It’s January so that means it’s time for me to create a list of New Year’s resolutions that I won’t actually follow.
Oh wait. I need to be more positive (see #1 below). It’s time to create a list of resolutions that I will try to follow. How’s that?
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2017 and what I’d like to accomplish. There are a lot of things that I didn’t do last year and looking back, I wish I had done more. So in an attempt to try and motivate myself, I’m sharing my goals here. Maybe if I write them down and post them for everyone to see, I will hold myself accountable. I can hope, right?
Without further ado, here are my 2017 goals in no particular order:
1) Be more positive. I consider myself more of realist than a pessimist but I know that in certain situations it comes as negativity. That brings others around me down. There have been several things over the past couple of years that have pulled me down and that bled over into the “happier” parts of my life. It’s better for everyone, including me, if I try to take a more positive/optimistic approach to everything. What can it hurt?
2) Eat and drink better. I’m sure this is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. For me, I’ve never really paid much attention to what I eat. I haven’t made good food decisions and it’s starting to show in a big way. After Thanksgiving last year, I felt horrible and none of my clothes fit me properly. I decided it was time to make a change. I had a pretty good start until the holidays came and wrecked everything. Curse you Christmas cookies! I am trying to get the ship turned back around.
I was able to get off my caffeine addiction in early November. I gave up soft drinks and sweet tea cold turkey. During that first week, I was a miserable, super-irritable person. It was almost an out-of-body experience for me where I could see myself snapping at my wife and kids. I didn’t like what I saw and decided that caffeine wasn’t worth it. I’m mostly drinking water now and it’s not all that bad.
3) Exercise. Here’s another popular resolution. I’ve really done a poor job in this category for a long time. In my pre-wife and pre-kids days, I played basketball 2-3 times a week and then flag football on Saturdays. I wasn’t in outstanding shape but now I would make my past self look like a superstar athlete.
It’s pretty easy for me to blame my lack of exercise on a busy schedule/family/work/etc. but something has to change if I want to stop feeling like someone 20 years older than me. Walking my dog every day would be a good start. I’m also hoping to get a weekly basketball game back on the calendar. It’s amazing how many church gyms are booked up with youth basketball leagues at this time of year.
4) Write more. I really enjoy writing. Nothing is better than hitting the “publish” button and seeing something I wrote out on the internet. It’s an even better feeling when people comment or share it with their own social networks. I have a post on LinkedIn from two years ago that still gets weekly comments and views. It’s an amazing feeling.
I am really disappointed in my horrible writing effort in 2016. I only published 16 posts (13 here, 3 on LinkedIn and 0 on JayLane.com). My numbers were down from 33 in 2015 and 37 in 2014. 2014 was my peak writing year. I started Video Gaming Dad and wrote a total of 35 blog posts that year. I was really inspired and enjoyed writing. It seemed like the ideas never stopped coming to me. I want to get back to that place this year. It starts with this post.
5) Read more/consume educational information. In the past four or five years, I’ve read a lot of books. A big part of that was that I rode a bus to and from work each day. That gave me a lot of time to read. In that span of time, I read more books than the previous 20 years combined. In the last six months, I’ve slowed down on reading because I don’t have that uninterrupted window of free time anymore. I’d also like to do a better job reading more work/dad-related blogs/articles and listening to podcasts. Podcasts are something I can do in my daily commute. There is a lot of good (and free) information out there. It’s just making the time for it.
6) Complete 12 woodworking projects. Woodworking has become of my favorite hobbies. It all started with a poker table and has expanded into bookshelves and other cool stuff. I did finish some shelves (pictures to come) yesterday for my LEGO collection but I should probably count them as 2016 projects. I don’t do much during the winter months but like hitting the “publish” button on blog posts, it’s extremely gratifying to see something and think “I made that.” It’s an even bigger accomplishment considering that I’ve pretty much taught myself everything I know about woodworking.
7) Save money and cut back on free-spending. I feel like my wife and I have always been good enough with our money. We’re not up to our eyeballs in debt but we also don’t have a huge nest-egg saved up for a rainy day. I’d like to find a better balance between living in the now and saving for the future.
8) Be more adventurous with my family. I know that I’m sometimes a party pooper when it comes to doing family stuff. Part of that was tied to the fantasy football season and not wanting to miss any games but that’s still not a good excuse. I want to do a better job doing spontaneous stuff with my wife and kids. I know it totally deflates my kids (and/or my wife) when they want me to do something and I shoot them down for whatever lame reason.
9) Watch less TV. If this list was in order of importance, this one would go near the top. I watch a lot of TV because it’s the easiest thing to do. It’s a habit. It feels like that’s what I do most nights. There aren’t even any shows on right now that I absolutely care to watch, other than The Goldbergs. I also spend a lot of time on Netflix scrolling through shows/movies and never finding anything interesting. It’s a huge time-suck.
10) Be more patient with my wife and kids. A lot of times, I don’t give my kids the benefit of the doubt. I automatically assume I know what their intentions are and I preemptively snap at them. I do the same thing with my wife. Maybe this ties into #1 above. I’m not always as nice to them as I should be either. My family is all that matters to me so it only makes sense to make this a priority.
So that’s what I’m starting with. I’ll come back in a couple of months and see how things are going and maybe provide an update. We’ll see what happens.
Happy Friggin’ New Year!