Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Year's Goals

I think goals is more appropriate than resolutions, especially since no one ever keeps resolutions.
  1. Resurrect the Book Challenge for 2012. The Borders bankruptcy sale derailed my plans last year; I ended the year with twice as many unread books as I started with! The good news is that this year I have twice as many books I can read. A related goal is to read less online and more offline.
  2. Cut down on e-mail. I get 70-80 messages daily excluding spam. About 10% are news, but most are from "daily deal" sites and stores where I rarely shop. My attitude has been "I don't want to miss anything", but this has a negative impact in the form of wasted time and e-mail clutter.
  3. Drive less. It's not that I really drive too much or dislike driving, but our car is now six years old. With less than 70,000 miles, it probably has many more to go, but I want to put off replacing it as long as possible.
  4. Find some sort of rewarding physical activity. I need to admit that a.) I'm hideously obese, and b.) I've reached the age where people like me start dropping dead. I can't run anymore, I don't bicycle enough to make much difference, and obviously team sports are out because I'm anti-social. Any suggestions?
  5. Drink more. I should drink more water, and I will start by replacing the nasty-ass plastic water bottle I've been using for the past half a decade or so. I also need to drink more liquor. My surplus of scotch and vodka doesn't quite rival my surplus of unread books, but I have plenty and I should enjoy it more often (no one said these resolutions goals had to be healthy).
  6. Dine and shop locally. One thing I've discovered while traveling to use Groupons is that I pass many places closer to home that I've never tried. And now that Borders is gone, I should go to The Book Cellar more often (though not too often), along with other nearby stores. This goal dovetails with #3.
  7. Continue my recent campaign of cleaning and decluttering. We don't need most of the stuff we have. I'd also like to reorganize a couple of rooms, a project I started last year that was forgotten when my grandparents died. While I'm getting rid of stuff, I also want to make a concerted effort to buy fewer things.*
  8. Create new content for my web sites and add advertising to existing pages. In particular, the America in Pictures project needs to be more fully developed. I might even refresh my cross country bike tour pages to mark the tenth anniversary. A major stumbling block has been finding something better to replace my old editing/publishing software (Namo WebEditor). Again, I'm open to suggestions.
  9. Figure out my professional future. Copywriting is something I can do competently, sometimes pretty well, but it doesn't excite me. I'm fortunate to be in a position where pay isn't a major issue; I just want to find something I like to do.
I could come up with more, but I probably listed too many already. If you focus on everything, you're really focusing on nothing. I should be able to achieve at least two thirds of the above, but some of them have been on my list for several years already so maybe that's wishful thinking.

*  One tactic that has worked well for me lately is to pause before going to the register, look over every item in my cart/basket/hands and ask myself whether I really need them and whether I really need them right now.

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