I’m weird with trying things, and I’ll admit that freely. Sometimes I’ll want to watch a movie, play a game, or read a book for years before doing it, just because I’m waiting for the right time. The problem is that this “right time” is extremely vague at best. There’s no exact set of conditions to qualify for a time being the "right time” to watch a new Ghibli animation or read the chapter book adaption of Assassin’s Creed III; it just comes along entirely arbitrarily and then I get the feeling that I can allow myself to enjoy what I want to enjoy. Other times, I’ll have the free time to do something but I just won’t because it feels wrong.
This isn’t healthy.
Because of this I’ve been trying something different for the past year or so, and I think it’s working. I call my strategy the “Experiential Library”. Basically what it involves is this:
Every time I, for example, watch a movie, I add the name of the movie and the year of the movie’s release to a list that I’ve typed up on my laptop. I have a list of hundreds of movies that I plan to eventually watch and I choose from that when I feel like watching something. And that’s it, that’s my entire strategy.
Now I know that sounds odd. It’s such a simple little thing and it doesn’t seem like it would make a difference, but it does for me. Framing something like watching a movie as a goal-oriented task and allowing myself to add it to a list at the end is just enough to break the mental wall keeping me from trying something new, and it's just enough incentive to make me follow-through on it.
This also comes with a bonus; because I'm logging my experiences, I can look back on what I've seen, read, played, listened to, and so on, and bring back memories associated with these experiences on demand. This is why I call the idea a library of sorts- I can check out what I want to remember whenever I want, and keep track of it all without forgetting anything over time. So far, I've started logging games played, movies watched, books read, and songs listened to, and I plan on adding more categories as time goes on.
Is this a good thing? I think it is, but I recognize that it's not for everyone. Some people, most really, will probably just want to do things without having to type them up afterwards. Still though, if you're like me and you need a good kick in the rear to get going sometimes, this might help you like it has helped me. It's worth a shot, right?