By the time you’re reading this you’ve probably already forgotten your New Year’s resolutions. But during the first three days of the new year, digital timelines were chock full of tips on healthier eating habits to ‘finally’ lose that extra weight and get the same kind of body as someone who does this as a professional.

But unless you’ve used an ingenious reward system like the stickers you used to stop wetting the bed, there’s a big chance that you didn’t stick to your resolution, in spite of all the articles. So you start the new year with an unpleasant feeling, resolving to try again next year.

Japanese folding-techniques

I believe anytime is a good time to start something new. In fact, I’ll seize any opportunity to make new, often unfeasible resolutions for myself: the first day of the academic year, the first day of the month, starting a new job, or just because it’s a Monday.

What makes this fun is that over the past few years I have regularly given myself the gift of a new self-improvement book. For me, these books work the same way as stickers for a six-year old. The last self-improvement book I read and put into action was Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Even though I haven’t been able to bring to go through my collection of books (not least because I would then have to carry the boxes down from my parents’ attic), this decluttering guru is responsible for the fact that the clothes in my closet have been folded using Japanese folding-techniques.

When you read a lot of self-improvement books, you know they all hinge on one principle: you have to take action. If you don’t take the first step, nothing happens. To get better at doing this I decided to read the classic Getting Things Done. In this book David Allen explains how you can efficiently organise and strike off items on your to-do list. Unfortunately I’ve started reading this book three times now and I can’t seem to get past chapter two. Time to break out the stickers!