New Year’s Resolutions and “Goals vs. Systems”

Happy New Year! Frohes neues Jahr! Do you have any resolutions for 2018? I do . . . sort of.

In general, I don’t believe in resolutions and other goals. This is partly from personal experience: I’ve been very bad at keeping my own New Year’s resolutions. And it’s partly from an old article by Scott Adams, Goals vs. Systems. Quote: “Compare the goal of exercising 3-4 times a week with a system of being active every day at a level that feels good, while continuously learning about the best methods of exercise. Before long your body will be trained, like Pavlov’s dogs, to crave the psychological lift you get from being active every day” (Link).

If we rewrite that excerpt to make it about language learning, it would begin: “Compare the goal of studying German 3-4 hours a day with a system of exposing yourself to German every day with fun resources . . .” It sounds just like Khatzumoto’s AJATT method, doesn’t it? (Compare)

Even my monthly “Prayer by Prayer” posts (Link), which set short-term goals, are ultimately a long-term system. It is easy to learn new prayers because I already pray every day. That is, I have a prayer system.

New Year’s Resolutions vs. Systems

But as I said in my first paragraph, I do have a “resolution” for 2018. And it is: I want to start a new blogging system.

My blogging in 2017 was very careful. I tried to keep all my posts at A2 to B1 level, in case I attracted readers who were still English learners. But I don’t normally write at an A2 or B1 level; it’s something I must make myself do. Unsurprisingly, blogging soon became a chore.

This year, I want blogging to be a fun hobby again. And I will do that by writing in a way that is fun for me. Instead of having a goal of “publishing a certain number of posts a week,” I shall have a system of “blogging every day at a level that feels good.”

I know from experience that what feels good is a natural writing style . . . and a spontaneous sharing style. For the past two years, I haven’t shared many of my thoughts, just because they weren’t A2 or B1 topics. That was silly. And with a new blogging system, that will change.

Do you want to start a new system in 2017?

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