Groundhog Day Resolutions

Posted Sunday, March 13, 2022 by Sri. Tagged GHDR

GHDR stands for "Groundhog Day Resolutions", a yearly planning ritual that I have been doing since 2007. It was based on my love of the movie Groundhog Day coinciding with these two observations:

  1. Traditional New Year Resolutions were inconveniently-timed; who is ready to make big year decisions on January 1st? Not me! I need at least a month to close-out the year and recover from the holiday season. I use January 1 to start thinking about the year to come.

  2. Using the "double day" MONTH/DAY pattern made it easier to remember when to reflect on my goals, as regular reflection is necessary to keep on-track with any long-term goal.

Philosophy of GHDR

I think of GHDR as my commitment to ongoing personal growth so I can become a more fulfilled version of myself. It's less about hard metrics like "lose 20 pounds" (though you could use the dates as an anchor for doing regular reporting) and more about discovering the deeper implications behind your discoveries as you get to know yourself through success and failure. At least, that's how it is working out for me. I admit that when I first started GHDR, I thought I'd be done with them in a year...that was back in 2007, and I'm still working on themVery much like the movie, which was not on purpose or anticipated!.

If you are more results-oriented, you can use a hard metrics-based goals+tracking system for your daily activity. Use GHDR for the bigger picture aspirational and meaningful aspects of your experience. Having both, I think, is probably necessary for a balanced approach.

Operational Requirements

At minimum, GHDR is merely a way to remember when you should be checking in on yourself, using an easy-to-remember date pattern which can be used to coordinate with others with a similar shared commitment to personal developmment.

Operationally, there is no fixed reporting requiriements other than keeping your notes in one place so you can reflect on your progress on a GHDR reporting dayYou can look at this set of notes of what I put into my reports.. For myself, the style of the format has varied every year, the general push to learn from my efforts and bundle them up for the next year has been constant. This is where the notes come in handy.

Starting Dates

While I start mine on Groundhog Day, you can use the official dates as a pattern for choosing a day to start if you're not ready by February 2nd. You can also choose to skip reporting periods, so long as you note the reason why. I traditionally skip the period from July 7 through August 7 because it's usually really nice outside here in New England, and I try to soak up as much warmth as possible. I also stop from December 12 through February 1st because of end-of-year holidays and household stuff dominating my attention.

Official Dates and Observations

Here are all the official dates of a GHDR calendar year:

02/02 Feb 2

Groundhog Day! Lay down the strategic plan!

03/03 Mar 3

Monthly Review #1

04/04 Apr 4

Monthly Review #2 - Adjust goals as necessary

05/05 May 5

Monthly Review #3

06/06 Jun 6

Monthly Review #4 - Adjust goals as necessary

07/07 Jul 7

Monthly Review #5 - Review strategic direction. Optionally take off a month to enjoy the summer.

08/08 Aug 8

Monthly Review #6 - Optionally take off a month to enjoy the summer, or adjust goals as necessary

09/09 Sep 9

Monthly Review #7

10/10 Oct 10

Monthly Review #8 - Adjust goals as necessary to gain closure on the year?

11/11 Nov 11

Monthly Review #9

12/12 Dec 12

Final Review #10 - Summarize achievements for the year, break for holidays.

Personal Development Effects

By writing these reports every month for years, I've developed a detailed model of "what make me me" and what makes me "happy" and "fulfilled". It also helps me identify the patterns behind my actions, and illuminates the darkness surrounding my challenges, fears, and anxieties.

Broad Patterns Observed

from March 3, 2023 report

  • February - Excitment! First two weeks are extremely focused. Third and fourth weeks less so, but carry on the momentum of the first two weeks.
  • March - I have to look up what my goals were because they've faded from memory. I start to fall into sidetracks, feeling they are justifiably related to GHDR...but I don't look it up.
  • April-June - As work and life ticks by, it becomes more of a struggle remember "what the point" was. Demands on my time pull my attention away from GHDR-related projects. Feelings of resentment toward work begin to grow.
  • July - I'm feeling fed up, and declare a reset. GHDR goals are refactored based on issues from April-June. Lagging motivation and energy levels are often a problem. I feel starved for something new. Interesting new insights about myself are uncovered. The refactored goals set a new trajectory.
  • August-October - I descend into depression/boredom as the hard things are hard to push forward, even with all the mitigating insights I have applied. Strategy shifts toward managing depression, trying crazier ideas that challenge notions of "good" and "normal". Often I reject old beliefs and form new ones based on a refined understanding of their origin.
  • November - The feeling of having a lot of responsibilities in addition to my own starts to frustrate me. Irritatability grows as each unwanted responsibility and inconvience is thrust upon me, and I am left lamenting poor design, documentation, communication.
  • December - Although I think that nothing great happened, I am surprised to see how many consolation insights have been collected that are applicable for the coming year. There is always something tangible and g


  • Most of the reports are tagged ghdr on my old website. You can read the original kickoff post here!
  • There is a GHDR overgoal that came to me in 2022. All of my GHDR goals from 2007 onward were variations of the overgoal.

