One Month At A Time

Resolutions for 2019

Every year, almost, I make a list of things I want to do or try or things I want to give up and then I kind of fail at around half of them (or much more).

This is pretty normal. Most resolutions by most people fall by the wayside.

Over the last week or so, I’ve been thinking about lists and what I want to do and what I want to change. From my newspaper pal Becca Carballo, I heard about S.M.A.R.T. resolutions (which I would have heard about earlier, if I’d followed through with another resolution to read the New York Times every day).

The acronym stands for:

Specific (concrete goals)

Measurable (Find a way to document your progress)

Achievable (within the realm of possibility for you)

Relevant (Make the goal for the right reasons)

Time-Bound (Achievable in the time allowed)

This seemed like a good place to start.

Meanwhile, my former cubicle-mate Carlee Lammers posted this really interesting way of setting goals incrementally, to build habits instead of setting yourself up to fail with big, sweeping statements about doing this or that.

So, I have sort of adapted the two concepts into something I’m going to try.

The things I most want to change or improve in my life are my health and how I spend my time outside of work. I lean more and more toward being sedentary, spend way too much time on my phone or in front of a television, and not enough time interacting with the real, physical world.

I often talk about doing things and going places, but tend to just skip them in favor of something easier and cheaper.

It’s learned behavior; a habit that can be corrected.

What I’ve come up with is 12 months of changes that I hope will make me modestly happier with myself by the end of the year –nothing too crazy.

Here’s the schedule:

January –Turn off social media on the weekends (6 p.m. Friday night).

February –Meet four different friends for four different lunches.

No social media on the weekends.

March –Read one big book (something longer than 200 pages and more complex than your average pop fiction novel)

Two lunches with two different friends.

No social media on the weekends.

April –Clean out closets, cupboards and bins at my house, toss old clothes and stuff I don’t use. Reduce clutter.

Read one big book.

Two lunches with two different friends.

No social media on the weekends.

May –Run at least one 5K race.

No social media Thursday night through Monday morning.

Read one big book.

Two lunches with two different friends.

June –Spend one weekend without internet, television or video games.

No social media Thursday night through Monday morning.

Two lunches with two friends.

Read one big book.

Run a 5K race.

July— Attend the Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville, Kentucky (I have already purchased tickets, but having tickets has not stopped me from skipping in the past).

One weekend without television, internet or video games.

No social media Thursday night through Monday morning.

Two lunches with two friends.

Read one big book.

Run a 5K race.

August –Participate in the Spartan Race at Summit Bechtel Reserve.

One weekend no television, internet or video games.

No social media after 6 p.m. weekdays or on the weekend.

Two lunches with two friends.

Read one big book.

Run a 5K.

September –Attend either the Dublin Flea Market in Pulaski, Virginia or the Hillsville Flea Market in Virginia (both are huge markets I enjoyed as a kid)

One weekend no television, internet or video games.

No social media after 6 p.m. weekdays or on the weekend.

Two lunches with two friends.

Read one big book.

Run a 5K.

October –Clean up yard, prune and get ready for winter.

Two weekends no television, internet or video games.

No social media after 6 p.m. weekdays or on the weekend.

Two lunches with two friends.

Read one big book.

Run a 5K.

November –Holiday with family (I’ve gotten out of the habit, but hope to do this every year).

Two weekends no television, internet or video games.

No social media after 6 p.m. weekdays or on the weekend.

Two lunches with two friends.

Read one big book.

Run a 5K.

December –Take a vacation that is free and clear of any work obligations.

De-clutter house for winter.

Two weekends no television, internet or video games.

No social media after 6 p.m. weekdays or on the weekend.

Two lunches with two friends.

Read one big book.

Run a 5K.