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"This is Me Trying": Embracing Experimentation for Personal Development

This is me trying. This is me experimenting. ⚡🌟⚡

I like the idea of selecting a word to focus on as a theme for the year and my word for this year - EXPERIMENT. 🧪

I do this instead of setting a New Year’s resolution or developing a set of yearly goals.

And in 2022 I have wanted to step outside of my well-trodden comfort zones; I want to experiment.

The beauty of creating a series of experiments is that it ensures I stay in a curious mindset.

For me, experimenting is about trying things on to see if they fit. It doesn’t carry the same weight as a goal, nor the same feeling of judgment if I decide it doesn’t work for me after all.

So far, some experiments this year have worked well, and others, well, not so much. A few examples:

✔ Reading fiction before bed – This has been great. Much more relaxing than watching TV or being glued to my phone.

❌ Waking up 30 minutes earlier – I’ve always been a night owl. So far, I still am.

✔ Wearing pants with zippers rather than yoga pants – Less forgiving on the waistline and quite the wakeup call 😫

❌ Virtual improvisation class - Dropped after 3 sessions.

And with other things, the results are not yet in. For example:

❓ Posting regularly on Linked In – I’m uncomfortable with self-promotion and have never gravitated to posting on social media. It’s outside my comfort zone. But here I am, putting myself out there to see what happens. And in part, I’m doing this exactly because it’s outside my comfort zone.

I have found that the older I get the more deliberate I need to be about change to avoid getting stuck in routine.

And when my experiments don’t work, instead of throwing them out, I’ve tried to evaluate them to see if a tweak might help. For example, I took the improv course because I've become much more serious over the past 2 years, but maybe the issue was with this specific course. I'm looking for a new one now, though maybe I'm just not a funny person! 😁

Those of you who use design thinking or even agile processes in your work will recognize my approach. Small changes. Test. Evaluate. Iterate.

So far the approach seems to be working. It’s been interesting and dare I say, even fun at times.

If you’ve had a difficult time developing new habits or making changes in your own life, approaching them as a series of small experiments might help you as well.


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