For the last thirty years I’ve often found myself making a New Year’s list of what I (and my studio/company) should achieve in the year ahead. It usually takes the form of a brief outline of achievements and failures of last year and a more aspirational list for the coming one. So long as I didn’t beat myself up too much, this always seemed a good idea.
I like writing lists. List’s feel productive, they can focus the mind and help reduce distractions. Of course writing a list is just another way of putting off doing whatever is on the list but hey it’s Christmas, I like writing lists.
So yesterday I started a New Year list again. New Year, New Optimism.
But this time I’d only just started when I had an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, I started asking are all my New Year lists the same? I suppose the two parts are pretty predictable. The historical part can only exist in the harsh light of the real world whilst the other exists in a future state of wishful thinking fantasy – a place where all my systemic faults have disappeared, where I’m going to be more dynamic, more sociable, work more efficiently and generally be more everything good and less everything bad.
This is obviously total bollocks.
The first part of any year is spent playing catch up, finishing all the things that I said I’d get done the year before and hoping that people aren’t going to notice. For example I’m currently working on Sara’s new website and a website for the CMC (my climbing club). Both were promised for the end of the year and both are what I should be doing now instead of writing this post.
And there’s the rub.
If I could magically extract the actual ‘core’ time spent doing what I did last year from all that surrounding it, the life-wasting, despair inducing, polystyrene packaging of time, all the planning, thinking, dreaming, idling, all the total fluff of time that seems to encapsulate anything worthwhile I do then I’m afraid I could have squeezed 2015 into a couple of months tops, maybe less.
This scares the shit out of me.
I can reduce all my New Year Resolutions into two words.
I’ve somehow got to learn how to tick that one off.
Before it’s too late.
Happy New Year,