2019 Theme: The Year of Making

I’m more naturally a person of motivation rather than discipline which means things like New Year’s Resolutions™️ and “I’ll start next week/month/quarter/year” because that’s a “good” time to start have always made sense to me. Really I know waiting for the right time to start is just a form of procrastination. Eventually I saw enough of those grand plans fail at first contact with the enemy (a lack of motivation) that I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions™️ at all because they don’t work (at least not for me.)

So I was very intrigued when I heard C.G.P. Grey and Myke discuss yearly themes on Cortex last year and then again a year later. Instead of specific goals in the form of a resolution, themes provide an overarching… theme… to the decisions made during the course of the year. They are intentionally vague, and can even change completely. Since success is defined loosely as “did I consider my theme when I made a decision” it’s hard to really fail, and the results can be more instructive then a cut and dry “did I lose 15lbs or not” style resolution. It’s worth listening to both episodes linked above to hear them think through the concept. (If you catch yourself thinking “It’s already February! I guess I’ll try this next year!” you may be missing the point.)

For my first crack at this themes thing I’ve decided to make 2019 The Year of Making. I’ve dabbled in lots of different creative pursuits and never stuck with any of them to a level of mastery. What all those pursuits have in common is that I enjoy making things: writing code and prose, making art and podcasts, building things physical and digital. So this year I want to do more making of any and all kinds. When I think about what to do in my free time, or with my wife or my kids, and even at work, my theme will make me ask “could I make something?” Some of what I make will be crap, or go unused or unfinished, and that’s ok. Because the theme is just making.

I started around the New Year (old habits die hard) and this last month has been great. I’ve also gotten myself an accountability buddy who wishes she made things more often, and making this blog post is public accountability; both of which are hopefully good for keeping me disciplined when motivation is fleeting.