Resolutions: Your Great, Great Grandfather arrives in his time machine, what do you tell him?

Published: December 21, 2016
Author: Steven Thomas


“We all embody the dreams of our ancestors and with that, there’s a responsibility”

- Brandan “B-MIKE” Odums


It’s that time of year again, a time when we all move into resolution mode.

Personally, I think resolutions can be a great tool in assessing where you are currently as a person and where you’d like to be.  It’s useful to see it as a kind of optimisation process, one that allows you to center in on the things that really matter to you.  For instance, the skills you want to get better at in order to improve your own life and to help the people around you.  The thing is, I also think it’s easy to fall into the trap of calling out, well, let’s say, the more superficial things… like fad diets for instance.  So, in order to help filter out the stuff that really doesn’t matter I’ve come up with the Grandpa test.  It requires a bit of imagination, but it’s worth it.

When considering your New Year resolutions, take the Grandfather test.


Picture this: Your Great, Great Grandfather has just arrived at your front door in his time-machine.  He’s transported himself forward from decades hence to come and visit you.  Now, as you’d expect, given that he’s the type of person who can invent time-travel, he’s someone who has a particularly curious mindset.  Of course, he wants to find out about you, your family, your beautiful children, wife, husband, partner but he also wants to know what kind of life you are leading.  Remember, he has high standards, he’s just popped up in a time machine that nobody said he could invent.

What do you tell him?  “Look Grandpa I completed the ‘slimfast’ 90 day plan - I had a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and proper meal in the evening.”

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m choosing the weight-loss example because it seems so prevalent in modern culture.  I know that so many people put in a gargantuan effort to get fit and healthy and I applaud this.  It’s just that I think we could all benefit from also considering a different set of goals.

How about, “Look, Grandpa, here is the award-winning Ethical Shellfish Company I launched” or “here is the charitable Chilli Sauce Brand I started” or “here is the company I founded that supports female start-up founders across the world”.


We’re all capable of amazing ourselves and our Great, Great Grandfathers.  So why not set ourselves the goal to do just that?

Some tools to help:

If you’re looking for some help setting out your goals for 2017, you might like my Goal Setting Canvas - inspired by the seven steps to goal setting from the famous Zig Ziglar.  After all, how will you know you’ve reached your destination if you haven’t decided on where it is you’re going in the first place? And whilst you're at it, it’s worth reflecting on the route you want to take and the people who can help you.  If you're looking for some thought-starters then check out my resources page.

As ever, if you like what you see here then please do pass on to anybody you think might also appreciate it.

Thanks to everybody who has supported CurveFinder since I launched it in April this year.  I’ve been blown away by your kind feedback.

Good vibes to all over the festive season and see you in the N.Y.