I hate New Year’s resolutions.
January 1 is a completely arbitrary date for a resolution and most resolutions are frivolous and shallow. Exercise more! Lose 15 pounds! Turn myself into a shiny, plastic caricature from a commercial, with bleached white teeth, a spotless house, and a sickeningly happy life.
The best New Year’s resolution I ever made was to force myself to enjoy the taste of Scotch. It took 3 bottles but I eventually acquired a taste for it. And now it’s one of my favorite beverages.
Still, I feel myself being swept up in the fever of reinvention and hope that is, I think, an American pastime.
So here are my potential resolutions, along with how I would measure my progress. Let me know what you think. I can’t do all of these things…I need to focus.
- Be less of a jackass. Just a little. A huge part of my personality is my charming wit of course, but sometimes I go too far, in the wrong forums, and I offend people. I don’t want to lose what makes me so special, or stop trusting in my instincts (which are naturally pretty solid), but I want to be a little more careful.I will measure this each day by recording 1 jackass comment I could have made, but didn’t. (Bonus: it could be an awesome Tumblr.)
- Be kinder. I’d like to be a kind person. I’d like to help people. I’d like to be selfless. I also believe, selfishly, that being kind will make me feel better as a human being.I would measure this each day by recording 1 kind thing I did. Bonus: could be a decent Tumblr. Not as good as the jackass comments Tumblr, but making people cry is always a cathartic and good thing.
- Stay closer to my parents. They aren’t getting any younger and I love them very much. But distance, politics, and computer support questions separate us and I don’t make enough of an effort to connect with them.One of my best friends recently lost his father and it really got me thinking about my own relationship with my parents.I would measure this by making sure that I talk to them at least once every 2 weeks.
- Cook more. I love to grill, especially since we got a Big Green Egg. I also need to do a better job of taking some of the responsibility for meals off of Greta. Just because she’s a better cook doesn’t mean she should have to prepare every meal. And cooking helps take my mind off all the daily stresses of life.I would measure this by taking charge of at least 1 meal per week.
- Write more. Last year I made 6 posts on Herbietown. That is sad. Things were busy in my life with work and a 3 kids and hockey and everything else, but that is no excuse. I’ve found other outlets for my writing, including work and hockey (epic post-game summaries to the team), but I’m not doing nearly enough.I would measure this by 1 hour of writing per week (not for work or hockey).
- Network more. I moved from the NYC area to Atlanta 2 years ago. Things I took for granted in New York, like lunches and happy hours with old classmates and friends, don’t happen here. I am making new friends of course, but I’m not doing nearly enough to stay in touch with people that I really care about, and people in the media and technology industries who I can help and who can help me.I would measure this by 1 conversation or email per week, to an old colleague, a friend or a potential connection.
So that’s it. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.