14 votes

Your theme for 2022

13 comments

  1. Adys
    Link
    Also see post: What changes are you looking to make in 2022? The CGP Grey theme system has been posted here before. I'm reposting it a week ahead of 2022 because I want as many eyeballs on it as...

    Also see post: What changes are you looking to make in 2022?


    The CGP Grey theme system has been posted here before. I'm reposting it a week ahead of 2022 because I want as many eyeballs on it as possible, and I want to share the story of my themes since that video was released, as it was so deeply influencial on me.

    I have not (yet) shortened the time span, as CGPGrey suggests at the end of the video (doing "thematic seasons"). But I have conclusively used the system two years in a row, and it has led to profound and impactful changes in my life.

    My first year was the "year of the body". "Lose weight" is probably the most popular NYR ever, so it's on-brand to have a theme based on this. But as Grey says, the theme is more abstract, and to me the Year of the Body was supposed to be a year where I would start being comfortable with my body, and even proud of it.

    "Start" being the keyword; I don't consider this task completed in any way. But the year was a success. The theme was one of the major factors that pushed me to pick up ice skating as a sport (which I've talked about at length). I found something I enjoyed, and my theme pushed me to follow it. I did, and that has made a permanent change in my life.

    My second year, I had trouble picking a theme. I didn't feel "done" with my theme but I didn't want to do the same one either. I thought a bit about doing a "year of the mind"; something which in many ways I did end up doing anyway. But in the end, the theme I did follow most rigidly was the "year of finance", or rather, "year of work". I wanted to sort out my work in order to find a permanent work-life balance that would allow me to reserve 20 hours a week for skating. I'm proud to say that's been a success, and the work is of course, still ongoing.

    So, two years down, I'm seeing patterns in what successful themes look like.

    1. A good theme needs to focus on a part of your life you want to improve.
    2. Having specific numbers or otherwise "goals to reach" in mind is a nice bonus, as long as it's a measure of progress, rather than a hard finish line you have to reach. This is the important thing that differentiates themes to resolutions.
    3. My successful thematic years both resulted in changes whose results are still ongoing. The change is permanent, the effect is over time.

    I have two goals for 2022. One is skating-related, and I was very tempted to make it my theme ("year of skating", something I would have done last year were it not for lockdowns -- it happened anyway). The other is, I think, more fitting.
    In the Christmas thread, I talked a bit about my social circle shrinking, losing friendships. I also talked quite a bit here on Tildes about my love life, which has been an utter mess. Ultimately, my goal this year is to improve all this. Really figure out who my friends are. And maybe, find someone to settle down with; or at least really figure out what "settling down" means for me.

    With all this in mind, my 2022 will be the year of relationships.

    Three questions for tildes:

    1. Have you done themes before? If so, how did it go?
    2. Will you do a theme this year? What's your inspiration?
    3. Retrospectively, what was your theme for 2021? Does it match up with your expectations from January?
    12 votes
  2. bilbodwyer
    Link
    My theme for 2021 was Year of Finance, and it went broadly ok until autumn or so. My relationship began to fail and we were desperately shelling out money to try to make ourselves feel better...

    My theme for 2021 was Year of Finance, and it went broadly ok until autumn or so. My relationship began to fail and we were desperately shelling out money to try to make ourselves feel better (dates, new furniture, decorating, takeaways, etc), and ignore the problems. Fortunately due to lucky timing for some inheritance I have managed to recoup my losses from that, and then some. But had it not been for that I would have been worse off by far going into 2022.

    My theme for 2022 has grown somewhat out of that experience: the Year of Authenticity. Being more introspective and mindful, more honest with myself and others, more deliberate in my thoughts and actions. I know goals aren't really a thing for themes, but I do plan to wrap coming out into the theme as well. I'm going to make more of an effort to take notes of my progress and document how the theme goes as well, which is (I think) where previous efforts have fallen down.

    9 votes
  3. [3]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    I've thought a lot about this and wrestled with a lot of different ideas. I've settled on "Pay Yourself First". The phrase comes from personal finance circles and refers to the practice of putting...

    I've thought a lot about this and wrestled with a lot of different ideas. I've settled on "Pay Yourself First".

    The phrase comes from personal finance circles and refers to the practice of putting away some of each paycheck into savings, effectively "paying yourself" before "paying others" (i.e. spending).

