Meditate. Do breathing exercises.

Do this. Do that. Do something completely different.

As long as you do something.

At some point, our lives tend to become full of routines we never break.

But these kind of experiments will help you in:

  • Productivity
  • Establishing new habits
  • Maintaining motivation
  • Discovering new things about yourself
  • Generally enjoying life through new experiences

Some of the best habits I have now are a result of these experiments.

Do 10 Simple Experiments in 2023

Make your experiments so exciting or simple you can’t fail.

An experiment should be something that’s a bit inconvenient and, at the same time, exciting. Or, alternative, so easy you can’t fail.

Want to get healthier? Do just 5 pushups per day after walking for 100 meters. Then build up the next month if this worked for you.

Maybe it’ll stick. Maybe it won’t. Who cares? As long as you tried.

Want to start building your business? Commit to working on it for just 30 minutes per day.

Slowly, little by little, you will start making amazing progress. It adds up fast.

A fool is a man who never tried an experiment in his life.

Erasmus darwin

Most great things in the world have started as someone’s crazy experiment.

Somebody decided to mix chocolate (cacao) and ice cream. Someone decided to put pineapple on pizza.

So maybe it’s time for you to start doing this with your own life.

Here’s the easy way to go about it:

  1. At the end of every month, choose a new experiment to have fun with during the next month.
  2. Every day (or as often as your experiment says), note your progress. I use Notion.so for keeping tabs on things (free templates available for this at http://simohosio.com/focus).
  3. At the end of every month, reflect on your progress and see if the experiment is worth keeping in your life.

If at the end of the month you think the experiment felt good and beneficial, and that it would be easy to do on a regular basis…well then, congratulations! You’ve just discovered a new habit in your life.

And that’s what it’s all about!

Aim for 10 experiments during the year. This way you’ll get a couple of months off. Becuse life always gets in the way. You’ll have holidays, travels, and spontaneous things that get in the way.

Chances are, you’ll stick to at least two of the ten.

Compare this to New Year’s resolutions.

Yep. How many did you stick to?

Resolutions are out, experiments are in.

Alright, that’s it for this time!

See you next Saturday.

Simo

About the author 

Simo Hosio  -  Simo is an award-winning scientist, Academy Research Fellow, research group leader, professor, and digital builder. This site exists to empower people to build passion projects that support professional growth and make money.

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