“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.” – Fidel Castro
I have a confession to make about New Year’s Resolutions. (Heads up – it’s not that I can’t stick to them. Bearing in mind that everyone already knows that the billions of people who set themselves New Year’s Resolutions (henceforth abbreviated to NYRs) have difficulty sticking to them, that would be a pretty lame confession).
No, it’s far more embarrassing than that. My confession is that I find it near on impossible to actually have decided what my resolutions will be by the strike of midnight that ushers in each new year. Usually, I’m still debating a few days later, and I figure that I might as well not bother if I’m gonna have to paddle furiously in a dinghy to catch the colloquial boat with all the ‘organised’ people on it. (I’m not sure I’d want to be on a boat full of organised people, actually.)
It’s not that I’ve not given it any thought over Christmas: if anything, I’ve given it too much thought. As an ENFP I think NYRs are a brilliant annual rhythm to have (as I can encapsulate the people and ideas I consider most important in them), but I generate so many different ideas it’s really tough to whittle them down to just a memorable and realistic handful.
And then there’s the grouping! The big picture part of me that sees patterns and mnemonics everywhere won’t let me just give a list of bullet points: they’ve got to be organised in some clever way! Do I have three each under the subheadings body, mind, community? (Hmmm….one of my community ones isn’t very strong compared to the others…and I can’t have unequal sized groups…) Do I link them to the roles/responsibilities I have in my life? (Husband, dad, work…hang on which role does reading come under?) Can I fix it so that each target contains a specific number, from 1-10, then I can list them in numerical order?
You can see how choosing NYRs is a complicated business if you’re me.
(By the way, if you don’t know what an ENFP is, it’s one of the Myers-Briggs 16 personalities and I’ll inevitably be writing more about personality in future posts, as it’s one of my biggest passions.)
Anyway, this year I have decided on my 10 (or is it 9? Which sounds better?), and because I just need to get on with it (as my wife often reminds me about various things), here they are. I’ve tried to make them SMART, so I know whether I’ve achieved them by the end of 2015 and can track my progress:
- Get Things Done: Use the Evernote app to capture all my ideas and tasks, prioritise them according to importance and urgency, and track and evaluate my progress, in order to be more productive and efficient.
- Be a Dad for a Long Time: I have severe familial hypercholesterolaemia, which basically means by body has too much of the bad type of cholesterol in my blood, and that I’ve been on a high does of statins since I was 30. I’m also called to be a dad, and I want to be around as long as possible to nurture my amazing kids. So I aim to:
- Lose 0.5kg per week, by using a combination of the 5:2 diet and eating Low GI.
- Continue to improve my overall fitness by cycling to work at least 180 days in 2015.
- Improve my core strength, by doing Pilates and/or the Plank so that I can sit up from a lying position
- Quality time with my wife: being a dad is great, and Michelle and I love spending time with our kids. But those of you who’ve been in committed relationship longer than us know that you need time to yourselves too. So I’m going to book in at least one date night per month with Michelle.
- Weekly Wow: Watch 1 TED (or similar) video per week. I”ve watched TED talks about stuff I’m already fascinated by and stuff I know nothing about, talks which made me laugh and ones which made me gasp, ones from which I took one simple idea and others I was enthralled by so much I looked up the speaker on Amazon and bought their book. So, I want to watch one a week to keep inspired.
- Read Regularly:1 book a month. I’m talking Fiction mainly here: as part of a Theology course I did a few years’ back one of the essays I had to write was on the idea that reading fiction develops your ‘moral imagination’ – i.e. by reading fiction, you put yourself in situations you’ll never experience, and come across characters you’ll never meet in real life, and by identifying with those situations and characters, you develop your ability to empathise with people who are grossly different to you.
- Happy Home: I love DIY, and my wife loves a house that is clean, tidy and works. I want to up my game so that I fix any house issues within 10 days of them being identified.
- Find Followers: Increase my personal Twitter following by 3% each week. Simple one really. I love all things digital, but my focus has been on developing my work Twitter account. I want to put into practice what I’ve learnt to reach 1000 followers by the end of the year.
- Share Skills: Complete 10 skills exchanges through Sutton Shares over the year. Sutton Shares is the timebank that I coordinate, so I want to lead by example.
- Write Weekly: 1 blog post a week. Evaluate on 1st May to narrow blog’s focus. This is why I’m annoucing my NYRs on a blog. I love writing – poetry, songs, descriptions, emails, study guides – and have been told I’m good at it, but with all skills, the more your practise, the better you get. I also want to discover the things I write about which others like reading about, hence the May evaluation.
So that’s them.
10 9 New Year’s Revolutions (or 11, if you count the bullet points on #2…so I guess that’s 10 on average). I realise that I used double alliteration on #4-9 and not on the first three (I worked backwards and then got stuck on #3) but it’s more important they’re out there and that people can cheer me on and keep me accountable on them.
Thanks for reading.