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Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

–Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, Les Guêpes, January 1849

Each year I look back at my past resolutions and see how dreadfully I fell into my old habits.  I’d write down “meet more interesting people” and find I’d done so little.  Next, I’d say, “start that magazine of yours.”  OK, maybe I got this one going.  “Or eat more veggies” and find myself with a bag of pork rinds.

But why do I fail so often?

My ongoing excuse is that I run out of enough hours in the day or had so little social energy at the end of the day that I wanted to flop down and watch a good movie.  That’s true enough.  By the early hours of the evening, I’d already settled in front my TV, found an overlooked bottle of wine in a closet behind my shoes and had the first glass poured.  Attending to any of my goals at this time, when I was half-glazed was just not the time for it.  I’d wait for the new year or some divine inspiration.

So it goes each day.  Even when I jotted it down on my device using Asana or Evernote, described succinctly what I wanted to accomplish during the day or week, inevitably, I’d postpone it to another time.  Then, miraculously, to another day.  This became my pattern and soon I took pride in my slick procrastination.

Then, one day, I’d shake myself: what am I doing wrong?  I’d look at my classic MBA approach to setting out goals, making deadlines, ticking off each one as they get done.  Yet, when I look back, too many of the goals are left undone.  The ones that would make the biggest impact are left half-baked.  It doesn’t feel like I’ve accomplished much.

Of course, the others, the ones that were more difficult to do, these are still waiting in the lobby for the movie to start.

My paradox, as I see it, is that I am raking the gravel inside my fishbowl, when in fact I want to get out of the damn fishbowl.  In other words, I want a more systemic change, a change that rattles my whole being, not just incremental window cleaning, one that clears my sinuses and gets me going on the right path.

But how?

OK the new year is upon me again. How can I get it right this year?  I have another chance at redemption, a new chance to start fresh.  In geek lingo, time to reboot.



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