Phil Smith, UX/UI Designer in Vancouver, BC
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It’s almost March, time to make some New Year’s resolutions.

I’m like your typical type-A, only more driven. Proof: it’s the end of February, and I’m just now thinking about resolutions. (If my sarcasm hasn’t come through yet, I’m not type-A.)

Resolutions in general are actually pretty shitty, not to mention long forgotten by March. Did you make any embarrassingly predictable resolutions this January? Perhaps you vowed to sweat off those extra holiday pounds? And perhaps you learned that the gym does not, in fact, have a refund policy (and that they’re happy to keep your money whether or not you show up)?

I have a resolutely different approach. First of all, be AVAP—as vague as possible. All the self-helpers say to set clear, trackable goals, right? I say, to hell with that. You probably should leave now—I obviously won’t help you achieve a single goal. Counterintuitive as my AVAP approach is, though, it actually works. Tap into your inner marketer (perhaps in some dark, overlooked crevasse of your soul) and make some slick, catchy slogan that you can’t get out of your head. Keep it short, Less is Better (Oh! Is that one?!)

Let me tell you a story. Not long ago, I had a son. I’m not sure about your familiarity with babies, but they’re needy as hell. Crying, shitting, you name it. But kids grow up and get fun eventually. I would find myself holding my unbelievably tiny human on a dark, chilly night, longing for it to be later. Like, grown up later. Like, less needy later. He’s bawling his eyes out, despite the fact that he shouldn’t be. He shouldn’t be hungry, he isn’t poopy, he definitely is tired yet refuses to rest. I would long for later, for him to be older, for him to be more fun, for him to be less needy. January first rolls around and gets me into a reflective state of mind. I resolve to Enjoy Now.

You know what? That tininess, that season, it’s gone in a flash. Ask any parent. Sure parts of it suck, but other parts are unspeakable magic. Then it’s gone. I look at photos of my son three years ago and I don’t believe my eyes, he’s so tiny. Poof! Bigger, bigger, bigger. However, Enjoy Now stayed in my mind, and thus I was mindful of the fact that they grow up so fast. In difficult moments I would tell myself, Enjoy Now: it’s hard, but there is something sweet and special to be found here still. In triumphant moments too, I would tell myself Enjoy Now: this will all be a distant memory soon, so soak it all in. It’s been far more powerful than any type-A-approved resolution could ever be for me. It’s become our family motto, and continues to sober my mind in times of trial and triumph.

Cool story bro. (Thanks.)

So, I didn’t give this year’s resolution a ton of thought yet (obviously), but one hit me like bird shit (you know—totally out of the blue). Make More, Share More. Let me be frank with you for a moment. I have aspirations, dreams. I aspire to make meaningful art with illustration and animation. I dream to make an amazing children’s book. These only involve a tiny amount drawing, and so I draw every single—never, I never draw these days. I drew a fair amount as a kid, but that means nothing for today, for tomorrow, for these dreams. So do these dreams just wilt, wither, and die a silent death? NO. Make More. This includes writing. I am making write now. I love writing. I never write. But I’m writing right now. Make More. I’m not just going to make in a silo though. Collaboration is where it’s at. Share More. Gotta share with others.

Interestingly, even as I’m writing, my resolution has changed shapes (I swapped one word for another). It’s now a double entendre: Make More, (monetarily) Share More. Money doesn’t excite me, but sharing does. Make More, Share More. This thing is alive now, and it’s going to continue to do unexpected things, changing me. And with these words wandering around in my subconscious now, wreaking creative havoc, this is only the beginning.