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08 Jan 2016, 10:15

Quitting

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Ever since New Year’s day, I’ve been thinking about what this year’s resolution should be. I have reflected a bit on the last year, and overall, I’m very happy with my 2015. My biggest accomplishment, was entering fatherhood, and not feeling like I have been faking it. Second to that, was that I finally am starting to feel like I have some effective tools to combat depression. (But, that’s a whole other topic.) The two of those things together really made 2015 a great year for me.

However, for 2016, I’d like to approach the year with a little more focus, and clarity, with a small goal for something that I’d like to make a habit of. I figure that if I can do something small as a habit for a whole year, it can snowball something small into something much larger.

Last night, I was watching one of Casey Neistat’s latest vlogs, called “Losers and Closers”. It got me thinking a lot about quitting, or rather, about not quitting. Neistat takes the view that quitting is never OK, and you should always try to finish everything. Here’s the video:

I don’t think that I’m going to be that strict with myself, however, what it got me thinking about was a lot of little projects that I’ve started that could have been more interesting than they were, if I’d bothered to finish them. Or, if I had stuck with some really good habits that I had tried to keep, that the results would have been really great.

The problem that I have with projects is that I’ve constantly got new ideas, and after I’m about half-way into building one thing, lots of times, I drop it and move on to another thing. For example, a couple of years ago I started building this website about things that I built on a weekly basis. I put a couple of weeks into it, but never finished it, and haven’t updated the project list in forever. Last summer, I built an Android app that I can use for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but never cleaned it up for release. More recently, I started writing about building public APIs on the phone with Android, and while I haven’t given up on that yet, I also haven’t added to that collection in over a month. This isn’t true of everything that I start,

As far as habits, it’s probably the same story as everyone else. Here’s another Casey Neistat’s videos that talks about that:

2016 Resolution

Getting to the point, for 2016, I’m not going to quit either projects or habits. What this means for habits is that I’m going to have to be very careful about what I try to start, because I’ll be committing to doing it for a whole year. For projects, it means that I can’t drop off whatever I’m currently working on for something new and exciting. Or, that I’ll have to interleave projects to keep up progress on everything. While I do have a couple of projects ongoing right now, as soon as I finish them, my plan is to try to only do one at a time.

I am also going to do something very different this year to try to work towards this goal, which is to publicly post at the start of a project, that I’m starting something. I hate talking about things until they’re done, but I think that this is going to be important.

Finally, I know that I’m going to fail at this from time to time. That’s OK. I am not looking for perfection, I am looking for improvement.

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