I find the end of the year and the start of a new one a helpful time to reflect. I’m not a fan of the term “resolutions”– I find it’s more helpful to think in terms of reorienting oneself to how we want to be in the world. My tendency in life has been to think in terms of big, sweeping changes, and frankly to be bored when I can’t make big, dramatic changes, but in reality, change is constructed from many small, almost unnoticeable actions that merge together to construct the larger changes. It’s the little habits, the small patterns the daily actions, and those are truly the hardest to change.
One of the books I read in 2013- The Power of Habit – drives home the point that habits are created by all the well-known constructs of behaviorism and doesn’t leave a lot of room for other layers of interpretation about how we learn new habits. And maybe that’s not far from the truth. We can know what’s good for us, but it’s the little discrete actions that add up to the big picture. And creating new patterns for ourselves is challenging, but worth the effort. The small actions that comprise our days are a comfort, a security blanket, and having the courage to notice them and make positive changes, learn new things, try new things, and form new habits is a fundamental skill in an information society where there will always be other habits and ways of being in the world clamoring for attention.
Ok, so that’s a bit ambiguous in terms of either reorientation or resolution, and I think if I’m making that actionable– I’d say I’m going to try in 2014 to “think small,” while ironically remembering to come out and look at the big picture more.
I restarted this blog a few weeks ago to reconnect with ideas. My head was full of information that was very myopically focused. I need to carve out the space and time to reconnect with the ideas that brought me to the field of learning design. There is nothing more powerful than creating opportunities where people learn, change their habits, change their way of thinking, reach their goals, connect with new people, feel the power of their ideas, change their communities. The problem is that on a daily basis, working with one learner, one course, one learning activity– the incremental change is small, but the power of many doing this work day in and day out is impactful. To make regular posting to this blog a habit, I will have to learn some new things and recalibrate some routines.
So as we ring in 2014, here’s to focusing on the little daily actions in a way that has a big impact– in whatever way you contribute to our world of connections and knowledge.