New Year’s Resolutions – 2015

New Year's Cats

My theme for 2015 will be “Simplicity.” My goal to shed clutter in all areas – streamlining, simplifying, focusing on the important and finding a state of zen. Some things I hope I can accomplish:

  • Be more active – painting, cleaning, organizing and discarding are activities that will help.
  • Finish writing and figure out how to market my novel
  • Do a lot of reading
  • Get siding repaired & house painted
  • Get the guest room organized
  • Rip ALL the CDs!
  • See my sister and her kids
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New Year’s Resolutions – 2014

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As I’ve done with years past, I’m going to put down some goals instead of resolutions. If I don’t make them because life intervenes, oh well. But

Work: those goals I’ll share with my boss. But I have high hopes and am working on a project I really like.

Eat healthier and be more active.
2012 was a great year for me activity-wise, but not on the food front. 2013 was not so much in either category. But I’m going to bring it back around in 2014.

Create as much as I consume.
I’m counting work with this because that makes it an easy win, but also writing, knitting, blogging, photography, website design and t-shirt design fall into this category. As long as I’m doing something productive and satisfying, I’ll be happy.

Loved Ones:
Spend time with people I care about & go somewhere warm
This one should be easy; we’re going to a destination resort for my brother’s wedding. I’m excited; Stephanie and I have never done a beach vacation before.

Get siding repaired & house painted
Get the guest room organized
Rip all the CDs – we’ve had our music library in a state of limbo for years. It’s time to get this done.
Sell the scooter – we don’t use it and need the space in our garage

Put away money for a new vehicle
Save $6,000 above and beyond retirement savings
Set up a Roth IRA

I’m participating in the Read 26 Indy challenge this year, where I pledge to read 26 books in 2014. So far, there are 17 books on my “2014 must read list” on goodreads. I want to leave the list open-ended, because there are bound to be some great books in the new year.

Rather pedestrian goals. Nothing about taking over the universe or moving mountains or curing cancer. Those are all on the secret, alternative list.


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New Year’s Resolutions – 2013

These are really more goals than resolutions; they are things I’d like to make priorities to focus my energy and money on. If I don’t get them done, it’s cool; this is a big pile of ambitious. But these are all areas I want to make progress in for the coming year.

750 words a day – more days of the week than not
Finish novel
Start new novel

[various work-related goals; not shared here]

Get insulation done
Get siding fixed
Get house painted
Get guest room organized
Get bed frame for our bed

Save 10,000 dollars
Get a new computer

Get split down to 2:00:00
Get an erg
learn sculling

Read more books I own
Buy new books on e-reader
Read first Proust book

Knit pillows
Knit hats – follow design
Learn color work

Photo scanning & organizing
Design 20 new shirts

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How to Commit to a Goal

How to Commit to a Goal

via How to Commit to a Goal — PsyBlog.

The key, according to PsyBlog, is not to simply fantasize about how much better it will be when you achieve your goal, or to wallow in how unhappy you are now, but to contrast those two with each other each time. Fantasizing tends to make you give up the goal because you hoax yourself into believing for a bit that it’s true. Wallowing in the reality tends to bring you down.

But contrasting the fantasy with the current reality motivates you to make a change.

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New Year’s Resolutions – 2012

Father TimeA bit past the first of the year, but I had to spend some time working out what I want to do, and that took some time. This year I have three resolutions:

1) Follow the 12 month writing resolutions plan that I wrote about previously.

2) Keep up with rowing in the new year. I don’t anticipate that being a problem, given that I’m taking a class and there’s stuff I have to learn, so I can’t really opt out. And also I LOVE rowing. The endorphin high after practice is amazing.

3) And produce more than I consume – a goal I looked at in April of last year. I considered trying at least 1 day and preferably 2 days to produced more than I consumed. I promptly forgot that I made the goal, but I didn’t do to badly at it in November, at least. I do enjoy television, but I need to kick some shows off the roster. And for the past year, I knit while I watch TV, so I’m at least keeping the producing and consuming neck and neck there.

I always have the impulse to attempt New Year’s Resolutions, even though I often give them up part way into the year. And I’ve been plenty pragmatic about it in the past; attempting to take on funny goals, or to consider them as aspirations and things to strive for.

I’m going to do the same this year – I’m not going to beat myself up or give up in disgust if I don’t accomplish each task every day; this is about building new habits, and that takes trial and error, so I need to fail and retry to succeed. So if I miss a day, I’ll start over and try to get to a place where I’m doing the new thing most of the time.

