Though I feel making New Years Resolutions is somewhat trite and in reality I should be setting and revising my long and short-term goals every few months, I often get caught up with the hubbub of life (as do
most all of us), so now is a better time than never to hammer out a few things I’d like to accomplish in the next three-hundred-something-odd days.
But first I want to take a look back at my resolutions from last year and see how I did with them…
1. Do something with this site
Ok… I didn’t really do much with this site. I kind of dropped the ball there (pun intended). I did move over to the adamcap.com domain so that was a success, but I didn’t write as much as I hoped I would. I actually do still want to make something more of this digital canvas, but more on that later.
2. Focus better
I got worse at this during 2011. Like Beavis and Butt-head bad. I used to go full days without checking my e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and phone, and then at some point I fell into the pleasure trap all those devices try oh-so-hard to make you succumb to. The past few weeks I’ve been a lot more conscious of why I’ve been losing focus, and I’ll talk about that in a minute.
3. Get SixPrizes on autopilot
I’ve realized I’ll probably never get 6P on complete autopilot, but I got things pretty well organized over there. It takes less time to maintain then ever, unless I’m working on adding new features, in which it takes a lot of my mental focus.
4. Try a raw foods diet for a while and educate myself about nutrition
EDIT 9/30/2012: I’ve removed the information regarding raw foods I originally wrote here since I no longer believe all of it and don’t want to give people bad health advice. Do your own research and always keep an open mind. For the record, I am currently not eating a raw food diet, and never have been on one for more than a day (though I did eat predominantly raw for a while).
I also learned a lot about fitness, and I’m easily in the best shape of my life now. I’ve dropped fat and put on around 10 pounds of muscle. I train a lot smarter than I used to and I’ve actually reversed some nagging injuries I though I’d have to deal with my whole life.
(The saying “no pain, no gain” is completely idiotic by the way; “moderate and consistent” is the motto to train by.)
My left knee was bothering me for a while, and now it’s nearly 100%. My hips have nagged me for a few years, and they are getting better every day. My left elbow was messed up and I avoided doing push-ups for a few years in fear of making it worse, but now it’s a non-issue.
I did strain my neck pretty badly in the spring through an improper warm-up technique (which I’ve now corrected), but I’m confident it’ll be copacetic in due time. The only thing that legitimately gives me issues sometimes is my lower back, but I know that’s due to poor posture. I’ll have to work on that.
5. Read more
I got a Kindle last Christmas and was stoked… then realized you have to spend money to get new books on it. No thanks. I know how effective recurring revenue streams are, so I said sayonara to my Kindle a few months later and haven’t been reading at all the past 6 months. I have a new plan for this year though…
6. Make more phone calls
Eh, didn’t do too hot here. I texted more, but texting is weaksauce.
7. Get an apartment by the summer (May or June)
I’m still at home, but I will say my plans sort of changed half way through 2011. More on that with this year’s resolutions.
8. Minimize and simplify
I’ll probably always be working on this, but I did get rid of a ton of stuff the past year and it feels awesome. I’m hoping by next year I’ll be totally happy with my physical possessions, and then focus on organizing my digital “stuff” (or as I call it: “the last frontier”).
Overall I’m pretty happy with my progress the past year. Getting my health down was a pretty huge goal for me, and having that info in my back pocket will serve me well the next 80 years.
1. Stop Looking for Approval
This is absolutely the number of reason I lost focus during 2011. I guess it was probably only a week ago that I realized this, but I am totally insane when it comes to seeking approval. I think a lot of other people are as well, and to give you an example, think about this:
Facebook is literally an approval DYNAMO. Any surprise that it’s the 2nd largest website in the world?
Somebody adds you as a friend; you’ve gained social approval. Friends like and comment on your witty status; you’re approved. You have more friends than me; you’ve got more approval and I feel jealous. Et cetera.
Seriously… think about why you probably check your Facebook a completely absurd number of times per day. You’re looking for approval! It’s like a drug, and Facebook the prime dealer.
I guess it’s a primordial instinct to actively seek approval from a group; otherwise survival in the wild would be unlikely on our own. In terms of a psychological approach to the matter, we’re looking to reinforce our sense of self; that we are who we think we are.
