Less is More

less is moreImage Source: Othree

It is 2013. I love the New Year because of what it means – a new beginning. The New Year is a clean slate and it provides the opportunity to improve upon the previous year. It also provides another chance to make those New Year resolutions and the determination to stick by them this time. We all start each New Year with good intentions but struggle reach our goals. This doesn’t dissuade most people from making New Year resolutions. I find that I need targets to motivate me to improve and grow personally and professionally. 2013 is a big year for me and my family and I am determined to seize and maximise it. My 2013 mantra is ‘less is more’.

I foresee a busy year ahead so in order to be effective I need to be disciplined. I plan to say ‘no’ to the trivial and ‘yes’ to the important and interesting. A reason why most New Year resolutions fail is because the resolutions are additions to your already busy life. You pile more to-dos to your busy schedules. This is counter-productive. I like Jim Collins’ solution to this problem which is to have a stop doing list.

A New Year resolution is a to-do list. I believe a stop doing list is necessary for a to-do list to work. You need a stop doing list to eliminate the trivial and distractions in your life in order to have the time and energy to devote to the important and interesting to-do tasks. This has been my major problem. I am sabotaging myself and yet wonder why I keep struggling with my New Year resolutions. A good illustration is the decision to read more books but in order to accomplish this task; I need to reduce/stop my TV viewing time. I can’t put in the amount of time to viewing TV after work and expect to hit my reading target which is roughly a book a week. Something has to give. My time is finite. I don’t have the time to devote to both my pet distractions and profitable intentions. This also applies to any New Year diet resolution. You have to stop consuming junk/unhealthy food in favour of the nutritional options if you want a healthier body. Consumption of both neutralises any nutritional benefit.

I want to step up my writing game and I plan consume a steady diet of fiction and non-fiction books this year. My New Year reading resolution is 50 books by Dec 31st 2013. I was challenged by this quote by Andrew Cowan on the benefit of reading:

“I don’t believe you can be a writer unless you are also a reader. If writing is the out-breath, the exhalation, then reading should be the in-breath, the inspiration.”

I am excited about the 2013 and would like wish you an interesting New Year.

What is your creative New Year resolution?

 

6 Comments

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6 Responses to Less is More

  1. Oladayo

    Well said… Less is more! LESS talk is MORE action in 2013! Have a great year y’all…

  2. goke

    nice post, however i don’t buy into this whole “it’s a new year, so it is time to make a change/new year resolutions”. And i am not referring to you, just referring to what most people do. If you really need/want to make a change, then by all means make the change. You do not need a special landmark day to make that change. The fact that you decide to make the change will make the day special and significant to you.
    Every day is a new day, and a chance for a new beginning. So if anyone out there needs to make a change, do it tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Just pick a day and stick to it. If you are not disciplined enough to do that, then you will not successfully keep your new year resolutions.
    I like the idea of a stop doing list, and i think that is more important than a to do list because anything you need to stop doing is not healthy for you, and in that sense is already a positive. I had never thought about it, although i sort of do it intuitively.
    Sorry for the rant but i just had to get it off my chest.

    • Olaojo Aiyegbayo

      Hey Goke, you make a valid point/rant. I agree that you don’t need a New Year resolution to introduce change in your life. I guess it is more of a psychological thing for folks. Discipline is still essential whenever such planned change is introduced. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Ogechi

    Prof, this post is interesting and definitely on an issue that needs to be dealt with…the ‘new year resolution’
    I find I might as well not bother make new year resolutions because I hardly follow through with them. I prefer monthly targets, they seem more realistic.
    What I do appreciate is your suggestion of a ‘stop doing’ list. I like that idea, in addition to reserving the right to just say ‘no’.
    I also wanna read a lot more this year. I feel like I’ve only focused on Uni stuff and my Bible for a long time..

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