Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Resolutions with Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson from The Philosopher's Notes has two great videos about New Years resolutions.  One of the main ideas that I got out of these videos is that my intention for 2011 for this blog is to inspire and motivate people to dream big and play big through having fun studying and sharing these concepts & ideas that I love.

The first video is his resolutions from last year that he made for 2010.  I've been watching this video to help me in my personal retreat this weekend.

Some of the things I love from his 2010 video...
-mindmapping!  I have so many different areas of my life that mindmapping is a great way to see them all, yet have them separated so I can focus on goals for each one.  I just happen to have similar large paper that he uses in the video (from Levenger - I like the Oasis Concept Pads and the Monthly Calendar Dream Pads.  I also use them as vision boards where I paste on pictures, quotes, etc and then tape them up on my wall.)

-don't get too attached to outcomes!  Yes, we want our dreams to come true, but we have to remember that our outcomes are the byproduct of our processes & rituals, of the things that we do in life.  Also sometimes life has a different idea of what our outcomes should be than we do - but usually what life throws at us is in the end going to be way better than anything we could have dreamed up ourselves.  So start moving toward your outcomes, but take interesting side trips.  (In the next video for 2011, Brian talks about how his 2010 outcomes changed for the better!)

-work in your stretch zone!  Brian makes the distinction between your comfort zone, your stretch zone, and your panic zone.  While we do want to challenge ourselves when we dream big and play big, we don't want to freak ourselves out and create a ton of stress in our lives.  Remember there's a reason why it's called "play big"!  Life should be fun!  Yes, we have to do laundry and not all of our work is going to the most fun we've ever had.  But overall, life is our playground!  Remember, Brian mentions living playfully!

One thing from the video that I don't agree with for my personal life is...
-consistency vs intensity.  Brian places consistency over intensity.  While I do like to have some consistency in my life, I prefer to dive into interests and immerse myself in them for a while, rather than taking little steps each day.  Having to write a full article every day would stress me out, but making a goal to write 350 articles over the course of the year and then writing a few (or ten) at a time when I get in the writing mood works much better for my scanner personality.  Brian mentions that when he studied fitness, consistency got better results than intensity.  That idea is starting to get overturned by people who do High Intensity Training or CrossFit, as well as in Timothy Ferriss's new book The 4-Hour Body.

The second video is Brian's thoughts about how his resolutions changed during 2010 and what he'll do in 2011.

Some of the things that I love about his 2011 video...
-your goals will change!  Brian mentions how one of this 2010 goals had been DVDs, but instead that goal shifted into making his Optimal Living course.  He doesn't sound mad or sad or anything bad about not doing his DVDs - in fact, he sounds happier about the course than about the DVDs.  Remember that you'll always be changing and shifting your life course.  What you want on 1/1/11 will probably not be what you want on 6/1/11 (or even on 1/2/11!).  And that's ok!  :-)  Let your goals evolve over time!

-take a day for reading & journaling!  Brian talks about how he spent the whole day reading a book and journaling.  I love to do that - really get into the book and your thoughts, ideas, and revelations that come out of reading the book.

-cross out the hundred squares!  Brian makes little squares to signify his creative production goals, and then x's out each little square as he completes it.  That's a great way to see how far along you are and to get a sense of "I did it!" when you finish.  Since many of my goals are yearly or monthly goals, rather than daily goals (in order to take advantage of my working style as mentioned above), I'm getting out my graph paper to keep track of how I'm progressing through the year.

-goal making is NOT a once a year thing!  While we're certainly more likely to really get into goal-setting and resolutions around New Years, this should not be something that we only do once a year.  As already mentioned, our goals will shift and our processes will change as we see what's working well and what's not.  By incorporating our intentions and goals into a monthly, weekly, or even daily ritual, we can see our big dreams more clearly and remind ourselves to continue to play bigger and bigger.

Hope these videos have inspired and motivated you!  Feel free to share any revelations that you've had from watching Brian's videos or reading this post!  Have a wonderful 2011! :-)

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