Resolutions for 2014


After a day of feeling crapulent after staying up until 2am drinking to see in the New Year, it’s time to review my resolutions from a year ago and come up with some for this year.

I got much better at shuffling cards. That wasn’t necessarily saying much, as at the start of the year I could approximately pick up a pack of cards, and not really achieve much else. I’m still not particularly rapid or elegant at shuffling cards, but hopefully that becomes one of those things I gradually improve through practice.

I didn’t go swimming at all. I had aimed to swim a dozen times in 2013, but magically avoided all water. (Apart from showering, and giving our child a bath, neither of which count.)

I didn’t pick up R at all. I had a couple of gos, but part of the problem is that I don’t have a clearly defined problem that I need to use R to solve. Perhaps if I’d had that, I would have done better.

I did manage to start Spanish lessons, and I can now say a few things. That doesn’t get me to fluency. Yet. A bit like shuffling, something to maintain going forward.

I didn’t improve at dancing. Apart from dancing with my daughter, which seems to greatly amuse her. Does that count as half done?

In 2012, I ran at an average speed of 5:58 per kilometre. In 2013, I got that down to 5:15. A difference that big makes me worry there were some data entry issues, but I’ll still take that.

Comedy: I managed to get on stage at least once a month until September, but it was something of a losing battle. Staying out late carousing isn’t very compatible with responsibly parenting a small child. Perhaps I’ll find a way back to it in 2014, but perhaps not.

Finishing things: well, there’s still an incomplete novel. Perhaps there’s now two of them.

Make more time for friends: I really don’t know if I’ve done that or not this year. Maybe I needed something I could quantify more easily. I’ve certainly come to a more conscious awareness that I’m wasting time on the internet, but I’m still doing it. Perhaps it just makes me unhappier than it used to.

Remember to meditate more often: oops.

So that’s not terrific: roughly a one in three success rate in 2013. For 2014, I’m going to try to keep things quite definite:

Run a marathon. I know I can, because I’ve done at least eight of them now. But in 2013, without an overriding goal for exercise, it was far too easy to let things slip. For 2014, I want to concentrate on consistency, and having a marathon to train for is going to help there. Only question is, where am I going to run it?

Learn more Spanish. Having just said I’ll be more definite, here’s a goal that’s kind of vague and hard to measure. I need to think quite a bit more about how to track this and see if I’m on target. I’d like to be able to conduct at least basic conversations; hopefully this week I’ll have a better idea of what ‘more’ looks like, exactly.

Do a full draft of my Hong Kong horror novel. I have a plot structure, scribbled down one insomniac night. If I can battle through that and have at least a complete draft in the next 12 months, I’ll be pleased with myself.

Read Felicity a bedtime story every night. This at first appears quite easy, but there will be nights when I’m not in the same country as my daughter, or with access to her at the right time – I can’t always get out of a meeting and phone her from London to read her a chapter of a book. But I think with the magic of the internet and audio recording, I can do something here.

Go line dancing. Because all those people down in the square seem quite happy, and if you can’t beat them, you may as well join them. I imagine it’s a lot harder than it looks, or at least I’ll make it appear that way.

So that’s five things, all fairly major. Some things aren’t resolutions any more: I’ll be writing something everything for day, I’ll gradually be getting better at shuffling cards, I’ll be attempting to limit my [wasted] time on the internet by being in bed by ten o’clock with all gadgets turned off, I’m going to try to meditate at lunchtime in the week, even if that means hiding in the toilet and going ‘ommmm’. I want to be more consistent at some things, like taking photographs of Felicity and then not leaving them in the recesses of a hard drive forever unlooked at, but I think I’ve found that I’m consistently bad at sticking to a resolution to just ‘be more consistent’. There’s also some things which are more minor, at least as far as they’d be nice if I can keep doing them, but I won’t feel too broken up if I don’t:
performing comedy on stage regularly; making videos more frequently and publishing them on Youtube; wrestling with R and making something useful (like a very basic stock algorithm to eliminate some of the buyer’s/seller’s remorse I always suffer with the stock market).

Oh, and some graphs. I should draw some graphs.


3 responses to “Resolutions for 2014”

  1. It’s a shame about the comedy but if it means you can make more films about horses, that’s better for us global fans.

    My only resolution is write every day. Although I’ve just spent some time not writing and looking at Facebook instead. I go back to work tomorrow so need to do better than this…

    • Speaking of Facebook, I’ve sworn off it for January. But since I have some people that I can only contact via Facebook, I (somewhat hypocritically, perhaps) will be relying on my wife to look at Facebook for me…

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