    I'm not planning on using it in that sense, but instead stretching the idea well past its actual meaning and applying it to my time and attention as a measure of currency. In essence, I want to be more strategic in how I spend my time and attention. Now that I've reached solid financial stability, time is my most limited resource. Each day I'm allocated a "paycheck" of time, and I want to pay myself first with how I spend that time and where I devote my attentions.

    What this means in application is a couple of different (but not really?) things:

    1. I want to be more conscious of what I'm giving my attention and why. I want to prioritize push rather than pull factors -- giving my attention to something because I choose to, rather than because it has a strong pull for me.

    2. I want to be able to identify and interrupt patterns where my attention is being pulled in a negative direction. I have spent so. much. time. recently burning out over politics and COVID. Rather than continuing to spin, I'm going to try to just let myself accept that a) they're going to continue to be shit and b) there's not much I can meaningfully do about them. I've spent hundreds of hours spiraling, and I'd rather "pay myself" with that time than spend hundreds more hours in those same spirals. I already know where those lead. I want to consciously go somewhere else -- find a new destination.

    3. There was a great comment in the Steam Sale thread from @Merry that really resonated with me and that I've been thinking about since it was posted:

    I was actually just thinking about this earlier where I should probably keep a log of expected happiness vs. actualized happiness from playing all these games. Too often, I think a single player game would give me 5/10 happiness but in reality when I am playing it, I experience 8/10. Likewise, my expected happiness out of multiplayer games is 9/10 but there are times where it really comes out to 3/10.

    I feel like the spiraling and stress of the past years have caused me to seek out things that feel like 9/10 but are actually 3/10 (or less) because they have a sort of empty, hollow fulfillment to them. One of my personal "tells" for when things aren't going well for me are when I find myself dipping into idle/clicker games, and I picked up Cookie Clicker last month. It's unfulfilling garbage, but I play it nonetheless -- far more than I do other more fulfilling games. Part of my "Pay Yourself First" process is going to be disentangling feel-good garbage from genuine nourishment -- and that applies to both media as well as food. I reach for actual cookies as readily as I do Cookie Clicker as a stress response, and while it's nice for the moment, I pay for it later. Part of paying myself first will be investing in my actual physical organism and not filling it with other people's trash.

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      rogue_cricket
      Link Parent
      This is something I notice about myself too. Sometimes I get an urge to play an MMORPG, and while it's a bit fun at first eventually I realize I don't actually have a lot of fun with them. What I...

      One of my personal "tells" for when things aren't going well for me are when I find myself dipping into idle/clicker games, and I picked up Cookie Clicker last month. It's unfulfilling garbage, but I play it nonetheless -- far more than I do other more fulfilling games.

      This is something I notice about myself too. Sometimes I get an urge to play an MMORPG, and while it's a bit fun at first eventually I realize I don't actually have a lot of fun with them. What I really want is to feel like I'm progressing in a practical and measurable way and MMORPGs and idle clickers give simulacra of those experiences (with MMORPGs having the added bonus of some form of social interaction). While it can be OK in small doses, ultimately what it does is keep me from seeking out the more fulfilling versions of those things by showing me their shadows on the cave wall.

      I'm coming out of a bit of an MMORPG hole lately, and most of what I want to do is play games that have set endings with my friends - either just streaming and chatting or doing co-op like in the Divinity Original Sin series. I still want to play games and I still want to be social! I just think that those Skinner Box treadmill games are a real nasty mind virus that I'm particularly susceptible to, so I need to focus on games that have a point at which you, you know, win or lose them.

      3 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        You have a way with words (and allusions)! This is perfectly expressed and speaks exactly to what I’m feeling. I’m acting like I’m chained to the wall and the shadows are a respite from that...

        What I really want is to feel like I'm progressing in a practical and measurable way and MMORPGs and idle clickers give simulacra of those experiences (with MMORPGs having the added bonus of some form of social interaction). While it can be OK in small doses, ultimately what it does is keep me from seeking out the more fulfilling versions of those things by showing me their shadows on the cave wall.

        You have a way with words (and allusions)! This is perfectly expressed and speaks exactly to what I’m feeling. I’m acting like I’m chained to the wall and the shadows are a respite from that situation, when in reality I could get up at any time and just, you know, leave the cave to see what’s actually out there. I hate that I sometimes want to choose the shadows — that’s what I want to break this year.