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Produce as much as you consume project

In the spirit of this article I linked to the other day on Jimiyo, And a challenge from the unmarketing blog on twitter: “For one day this week, stop consuming info and create something.”

I’m going to try to set aside at least one day a week, (Saturdays) and possibly two (Wednesdays) in which I produce rather than consuming. I’m trying it today – not reading books, not watching TV, not reading on the internet. Just designing, photography, writing, knitting, singing, gardening, exercising. I sure shouldn’t be bored.

Wednesdays shouldn’t be too hard – we already spend the evenings in knitting class, and Wednesday mornings are one of my workout days, so it’s just being disciplined during the day that’s the key.

Continue ReadingProduce as much as you consume project

New Year’s Resolutions – 2009

Father Time Eight days into the new year, and I’m finally getting around to making some resolutions. So I’m already off to a great start! Woo Hoo! This should be great.

1) I need to get physically fit. I need to be stronger, more flexible and have better balance and stamina. The photography hobby I’ve taken up is making that really obvious, and I need to get serious about being healthier for my own sake, as well as for getting the photos I want to get.

2) Take photos every day. It’s the only way I’m going to get better.

3) Write every day. Either here on this blog, or on other projects; I have story ideas all the time that I end up seeing executed by someone else, and often not as well as I would have done.

4) Read every day. – Aside from the fact that reading has always be my “Go To” method of stress relief, there are also some books I want to plow through for because I have a story idea.

5) Turn off the TV. I waste way too much time on it. More important things to fit into the day. I think the Rachel Maddow show is the one thing I watch that is actually worthwhile; everything else can go away.

6) finish refinishing a couple piece of furniture that I have half started. Just for the sake of getting them done.

In the grand history of me making resolutions — I’ve never completed any of them. But I have made great strides in the direction I want to go, so they’re useful for me to clarify what’s important. I can see where I get derailed — I’m good through January and February, but it gets to be March and I start worrying about gardening, and April, May and June are all big social months where I pay attention to activities rather than goals. I’ll have to watch out for those things this year and fit the goals first, then the activities.

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New Year’s Resolutions – 2007

Father Time
Father Time

I have this trouble where I try very hard not to do something — drop a screw, tip over a paint can, upend a box of packing peanuts — and whatever I’m working so hard to avoid is exactly what I end up doing, because I’m trying way too hard.

That same self-defeating thing happens with my new year’s resolutions. Every year I make some resolutions, and I succeed wildly — at everything else. And then at the end of the year, I go over my resolutions and despair at habits I haven’t managed to break or to form, while ignoring all the stuff I got right. So I start off the year on a downer, which is totally unnecessary, and keeps the spiral going. This year, screw that fuckin’ noise.

This year, I’m going to make a list of hopes for the year instead of resolutions — positive wishes to start the new year out right.

1. I hope we have a quiet, relaxing, fun year.
The last couple of years have been full of stress for Stephanie and I. Between surgeries and home purchasing and moving, we’ve been caught in several storms and I think we’ve come through them stronger, both as individuals and as a couple. But I’m hoping this year will be a lot less of “you and me against the forces of the universe” and a lot more of “you and me in sync with the forces of the universe.” I know that unexpected things always come up, but I think we’ve got a pretty good foundation to deal with them.

I hope we have a lot of time to just hang out in our house together, and with our friends. We’ve created a nice space for ourselves and our pets. I enjoy hanging around the house with Stephanie and playing games, reading and relaxing. And I enjoy having friends over. I hope we can do a lot of that this year. I was intrigued by the idea of creating a Porch Sitter’s Local here in Indy – we certainly have the porch for it.

I hope we can get a some stuff sold on eBay this year. I still have a stash of stuff to sell on behalf of my mom, and we’ve been collection a pile of sale-able items post-move sorting, and I’d love to get through them.
There are lots of festivals and events around Indianapolis that happen every year, and that I’ve never attended. I’d love to do some of them. We’ve missed the pride event a couple of years running, and I’d like to do that this year, if we can. And we have a great new neighborhood to explore.

2. I hope my frikin’ house sells.
I think I’ve done all I can really do to make that happen, and all I can do is routine maintenance and keeping on top of things. This is just one I have to leave up to the world to take care of.

3. I hope I can take time to express some of my creative energy.
I hope I can finish some webdesign projects that have been lingering around. My dad has a site he needs created, I have Stephanie’s blog design to work on, IndyScribe needs an overhaul, and I have another art site I need to work on.

