Richard Cheesman

01 Jan 2024

New Year, New Growth - 2024 Edition

New Year, New Growth, 2024 Edition

Another circuit round the sun, another year completed. Now comes the obligatory “resolutions” post. Except I don’t really do the resolutions thing, at least not any ore. I tend not to make grand sweeping changes impulsively on the 1st of January, instead I collect and disseminate a series of changes I want to make based on events of the previous year.

2023 was a … ‘decent’ year. I made progress with getting back on track towards having my ADHD treated. Financial commitments were reviewed, I initially planned a whole process to massively reduce my personal debts which didn’t happen, instead having to relinquish that to someone far more capable. The process for that is still relatively fresh, so I’m not sure how well that is going to work out yet. Physically I went from being barely able to walk to being quite fit again - although weight loss has continued to be a struggle. The acquisition of a rowing machine certainly helped my progress in that area.

As a minimalist, I’ve let some things slip unfortunately. This is an area I’ve been mulling over the last few months, gradually chipping away at formulating a plan to get back on track. A lot of this centres around my (in)ability to keep a good schedule. I can’t prioritise to save my life, so this has been a tricky process.

The 2024 Intention List

  1. Continue to work on creating and sticking to a good daily schedule.
  2. Continue to reduce my online time in some areas, and increase it in others.
  3. Work on establishing some good offline routines and hobbies, making better use of my personal downtime.
  4. Continue on my philosophical path, keeping reading and applying what I study.

Of course, none of these are new things. They are mostly continuations. As you know from my previous “new year” article, it’s all about continual progression. The new year should not really be a strict “Imma do ALL these things and transform EVERY aspect of my life!”, but instead a gradual shifting. As an alcoholic, one of the big lessons I learned was that for many people, simply stopping drinking will result in failure, regardless of the support or willpower. Why? Becuase the shock to the system is not good. For a few, it’s potentially fatal. For others, the withdrawal period is too much to cope with. Many people are better to slowly cut down. The same applies to dieting - making a massive, shock change will result in failure. It’s why there is a statistic about the percentage of diets that fail (65% of people return to pre-diet weigh within 3 years, for example). A gradual change, positive choices will make the difference.

Sometimes slow and steady progress is the best thing to do.

My goals are to continue working on my areas that need attention, trying to prioritise appropriately (something that can become easier if/when I get back on ADHD meds) and chipping away at each personal goal that formulated my list above. Hopefully this year I can really nail down the schedule/lifestyle thing, allowing me to put my energies and focus in the right places instead of wasting my time in fruitless endeavours.

Ultimately, I want to be more productive, but I am also being cautious not to get sucked into the toxic productivity traps - allowing myself time to do nothing, to be bored, to spend appropriate time in the occasional ‘wasting time’ activity - and being able to enjoy those moments.

There are also philosophical aspects to my life which I will aim to start writing about this year. I spent the last year discovering a philosophy to life which has been quite eye-opening and positive, especially in terms of managing the ADHD I have. I was initially sceptical about it, and spent some time starting to read into it, putting it down, starting again. Recently it’s started to stick in my mind, and has also started to click in terms of the practical applications to my life. So that’s something to look forward to.

One such thing that has pretty much immediatelly helped me is the quote below:

“The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”
Marcus Aurelius

Happy New Year, everyone.