Dec 172010
Sun Rise by Crvdude

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.

The Game of Go by Conskeptical

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.

The Thinker by Todd Martin

Taking Action

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.)

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  20 Responses to “Resolutions of the Vizier for 2011”

  1. Here’s my best strategy for having plenty of ideas to write blog posts: Take a notebook wherever you go. Ideas often come at unexpected times. And if you don’t have a way of recording the idea once it hits, you may permanently lose it.

    Leaving my home without a notebook makes me feel like I’ve left my home forgetting to put my pants on!

    • Hi Bamboo Forest,

      Thanks for your great strategy on carrying a notebook wherever I go. It is true that ideas come at unexpected times. I recall that I usually have great ideas when I am in the gym. It is probably because of better blood circulation to my brain. Hahah for the past 2 weeks I have been going back and forth to the gym counter to borrow pen and paper to write down my ideas. I must have made 10 trips per gym session.

      I hope you remembered to remind yourself to put your pants on in your notebook! ;)

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  2. Well, you have inspired me to order a Go game. Sounds like challenging fun.

    Like Bamboo Forest, I always have a little notebook to write ideas down. As my daughter says, I have the memory of a gnat, so recording fast is the only way for me to keep track of anything!
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Resolution or RevolutionMy Profile

    • Hi Galen,

      I have bought a very cheap magnetic Go set for about $10. It is not my ideal set as I would prefer the one with the wooden board and stones. But it is more important to learn to play the game well first. I hope you have more patience for it than you had with chess. :)

      I shall make it a point to carry around a notebook since I know how easy it is to forget brilliant ideas that I do not write down.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  3. Wow! This is just wonderful. I love how you state your resolution then write about your strategy. If more people did that there would be less resolutions tossed aside. You’ve motivated me to come up with my own resolution which I don’t usually do. I just love how your posts make me think in a different way! Thanks Irving! You’re great!

    Dandy recently posted..Do you get lost in a relationshipMy Profile

    • Hi Dandy,

      I am glad you liked my article on resolutions. Your enthusiastic support warms my heart. :)

      If you come up with your own resolutions article, do link to Eden Journal’s Personal Development Campfire! We would love to see you there as well. :)

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  4. Hi Irving,

    It’s interesting to see your goals for the year set out – I guess this will help you put them into action ;-)

    I agree that it’s so much better to know the ‘why’ behind your goals, rather than simply relying on the end-result of the specific goal. This can help us be open to the possibility that there are many different ways to reach the end point.

    I look forward to you achieving your goals – and being updated on your progress!
    Scott McIntyre recently posted..The Cautious Person’s Guide to Risk TakingMy Profile

    • Hi Scott,

      Always good to see you around! :D

      Yes by announcing my intentions to the world, I have effectively made a public commitment that I have to keep. One more reason to follow through on my resolutions and goals is always good.

      You can be sure I will keep you updated on my progress.

      Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  5. Thanks for joining us around the Personal Development Campfire. I love that you included a plan of action along with your resolutions. In my mind this is the only way to succeed in a resolution.

    I like your use of a game to make an improvement in your life. I think it will be much easier to follow through with the resolution if it’s fun. It’s been a long time since I played Go. I bet that might be a good game for me and my daughter to play together.
    Eric | Eden Journal recently posted..Personal Development Campfire – ResolutionsMy Profile

    • Hi Eric,

      The Personal Development Campfire is a great idea, thank you for thinking of the idea so that I can be a part of it. :)

      I agree wholeheartedly with you that having fun makes it easier to follow through with a resolution. But I have always loved strategy and if Go can help to develop my strategic thinking, I am all for learning to play it well.

      Go would make a great game to play with your daughter. I think it is always good to bond with your kids and if you can teach them life skills through Go, that is killing two birds with one stone.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  6. Irving,
    This is a great list of tips. I believe you’re going to be even more productive in the coming than you were in 2010! I found the tip about the game ingenious! It reminds me a bit of chess which is also a game of strategy and planning ahead.
    Thank you so much for sharing these actionable steps with us.
    Angela Artemis recently posted..How Intuition Helped One Woman Un-Mask Her Lover’s True IdentityMy Profile

    • Hi Angela,

      I am so glad that you stopped by. :)

      Thank you for your encouraging words and believing that I would be even more productive in 2011.

