Happy New Year from our home to yours! May the new year bring joy, health, peace, and prosperity to your home. There’s nothing quite like flipping over the calendar for a fresh new start.
That fresh start was something I avoided for a long time. Year after year, I’d embark on a New Years resolution path only to fail to build the habit somewhere in the first week of February.
2021 was different, though. I set out the year with two resolutions:
- Develop a fitness habit.
- Develop a daily Bible reading habit.
I finished the last daily Bible reading on December 31st, 2021. I missed some days, but always caught up a few days later.
I think I can say I developed a fitness habit as well — I ride the Peloton three to four times a week right now, and either skate or play ball another day each week.
So, 2021 was good. I’m proud of it. I had a truly amazing year.
Goals and Dreams
Surely it’d be wise to roll that momentum into 2022! Right? Surely it’d be easy to continue adding things to my day now that I know I can keep a resolution going throughout a calendar year!
Yet, here I am, mostly befuddled and at a loss.
I have so many things I want to do in 2022, but am unsure how to fit them into my daily schedule or am unsure how to actually succeed at the resolution.
Here is my list of “wants” so far:
Transition my daily Bible reading from a “Read the Bible each day” mentality to a “study” mentality. — Mostly, this means reading less and studying/meditating more.
There are some great study-specific reading plans in the Crossway app, but they aren’t per book and they don’t cover the entire New Testament. I don’t know exactly where to look for better reading plans.
Revive the practice of taking handwritten notes. — I have a stack of aging Field Notes memo books that need to be used up and I’ve come to realize how much I’ve missed handwritten notes. When I’m in doubt, I always go back to my handwritten memo pads to look for thoughts or specific information.
I still don’t have a workflow ironed out for exactly when to take handwritten notes and when to take typed notes. This is a small hiccup, but it creates indecision, which usually leads to paralysis.
Build out my connected note library in Obsidian. — I discussed how I am increasingly taking notes in Obsidian right here. In essence, I want to build a standard operating procedure manual for any complex work I complete or for any issue or decision I’m pondering.
Building out this level of detail inside a personal note-taking workflow takes a lot of brain power and focus, two things I’m feeling short on by the end of a work day.
Grow my fitness habit to include strength building. — I’ve done well to ride the Peloton three or four days a week, but now it’s time to build some muscle and some strength. This would involve incorporating a few weights/light-weights workouts to my routine.
I already had to scale back from five or six rides per week to three or four rides per week due to the amount of time and effort committed to the Peloton each week. I would have to get back into that five or six day routine again to develop this strength habit.
Write consistently for The Newsprint. — I proved in September to November 2021 that I could write and publish just about daily for an extended period of time. I have a backlog of things I want to quickly write about or photo essays I want to showcase and I’d love for these to hit The Newsprint this year.’
When I eventually stopped writing daily in November, it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I had this daily commitment that generally led to half-assed, quick work that didn’t have the quality I’d like. Quitting the writing habit felt great and provided extra time for family focus.
Rest. — I had a wild 2021. The impacts of the harshest lockdowns in early 2021 are really starting to take their toll. I haven’t had a work-free vacation since a long weekend in August 2019. January to May 2021 marked the hardest part of my CPA schooling — study and tax season led to 15-hour days for 6 months straight. The last 6 months since finishing have been a whirlwind. No vacation time. The busiest December on record. Work has truly taken over life. And I say this staring down another 6-month tax season from January to June 2022. I will never tell anyone I’m burnt out, because I vow to never complain about having work to do. But dang, it feels really good to sleep in right now.
Given the start of another tax season, I don’t see opportunities to rest for another six months.
Eat better. — By “eat better”, I mostly mean eat more. I’m a scrawny and narrow guy to start with and the Peloton habit has led to my clothes no longer fitting. I’d like to build up strength and get to a thicker, stronger body in 2022, and I think a big part of this is eating more and eating better.
My wife is a registered dietitian, so I will rely heavily on her for this one. But eating better also means taking the time required to cook, to plan, and to eat, and I’m still looking for extra minutes wherever I can. There are roadblocks here, but I think this may be the easiest goal to work on in 2022.
So here are my proposed solutions for the above resolutions:
- Bible reading transition: I will choose specific reading plans from YouVersion or ESV.org that pertain to specific topics or books of the Bible and complete these every day or every other day.
- Handwritten notes: I’m going to carry a Field Notes memo book in my messenger bag and have it on my desk at the office each day. Where I used a memo pad before, I’m going to use a Field Notes book instead. I’m also going to scan in these pages as often as possible and save them in my personal Notion database.
- Building out a connected note library: Still working on a solution for this one.
- Strength building: I will dial down my Peloton riding to three days a week minimum and fill at least two other days with strength training.
- Consistent writing habit for The Newsprint: Without painting myself into a box, I am going to try to post two or three times a week. Once may be something original, the other might be a comment to someone else’s post. This should help overcome some of the pitfalls I discussed here.
- Rest: Still working on a solution for this one.
- Eat better: I will work with my wife to have more food available with me throughout the day. I will eat a proper breakfast, have a snack between breakfast and lunch, and have a snack in the afternoon.
Now that’s a list of resolutions! I’m going to start out the year keeping these seven resolutions in mind and I’m curious to see what sticks.
Most resolutions require a compromise of some sort. If I want to write more, I have to give up some video game time. If I want to rest more, I have to go to bed earlier. If I want to gain strength, I have to devote two additional days each week to a workout of some sort.
I suspect the resolutions that don’t require much compromise will easily stick (eating better and taking handwritten notes, for example).
Here’s to a successful 2022 for you and yours!