An interesting alternative to resolutions, similar to Chris Gillabeau’s word of the year:

The focus of my own 2019 Depth Year was to go deeper with my relationships, and let fewer of these worlds pass me by. I focused on reaching out where 2018 David would not have, saying yes when he would have said no, and speaking up in conversations when he would have stuck to the sidelines. I used a simple question as my compass: “What would it mean to go deeper here?”

I need to think about this some more: does it resonate with what i want in my life or is it for a specific  goal?

From Tynan’s Training Yourself (emphasis added)

What happens if you fail? The absolute most important thing is that you don’t use it as an excuse to stop training. If you do this EVER, your brain will figure out that all it has to do is sabotage you once, and then you don’t have to do the challenging new behavior. To counteract this, I punish myself by making myself do more the next day. This isn’t a punishment meant to make myself feel bad, it’s just a method of making my brain sabotage-resistant.

If I mess up I don’t get down on myself, either. I note the error, think about what it will take to not make the error again, think about how well I’m doing overall, and focus on the importance of knocking it out of the park the next day to keep momentum up.

On reading, note cards and marginalia

from Ryan Holiday (likely via Austin Kleon):

-I’ve talked about this before, but the key to this system is the ritual: Read a book or an article and diligently mark the passages and portions that stand out at you. If you have a thought, write it down on the page (this is called marginalia). Fold the bottom corner of the page where you’ve made a note or marked something (alternatively, use post-it flags).

-A few weeks after finishing the book, return to it and transfer those notes/thoughts on to the appropriate note cards. Why wait? Waiting helps you separate the wheat from the chaff. I promise that many of the pages you marked will not seem to important or noteworthy when you return to them. This is a good thing–it’s a form of editing.

-In the top right hand corner of each card, put a theme or category that this card belongs to. If a card can fit in multiple categories, just make a duplicate card. Robert uses color coded cards for an extra layer of organization.

The Notecard System: The Key For Remembering, Organizing And Using Everything You Read

Holiday also has interesting notes in his suggestion to keep a commonplace book.

from an interesting series (in an unliklely place) that I stumbled on via rabbit hole that started from a Goodreads review:

I can imagine one of my 17 nieces and nephews walking through my door someday and having no idea where to start. My significant other is an 11-pound Pomeranian; I’m the only one who knows what in my house has real value and who will treasure it when I’m gone. So I made a decision: I’m getting rid of it now. I’m 54, in perfect health. But I never want someone else to have to go through my stuff and decide what’s important. I want to be the boss while I can.

I started by digitizing my music so I could give it to the New Orleans Public Library, which lost a lot of records during Katrina. I hope some young girl from my old neighborhood will wander in, listen to Ella Fitzgerald like I did and just shut out the whole world. I’m gifting my diamond studs to my nieces on their 21st birthdays. The music that shakes my soul, the books that have kept me going, my best reserve wines: I want to share them now.

I’m unclear why getting rid of things seems both desirable and utterly impossible to me.

interesting read (Letting Go of Sentimental Items) as I try and get rid of 365 things this year:

Among the organized chaos that comprised the crawlspace beneath her bed, there were five boxes, each labeled with a number. Each numbered box was sealed with packing tape. I cut through the tape and found old papers from my elementary school days from nearly a quarter of a century ago. Spelling tests, cursive writing lessons, artwork, it was all there, every shred of paper from my first five years of school. It was evident that she hadn’t accessed the sealed boxes in years. And yet Mom had held on to these things because she was trying to hold on to pieces of me, to pieces of the past, much like I was attempting to hold on to pieces of her and her past.

That’s when I realized that my retention efforts were futile. I could hold on to her memories without her stuff, just as she had always remembered me and my childhood and all of our memories without ever accesses those sealed boxes under her bed. She didn’t need papers from twenty-five years ago to remember me, just as I didn’t need a storage locker filled with her stuff to remember her.

Makes me think about making some of those gorgeous journals T.Barry makes that are on display in his Wait at Milano video.

“Debt is an opportunity cost. A cost that you trade for one of the most valuable things in your life, time.”

Tammy Strobel

Thought-provoking post by David Raptitude. The ones below either really hit home or I think (but don’t yet know) are, as the author calls them, ‘things I know are true but haven’t quite learned yet’:

3) Whenever I’m playing with my phone I am only shortening my life. A smartphone is useful if you have a specific thing you want to do, but ninety per cent of the time the thing I want to do is avoid doing something harder than surfing Reddit. During those minutes or hours, all I’m doing is dying. …

9) Our minds are geared to manage much less than we typically end up managing. Modern people have so many options they conflict with each other in almost every area. The fewer things I have, the more I enjoy my things. The fewer goals I have, the better I do them. The smaller the portion size, the better food tastes. …

11) All you need to do to finish things is keep starting them until they’re done. The idea of doing something in its entirety always seems hard. But it’s easy to commit to simply starting on something, and then you’re past most of the resistance. Continuing is just as easy. (Thanks to Leo Babauta for this one.) …

13) Ultimately, to get something done you have to forget about everything else while you do it. The mind is always telling you that 85 things are on fire and you need to do everything now. However you respond emotionally to it, to move things along you have to pick one to deal with, and let the rest continue burning while you do.

14) The most consistently joyful activities for me are visiting with other people and reading books. Aside from earning a living and a bit of travel there isn’t much else I need in my life. Somehow these two things are still not clear priorities. What are yours?

I’m working on finalizing the 2013 XTH-ar and #14 is something that will figure into my goals for 2014.

This article skates a little too close to the idea that consumers are sheep (which ignores that the vast majority, even in the ‘west’, have to work to make ends meet not fuel consumerist goals). But to his credit the author bases it self-critically on his own experience(s).

These two snippets resonated (as I sipped on the $3 coffee i probably didn’t need):

Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy.


We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.

I started — on the heels of a week off of work — the annual review/plan that i’ve been trying to do for some time now, and with so much i’d like to accomplish I totally feel this way. That working 8 hrs/day leaves so little time for the other things I’d like to do. No great conclusions here, but more to think about.

Strategy is the art of sacrifice.

Boom. (Likely the first & last times I link to Forbes.)