With 2011 looming on the horizon, 2010 ends and a new year is about to begin. With a new year comes a fresh start and it is important that I begin well. Like many people, I do not have a favourable view of New Year resolutions. I make changes in my life as and when I see the need for it. I do not need to do so just because it is a new year. But there are certain changes that I wish to make and I can see the wisdom behind setting the course for 2011. Thus, for 2011, my theme shall be “Thinking Ahead” and I shall implement the changes I wish to make accordingly.
Clarity of Purpose
Being clear about my goals is not enough. I also need to be clear about the motivations behind them if I wish to succeed. With this in mind, here are the changes I wish to make, my motivations and my goals.
1. Improve My Foresight
In life, we either react to events or shape them. More often than not, I react to events due to my lack of foresight. As I reflect on the year that is ending, I find that I do not think sufficiently far ahead. Because I fail to see the bigger picture, I find myself at the mercy of events. My lack of foresight impairs my ability to plan properly and strategize. This does not bode well for the rest of my life if I do not change. Unless I improve in this area for 2011, I will miss many opportunities instead of seizing or creating them for myself.
2. Improve My Creativity
The next area involves creativity. Looking back on 2010, I noticed that I struggled to think of new ideas for my blog articles from time to time. In addition, when it comes to problem solving, I do not have as many ideas as I would like to have. This has proven to be vexing while costing me much time that I could have put to better use. One can never have too many ideas. If I can learn to improve my creativity, it will be a great help for me in many areas of my life.
The Action Plan
Now that I know what I want to change, I have tailor-fitted my action plan accordingly. I am not a fan of an overly complicated approach because it will only make things a chore to carry out. Instead, I prefer to keep it simple and have fun while doing so. With this in mind, here is what I intend to do.
1. Plan to Improve My Foresight
a. Learning The Game of Go
To improve my foresight, I will learn to play Go. Go is a great strategy game where it is vital to think ahead. But that is not all. It will also help to develop my discipline and patience. Since I am hasty by nature, there are times when I forget the big picture. Here, Go will remind me to slow down and think things through before I act. With constant practice, all of these benefits shall become second nature to me.
I intend to set aside an hour a day for Go. This will involve reading and problem solving on some days and actual practice on others. Thus by repetition and constant practice, I shall change the way I think and plan. By the end of 2011, I aim to be proficient at Go.
b. Learning Strategy from Books
Go alone will not be enough to improve my foresight. I need to be able to apply the skills I learn from Go to real life situations. To complement Go, I also intend to read books on military and business strategy.
I shall make it a point to finish a strategy book each month. At the same time, I will also adopt and adapt the ideas I gain. Thus through practice, I will gain familiarity and make the ideas my own. By the end of 2011, I should have the foresight to see greater possibilities and to plan many steps ahead.
2. Plan to Improve My Creativity
a. Learning Creativity Through Websites
I feel that the best way to become more creative is to expose myself to new ideas from all sources. Over time, I will be able to adapt these ideas to come up with some of my own. I intend to look out for websites with great ideas in 2011. It need not necessarily be limited to self-development. In fact, I get some of my best ideas for my blog posts from unrelated topics.
Here, I shall share with you an example of how websites can give me good ideas. Earlier I mentioned that sometimes I had trouble thinking of what to write. This was the case until I read Steve Scott’s post on web content. In his lovely post, he shared 19 different types of blog articles that we could write. Being the lazy person that I am, Steve is definitely one source I will rely on in 2011. If something were to happen to his website, I will feel as if I have lost an arm.
b. Learning Creativity Through Books
For many of us, our knowledge and ideas come from books. Books have and will always be one of my favourite sources of ideas. In fact, I am currently reading an excellent book on creativity called Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques. In the book, the author shares with us that creativity is a skill that we can learn. It is not something that belongs only to a select few. Through diligent practice and use of the over 30 brainstorming techniques that he shares, anyone can become more creative. Now, all that remains for me is to practice each one until I become proficient at it.
I shall also make it a point to finish a book on creativity each month. As I go along, I will practice the ideas that I pick up and make them my own. My aim is simple. By the end of 2011, I hope to have many creative techniques at my fingertips that will help me to come up with ideas at will.
That wraps up my resolution for 2011. My theme of “Thinking Ahead” will guide me through the year as I adjust my actions to deal with changes.
Do you have any other ideas on improving my ability to think ahead? How do you come up with creative ideas? Do share your thoughts and comments below.
What is the Personal Development Campfire?
This post is participating in the Personal Development Campfire series. Imagine all your favorite personal development bloggers gathered around a campfire. Campfires are great center pieces of relaxed and free flowing conversations. Think of all the wonderful conversations and the wealth of topics that might arise. That’s the idea behind the Personal Development Campfire. Your favorite bloggers all gathered together discussing a new topic every month. (Bloggers click here for details on participating in the Personal Development Campfire.)