Setting up to succeed


There was a distinct and highly significant difference between last year and the two reasonably successful years that preceded it.  Before trying again, particularly after a failure, understanding what happened is critical.  If the format doesn’t work for you, change the format to something that does.

Looking back, I noted that Efficient Eating and Sweat, in 2012 and 2013, were marked by the use of natural or artificial groupings to break up the bigger task into manageable pieces.  In 2012, I used food groups as a natural way of breaking down a big topic.  Once I was happy with my progress with protein, for example, I’d move on to another.  In 2013, I created my own categorisations using playing cards as the theme. Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades all represented different types of activities.

In contrast, Sweat Squared involved no such groupings.  I did, many months in, find a diagram I drew early in 2014; a hurly burly of words, phrases and loosely connected ideas that could be explored in order to meet the aims of the Year of Sweat Squared.  Once this scrap of paper was buried in the former wood chip pile that is my home office, there was little chance it would develop into anything useful.

On realising this difference, the next question was inevitable, “What groupings would be useful for the Year of Liveability?”

After some thought, I came up with some broad statements for Liveability, but they are too long-winded to be catchy categorisations.

After some more thought, I came up with two very broad ideas.  Life is made up of processes and events (ie actions) and spaces and objects (ie infrastructure).  For those who think I’ve forgotten people, don’t panic.  In this simplified world view, relationships are actions that occur in spaces.

If I add into this mix the declutterer’s mantra of “Keep Toss Recycle”, or a variant thereof, I end up with something I think I can use:

  • Unnecessary, Loose
  • Unnecessary (to some) but Worthwhile (to me), Keep
  • Necessary, Make it Worthwhile
  • Lost but Worth Re-Instating

An example

I had let the vegetable garden slide for a couple of years.  It was “Lost but Worth Re-Instating”.  In making that decision, I weighed up issues of practicality against the desire to grow plants.  Some might consider it ill-conceived to grow food that can be produced cheaper in bulk by experts.  However, I consider it necessary to develop these skills in a world where the risk of food scarcity is an issue.  What is “Unnecessary (to some) is Worthwhile (to me)”.  Plus, I really enjoy it and there are many health and well-being benefits from tending a garden.

Having made that decision, it was then time to sort through the equipment and containers to identify that which was “Unnecessary, Loose” and “Necessary, Make it Worthwhile”.  I kept things that worked, recycled or tossed things that didn’t, bought new stuff where appropriate, arranged and prepared the beds (they are portable), and planted seeds and seedlings.

Lettuce seedlingI’ve drawn confidence from the success of my re-invigorated veggie garden.

And by creating this blog post, I’ve ensured that my ideas on a possible structure for the Year of Liveability are easily accessible and less likely to be lost and forgotten.

This might turn out to be the successful start of another new year.



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