In the spirit of setting themes instead of resolutions, I’ve adopted a seasonal (or perhaps year-long - who knows?) theme for my own life:

The Season of 🎵 Rhythm! ✨

During my Season of 🎵 Rhythm! ✨, I want to establish healthier cadences to how I spend my time day-to-day, and to be far more intentional with how I spend my time. This is largely a response to a broad problem in my life that I’ve felt for some time now.

I am not a person who, at any point, has ever formed good, lasting, healthy habits.

Through high school, into college, and continuing into my adult life, I have always been a very “whichever way the wind blows” kind of personality. This hasn’t been entirely without its upsides. A coworker once described me as “very good to have in emergencies.” While I’d agree with that characterization, it’s because my tendency embrace The Goblin has meant I have been a co-conspirator to many of the emergencies in which I’ve learned to work well under pressure. If you do enough work, enough times, an hour before a deadline, you become very good at doing lots of work with hours before a deadline.

The downside to this is… fairly obvious. In the last year, I started working for and with a very emotionally healthy team of engineers who are remarkable at pacing themselves, doing diligent and level-headed work, and avoiding emergencies when possible - something that drove me absolutely insane at times during my first year. After having seen - and felt - how much healthier this environment is and how much more it can accomplish - particularly in collaborative and non-competitive settings - I’ve accepted it’s the way I’d ought to work, too.

As an additional downside to the way I worked, only having a cohesive and consistent pace of work meant that larger projects - things that aren’t done in one all-nighter but have to happen over the course of weeks and months - had a tendency to fall into obscurity. I’d attribute some of that to the way I have structured many of these projects, but constantly losing the thread between bursts of motivation means that bigger plans can easily turn into aimless wandering.

Season of Rhythm is a time to actively, rather than passively, establish good “rhythms” and routines that lower the variance of my own work and habits. The goal isn’t to shed the “works well in emergencies” characterization - on the face of it, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. However, where I’d describe the previous variance of my own ability to function personally and professionally as a 25-50% pace during “peace-time” and 200-400% pace during emergencies, I’d vastly prefer to even this out to something that doesn’t feel like personal and occupational whiplash: maybe 80% day-to-day and 120% during emergencies, as a vibes-y estimate.

After two months, I’m on a really good track. A whole lot of goblin-slaying posts this year will probably be related to tools I’ve found that help me keep on track, and I’m excited to see how the trajectory of this next 4-10 months

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