5 For 2019

Another trip around the sun begins and so too does the effort at self-improvement and professional and personal growth. Part of me doesn't know why I insist on doing this every year: resolutions hardly ever work. They're stupid. They never last. But another part of me thinks that it's important to at least try. You need some goals to set yourself, some metric to measure yourself by and writing them down and putting them out onto the interwebs to hold yourself accountable, at least in theory.

So, here we are again. 365 days. 2018 was decent. There are plenty of ways to improve. I need to develop some discipline and lose some weight and get healthy-- no more excuses there. It needs to happen this year.

Of late, it also seems like I'm happy to see the end of a year for one reason or another. I want this to be the year when I look back on it and realize that I've met all of these goals I'm about to list and then some. 1 day down, 364 to go:

1. Health: Okay, at the very least I want to end 2019 weighing less than I did when the year began. That is the bare minimum that I will accept here.  The real goals:

  • Lose 60 lbs
  • We picked up an exercise bike, so I wanna get my butt on that at least three times a week for 30 minutes. 
  • Eat less garbage. (Minimize soda, candy, chips.)
  • Drink more water (at least 64 oz a day.)
  • Kettlebell + Tai Chi at least two times a week.
  • I tried a 'mileage challenge' a few years back using I-80-- the idea was to virtually ride/walk/run my way the length of the interstate which is 2,000 miles+ needless to say that didn't go anywhere. But I like the idea of it, so I'm bringing it back- this time with I-35... 1,556 miles from Duluth to Laredo. We'll see how far I get with it.
  • I'm going to try intermittent fasting as well. (This one, we'll play by ear- the first few days have gone okay, but we'll see if I can make it a month.)
  • Accountability...  expect an update on my progress at least once a month.

2. Personal Growth: Google has added a Digital Well Being feature to it's phones and I want to use it to limit my social media. I think everyone's probably bad at this, but I want to get out of the habit of being so phone dependent. From when I get home from work to when the kiddos go to bed I've got about two-three hours to work with. I don't want to spend any of it on my phone. The full list:

  • Develop healthy digital well being habits and stick to them. 
  • Get back on the Duolingo train...  Arabic is coming, so soon all five of the languages I've studied will be available.  Time to get them up to snuff.
  • Podcasting. I have all the equipment... I just need to break it out and launch one. There's a lot of wrinkles to work out here, but I'm tired of it gathering dust and it's a skill set worth developing.
  • Ditto with YouTube. Learning how to make decent YouTube videos seems like something worth learning how to do.
  • More coding...  I don't know what to do with it, but I wanna keep learning.

3. The Writing Game: This one is easy...  I've got a working draft of a third book in the bag. I want to get into a position to publish either by the end of this year or early next year. The full list:

  • Get the third book done and out there.
  • Figure out how to market the first two books, Prisoner and Arrows
  • Although I still don't know how accurate the stats on Blogger actually are, I did hit the 50K in page views. This year, I want to double that and break 100K.
  • Keep on writing, keep on reading.

4. Professional Development: I'm not in a bad place, really. I've got benefits, a decent salary and a job that's actually interesting from time to time. The problem is that I've more or less peaked. The only way out is up or becoming a cop. The former is a supervisory position of some kind that straight up doesn't exist right now and the latter doesn't appeal to me at all. The full list:

  • Learn about and use my LinkedIn more. (Also: make sure I have a good LinkedIn.)
  • Get a GREAT resume together. (Also: make sure I can write amazing cover letters.)
  • Pursue 'low hanging fruit'/achievable cost effective certifications to diversify my resume and professional skill set a bit more. 
  • Figure out the great, unanswered question: if I'm not going to do what I'm doing for the rest of my life, then what's next. 

5. The Remains of The Day: Let's wrap up old resolutions once and for all...

  • Get another tattoo, damn it. I know exactly what I want. I just need to go out and get it.
  • Finish up my Year of Books: The Book of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe, Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Ulysses by James Joyce


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