New year, new you? The problem with resolutions, and how to own 2020

Last week, we recapped 2019. Not a great year, but I definitely feel like I’m picking up steam. First, we’re going to talk about me, then we’re going to talk about you.

Can we just start with this? 2020 doesn’t even sound like a real year. There, I said it. We’re in the fucking future, people.

Health. My personal focus in 2020 is on my health. “You’re fat, your cholesterol is a little high and your blood pressure is getting to be a problem” isn’t exactly a massive heart attack, but it’s enough of a wake-up call to me that if I expect to be around for my kid, my health is my top priority this year. If I have to drop something else that I’ve deemed more important, I will. I will finish 2020 at a healthy weight, with healthy habits and a happy physician.

Freemasonry. I’m moving to the east this year; that will mean something to some of you. To those of you who don’t get it, it essentially means the lodge will look to me for leadership this year. And it’s going to be a tough one. After a century(ish) in our current location, we need to move. It’s going to be emotional, but it’s not an option. We might as well make some more difficult decisions while we’re doing it. Not really for public consumption, that stuff, but if I seem to be pounding a little harder than usual and you can’t tell on what, it probably has something to do with that.

Better Humanhood/JKWD/Blog/etc. We’re going to keep writing; it’s in my blood. The rest is … well, there are plans, but I think this year is either go big (or be well on the road to being there) or go home.

Family. As I mentioned last week, I felt like we fumbled through our first year with a child. She got on more of a daily routine at about 9 months or so; hopefully that will tighten up in 2020. That will give us a chance to really come back together as a family unit.

Reading/learning. I probably read 65 books in 2019. I got a little overwhelmed with it sometimes. There will be more novels, and more slow, purposeful reading in 2020. I love learning things, but I think I need some deeper learning on a few things this year, instead of the wider learning I did last year.

Now, let’s talk about you. And, specifically, if you made a resolution, toss it, now.

Here’s why: Your resolution is tied to the changing of the calendar. It should be tied to something important to you.

I didn’t start making my health a priority on January 1, or even on November 1. As soon as I recognized that there was a change my health was going to potentially negatively impact my relationship to my child, I took control.

Here are a couple of other things you need to know about any improvements you want to make:

• You need to have a measurable goal. You won’t know you’ve succeeded if you don’t. I know that 140 pounds is an achievable healthy weight for me. I know that I’m genetically predisposed to a high LDL level; if I can keep it under 135, I’ll be in good shape. I know that my blood pressure should be under 130/80. All measurable.

• You need to have a plan for success. What happens if you get where you want to be? This is easy for a weight loss goal — either maintain that weight or set a new target weight • but what about a financial goal, or a career goal? If you get where you want to be, do you stagnate for years? You need to figure out what’s going to be next.

• Set milestones along the way, and acknowledge them. You can’t make big moves without little ones.

Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in one day, but underestimate what they can accomplish in a week, month or year. Go big, but only plan on doing a little bit at a time.

If you can read 10 pages a day, you’ll read a 300-page book every month.

If you can write 500 words a day, you’ll write over 700 double-spaced pages in 2020.

If you can walk 3 miles every day, you’ll cover the distance from Atlanta to Boston; 10 miles a day, you’d cover Los Angeles to Boston.



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