      Part of the reason I am learning Go is because I watched many military commanders play the game during their spare time in movies and the tv series I watch. Thus I have come to associate Go with strategy and patience, the very qualities I am trying to develop.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  7. Irving,

    Thank you very much for the kind words ad the link. I appreciate the sentiment!!

    I think you are going to rock 2011!

    Go is a game I would like to learn sometime too. I have played it once or twice and failed miserably. I consider myself to be a fair strategist and the only video games I ever play now (and actually play these rarely too) are general strategy based ones like Risk and civilization. Of course some chess too.

    I think I may be better tactician then strategist, though because the long form planning of a game like GO does seem to elude me.

    Anyhow, getting off topic here talking about a game…lol

    Having a solid plan for success with a few actionable steps should make for a very successful 2011. I look forward to seeing us all have great degrees of success in 2011 and hopefully making some of the “big boys” take notice!
    Steve@Lifestyle Design recently posted..Create an Online Copywriting Swipe FileMy Profile

    • Hi Steve,

      Good to see you my friend. I think at the rate you are going, it is only a matter of time before you make Steve Scott Site your next rousing success.

      Hahah, I love games and am only too happy to talk about them. If you want to be a strategist, I suggest you check out the games at Paradox Interactive. They have many superb grand strategy games. You can conquer the world throughout the various periods of human history if you have the time and inclination. Some choice recommendations are Europa Universalis Rome, Europa Universalis Complete and Hearts of Iron 3.

      Part of the reason I am learning Go is to teach myself discipline and patience. That is the only way to succeed at anything that we do, by planning long term and to the end so that we can make adjustments quickly if need be.

      May 2011 be a great year for all of us! :D

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  8. I really enjoyed reading this because you’ve got a solid action plan to accompany your resolutions! So many people make lists of things they hope to accomplish in the coming year with no real plan or method of attaining them. I think you have already improved your foresight in creating this action plan – you have improved your chances at succeeding :)
    Emily Jane recently posted..Gift GivingMy Profile

    • Hi Emily,

      I am glad you enjoyed reading my article. :)

      You are perfectly right. We need an action plan to accomplish the goals we have set out for ourselves. Without a plan to guide us, it is hard to focus our energies constructively.

      I have set my sights further for my foresight though. This is not the level I am aiming for haha!

      Thank you for your comments, it is always nice to hear from you! :)

  9. This was really fascinating to read. The idea of using the game of Go to sharpen your ability to think ahead is itself a creative idea. I really appreciate how you’ve so clearly visioned out your major aspirations for the year. You already know I am a fan of focusing on one Powerful Word or Phrase for the year and you are doing that beautifully in this approach. I seem to have a wellspring of ideas for blog posts at the moment, but my wish for 2011 is to focus on other aspects of my well being.
    Sandra Lee recently posted..Capture Your 2010 Life LessonsMy Profile

    • Hi Sandra,

      My idea for using Go to sharpen my ability to think wasn’t really that creative. I got the inspiration from watching Karate Kid and drama serials where the generals would play Go to sharpen their minds.

      Yes having one Powerful Word or Phrase for the year is a great idea to guide us. I enjoyed that post of yours and did get many ideas from it. I hope you 2011 will be a great year for you guided by a wonderful word or phrase that you find to be most suitable. :)

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  10. I was drawn to this article because I’m about to make my own New Year resolutions. I haven’t done this for a few years, so I need some tips. ;-)

    I think actually writing down your resolutions will improve your foresight, they will give a framework within which a strategy can develop.

    Like Steve I have only played Go a few times, but I can see how this would improve advance planning. I wondered if you have a ‘real’ person to play against, or will it be via the internet? I haven’t played chess OTB (Over the Board) for ages, though I am playing more often with

    Whenever I get stuck for a post idea, I think it’s because my mind has been channelled down one avenue for too long. I like to get a variety of input through books, films, music, blogs, magazines even TV sometimes. But my top tip for getting a post subject is to read a quality newspaper. There is such a wide variety of topics, something is bound to spark off an idea. 8)

    John McNally recently posted..December BLOG TRAFFICMy Profile

    • Hi John,

      How did you New Year resolutions go? Good I hope?

      I have downloaded a software to play Go online against the computer first. It is less hassle that way and I don’t have to pack up. I will play against the computer until I get the hang of it before I go find some real life competition via the internet. Thus far I am still not sure what I am doing on the board haha!

      I agree with you. Whenever I think about something too long, I cannot get any new ideas. Books, films, blogs, magazines and quality newspapers are all great sources of inspiration.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

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