Though late, my resolution this year is to embrace the difficult.
My daughter, Katy, is an exceptional piano player. She enjoys it and it comes easily to her. She loves music and after bugging me for months, I rewarded her for doing well at her piano recital by signing her up for violin lessons. Little did she know what she was getting herself into.
The violin is a harder instrument to make sound nice than the piano. On the piano, you can have bad form and still hit the note well enough that it sounds fine. That is not the case with the violin. While her instructor keeps telling her that she has talent and the potential to be exceptional at it, she shies away from practicing because of the difficulty. I have been encouraging her the best I can, emphasizing that what is truly impressive is not doing something that is easy or effortless, but what is hard or takes effort.
After repeating this to her enough, it occurred to me that she was not the only one avoiding hard things. I see a lot of myself in my daughter; many things come easily to me, but it has made the cases when they do not come easily much tougher to overcome. So, to be a good example, and to also make the most of my abilities, I decided that I need to embrace difficult things as well.
So, I wrote down all the things that I've been avoiding or not doing. Little things, big things, life changing things. After I had a list of these goals, I began right then trying to address them. What I learned is that many of them are not difficult, only that I tend to be too lazy or have preconceived fears or notions about them.
For example, there were a number of people that I had been meaning to get in contact with, as well as finally ordering some new things for my computer, and taking my car to get the oil changed and tires rotated. I would get to all of these eventually, but I tried to make a habit out of looking for the quick things that could be done that I was avoiding. In some cases, I "multi-tasked:" while waiting for someone to give me a ride to lunch while waiting for my tires to be rotated, I called and made an appointment to give blood to the Red Cross, something I had been putting off for too long. While getting my oil changed, I bought a larger bike for my daughter and did some quick grocery shopping.
Actively looking to do these things has already been making life better. Finally taking care of "todos" that have been sitting around for too long is very rewarding and makes me hungry for addressing more. The real payback is going to come from some of the larger goals that I have that I am now actively working to make happen. Look for an update on my developer blog soon to read about my journey into Android development.