Most people make resolutions to improve themselves every year. These usually include losing a few pounds, giving up a vice, or improving their appearance. Iâ€™m no better; I usually come up with something that I could improve. So Iâ€™ve reexamined my usual promises and added a few new interesting resolutions for 2004.
Okay, this is one of the more usual ones. I started out really well earlier in 2003 by avoiding fast food and eating more nutritiously at home. But I havenâ€™t been watching what I ate in general over the last couple of months. Lately, Iâ€™ve noticed more meals eaten out, and fewer meals with any real nutritional value at home. Iâ€™m not suggesting that I become a vegetarian; instead I should limit my sugar and fat intake. Iâ€™m not trying to lose a few pounds; rather, Iâ€™m trying to keep myself from gaining it back.
Be more active
In conjunction with eating healthier, I also need to keep the juices flowing. I work in an office, so I spend a lot of time sitting. That doesnâ€™t keep the muscles toned. So, 2004 will be the year in which I take up something more than just hitting golf balls (which I only did a few times in 2003). Perhaps just more walking in general would be a good start. Again, the goal isnâ€™t weight loss; itâ€™s just to remain healthy to avoid problems in the future.
Spend more time playing guitar
As an aspiring guitarist (well, one with a real job to fall-back on), I really need to devote more time to practicing and learning how to play this cool instrument. In 2004, I plan on expanding not only my song repertoire, but also my understanding of the instrument and of music theory in general. I just hope the neighbors donâ€™t complain when I start cranking up the amp while playing Metallicaâ€™s “Seek and Destroy.” Also, since Iâ€™m working on becoming more active, it should become easier to thrash (head-bang) while rolling through a few metal riffs. This should help justify my next guitar purchase, too!
Be more assertive
I hate when Iâ€™m shopping and I suddenly canâ€™t get past a couple of people that park their shopping carts in everyoneâ€™s way. I usually just say, “Excuse me,” but either I have such a quiet voice or people just donâ€™t hear me. 2004 will be different. Forget the niceties; Iâ€™m going to push people out of my way or just hide their shopping carts on them.
Iâ€™m also a pretty shy person, so I need to be more vocal. So I also plan to meet and befriend more people. This will include going out and seeing more around town.
Save for a house
I donâ€™t dislike where I live now, but there are so many more benefits to owning my own house. For example, I can actually paint my walls whatever color I want, I can crank up my guitar amp and not bother so many people (well, usually), and I donâ€™t have to wait for a washing machine. Furthermore, I would like more room to spread out. The apartment complex in which I live has been wonderful, thanks to some really good neighbors and great management staff. But I need to think about the big pictureâ€¦ including writing off those mortgage interest payments on my taxes.
Keep the apartment clean
Since I want to move into a house, I should make this a priority. It will make moving easier. Included among the things I need to do this year are finding a better spot for my guitar effects pedals and keeping the dining room table clutter down (which will become easier once the desk is home and in place).
Be less cynical
In case you havenâ€™t noticed by reading most of the stuff I publish on here, Iâ€™m pretty jaded. I would like to see the good in people, but I usually let some little bits of reality sneak in and take hold of my world view. So Iâ€™m going to start giving more people the benefit of the doubt and try to be nicer in general. That should go over really well with my heavy-metal reputation.
Meet that special someone
As youâ€™ve probably read and gathered from reading other things on this site, Iâ€™m single. Hey, Iâ€™d like to meet a special woman, fall in love, and offer her everything I can (uh, within reason). So Iâ€™ve made that a priority in 2004. No more cynicism and becoming more assertive may lead to me meeting someone nice enough to go on a date or two with me. However, I do have some criteria: she must accept that I like playing metal guitar (or any guitar); she must accept that I like the Green Bay Packers; and she must be able to help out with cooking and cleaning (help out means that I will also cook and clean). Speaking of cooking, she canâ€™t be overly fussy about what she eats (still wondering why Iâ€™m single?).
Finish my desk
Okay, this is something Iâ€™ve been working on for almost two years. Yes, it probably would have been completed if there wasnâ€™t a miscommunication about the lumber order. But great progress was made over the past year, thanks mostly to my great friends Chuck and Emil. Now that most of it is stained, sealed, and varnished and we only need to install hardware and give it a test-fitting, this should probably be the most achievable resolution for 2004. However, if Iâ€™m still writing about working on it a year from now, Iâ€™m giving up on it altogether!
I purchased a lot of books last year, but I havenâ€™t read them yet. Iâ€™m only on Chapter Three of the latest Harry Potter book, and I bought it right after it was released this past summer. So Iâ€™m going to put aside an hour or so every night just for reading. I plan on finishing about one book a month this year, depending on the size and the topic (if it turns out to be a clinker, though, Iâ€™ll stop reading it and move on to the next book). I donâ€™t have a list of what Iâ€™ll read yet, but Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ve got enough material to keep me busy throughout the year. Maybe Iâ€™ll even get a newspaper just to keep up with the newsâ€¦ then again I have access to most articles through the Internet.
Finish my web site redesign
As you may be aware, I started redesigning this site again recently. I donâ€™t expect it to be active soon, but I would like to have it ready by the summer. So I want to spend some time learning more about web site design and putting what I learn into practice. Speaking of which, I also would like to keep more current on my siteâ€¦ I know, I know; youâ€™re still waiting for those pictures from England. And speaking of whichâ€¦
Complete my 2003 England Vacation scrapbook
I took a series of classes this past summer to learn how to effectively put together a scrapbook. Since then, Iâ€™ve purchased enough material for the first four or six pages. Yet all I have is materialsâ€¦ no cutting, no pasting, no planning. So I would like to at least start on my scrapbook in 2004; Iâ€™d even like to finish it as soon as possible, assuming it doesnâ€™t drive me nuts.
As you can see, Iâ€™ve actually spent some time really thinking about areas where I need to make improvements and strategizing how I can achieve these resolutions. I hope to write next year with positive results. I donâ€™t know if Iâ€™ll achieve all of my goals in 2004, but there are a few that are worth focusing my energy. So, if you find this kind of thing worth reading and learning about, Iâ€™ll go through this process again next year.