So over the past year I’ve been breaking every three months up into personal development seasons, in the style of the CGP Grey video on Themes. They’ve been far more successful than I expected going in, maybe in part because I’ve had a great Season Buddy to talk to every few weeks about our goals and progress. I highly recommend it in general, as the benefits from each previous season definitely seem to be persisting past them.
My first was Season of Completion (stop taking on new projects, go through list of old ones and finish what I could), then Wealth (lean into asking for more money for things, and spending more money on myself), then Health (physical therapy and regular exercise), and my latest one has been Season of Aesthetics, as in trying to develop my own sense of it for myself and focusing on more deliberate ways to embody it.
There have been some fairly big additional motivations along the way throughout the past year that have definitely helped with all this, but I think it’s really worth highlighting the ongoing, *gentle* motivation and guidance that the seasons provide to decision trees I face. Often something unpredicted will provide a big burst of energy to start doing something, like swimming every day, but the Season will provide added, ongoing motivation to maintain it.
Standout benefits so far:
1) I finished a handful of non-fiction articles that have been on the backburner for years, and feel better capable of deciding whether to take on new projects or not.
2) I’ve consistently been asking for more money for things I do, sometimes 1.5x-2x as much as I used to, and feel more comfortable about it.
3) I’ve bought about a dozen things that would have felt frivolous before despite the convenience and value they add, and seem to have eliminated any sense of guilt over self-purchases as high as $320 (Oculus Quest 2) and as low as $10 (slim wallet for Season of Aesthetics).
4) My average weight has gone down ~20 pounds, and my single arm barbell lift weight has increased from 15 pounds to 25. When I started swimming at the start of October it was for about 20 minutes before I’d get exhausted, can now swim for 40 and barely feel winded.
5) I’ve also acquired a number of new sets of clothing, particularly more fancy ones than I would normally wear, for a variety of weather types and events.
The year’s not over yet, but overall it’s been a massively valuable experiment, and I figured I should share all this now so people can think about it before the new year starts in case it’s something they want to try (not that it has to start on a clean new year, “themes” as Grey calls them can be short so even a month each is fine, but 3 months felt right to me). Would be happy to answer questions about this if anyone has any, as this is definitely the sort of thing I’d like to encourage to catch on.