Reflections on my resolutions for 2022

In recent years I’ve been posting my New Year’s Resolutions on this blog and then going back to them in a years time. So at the start of 2022 I added a post called With new resolution in which I made five substantial resolutions. So, how did I do?

Become a better homeworker

At the end of last year I reported that I was struggling with homeworking and vowed to do something about it. A mixture of overwork, the walls closing in and a general sense of a lack of achievement at the end of the day were all bringing me down. I’ve tried quite a few things to try and do something about this. Exercise, playing guitar, working in different rooms, but the only one that really has made a difference is actually leaving my house and going somewhere. I’ve been trying to go into the office at least once a week, I’m also starting to see some travel etc coming back, but I’m still much more homebased than I was. I still don’t enjoy it. But as things have been opening up this has become less of a problem.

Write the great American novel

As I explained in my post last year, I wasn’t really intending to write a novel, but I did want to experiment with new types of writing and ultimately to write something for a wider audience than I have ever written. This is still my long term plan, but over the last year my employment situation has changed a fair bit and I’m back into a more academic setting. This means that my focus has to be on writing some academic things. I’ve also had a couple of opportunities this year to write second editions of a couple of my books (The Careers Leader Handbook and my book on Online Research Methods). All of this has taken up time. But, I still love writing and am still keen to break out and write something more mainstream.

Encounter more new ideas

The resolution was all about finding more big ideas, which to be honest I’m not sure I have convincingly done. I need to read more, read more widely and read less instrumentally. I can’t just be focused on gutting books, films and magazines for whatever I’m working on at the moment. I need to step back and think big more often. I’ve tried to do this through participating in a number of reading groups, but these have been very difficult to get going and keep going. Where they have worked I’ve learnt a lot, but keeping the pace up is difficult. I also need to become a bit more self-reliant and put my phone down and pick up a book more often. Instagram is engaging, but I have to admit I’m not learning all that much from it.

Change the world

I wanted to get more politically active, but as I admitted at the start of the year, I wasn’t really sure what this meant. I have been doing a lot of politics around guidance, but I feel the need to branch out more. My involvement in the UCU and in the wider trade union movement has been one place that I have managed to do this, but my involvement has been very reactive and largely reliant on others for leadership. Beyond this, I’m a passive supporter of lots of causes (sometimes even kicking in some money regularly), but I haven’t really been talking to people about politics outside of lobbying on guidance and participating in industrial action. We are entering a very critical period of politics and I feel that I still need to step up.

Don’t give up on things that I’ve made some progress on

This resolution was intended to stop me from my tendency to grasshopper from one interest to another. I have managed to keep learning Norwegian (although progress has been painfully slow), to play music, to do some exercise, brew and pickle and keep going on various other hobbies. All in all, while I could have done better, I think that I have pretty much stuck to this and keep going with various positive (non-work) interests.

So all in all I haven’t done too badly. I’ve tried to shift my life in a positive direction and have managed at least some of the things that I wanted to. Where I haven’t there is usually a good reason and so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

So, let’s see what I can do for 2023.

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