Every year, a lot of people have new years resolutions, and while some are easy to keep, some seem to be overwhelming, like losing weight or to quit smoking, unless you have an actual way of tracking your progress, and sticking to it.

Usually I don't really believe in new years resolutions, but I do believe in looking back and adjusting habits whenever possible. However, I believe more in general mindset/behavioural changes (Read Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for tips on how to make your own personal "mission statement"), and sticking to those rather than specific goals. Smaller steps usually leads to easier progress.

My 5 mindset changes are based on things I already do in someway or another, that I want to improve (or at least, live by) in the year to come. I consider this my personal mission statement of the year.

Keep a positive mind

One of the things I've noticed as I've grown older, is that I have become less patient and more demanding when interacting with other people. It bothers me that I'm becoming the grumpy guy at certain points, so a way to improve this is to accept the fact that we all see the world differently, and to be more patient when communicating with others.

Try to be better at applyling Stephen Covey's 5th habit (Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood).

Stick to GTD

As you may know, I'm a huge fan of GTD. It works for me, and it helps me cope with stressful situations. However, GTD requires strict discipline and sticking to the principles, to get the most of it, and I've been slacking on this during the last year. This needs to be handled better by thinking everything into the systems at hand, whenever I have mental "clutter".

Master a few technologies over a lot

The last 1/2 year or so, we've done a lot of maintenance at work, as well as some pretty standard projects. This isn't really all that exciting (I enjoy developing new products or solutions that have a high impact), but that's not my biggest concern, as most developers have periods of maintenance during the years.

However, we use a lot of technologies right now, as we use different systems for different aspects of the company, and one of the things I've noticed, is that focusing on 10 different solutions with different frameworks takes up too much time, to actually be able to master any of them to the level I'd like.

So, for 2013, I'll pick out a couple of frameworks that I really want to excel in, and focus on these. Right now, my bets are on Rails and Backbone.js, but those might change.

Less e-mail, more face to face communication

Let me be clear: I write e-mails instead of talking to people. I prefer writing e-mails over talking as it documents the decisions made, and it helps in avoiding assumptions when making agreements. However, it also adds confusion and a tendency towards being "too formal", as it's easy to misinterpret e-mails.

So, for 2013, I'm going to try talking more, and writing less, for smaller issues that only require 5 minutes of talk or less for coordination.

When in doubt, run

I've been running a lot over the years, but the last couple of years I've been slacking a bit. Last year I started running regularly again though, and when I do, I enjoy the mental abundance I get from doing so. This year I'm going to keep that habit, and try using it as a help for stressful situations.

Got a full mind, or nothing to do ? Run.

This is my personal list of things I want to focus on in 2013, what's yours ?