All GHDR Reports


This year's single goal is Building The Colony!

Made a simple "functional area" diagram using Whimsical to help gather my thoughts.

I converted the Whimsical doc from yesterday to Affinity Designer.

Created new subsite at /the-colony/

Wrote stream-of-consciousness "vision statement" for later cleanup

Convert stream-of-consciousness into a "phrase cloud" for further deconstruction

Artifacts of The Colony: Pebbles, Seeds, and Rings

Created a "refined phrase cloud" grouped into five categories, based on boot 05's work.

Extracted "foundational" statements from yesterday, but they didn't leave a strong impression. Punt "why" to tomorrow's post.

Created a "Selfishly Sri" printable assessment to gauge outside interest.

Reducing scope from Colony to Outpost.

Desired results are distilled down to two main ideas, which will cover the next couple of months.

A slow start to the year, as I focused on paying work for most of the month. Set four directives to achieve this mont

The set of analysis notes that I authored with ChatGPT4 to refine my understanding of "prosocial motivation"

New goal is to start connecting with future chatty collaborators, as my brain runs on "prosocial motivation" and meaningful human connections.

Delving further into my "predominantly-prosocially motivated" profile (PPMP), and how to turn this into action given the dilemma of "needing the energy from a group to start a task" being at odds with "needing to start a group so I have energy".

The task of "talking to someone in-person about PPMP-based community" didn't happen. Happily, I had several empowering insights along the lines of wealth, doing what is good, and accepting myself that I think will help with that.

A new approach to "reduce uncertainty" instead of "pushing through" tasks, I take the time to define the mission and audiences more carefully.

Change of emphasis to All The Animals Are Friends as the anchoring concept for communicating my ideas!

Aug 8


Sep 9


Oct 10


Nov 11


Dec 12



Feb 2

Kickoff - Defining the goals for 2023.

Feb 17

Solidifying the Big Picture - I know I'm prone to forgetting my own big plans. Compacting and simplifying them helps me remember?

Mar 3

Mitigating Executive Distraction - I note that two executive function challenges I face is (1) remembering the context and specifics of the GHDR goals set a month ago and (2) managing the energy needed to push through challenges. I hypothesis that executive function is like "battery" and well-regulated emotions are the true power source.

Apr 4

May 5

Jun 6

Jul 7

Aug 8

Sep 9

Oct 10

High-Octane Interactions - Despite positive developments on my contract work, I find myself in "The Cycle of Doom": depression, dysregulation, and disconnection. I consider possible causes in the context of my Autism and ADHD needs and come up with a mitigation plan to address the doom spiral.

Nov 11

Dec 12

Dec 31


Feb 2

Kickoff - Defining the goals for 2022.

Mar 3

Focus Level Up! - Initial goals cleared. Added "daily making" criteria.

Apr 4

May 5

Much Mental Processing - Thinking through mental health issues.

Jun 6

Too Much Work - Burned out on work. No report.

Jul 7

Back to Meeee! - Work commitments ending, looking forward to focus on my own work.

Aug 8

Setting Strategic Horizons - Need for "singular focus" stronger than ever. Hypothesizing goal-less strategic planning strategy based on structured procrastination.

- extra-

Related journal entries Defining Archetypes, Defining Goals, and Defining Operational Goals dig into the conditions for setting strategic horizons. Reboot Complete is the summary of progress made.

Sep 9

Progress in Four Phases - Warming up to meet my strategic horizon goals took time, but the systems of the past are proving useful in the present!

Oct 10

Fighting the System, Letting it Be - Limited progress on the big yucky goals that must be done, reflections on the challenges, and a reminder maybe that I should just let things be beautiful.

Nov 11

Battling Impairment, Finding Heart - Addresses long-standing mental impairments as "personal fact" that GHDR does not directly address.

- extra-

Dec 12

A New Roadmap - The key insights about ADHD, ASD, and Personal Mission summarized.