It’s not even just that seeking approval is distracting, but it also holds me back from moving forward with projects and bettering myself. You only get one shot at life, and it’s stupid to worry about whether people approve of you. As long as you approve of yourself and your desired action, THAT is all that matters. The outcome is irrelevant.
You’ve won if you follow through with that action. Plain and simple. If you don’t, that’s a total fail and you should feel awful about it. And vice versa.
Of course it’s going to take some time to get over this, but now that I’m conscious about it, I’m excited to forge ahead and work on it.
2. Get My Student Loans Paid Off
I pay about $300 a month in student loans right now, and I’ve got about $22,000 left to pay off. I have about $10,000 in bonds from my grandmom and I’ve saved umpteen-thousand the past year.
After I get my taxes in order, the first thing I want to do is get my loans paid in one fell swoop. I know the interest on those things will kill me in the long run, so the sooner I can get them paid, the better. I want to be totally debt free.
That is the reason I decided not to move out last summer; I decided it would be best to save as much money as possible so I could free myself from the red. Spending money when you owe money doesn’t make much sense.
As far as a timetable, I’m shooting for by the end of January.
3. Keep an Open Mind on New Projects
The way I work is that if something inspires me, I make it my job. It doesn’t really matter if it’s something that directly makes me money because when something is important to me, I know it’ll eventually pay off.
SixPrizes has been an inspiring project for me to work on, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, sometimes it can be challenging and stressful, but even if it made no money, I’d still be working on it.
PkmnCards is another project that really got me motivated to wake up in the morning, and though it took about 6 months from the conception to completion of the idea, it was a great experience building the site and I’m glad I went through with it.
At this point, I’m sorta taking it easy and trying to be receptive of new ideas. I am thinking about making this website a more forefront project and start developing it more. It’s really cool looking back at my old posts and seeing what I was doing/thinking at the time. If nothing else, it helps ease my sense of terror management.
I do have an idea for a new database website, but I’m not sure how inspired I am to work on it. I think I need to bounce the idea off a few people to see what they think of the concept. In my head, it’s just kind of an average idea, but if it gets other people stoked, then maybe there is something to it.
Regardless, my schedule is pretty open right now, so I’m trying to keep my antennae up incase any bright ideas are floating around.
4. Read More
Since I was so successful accomplishing this last year, I thought I’d try something different in 2012. Using the power of time constraints, I’ve decided the best way to get myself to read more is to take out books from the library.
My Kindle idea was flawed since I don’t want to spend an extra $20 – $40 a month on books, plus there is no urgency to read them once I buy them. If I take a book out from the library, then I have to return it in 2 weeks, and it’s much more likely to be read.
I’m going to need to come up with some sort of schedule though. Like plan to go to the library every other Tuesday or something like that.
The reason I want to read more is because I always want to keep learning, and reading is a better use of my time than watching television.
5. Make more phone calls
I didn’t do so hot with this last year, so I’m adding it to my resolutions again. I’ve lost touch with a lot of people I used to talk to during high school and college, especially since I’ve been Facebook-less since the summer. Life is too short not to extend an olive branch to those people every once in a while.
Whether or not I actually get in touch with anyone is irrelevant; as long as I make an effort I’m happy with myself.
6. Get more serious about tennis
I really love playing tennis… I also hate it too. But since I do love it sometimes, I think I want to start playing more. Like maybe try playing a few tournaments, stuff like that. I haven’t played competitively since high school, so it would be fun to get at it again. I’d like to see where I’m ranked on the USTA scale.
7. “Every day, do your best. Or at least try to.”
I’ve made that my mantra the past few months now. I think it’s foolish to say “Every day, do your best” since it’s impossible to do your best ever single day.
My best mile time so far is 5:52, but there is no way I could run that time every single day; I would burn out. I’d be setting myself up for definite failure. But if I simply try my best and am intelligent about it, I will be training smartly and become even faster/better over time.
So every day I do my best. Or at least I try to. I feel there is no other option.
8. Make new resolutions in March
Since I mentioned earlier that I think a year is too long of a gap between re-analyzing and re-tooling my goals, I’ll plan to give them a once over in three months.
That concludes my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions… thanks for reading if you actually made it to this sentence, and now go and make your own goals. I’m a huge fan of writing stuff down – things magically seem to get done when I put them into writing – so jot down a few things you’d like to change or do better.