Every year I make some resolutions, and sometimes they stick and sometimes they don’t. (2014: 20% success rate, 2015: 0% success rate. 2016: at best, 33%, 2017: 50% 2018: 37.5%)
In line with what I wrote about 2018, there’s two themes i’ll explore with the next batch of resolutions: coherency and consistency.
Coherency: if I look at all my resolutions, do they hang together in any way? Are there recognisable parallels between resolutions so that pursuing one doesn’t create problems for another?
Consistency: are these resolutions focussing on me having good structure to my life and trying to get better at sticking to things, or are they full of outliers?
Subsidiary to that, resolutions can’t be too arbitrarily based on other people – for example “I want to be the fastest 5k runner in Singapore in 2019” is a pretty horrible goal, because it depends on nobody else doing well – but there’s a balance between things that are quantifiable, and those that are not.
- Reading Two years of this have shown that trying to read a book every week is really quite hard. This time round I’ve selected 12 serious books (by borrowing somebody’s recommendation of books about management and leadership), and I’m trying to choose 12 other books, based on ones that I think will be fun or entertaining. I’ll put the list here and refer to it (and try to be assiduous in reviewing what I read) over the year.
- Writing There were a few times this year where I failed to write anything in a day. That made me very sad. So for this year I want to be absolutely disciplined and write on this blog every single day.
- Sleeping I’m a busy kind of person and I tend to stay up too late and watch TV or idly flick through the internet, and this is not just wasteful, it sabotages the potential for other gains.
In an attempt to put an end to this, I’m going to try to average 7 hours sleep per night. That means if I’m getting up at 6 to exercise, I have to be in bed with the lights out by 11. I’d like it to be 8 hours sleep per night, but that doesn’t seem sustainable from recent experience.
- Play more Blood Bowl. Note that I don’t say ‘win more Blood Bowl’ – in line with the principles above, that there are things you can control, and things you can’t. But I can try to comple the Black Box Trophy on Fumbbl – that is, playing 30 games each with 5 different teams, over the course of a year. Right now, I’ve done 26 games in total, and I’ve got 272 days left to play another 124 matches, so that should be achieved some time before October of next year.
I’d also like to be less incompetent – so it’s dangerous to set a goal about beating more people than I’ve managed so far (I’ve won 4 out of 51 games to date) but I’d like to see some improvement, and be able to state why that is.
- Swimming Having made some good gains this year, I’d like to consolidate them by managing to swim at least 100 metres without stopping by the end of the year. That’s four laps, and that means I need to remove four and half minutes of rest to do so.
- Climbing I want to get back to where I was before in terms of fitness (by the end of March, let’s not rush too much). In addition, I’d like to be able to do at least 10 pull-ups (properly, from a deadhang each time) in one set, and at least 40 in less than half an hour.
- General fitness There’s a few sub-parts to this.
- I want to establish a general workout regimen I can stick to even when travelling (so emphasis on body weight exercises and not needing to carry weights with me).
- I want to start running again – my 50th Parkrun is an elusive thing, but I want to get that done in 2019.
- I want to be able to do something impressive this year – I’m not sure if that means a headstand, or front levers, or something else, but let’s see what inspires me.
- Maintain routine with the children It worked really well to walk the girls to school every day this year.
I’m going to attempt that again this year. In addition, I’m going to be making time to take them to swimming every week, and (if La Serpiente agrees to it) taking her climbing once a week.
- Juggling I kind of missed out here. I can throw balls in the air much more proficiently than I could a year ago, but I didn’t really stick to practice (or possibly practice in the most effective way) through the year.
- Diet/nutrition I’m going to cut out sugary snacks at work between meals for January, and limit myself to one coffee per day (and try to drink that after ten a.m., so it’s not just a crutch to wake me to consciousness.
- More writing I’m going to at least write out the whole plot of my novel, and then try a first draft. It doesn’t matter how bad a first draft is, something is better than nothing.
That’s ten resolutions, or twelve if you split out the general fitness ones again, which nicely lines up with the months of the year. I think there’s some coherency to this list, and the habit parts (sleeping, walking the kids to school, reading, and playing Blood Bowl) seem to support one another. Let’s see where we get to in a few months…