I hope I can get some more work done on my novel. I still think I have a great idea, and I want to build out some time to get it working. I think that what I was missing with NaNoWriMo was some element of illustration/art/design that I want to go with it.

I have some furniture I want to refinish – I’ve done some of that in the past and found it to be a really relaxing, rewarding type of project. I’d want to work on some of the stuff I have stashed in the garage.
I hope to design a nice garden/lawn space around our house. I want to plant some vegetables and a raspberry bush this year – things I have no experience with at all, so that should be a fun challenge. I’m hoping to find out if some of the more experienced gardeners in our neighborhood will give me advice and let me look over their shoulders.

I hope to get some time to work on the interior design of our house — we have lots of fun art that still needs to make it onto the walls, and we have some areas where we can make some creative use of space. There’s lots of interior painting we want to do, also.

I hope I can become a better photographer and get some great, fun pictures. I’m learning more about my camera and how to adjust for lighting and other factors. Maybe our trip on Route 66 will be a good opportunity to get better at taking pictures.

I have some art projects dinking around in the back of my head, too, and I want to find time to work on them.

3. I hope we get to do some more traveling this year.
Stephanie has a work conference to go to in January, in Wisconsin, and I have one in March, I think. We have plans to drive Route 66 with a New Beetle Caravan in June, and I think those are solid, unless something unexpected happens. We talked about visiting my family in Iowa in the spring, but we’ll have to see if that fits in for them and us.

I haven’t got Stephanie’s skating competitions this year sorted out in my head yet, but those will need to go on the calendar, too.

One thing I’ve never done is go to the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. It’s usually in August. I don’t know if we can swing it after a big trip in June, but it’s one cultural activity I’d love to go to someday.

I’d also like to explore Indiana a little more, if we get a chance. I’d like to pick out some touristy things from the Enjoy Indiana website and got to them, like French Lick or New Harmony, or maybe the Park County covered bridge festival.

4. I hope I can be less angry all the time.
I have such a level of frustration and irritation, and it gets in the way of getting things done and of my relationships with other people.

I was blaming that on reading too much negative stuff online, and too many angry political discussions, and I’m sure those things don’t help. But I have to acknowledge that it’s something inside me and how I interact with the world that needs to change, not just external things. I’m trying to change the way I react to things that bother me; to not have knee-jerk reactions without thinking about what’s going on first, and that seems to be helping.

I’m trying to set limits and say no more — lots of my stress comes from being overwhelmed by obligations; occupationally, financially, socially, politically. I’m becoming better at not letting other people hijack my time and energy, and letting myself recharge in between. I’ve noticed that going to water aerobics is amazing for de-stressing; I always have an endorphin high and feel completely zen-like when I’m done, so I have at least one outlet for stress.

5. I hope we can help defeat Indiana’s anti-marriage equality amendment in the Statehouse this year.
I foresee this being an exhausting, stressful experience, and I’m not looking forward to it at all. But we do have a much stronger position after the 2006 election, and I hope that will make the coming fight much less painful.

Continue ReadingNew Year’s Resolutions – 2007

New Year’s Resolutions – 2006

Star Burst

I promise in 2006 not to start an unnecessary war based on a lie with insufficient troops to whom after three years of fighting I still haven’t given enough body armor or a plan for victory.

Just kidding. I’m totally going to do that.

Here are my real resolutions:

1. MORE GAY SEX IN 2006. As I mentioned before, the religious right has started a campaign against gay sex. So I’m pledging a counter campaign — more (safe, responsible) gay sex in 2006. It’s the right thing to do.

2. Don’t buy books, except for book club where necessary. I have tons of books I need to read on my shelves, and I plan to get through as many of them as possible.

3. Scale down my possessions so Stephanie and I can live together.

4. Get on the elliptical more, eat better, and use the new heart I got last year to get in good physical shape.

5. Cook more. I really started gaining weight when I started eating crap out of a can. If I go back to fixing meals, I hope that will help me eat better.

How about you?

2005 Recap:
Well, there was the heart surgery. And Stephanie’s lumpectomy, too. But we did get to do some traveling toward the end of the year. We visited Louisville twice, and Chicago twice, and New York once. Plus we got to help out a little with the Indianapolis Human Rights Ordinance at the end of the year, which was great.

Plans for next year:
Stephanie is skating in the Gay Games in Chicago in July! That’s the major event that we’re planning. We also want to do a “Big Things” road trip in the spring, and we’re going to my cousin Sarah’s wedding on April 22nd.

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