Happy New Year!

I used to think that New Year’s Resolutions were a silly practice. I would tell myself it was because “I didn’t need a holiday to set goals” or something equally self-righteous. The real reason was more likely that I hardly ever took the time to do some serious self-reflection.

On January 1st, 2018 I am a father of a 2-year old with another on the way. Last year around this time, our daughter was consistently sleeping until 6am each morning, which was a blessing when finishing up my dissertation. These days, our little girl wakes up anywhere from 4:45 to 5:45am. This may not seem like a huge difference, but that kind of variability has made sleep a more precious commodity: you never know when you’re going to get it, so you have to get it while you can.

Since last summer my productivity has taken a real hit. The 2 hours of work/reading I would get done between 4–6am are no longer happening. I’ve been humbled by the fact that I’m no longer in control of the exact conditions of my life and need to plan around them in specific ways if I’d like to accomplish more. So here’s my New Year’s Resolution:

Set my alarm for 4am each day and use that time for writing and research once again.

Sounds simple enough, but there’s more to it. The night before I’ll need to have my clothes pressed for work, the coffee made and anything else I would otherwise do in the morning out of the way. If I let these things get in the way of that precious productive time then there’s no point in waking up so early. In other words, the effort to get this done will have to extend throughout the day, not just when the alarm goes off at 4:00.

Let’s see how this goes! I hope that 2018 is a productive and prosperous time for everyone.

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