The TIL Project: My 2016 Resolutions Project

Hi! Welcome to ‘The TIL Project’ or, for those of you less versed in internet abbreviations ‘The Today I Learned Project.’

The TIL Project is my 2016 resolution project, except that the pre-planning took much longer than expected so instead of being launched January 1st, it is going to be launched February 1st. I know the whole bettering yourself and voicing it to the world via blog thing has been kind of overdone and I understand if this turns any potential followers off. To be honest I hate to be so unoriginal. However, I fear that without the external motivation of being held accountable (even if just to my mom) I won’t follow through and thus, a blog is my answer.

So, to set the precedent before the grand kickoff a week from today I want to explain a little bit more about my project. As I sat down at the beginning of 2016 to create a list of resolutions I knew I wanted to approach this year differently. Seeing as I have gotten one year older and arguably no wiser, I set out to create a plan I would actually stick to (like, for real this time) and I knew that this meant creating a system that includes deadlines and tangible goals. After all, the entirety of my daily productivity is attributable to the satisfaction of checking off the tasks on my overly detailed “to do” lists.

I began with my list of resolutions: work on more creative projects, be a more engaged long distance friend (something I am so bad at and yet is so necessary in my post-collegiate life), spend more time exploring the city I now call home and less time wondering where else I might like better. There were several others on there, but all had the same theme: I have not been fully present and engaged in my life as of late, and while I’ve known it, I’ve done nothing to change it. It is so easy for me to fall into routines and day after day to wake up, go to the gym, do my schoolwork, clean up around the apartment, watch two episodes of The Office with Sean and go to bed. Then, wake up the next day and do the same thing. I mean, as long as we go out every other weekend and see some friends we’re mixing it up, right? Wrong. Not because this makes me unhappy, but the opposite. I hate how comfortable I become in routines and habits, and even though a voice in the back of my head is saying “let’s read a non-school book”, “let’s go film something”, or even “let’s start compiling the tools to create that vegetable garden” I find it all too easy to mute the suggestions and buckle down for another episode of Michael Scott’s antics.

I want to become more engaged in my own life and the world around me. I want to become more engaged in the things I already know I love as well as in new hobbies. Instead of just waking up and going for my run, I should read into tips on how to get the most out of my runs or how to improve my running form; and that would be my TIL. Instead of going to the same bar we always go to, we could go to a local brewery (of which Tampa has many) and take a tour to get a better understanding of how they brew the beer; and that would be my TIL. Rather than think to myself every morning for the last year “one day I should plant my balcony vegetable garden and upcycle my coffee grounds as soil” I should find out what veggies actually can grow on an apartment balcony; and that would be my TIL. I think you get the point, right?

So there are no constraints on topic, and I will be more than happy to take suggestions as I imagine some days I might just draw a blank, but I really hope that this will promote a more engaged mindset and I hope that you will join me as I do this. So now, I am going to spend the next 7 days preparing some fall-back TILs (JUST IN CASE!) and will return on the first with my first new life lesson.