I normally don't do much in the way of New Year's Resolutions in the true sense of the term. I believe that doing things better or improving yourself should be an ongoing process, not something that you set to do just once per year. I also think that most resolutions are set with such lofty ambitions that they are often abandoned when the goal isn't easily in reach.
However, I did some thinking and realized that while personal improvement is something that can come about anytime, why not use the beginning of the year to set some new goals and refine some ongoing goals? After all, this list can be added to or modified at any point, but I figure now's a good a time as any to write some stuff done and see where it goes.
So, here are a few resolutions that I have for 2014:
- Use dental floss regularly – I am terrible at flossing on a regular basis. My typical routine is to start flossing a couple of weeks before my next dentist appointment. That's usually enough lead time to where the profuse bleeding that comes from not flossing doesn't happen every time. After my appointment, I'll keep up with it for a couple of weeks or so, but inevitably, there's a gap in between where the floss gets buried further in the drawer. This made my reason for flossing to keep the dentist from telling me that I wasn't flossing enough, but I'm now changing my reason so that I can have healthier teeth and gums.
- Redesign my blog – I moved my blog just over two years ago from Blogger to WordPress. Since the move, I've done very little in the way of a theme update. Quite honestly, I need to give it a fresh look and I'd like to do it sometime before the end of the year, as three years is just too long without taking advantage of the themes, styles, coding and interfaces that are available, and that many readers come to expect.
- Lose six more pounds – I have had a little more fluctuation in my weight than I've liked over the last few years. I started off around 170, then dropped slowly (over the course of a couple of years) to 152. Then, it started going the other way and I found myself hitting 162 when I decided last fall to start hitting the gym. So far, I've lost six pounds as I'm around 156. I'd like to be around 150 and keep it within a few pounds of that.
- Have treats (notably chocolate) primarily in social situations – This one may sound weird, but it's a total fit to my personal bad habits. I am notorious for going to the cupboard and chowing down on some candy simply because it's there, and often when nobody is around. Work is another bad spot. If someone leaves leftover candy around, look out as I'm on the case. Chocolate is my vice in this regard, but I'm keeping it a little more generic so that I don't just substitute another vice (mmm…potato chips) for this one. I am not going to give up chocolate, but I want to eat it only in social situations, which will help me cut back yet still allow me to enjoy it.
- Simplify my finances – I use a spreadsheet to track all elements of our finances, from regular and credit card spending, to net worth history, and many other things. It works well enough, but I've realized that it's grown more and more complicated over the years. Picture the old house that has been added onto a few times whenever the need arose. It's functional and each addition served a purpose, but what generally happens with those houses is that they don't have a good flow or a unified theme. My finance tracking has gone the same way. The spreadsheet is functional, but the flow and simplicity isn't there. I've joked that if something happened to me, there's no way that my wife or even the person that does our taxes would likely be able to sort it out. I want to change that.
- Be more patient with our kids – Our kids are 4 and 2 (actually each at the half-way point to the next year), and as such they can get pretty wild. Our older child, in particular, gets more and more wild as he gets more tired. And he tires easily. At that point he just gets more and more wild to combat the tiredness, and it's very easy to lose patience with him. I want to find a way to keep my patience with him in these situations, and to keep my cool more than I do now in other trying situations like when they're fighting. In those cases, it's easy to snap at them but I realize that I'm missing out an the true opportunity to teach them, and to do so by setting a good example. Yelling at them for yelling is not going to get them to stop them from yelling and making too much noise. I know I can do better.
Well, those are six things I'll set as goals in 2014. Let's see how I do.
What are your personal goals for the year and how do you typically fare with your resolutions?