I’m setting three resolutions for the next year:

  1. Go for a 10 mile run each month
  2. Study Spanish for at least 10 hours each month
  3. Run my first triathlon

Each of these are things that I think are very achievable, and likely not to be achieved if I don’t resolve to do them. They also don’t take up so much time and effort that they prevent me from coming up with new goals during the year.

This isn’t my only goal for 2012, but it’s the only goal from my only set of goals for 2012 which contains only one goal.

My goal is to, each night before I go to bed, prepare for the next morning. This means having a default choice of what to wear, knowing what I need to pack and where I’m first going to go, and a draft of a schedule and to-do list for the day.

My inspiration for this comes from a few different sources:

This matters most to me because I feel that my best self can figure out all of the other stuff, but if I don’t start my mornings off right, I’m unlikely to be my best self.

Roughly two years after reading Snow Crash, I finally started reading Cryptonomicon. I’m really enjoying it so far. I can’t help but feel a little bit angry with myself for not reading it sooner, though. I really enjoyed Snow Crash, but after I finished reading it I didn’t immediately start on another Neal Stephenson book, but instead started on a book by another author. The other book wasn’t as exciting as Snow Crash, and it took me more time to read, and when I finally got done with it I had moved on to a different group of books, forgetting how much I enjoyed Snow Crash.

A couple of weeks ago, having lost interest in another book I was reading, I started carrying Snow Crash around with me. Two days ago I started reading it a second time. After I finished the first chapter, my interest in Neal Stephenson was re-kindled, and I picked up a copy of Cryptonomicon. And I am really enjoying it, and it’s helping me deal with stress.

I learned a couple of lessons from this experience:

  • I shouldn’t rely on passion alone to drive me to pursue my passions. Few, if any, pursuits are immune to distraction. Setting specific goals is important even when it’s for something I really want to do.
  • It doesn’t take long to rekindle a passion. If I’m feeling bored, and there’s something I remembered really wanting to do, but am considering putting off to pursue other interests, I can just try getting back into it for a short while. If my excitement returns, I can pursue that, rather than try to do other things I’m only mildly interested in. If not, I’ve only spent a small amount of time on it.

There’s no silver bullet to motivation, but it’s comforting to know that I’ve got a couple more tools in my motivational tool box.