It’s that time of the year when we tell ourselves that we’re going to be better next year. There’s no shortage of experts to help us achieve “better” or “more.” Is it just me, or are we experiencing an obsession with how-to-lists, habit lists, and steps to a better place?
I’ve received at least 15 links/stories in the last two weeks on how to be more: productive, effective, forgiving, social, joyful, efficient, creative, focused, connected, happy, spiritual, wealthy, famous, customer-focused, employee-focused, and healthy.
Some of these lists have 30 suggestions a piece. No kidding. I included two in my examples below. If I tally all of the suggestions in the lists I have received, I’m at about 200 suggestions for how to be my best self.
I’m surrendering. I’m throwing up the white flag. If I try to follow all of these, I’m going to fail. So, I’m going to stick with exactly where I am, cherry-pick a few golden nuggets that really stand out, and shun the overly ambitious self-improvement strategies.
I’m dropping the list of goals too. I’ve identified one goal with specific deadlines and milestones, and I’m focusing on that one thing. If a task doesn’t help me complete this one goal, I’m not doing it. It’s astonishing how many hours I’ve freed up for the next month, now that I’m viewing all of my “priorities” in relation to the one goal I set for myself, and removing anything that has no relevance.
In the sea of lists, there is one that I do recommend – thanks to my friends Tien Wong (www.twitter.com/tienwong) and Derek Coburn (www.twitter.com/cadredc) for sharing. Here are two of the posts:
http://zenhabits.net/improve/ – a great column on the topic of our obsession with self-improvement, and how to move beyond it.
http://zenhabits.net/100-days/ – another great column, this one on committing to 100 days of no goal setting, and the benefits that come from dropping our obsession with always moving the ball forward.
If this column did nothing for you, and you really need your list fix, I’ve included several for you to check out.
Good luck in achieving bliss – either in your present state or future state!
“Contentment is the greatest treasure.” ~Lao Tzu