Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year, New Me

I have pretty much always scoffed at the idea of New Year's resolutions. Not because I feel like I'm above them, but because I don't think I've ever met anyone who has kept a resolution for more than a month or so before giving up on it. It's all well and good to promise the universe that you're going to do (or not do) something, but the actual act of changing your habits in some substantial way is a lot more difficult. In the case of a resolution made solely based on the fact that it's a new year, well, there's a reason you're not already doing whatever it is you have resolved to do, and until you've addressed that reason, you need to do more than make a resolution.

Today is the first day of 2016. Actually, by the time I post this it will probably be the second day, since that is five minutes away and I'm not likely to finish this in one quick blast. Despite what I said in the first paragraph, I have decided to make a resolution for this year. In fact, I've decided to make two, which is either overly ambitious or a good way to give myself a fallback option in case one doesn't work out (so that I can say I at least partially kept my resolution!).

The first resolution I'm making is one I've thought about every year but have dismissed as a setup for failure. It's the same resolution that roughly 90% of the people who make resolutions make (by my very unscientific calculation): exercise more. Now, I know if I don't define it any better than that, it will never happen. No one ever keeps the resolution to exercise more because it doesn't provide any measurable goal.

So what I am going to do is to set a goal for myself that is so ridiculously easy to reach that I really have no excuse not to reach it. I'm going to say that I will set aside five minutes every weekday explicitly to exercise. This doesn't mean walking to and from the train station. That's just incidental exercise. What I mean is that I will specifically have a five minute period of time whose main goal is to exercise. I can either lift some dumbells, use this elliptical machine that has been gathering dust, or do some other aerobic or calisthenic activity not in the service of some other goal. Just five minutes. I can do more if I want, but that doesn't mean I can exercise less the following day. No banking exercise minutes.

I have no reason I can't meet that goal. I have done it plenty of times before, but I'm usually too lazy to bother. I say, "well, I walked instead of taking the bus today, so I got exercise." I can't do that. I mean, I can walk instead of taking the bus, but that doesn't count toward the exercise quota. I'm hoping that by setting the bar so low, I can create a pattern of behavior that I can expand upon over time. Once I'm setting aside a few minutes a day, it becomes simpler to simply increase the number of minutes. We'll see how it works.

So that's the first resolution.

My second resolution is to write at least one entry for this blog per week. A quick look at the history here shows that I got off to a pretty good start with this thing, but I faded fast and have only on rare occasion come back to post some random thing or other. I skipped all of 2014 and made one miserable post at a weak point in 2015. No one is reading this anyway (except for the void, I suppose), so it's not like I'm interacting with others, even if I am publishing. It's easy to say that there's no point.

However, I do like the feeling of keeping a blog going. I like the idea of it. I feel a small sense of accomplishment each time I post. I'd also like to hone my writing skills a bit, as I think they've fallen off somewhat from when I was younger and more energetic about things. I'm middle-aged now. Let this be my crisis. I am not going to try to enforce a focus for this blog, although I guess it's possible one could develop. I'm just going to post about anything and everything I find interesting.

So here I go, 2016. I've put it out there for all to see. Can I do it? I'll make updates here, and I'll be honest if I fail.

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