        4 votes
  4. [3]
    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I've been thinking about this for a little while and I'm not sure if there's a punchy way of putting what I want. I was originally going to call it just 'recovery', but that feels a bit less...

    I've been thinking about this for a little while and I'm not sure if there's a punchy way of putting what I want. I was originally going to call it just 'recovery', but that feels a bit less active and experimental than I'd like. It still might be the best word but I don't know... maybe 'rediscovery' or 'investment'.

    It's just... like I've let weeds grow over my life and I need to trim things back and create a a good environment before I can plant something new there. I used to have better habits and be more active and the pandemic has really affected that.

    I want to get back into my skincare routine and fix the things around my house that have broken and start hosting small things for my friends again. Just reclaiming good old habits and making small investments in myself and environment and relationships.

    Edit: it might be 'groundwork'. Nothing fancy or deep, just clearing the weeds.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      How about the year of repairs? This in fact leaves a lot of room for a variety of things it sounds like you may benefit from: Mental repairs, but also physical repairs. A year where you prioritize...

      How about the year of repairs?

      This in fact leaves a lot of room for a variety of things it sounds like you may benefit from: Mental repairs, but also physical repairs.

      A year where you prioritize fixing what you have, rather than obtaining/discovering new things and new experiences.

      Fixing some of the more complex personal / emotional aspects of your life requires introspection and may result in drastic changes, but you'd only be doing those after considering how to patch up what you can.

      I'm a minimalist at heart and I certainly appreciate making the most out of what you already have, over expanding yourself further.

      5 votes
      1. rogue_cricket
        Link Parent
        That's a good one, thanks! It covers the practical physical things I want to do as well as some of the more abstract stuff. I also plan on learning to sew / darn to keep my clothes usable for...

        That's a good one, thanks! It covers the practical physical things I want to do as well as some of the more abstract stuff. I also plan on learning to sew / darn to keep my clothes usable for longer so I can do some skill development too.

        I'm very easily distracted and forgetful so hopefully keeping the theme in mind helps as a grounding force as well. One of my worse qualities is... I don't know if there's a word for it, but as an example I walked past my broken dishwasher every day for months before even giving it a shot. I fixed it before Christmas, it took two hours and it's already paid back the time I spent and more. I hope to cultivate a better mindset, and to make thinking about the future benefits of doing something come more naturally.

        4 votes
  5. inwardpath
    Link
    I haven't done a theme in the past, but I like the idea. There are two main things that come to mind, and I'm not sure if there is a broad theme that will tie both together- or if it's beneficial...

    I haven't done a theme in the past, but I like the idea. There are two main things that come to mind, and I'm not sure if there is a broad theme that will tie both together- or if it's beneficial to have multiple themes (that may defeat the purpose of having a them to begin with...)

    1. Tidying/Minimizing: I have many things in this category that need to be addressed that all are related- I have many things that need to be donated, trashed, organized, or otherwise "processed" in some way as a belonging. Much of it is things left when my grandmother passed in 2019, as I have lived with her most of my life and it was all passed on to me. I am emotionally in the right place, so it is time to tackle it all. I also need to minimize my own belongings. I don't mean it in an extreme or ascetic sense, but I do intend to only keep what I truly need, want, or use. All else can be processed out of here in some form. To quote the title of Episode 555 of the Back To Work podcast, what needs dealt with is mostly The Accretion of Non-Essential Things

    2. Creating/Making: I've been meaning to spend a lot of time dedicated to writing and recording music. The problem is that I keep doing something easier or with less energy cost- like watching shows, playing games, or otherwise. I consistently have the problem of not using my time in the ways I truly want to- simply because of the energy it requires- but I realize I am watching years at a time pass by without much creative output, and I truly desire for that to change. I also have some other ideas in very early stages in other fields- one being a tech-help site that is useful for beginners, every-day users, but also IT workers. The current state of the "try these 10 things to fix your Windows problem" blog spam search results is bothersome and I'd love to compete with them with a site that follows a philosophy opposite theirs- minimal, ad-free, text-based, privacy-focused, etc.

    There are other things I would like to tackle (health, weight, etc) and I have some very broad ideas for those- but I don't think I want to make those a full year theme at this point in time. I'm really still not sure the best way to approach making life changes and finding a way out of a no-motivation/low-energy rut. But I do like brainstorming it all out periodically and then trying to find ways to act on these items.

