Before it gets too late to say it - Happy New Year!
(Yes, I should have written this yesterday. But it's still "New Year-ish", and I'm ok with that)
So, the vast expanse of 2019 looms before us, an empty space ready to be filled with whatever we pour into it. Twelve months of potential that just needs us to try and live up to something... what might that be? Well, let's start with the same basic rule as previous years - NO RESOLUTIONS.
A change isn't a switch, it's a lifestyle, and resolutions feels too much like binary win/lose things. So I have goals, smaller and shorter term things that feel like they are more the life I want to be living, and should be living. And are quite broad, to be honest.
Exercise. I did good last year, getting into decent shape just in time to become Officially Old. Then the year spiraled into chaos and I lost the kind of motivation that is needed to improve. But I maintained roughly the point I was at, and still feel pretty healthy... but I could still do better.
I almost went for a jog this morning straight out of bed, and felt lazy afterwards for not doing so. I'm not going to lie, cardio is probably my weakest aspect right now, and I'm thinking I need to set some short term goals to aim for - "run a mile without stopping for breath", for example, a stage I've been at before and could likely get back to in a few weeks.
Write. Most of last year I was exchanging short stories with friends every month, and enjoying it - I'd hit a point where I'd lost the passion for getting words down, and this picked it up again. So I have a goal of keeping this going this year...
"A story a month, an article a week" I'd written as a note the day before yesterday. The stories are easy to maintain - I hope - but the articles... I'll consider that an aim more than anything. Probably one of my great failings last year was getting back to any kind of freelancing work, or even the mental state needed to keep firing off ideas. But the more I write, the easier it gets to write, and getting articles up - even ones that aren't going to be getting a wide audience - is good practice, and builds both a portfolio and confidence.
Read. Dear Lord, there are a lot of books here, and I know I'll be a better person for taking in even some of the content here. Plus, other people's words and ideas are fuel for my own. Plus also, so many books I'll likely never read a second time, so reading them once and passing them on to charity frees me up a lot of space too.
There are a lot of books. I doubt I'll make a dent in them.
Unity. Maybe. I'm interested in learning the engine, I have a background - albeit two decades ago - in programming, and I think I know what makes a good game better than a bad one. Plus, I can make a cheap mobile game and earn millions in microtransactions. Or maybe not... but I'm interested. It may not last, I may not have the aptitude, but starting is the hardest thing and I don't want to tell myself I can't do it without finding out for certain... so I will get a start on this.
Piano. Last year's wildcard, beginning lessons in December just to test a theory - "does being able to touch type give me an advantage learning another kind of keyboard?" Initial results say "maybe", but those hour long lessons go by quite fast and I'm getting a lot of encouragement from people to stick with it. In my mind's eye I'm a guitar guy, mostly because guitars have greater potential for both being romantic and portable. But who knows? I have no delusion I'll ever be great at the thing, I'm learning for pleasure - "it's good, it's you working on you" as one workmate put it.
Yeah, they're all pretty broad aims - "stick with this and you'll be doing ok". A couple of specifics, though -
New job. Really, I need an exit plan. And for that perhaps a clearer idea of who I want to be and what I want to be doing.
Journaling. We're thinking personal writing more than the site here, unfortunately. Though I will be keeping my eye on the Rooster Teeth beta a bit more closely for a while to see if the sense of community that has faded on the legacy site returns there.
De-cluttering. What I've been doing for about three weeks now, and feel I've barely gotten started on. I've held onto a lot of things over the years, and it's like I looked at them recently and realised they are just that - things. Some are worth keeping, and some are merely being kept. Believe me, the local charity shops will be onto a winner for a few weeks. As will the local rubbish and recycling.
Fact is, I didn't write yesterday because I was actually getting other things done, and so the year has felt like it got off to a good start. And I can only hope that feeling, as well as that momentum, keeps going.
Let's make 2019 a winner, people!