I don’t remember resolutions as a kid other than be nice to my brother or study more. Ambiguous, token offerings.
As an adult, I get it. Finances, health, and friendships all take on different meanings as time passes. It’s that wonder of the world called: compounding.
Part-of-the-reason things compound is the system. As kids, our systems is buffered, like bowling alley gutter guards, by caring adults and lack of resources. It’s harder to go to extremes. As an adult these buffers fall away and we rely on the skill called ‘personal responsibility’.
If t-shirts are any indication, there are fewer adults ‘adulting’ each day. Luckily for them, very little ‘adulting’ is required except for small moments of design. Their obstacles are really opportunities.
Rich Barton said “Every friction point in our lives is a chance for an entrepreneur to solve a problem.” Jeff Jordan said that eBay bought PayPal because of transaction cost frictions. Ted Sarandos noted this too, “What it takes to get you out of your house if you’re on episode four of Stranger Things is pretty high.”
Frictions are the source of the negative effects that lead to the resolutions.
For our resolute resolvers then, we can ask if we want to do more of something we should make it easier to do and if we want to do less of something we should make it difficult to do. They should design it.
However, most people don’t consider themselves designers. They confuse design with art. Art is the “shabbiest” kind of design writes Victor Papanek. Design is not white walls and pine desks and smart drawings. Design is ugly prototypes and rough consensus and running code and living problems.
Design just changes the system. Anything that changes behavior is a design. So if we want to change something, we can design it—business or personal.