This year is coming to an end. Just last month we had our main event – TCO18 and Christmas and the New Year holiday are already here. Time flies so fast and now at the end of the year it is time to start thinking about 2019 and make our resolutions.
Where does this tradition come from?
It was in 45 BC, when Julius Caesar declared January 1 the first day of the year to honor Janus, the god of new beginnings. On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward to the old year and forward to the new year, so for the Romans, this became a time to forgive their enemies from the past and make resolutions to become better in the year ahead. And this is how the New Year’s resolution was born!
Resolutions are usually long time goals to improve something about ourselves, like quit smoking, learn new things, eat more healthy, advance in our profession, travel more, etc.
Why do we need goals? Because they give life a purpose and that motivates us to take action and get where we want to be. Besides that, neuroscientists discovered that being actively engaged in the pursuit of a goal activates the brain’s pleasure centers, independent of the outcome. Seems like we find more enjoyment getting to the target, rather than achieving it.
The problem with the goals is that many people fail to achieve them as they get distracted or forget about them or just give up because of various excuses. One way to make sure you achieve the resolution you propose is to use make your resolution SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. That means instead of saying “I want to get more rest” better use “I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep 5 days per week”. This way, your resolutions are measurable and more specific, so easier to track. Of course, we might not always know the details at the beginning of the year, but even splitting the big goal into smaller, well-defined ones will help.
The Topcoder community is amazing and very competitive, from designers to developers, marathon matchers and algorithmers, problem writers, copilots or admins. As the Musketeers say “One for all and all for one!” – it’s by the power of the community that Topcoder is great and at the same time the Topcoder leadership are looking to improve things for everyone.
Let’s see the resolutions of a couple of topcoders. Wishing everyone the strength to fulfill them!