Over the years I've come to realize that resolutions aren't all they're cracked up to be. The standard joke is that most resolutions don't make it past the second week in January. We chuckle as we eat that cookie, being fully aware that the joke is on us.
I've heard it argued that resolutions are a bad practice, even damaging. Why? Because we're practicing failure. We're giving ourselves permission to make promises to ourselves that we don't really intend to keep. Wow that went meta. Maybe I should just quote the experts. Merlin Mann talks about this in terms of "success muscles," which sounds a bit new-agey until you hear more. Our "success muscles" get stronger every time we practice them by setting a goal and then achieving it. I think of success muscles as being some combination of self-confidence, self-assurance, grit, determination, or just plain pig-headedness.
But just as we have success muscles we also have "failure muscles." These are muscles you're better off letting atrophy. Habitually making resolutions and then breaking them is exercise for your failure muscles. Getting stronger failure muscles only makes it easier to convince yourself that that it's okay to give up on goals, and break promises with yourself. Even worse, it's okay to set goals that if you were honest, you'd know that you'd never be able to keep, thus further. The more you do it, the easier it gets, so it makes sense to avoid doing it whenever possible.
So here I am at the new year. I'm starting out with every intention of turning this blog into more than just an occasional posting point. My goal is to average at least one post a week. I'm not going to beat myself up if life intervenes and that's not possible, and I've already cut myself some slack by saying "average." I can catch up if I fall behind (which I already have). That's the goal, and it seems reasonable at the moment. Am I fooling myself? Maybe, but having removed 20 hours of commuting from my weekly schedule should go a long way toward helping.
What you can expect to see here are everything from parent survival tips, reviews of products we think are neat, DIY projects (expect many arduino's), the occasional rant or extemporaneous post (like this one), and of course Legos!
I've set aside time this weekend for a smallish DIY project that I think captures a lot of what I think this blog is about. It's woodshop, arduino, and child development, all rolled together. It's a manageable size, so hopefully I can exercise my success muscles by at least getting a bloggable chunk of it done in one go.
What is it? A candy dispenser.
How can a candy dispenser have a positive influence on your child's development? You'll see.