    So far I still find myself spiraling back down into spending most of my time doing low-energy tasks. I would love to hear if anyone has had specific actions or paths that have helped them break these kinds of cycles.

    4 votes
  6. [3]
    drannex
    (edited )
    Link
    I have never done themes, or goals for that matter. I've never even considered it. I'll take what the last few months have taught me, and press it into a higher gear over the next several months...

    I have never done themes, or goals for that matter. I've never even considered it. I'll take what the last few months have taught me, and press it into a higher gear over the next several months to hopefully set the tone for the rest of the year. Retrospectively, it was the realization and deciding of what I enjoy, and what I do not.

    This upcoming years themes based on the last few months:

    1. Maximalization quite the opposite of most people's goals, but I have lived a fairly frugal and insanely minimalistic life in nearly all regards, and I do believe there is joy in being orderly and clean, but there are more joys in living in decadence of the things you love. This doesn't mean to be unruly and unorganized or to spend copious amounts of money, but to just to be focused on what you want more of, whether those are physical things, relationships, interests — I want more of all of it. I want to experience and take hold of more things.

    2. Realizations I've recently started coming to terms with some self-shattering realizations on life. I am working through them (with the help of many friends!), and life will become much stranger moving forward but I am happy to be coming to terms. I also have begin to take in a new view on social experiences, and have just learned to not really care about any of them or opinions. It's breathtaking in how freeing it feels, but still following Wheaton's Law of course.

    3. Output & Misperfection Several years ago I was prolific in my output, starting a few companies, working on projects, selling companies, selling projects, activism, studying, making friends, keeping friends, relationships, this ties into #1, but most importantly I want to make more things. I want to make far more, even if it isn't perfect, especially if it isn't perfect. I have a tendency these past few years to work and present tirelessly to only deliver near perfect results. I detest it, I am going to change that and break that misbegoten mold. I didn't do those things years ago (tied to #2). This next year will be the re-emergence of that better world view, but enhanced. The last few months have been heading that way already, but I expect over the next few months it will be far more notable to myself and others.

    All of those tie into one another, but broken down they sound far more doable, hopefully. Most of these realizations are likely due to finally being diagnosed and prescribed medication (non-stimulant) for ADHD.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      inwardpath
      Link Parent
      While minimizing is a goal for me, it is going to be done selectively. Basically minimizing or ridding myself of things that I do not like or love, and maximizing the things that I do. I have...

      While minimizing is a goal for me, it is going to be done selectively. Basically minimizing or ridding myself of things that I do not like or love, and maximizing the things that I do. I have accumulated so many things that are a burden rather than a source a joy, and it is time for those to go.

      While I still think it may end up being the year of creation for me, another thought is it may end up being the year of curation, basically a combination of minimizing and maximizing, but both in beneficial ways

      2 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        The year of curation sounds like a wonderful theme and probably one I will reuse in the future!

        The year of curation sounds like a wonderful theme and probably one I will reuse in the future!

        1 vote
  7. parsley
    Link
    I'm going to cheat a bit and give myself multiple themes / things to strive for, also not going to wait for new year or stop at specific dates until I think something more important needs my...

    I'm going to cheat a bit and give myself multiple themes / things to strive for, also not going to wait for new year or stop at specific dates until I think something more important needs my attention.

    • Health: Been way too busy and stressed in the last couple of years and I have been giving up on exercise, healthy food and mental hygiene. I'm slowly trying to get mild exercise back into my routine and trying to cook more efficiently (cooking that takes lees time / effort and produces more servings). The mental hygiene part is going to be the hardest as I'm going to have a very hard time getting more hours of sleep or more quality entertainment time. I probably need to socialize more too.

    • Minimization: My house is tiny, I have a little kid and a wife that loves having stuff, but I think I have some things I can safely get rid of. I have a hard time throwing away / giving away things that could still be useful but I think i need to for the sake of the previous theme. Also in this topic, I have a lot of things that need to get done. I'm slowly trying go through them either giving them up if they don't matter enough or reducing expectations / doing them partially. This part is also very hard.

    • Financial literacy / work: I'm going to lump these two together because honestly getting a better job is usually the best I can do to improve my finances. These topics have suffered the most in the previous years and they are still at the bottom of the priority list. I want to at least not forget about them.

    4 votes